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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 5:18 pm 
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Mahogany
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Hi folks, First a bit of history. I work in theatre and at times am called upon to provide items of a musical nature. For an upcoming production of "Once", the director wants a battered busker type guitar. We have an old Telestar Folk Acoustic (I think made by Kawai, back in the '60'). I am pretty sure it is ply, but it has the right look. It needs a neck reset, new nut and saddle (bone not plastic). I tried to straighten the neck with the truss rod, but to no avail, thus the reset. I wonder if anyone has other input as to helping the tone. I do plan on installing a pickup. Probably a K&K pure mini. Any other ideas regarding tone? BTW, when I looked into the guitar I found it had no bridge plate. I will probably add that as well. The bridge itself is bolted on, but seems well adhered. Thanks for any and all input.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:00 pm 
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It sounds like you need the guitar to be fully functional for the performance. Your list of what the Telestar needs isn't trivial (depending on your experience). What's your timeline for having the guitar ready? If you are in a location with access to used guitar stores or pawn shops, you might be better off trying to find one that has a similar visual vibe, but has a much shorter to do list to get it ready for the production. Unless you are looking forward to taking on the project of reviving this guitar and have enough time.



These users thanked the author J De Rocher for the post: Hesh (Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:27 pm)
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:30 pm 
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Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
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What J said and there is NO helping the tone beyond subjective stabs in the dark attempting to make a POS sound like a good sounding POS.... Futile and misguided in my experience when you can buy any matter of beaters, an old Yamaha that will sound better and won't require a neck rest.

By the way a requirement for a neck reset on this sort of "non serviceable" guitar is a death sentence for it and when most people take them out back and shoot them or burn them. This guitar was never meant to be serviceable and the bolt on bridge betrays that this was always a "GLO" or guitar like object never intended to sound decent or even play well.

These days there are WAY better offering on the market even sub $200......


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:59 pm 
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Koa
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Stage prop duty is hard on gear.. It sounds like a perfect opportunity for a plywood guitar...

Any chance you could buy a miscellaneous new $150 guitar (with pickup already in) and just relic it for theater? Mitchell, Rogue, Jasmine, Epiphone, and Fender all have offerings in this price range...

It doesn't have to be old and crusty - it just has to look that way from 10 rows back... And it would be pretty easy to relic it with some paint..


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:12 am 
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You know, the play is based on a movie, and the movie stars Glen Hansard, who plays a Takamine with holes in the top worse than those on Trigger. I don't think you would lose any authenticity by buying a used Takamine or a new Jasmine and just beating it up a bit. That feels like a much faster path to success than what you are planning.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 10:59 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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You can do a quick and dirty neck reset by "slipping the endblock". Loosen the back from the end block and some of the upper bout, pull the neck into position and reglue. It distorts the sides slightly, but for a beater so what.
Being a "folk guitar" it may have been designed for nylon strings and wouldn't have a pin bridge and bridge plate. Adding the pickup and running it through some sort of signal processor could enhance the sound.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 10:54 am 
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Mahogany
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I have decided to use this as a good learning experience. The guitar is one that was already in our possession. It hasn't been played in years and was basically forgotten. So, what I have done so far is remove the fret board to get to the stripped truss rod. What I found was a ridiculously small dovetail joint with a significant gap at the bottom. I am going to remove the neck and reset it. Here is a question for you all; can I set the new neck angle by adding an angled shim to the bottom of the neck, to try and make up the gap? I will post pics soon.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 11:40 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Usually for a neck reset the neck needs to be angled back, so you would be removing wood from the bottom of the neck's heel. Maybe your's just needs to be reglued?


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 12:19 pm 
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Mahogany
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nathanpeirson wrote:
I have decided to use this as a good learning experience. The guitar is one that was already in our possession. It hasn't been played in years and was basically forgotten. So, what I have done so far is remove the fret board to get to the stripped truss rod. What I found was a ridiculously small dovetail joint with a significant gap at the bottom. I am going to remove the neck and reset it. Here is a question for you all; can I set the new neck angle by adding an angled shim to the bottom of the neck, to try and make up the gap? I will post pics soon.

Image[IMG]https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171020/e3901c87c5f78c61a8b521dc68fe3fce.jpg[/
Image



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 12:21 pm 
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Mahogany
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nathanpeirson wrote:
nathanpeirson wrote:
I have decided to use this as a good learning experience. The guitar is one that was already in our possession. It hasn't been played in years and was basically forgotten. So, what I have done so far is remove the fret board to get to the stripped truss rod. What I found was a ridiculously small dovetail joint with a significant gap at the bottom. I am going to remove the neck and reset it. Here is a question for you all; can I set the new neck angle by adding an angled shim to the bottom of the neck, to try and make up the gap? I will post pics soon.

Image[IMG]https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171020/e3901c87c5f78c61a8b521dc68fe3fce.jpg[/
Image



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Image




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 8:04 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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To reset the neck you will want to remove wood from the heel - more at the bottom tapering to none at the top. That will angle the neck back. To get a rough idea of how much to take off at the bottom of the heel place the fretboard back in position, replace the saddle and lay your straight edge on the first fret and saddle. Measure the gap from the twelfth fret to the straight edge. Subtract the distance you want the strings above the twelfth fret from this measurement, then divide the remainder by four (the neck is roughly 4 times as long as the heel) That will be -approximately -how much needs to come off the bottom of the heel (remember -tapering to none at the top).



