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Factory or Custom action?


Andrew

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I had my favorite Luthier/Tech at the Podium do an adjustment for me after buying my AJ used. I wanted it more similar to my old trusty Taylor's action. Took Marty all of about 15 minutes... he filed the nuts, adjusted the truss and I think may have touched up the saddle a small bit. It played much nicer afterward. Most Gibson's I try out, need a bit of something for me but as a fingerstyle player who doesn't strum much, I like a very low action and I use Elixir 12-53 gauge strings on all three of my guitars.

 

My Taylor was untouched from when I got it to 15 years later. I have never even had to adjust the truss. They may have when I had it in the Taylor repair shop in El Cahon for some finish and fret repair work done a few years ago. I do know they swapped out my old saddle and nut when it was there so it is likely they did some tweaking to it.

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I had my favorite Luthier/Tech at the Podium do an adjustment for me after buying my AJ used. I wanted it more similar to my old trusty Taylor's action. Took Marty all of about 15 minutes... he filed the nuts' date=' adjusted the truss and I think may have touched up the saddle a small bit. It played much nicer afterward. Most Gibson's I try out, need a bit of something for me but as a fingerstyle player who doesn't strum much, I like a very low action and I use Elixir 12-53 gauge strings on all three of my guitars.

 

My Taylor was untouched from when I got it to 15 years later. I have never even had to adjust the truss. They may have when I had it in the Taylor repair shop in El Cahon for some finish and fret repair work done a few years ago. I do know they swapped out my old saddle and nut when it was there so it is likely they did some tweaking to it. [/quote']

 

cool...im still debating what do do...i think a slightly lowered action is what i want. i think my saddle and nut will have to come down a bit.

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On my '01 SongBird Deluxe, I lowered the action just a little and replaced the TUSQ saddle and plastic bridge pins with bone saddle and pins from Bob Colosi. It was like taking a blanket off of it! This guitar REALLY sings. 100% improvement in sound. This is my guitar that I gig with every Friday night. My '08 Southern Jumbo TV is set-up very well to my liking from the factory. I will replace the plastic pins with bone from Colosi. There has been a lot of comments on whether pin replacement really makes a noticeable difference in tone and sustain. In my experience, it has made a world of difference. I do believe that anything plastic removed and replaced with bone will improve the sonic qualities of any instrument.

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Most guitars are shipped with high action at the nut and saddle. This is to allow for individual users taste. Some people attack the strings and need high action, others use gentle fingerstyle attack and low action still allows clean notes.

 

Since it is much easier to lower action at both the nut and the saddle than it is to raise the action, this is how the factory sends them out.

 

It makes total sense. However, keeping that factory action in most cases is totally crazy. That first free setup that you get from your guitar shop should be used!

 

If you are Ritchie Havens, factory setup is low for you anyway.

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On my '01 SongBird Deluxe' date=' I lowered the action just a little and replaced the TUSQ saddle and plastic bridge pins with bone saddle and pins from Bob Colosi. It was like taking a blanket off of it! This guitar REALLY sings. 100% improvement in sound. This is my guitar that I gig with every Friday night. My '08 Southern Jumbo TV is set-up very well to my liking from the factory. I will replace the plastic pins with bone from Colosi. There has been a lot of comments on whether pin replacement really makes a noticeable difference in tone and sustain. In my experience, it has made a world of difference. I do believe that anything plastic removed and replaced with bone will improve the sonic qualities of any instrument. [/quote']

 

neat-o....yeah i've been thinking about upgrading saddle and pins too. Is the Colosi saddle the exact same size as gibson's? did you order it then shave it down?

 

so you didnt find that you SJ action was too high out of the box?

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Most guitars are shipped with high action at the nut and saddle. This is to allow for individual users taste. Some people attack the strings and need high action' date=' others use gentle fingerstyle attack and low action still allows clean notes.

 

Since it is much easier to lower action at both the nut and the saddle than it is to raise the action, this is how the factory sends them out.

 

It makes total sense. However, keeping that factory action in most cases is totally crazy. That first free setup that you get from your guitar shop should be used!

 

If you are Ritchie Havens, factory setup is low for you anyway.[/quote']

 

 

yeah, i do have a free set-up coming but i'm not sure i trust the techs where i bought it....i think i'll pay the extra dough and take to the boutique shop where i know they'll do it right.

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Hey Andrew... Bob Colosi's site is here: http://www.guitarsaddles.com/

 

Give him a call and you won't be sorry. Some of the best customer service in the country! Bob does it all with just a little help from his girlfriend. I ordered bone double inlay pins from him for my AJ (Typical Gibson size is 2A) and love the look. I also think it helped the sustain a bit but who knows for sure. I just know they look awesome!

 

He can do any type of saddle you want out of bone or walrus ivory (you can't get his elephant ivory in Canada but he his is OK to sell in the US.) I don't know why you would need to go that route because his bone saddles are wonderful. He will send full instructions for how to fit it perfectly as well.

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neat-o....yeah i've been thinking about upgrading saddle and pins too. Is the Colosi saddle the exact same size as gibson's? did you order it then shave it down?

 

so you didnt find that you SJ action was too high out of the box?

 

Bob Colosi's saddles will have to be sanded down to your individual liking. If you have any mechanical ability at all, this is not hard at all to do. He will provide instructions on how to install a new saddle. On his website, you can order the right one for your guitar. And yes, My Southern Jumbo set-up was perfect for me right out of the box. A round-shoulder (J-45) has the shorter scale, so in my experience they're easier to play. The action was perfect!
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