In this blog we will be adjusting the string action on this Martin Road Series acoustic. The customer dropped it off because the guitar does not play well, or stay in tune.
When the strings are too far away from the fretboard, the guitar is hard to play and will usually sound out of tune as fret notes are pulled sharp by having to press them so far. With some adjustments, we will make it play much better!
The strings are very far away from the fretboard. The neck has a very pronounced bow that is causing most of the issues as this much string relief is not needed for buzz free notes.
The saddle is also a little too tall, so later we will be taking this down a bit too.
First I need to test play it before doing any adjustments.
Here I am tightening the truss rod to remove the excessive string relief.
Once I've made an adjustment, I will sight down the neck and see how it's settled.
Everything's looking good so far!
Here I'm verifying what gauge of string is on the guitar.
One more adjustment to the truss rod and that part will be done!
Next step is to remove the saddle and lower it.
Here I'm marking the bottom of the saddle with pencil. This will allow me to visualize how much I sanded off.
Time to put the saddle on the sander!
On this guitar we'll be using D'addario EJ16 strings. These are great string set that is widely used on acoustics.
Time to string it!
Let's wind it up!
One last look at the neck. Everything looks great!
The string action is much lower!
Final step is to tune it up and give it a test play! After all the adjustment were made, this guitar plays very nice. The tone is much better as well. A properly adjusted guitar is essential to enjoying your instrument!