These users thanked the author Clay S. for the post: nathanpeirson (Sat Oct 21, 2017 1:16 pm)
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 1:37 pm 
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Mahogany
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Clay S. wrote:
To reset the neck you will want to remove wood from the heel - more at the bottom tapering to none at the top. That will angle the neck back. To get a rough idea of how much to take off at the bottom of the heel place the fretboard back in position, replace the saddle and lay your straight edge on the first fret and saddle. Measure the gap from the twelfth fret to the straight edge. Subtract the distance you want the strings above the twelfth fret from this measurement, then divide the remainder by four (the neck is roughly 4 times as long as the heel) That will be -approximately -how much needs to come off the bottom of the heel (remember -tapering to none at the top).

Thanks for the info! I will also be changing out the nut and saddle with bone instead of the plastic, so I’ll get on that to get the saddle close. I assume I’ll have to wait on the final saddle height until after the neck set?


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 1:53 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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You want the final height of the strings above the soundboard near the bridge to be between 1/2 to 3/8ths of an inch. Normally the top "pulls up" under string tension, so I would start with 9/16ths and assume that after the the guitar is strung up it will be between these values.



These users thanked the author Clay S. for the post: nathanpeirson (Sat Oct 21, 2017 1:56 pm)
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 6:18 pm 
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Mahogany
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So, I am learning quite a bit working with this guitar. Next time around (there will be a next time) I will double check the fret spacing with the scale length. According to the fret calculator on the StewMac website, this guitar is so far off, to get it to play in tune I would have to move the bridge drastically. I am considering pulling the frets, filling the fretboard and refretting according to the calculations given by the calculator. Interestingly enough, I checked my 1970 D28 with the calculator and it too is not to the specs. The guy I had work on it years ago worked some serious magic on it to get it to play in tune. I wonder if anyone has suggestions about my proposed fret work? Again, this is a learning tool for me.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 9:27 am 
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Koa
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These guitars usually did not have intonation problems due to bad fretboards. I would challenge you on the assumption that the fretboard is completely wrong... And if the D-28 is also "measuring wrong" - then your measurement is the problem..

Measure from nut to 12th fret and multiply by 2. That's your scale length....


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 8:18 pm 
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Mahogany
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Maybe this is a good time to ask about determining scale length. Some sources say from the nut to the 12th fret and other say nut to middle of 12th fret. Which is the appropriate measurement>


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 1:34 am 
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Middle of 12th fret x2 + comp


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 7:57 pm 
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Mahogany
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Following the formula, that makes it a 24.1875 scale. According to the StewMac calculator the break angle should be 24.272 for high E and 24.391 for low E. The break angle on this guitar is about 24.75” mid bridge. That’s a pretty big difference. It would be a significant bridge move. What options are open?


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 8:05 pm 
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Mahogany
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nathanpeirson wrote:
Following the formula, that makes it a 24.1875 scale. According to the StewMac calculator the break angle should be 24.272 for high E and 24.391 for low E. The break angle on this guitar is about 24.75” mid bridge. That’s a pretty big difference. It would be a significant bridge move. What options are open?


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 8:18 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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In your earlier photos you showed the fingerboard off the neck. You might consider setting the fingerboard in relation to the bridge rather than setting the bridge to the fingerboard. You could add a zero fret (by adding a small piece to the top of the fingerboard and cutting a fret slot) and a wide string spacer to take up some of the extra real estate. It might look a little odd, but as a playable prop not be noticeable beyond the footlights.

P.S. - Why did you post a photo of the rule reading 12 1/2 inches at the 12th fret?


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 3:10 am 
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Mahogany
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Clay S. wrote:
In your earlier photos you showed the fingerboard off the neck. You might consider setting the fingerboard in relation to the bridge rather than setting the bridge to the fingerboard. You could add a zero fret (by adding a small piece to the top of the fingerboard and cutting a fret slot) and a wide string spacer to take up some of the extra real estate. It might look a little odd, but as a playable prop not be noticeable beyond the footlights.

P.S. - Why did you post a photo of the rule reading 12 1/2 inches at the 12th fret?

I meant to include it in the post about the necks scale to show the measurement at the middle of the 12th fret. I like the idea of moving the neck. Wish I had thought of it before flying it on. When I get back to the guitar, I’ll take measurements of the frets and post them. They don’t match the StewMac fret calculator results either.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:17 am 
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I have a sneaking suspicion of possible confusion about the measurement. Forgive me if I'm totally off base. It's so hard to tell a lot of things about a stranger writing on a forum...

I believe the 1/2 scale measurement you're talking about is from the zero position (edge of nut nearest the body if it's uncompensated, a.k.a. zero-fret position) to the center of the 12th fret wire. That's the center of the wire, not the center of the space between the frets.

Again, sorry if I've completely misunderstood. I'm a new builder and I know I can easily be confused by terminology.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:21 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Hi Nathan,
It looks like the jargon bit you in the butt. When a luthier says measure to the middle of the fret - they mean measure to the middle of the fret. Small discrepancies make a difference so measuring to the point at which the string contacts the (rounded top of the) fret makes a difference. Your measurement is reading slightly less than 12 1/2 inches so the scale length would be close to +/- 25 inches. You may want to remeasure the board with greater accuracy and recalculate the scale length.
Also "break angle" refers to the bending of the strings downward over the saddle at the bridge or over the nut at the peghead. More jargon to be confused by. bliss


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