Happy 2014!

Derek_RDerek_R Posts: 1,716Member
edited August 2016 in Personal Diaries
Just dropped a set of Ernie Ball Earthwoods on the Tanglewood. Lovely sound! It might be simply the fact that it's a new set of strings (I used to put new strings on my guitars every few weeks, but these days I might go a whole year on my acoustics - blame the cost of everything other than guitar strings!) but I think they sound way better than the Rotosounds I had  previously (though I must admit I struggle to 'remember' sounds, so the Rotos may have been this good when first installed). Anyway, right now I can highly recommend the Earthwoods. I did try and take a sliver off the bottom of the bridge to lower the action but I think I was too delicate - there's no real difference. Compared to the Martin the Tanglewood is a bitch to play. I tear my fingers up (on both hands) on it. The strings (irrespective of make) always seen to have more tension on the Tanglewood than the Martin (I think the scale length is more or less the same). On the plus side, I find that if I practice songs on the Tanglewood then when I pick up the Martin I'm able to play them much easier. So maybe there's a good training technique there... What else? I'm pretty much playing solo fingerpicking acoustic to the exclusion of all else at the moment. I've weakened a few times but have generally managed to maintain the tunnel vision. The band did its last gig on NYE and since then the electrics have all been put away and this year I'm thinking of trying to do a few more acoustic gigs. This leads me back to the Martin v Tanglewood debate. The Martin has a passive pickup, and I have an external pre-amp ( LR Baggs  Gigpro) but a few sound-engineer types have told me the signal is still quite low. The Tanglewood produces a much higher output which is (apparently) better for the sound engineers - but as already stated it's tougher to play. I'm actually thinking of dropping the tuning down a tone and seeing if that makes a difference. It might be important to be more practical at gigs... I don't know. A couple of these points come together in my wonderings about what guitar to lust after next... Not that such lust is going to lead anywhere right now. But that thing I mentioned about remembering sounds... I loved the Stonebridges I tried out at Richard's place...but I also fancy trying a Gibson J45 but unless I could try the two side by side I'm not sure I could make any kind of judgement on which I prefer. And then I'm also pondering on the Martin's that have electrics built in - the Performing Artist range, for example, or the DX range. They certainly won't have an acoustic sound to rival the Stonebridges I tried but will they be more practical in a gig situation (and maybe easier to play?). Anyway, there it is. Lots of ramblings only slightly disconnected. In other news Merle Travis's Guitar Rag is kicking my butt, right now  Happy 2014!Derek


  • LesterLester Posts: 1,705Member, Moderator
    edited August 2016
    Originally Posted by Derek_R:

    I did try and take a sliver off the bottom of the bridge to lower the action but I think I was too delicate - there's no real difference.

    What I did recently on a friend's guitar was to set the neck relief (ie. the truss rod) and then lowered the relief an extra 30 thou (because my new Stew-Mac nut-slotting gauge - thanks to Jocko's recommendation - which can be used along the whole of the neck, not just by the nut, measures in thou) so that I could take slivers off the bottom of the bone saddle and as soon as I started to get fret buzz (yes, I had to loosen and tighten the strings every sliver) I knew that I was near my target without having accidentally taken too much off the saddle. I ended up with the lowest buzz free action and I have ever achieved, on a £100 acoustic. Next time you change the strings use the old ones while you work and then put the new ones on.

  • gar Tintgar Tint Posts: 62Member

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  • JockoJocko Posts: 7,107Member, Moderator
    Originally Posted by Derek_R:

    I did try and take a sliver off the bottom of the bridge to lower the action but I think I was too delicate - there's no real difference. 

    If you want to lower the action by 20 thou you have to lower the bridge by 40 thou.

  • JockoJocko Posts: 7,107Member, Moderator
    Originally Posted by Lester:

    which can be used along the whole of the neck, not just by the nut,



     You have to be careful doing this.  I found that if you lay the guitar on its back, and try and measure neck relief at the 12th fret, the pressure applied by the clock gauge depresses the string giving you a low reading. This doesn't happen at the first fret.  At the 12th fret it is like a lever or, if you imagine a trampoline with greater depression in the middle than at the edges.  If you want to use the neck relief gauge all the way up the neck you need to have the guitar in a playing position.

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