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 An area where Members can post there general questions for Master Guitar Tech Greg Voros,  on guitar maintenance, repair, building, lutherie, strings, etc.

(Please scan any previous questions/answers to avoid duplicate entries) 

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Greg,

What are your thoughts on humidifying electric guitars, especially semi-hollow bodied ones?  Drier air is fact of life in Chicago area winters with forced-air heating.

Thanks,

Bryan

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       Greg

           Is it worth changing a plastic Nut & bridge piece on my Martin Acoustic Guitar with non bleached Bone or bleached bone? What are the advantages or disadvantages if any? 

                        Thanks

                             Stu.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey hey Brian!

I'm a big fan of inexpensive room humidifiers; $20 or so dollars should do it. I place all my own instruments and the ones that I work on in one room along with a hygrometer. This way it's really easy to monitor your humidity and not have issues with the dry heat during the cold months.

I hope this was of help,

Greg V.

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Stu,

Most folks would tell you that its an "upgrade", but its not always the case.. Some super bright sounding instruments actual balance out well with a piece of plastic for the saddle. Hard to believe, but true. I would do it on your Martin, but only the saddle. The saddle is heard on every note that's played on the guitar, the nut is only heard when you play the strings open.

 

-Greg V.

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20 hours ago, Greg Voros said:

Hey hey Brian!

I'm a big fan of inexpensive room humidifiers; $20 or so dollars should do it. I place all my own instruments and the ones that I work on in one room along with a hygrometer. This way it's really easy to monitor your humidity and not have issues with the dry heat during the cold months.

Greg, if I could get you to expand on this.  What is the "ideal" humidity to keep one's music room at?  And failing keeping it at that ideal, which I'm sure I'll fail, what is an acceptable range that one can live with?

Thanks,

Ron Petersen

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ron,

Between 40-50% humidity or so (+/-). If you have maintained a constant or relatively constant humidity for some time, high 30's is fine, but for no more than a few days. Low-mid 50's might raise your action on acoustic instruments but will do no harm.

-Greg

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43 minutes ago, Greg Voros said:

Ron,

Between 40-50% humidity or so (+/-). If you have maintained a constant or relatively constant humidity for some time, high 30's is fine, but for no more than a few days. Low-mid 50's might raise your action on acoustic instruments but will do no harm.

-Greg

Greg, thanks for the response.  Did you happen to recognize the guitar in my profile photo?  ;)

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Hey Greg!

I have finally got my first acoustic guitar (a d-18) and I use elixir phosphor bronze strings on it. They just don't tire... at all! So I was wondering, I put these strings on at the start of January and play a lot, I can see all the sweat residue building up on the fingerboard and was wondering whether it needs cleaning or is it okay to leave it like that considering my strings are only dirty but hold pitch fine? Also, how often do you think I should be replacing these strings if at all?

Thanks very much,

Sam

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2 hours ago, IOM Sammy said:

Hey Greg!

I have finally got my first acoustic guitar (a d-18) and I use elixir phosphor bronze strings on it. They just don't tire... at all! So I was wondering, I put these strings on at the start of January and play a lot, I can see all the sweat residue building up on the fingerboard and was wondering whether it needs cleaning or is it okay to leave it like that considering my strings are only dirty but hold pitch fine? Also, how often do you think I should be replacing these strings if at all?

Thanks very much,

Sam

Sam; Obviously I'm not Greg, but I can offer a comment if you dont mind...

  Elixir Strings are good coated strings that are designed to last longer (and feel smoother) that "regular" strings. So only a couple of months of regular playing and practice is no long at all, if they still give you the tone you're looking for.

Some people are "excreters" (sweat more than most) and will have to change more often.  Personally i hate a dirty fingerboard, and over time the gunk builds up an is hard to get off. 

Make it a habit to wipe your strings and fingerboard down with a clean soft lint free cloth each time you play, and this will help a lot.. (Sometimes I've gone a year without changes.)

Hope this helps.

BTW,... you're fortunate to to have a great guitar a Martin D18. I drooled over these as a kid...:-)

Edited by NeilES335
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20 minutes ago, NeilES335 said:

Sam; Obviously I'm not Greg, but I can offer a comment if you dont mind...

  Elixir Strings are good coated strings that are designed to last longer (and feel smoother) that "regular" strings. So only a couple of months of regular playing and practice is no long at all, if they still give you the tone you're looking for.

Some people are "excreters" (sweat more than most) and will have to change more often.  Personally i hate a dirty fingerboard, and over time the gunk builds up an is hard to get off. 

Make it a habit to wipe your strings and fingerboard down with a clean soft lint free cloth each time you play, and this will help a lot.. (Sometimes I've gone a year without changes.)

Hope this helps.

BTW,... you're fortunate to to have a great guitar a Martin D18. I drooled over these as a kid...:-)

Thanks Neil, this was very helpful and much appreciated as I am relatively inexperienced in the guitar care field.

Take care!

Edited by IOM Sammy
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Hey guys,

 

I'm in agreement. FWIW, I have friends and clients that are professional musicians here in town that absolutely love the sound of old "dead" strings on their vintage (usually Gibson) acoustic guitars. There are a number of Bass players that prefer old flat-wounds or round-wounds as well. Its all personal preference. I myself prefer newer strings on just about any instrument. Wiping the strings down with a polish cloth will help preserve the strings for a noticeably longer period of time.

Best,

-Greg

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I firmly believe that washing your hands before playing your guitar will extend your stings lifetime as well.

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It's been a good habit to wipe my guitars before putting them in the case. My Ernie Ball strings last fine. Just keep them clean. 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 3/18/2018 at 11:06 AM, Charles said:

Greg

Would the course by Learn and Master (which features you) "Setting up your guitar" help me to adjust my guitar neck?

I'm not Greg, but i own that DVD and it does cover neck adjustments. 

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Hey Greg,

I am thinking about putting a Bigsby on my recently purchased Gibson ES-135 (trapeze tailpiece) and would like your opinion on the wisdom of doing so.  First, can you tell me how big a deal it is for an experienced shop to add a Bigsby to that type guitar?  Second, are there any issues with a Bigsby that would cause you to not recommend putting one on a guitar that didn't come from the factory with it? 

FWIW, The shop I bought the guitar from (very well respected for Taylor and Martin repairs) acted like you'd have to have a military grade, laser guided drill press and declined to even consider the job and the second shop I contacted replied the shop was closed for 2 weeks then didn't answer my follow up so I'm still looking for the "experienced shop" from question one.  lol

 

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Six string,

Adding a Bigsby to a guitar is pretty straight forward. Some are easier to outfit than others, but a ES-135 should be one of the easier ones. Now a days, the company makes different models that are non invasive for the most part, and the install isn't very difficult. Check out the Bigsby site and try to find one that floats over the top and matches the screw hole pattern of you existing tailpiece.

I hope this was of help,

Greg Voros

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18 hours ago, Greg Voros said:

Six string,

Adding a Bigsby to a guitar is pretty straight forward. Some are easier to outfit than others, but a ES-135 should be one of the easier ones. Now a days, the company makes different models that are non invasive for the most part, and the install isn't very difficult. Check out the Bigsby site and try to find one that floats over the top and matches the screw hole pattern of you existing tailpiece.

I hope this was of help,

Greg Voros

Greg,

Thanks for taking time to share your knowledge and experience with us.  

It didn't seem like a job for an owner to do, but it also didn't seem like it would be above the skills of a good guitar repair shop, so I was a little taken aback when the shop I where bought the guitar flat said they wouldn't do it.

I have ordered the same model Bigsby that Gibson installed on some versions of this guitar, and a local luthier that specializes in building custom acoustic instruments has said he could install and set it up.  I'm a little hesitant since his business is about 99% acoustic stuff, but a guy that can build a custom guitar that people pay thousands for from a pile of wood in his backyard is probably up to the task of bolting a bridge on in the right place.  Still I may ask around some more to find a shop that works with more electric guitars.

Edited by Six String
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