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Benefits of a bolt-on acoustic neck

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tv1
 tv1
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I recently bought a Taylor GS Mini (secondhand).

It's a great little thing with a lot of oomph from the little body, easy to just leave around the house to pickup and play whenever because it's just that little bit smaller than a the typical acoustic.  And because it was reasonably inexpensive, it doesn't have to live in a big protective case.

When I bought it, I thought there was a bit of buzz on the topE, but figured that would be a quick fix.

Turns out that it's not so quick, but, thanks to the bolt-on neck, it should be quite easy.

I'm guessing the previous owner had tweaked the guitar to get the action down to a reasonable level - and it was reasonable (if a little inconsistent over the length of the neck) apart from that bit of buzz.

I checked the neck and there was zero relief, and possibly even a bit of back bow.  Loosened off the truss rod to get the fretboard properly flat (frets are fine - it's barely been played) and I've now got about 4mm between strings and 12th fret.  Which is a bit high for my lazy fingers.

The nut is cut as low as it'll go.  I could maybe shave ~0.5mm off the saddle, but no more.  So neither option is going to give me what I need.

Time for a neck reset.

The guidance is to take this to "your local Taylor authorised service centre".  So after watching a couple of YT videos, I went out to my workshop.

 

There's one bolt that goes from inside the body into the heel, and one screw/bolt into the extension under the fretboard.  Remove those (I've shown them outside-to-in rather than inside-to-out in the pic below), and the neck comes away fairly easily to reveal the shims.  Quick email to Taylor CS and I've got a set of replacement shims on the way.  You use matched pairs to change the neck angle - each shim is numbered based on its thickness/angle. 

So far, the hardest bit was finding the right size Allen key to be able to loosen the screw/bolt!

When the shim-kit arrives, I should then be able to get the action down to a more finger-friendly level and make a good guitar even better.

 

20230921 164250sml
20230921 164231sml
20230921 164307sml

 

But more importantly, it's also making me think about a bolt-on approach for my possible acoustic build.  Seems a lot easier, and it certainly works well on the GS Mini.

Online guitar making courses – guitarmaking.co.uk


   
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Robin
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I'm currently ploughing my way through watching the acoustic course videos, making the most of the torrential rainy days we're having here. You've convinced me to make a bolt on neck, when I get around to continuing my build.


   
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tv1
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Posted by: @robin

You've convinced me to make a bolt on neck, when I get around to continuing my build.

Well, if it's good enough for Taylor ...

Be interesting to see how the shims work when the arrive and I fit them - how much improvement to the action I can get, and whether I end up with any ugly gaps in the neck/body join.

I shall report back in due course.

 

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Robin
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@tv101 

Be interesting to see how the shims work when the arrive

Are you not tempted to cnc your own shims?


   
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tv1
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Posted by: @robin

@tv101 

Be interesting to see how the shims work when the arrive

Are you not tempted to cnc your own shims?

I did think about it @robin - always an option - but as Taylor offered to send me a pack of alternative shims, I didn't need to.

I've had very good experience from Taylor Customer Service before too, impressed with them.

 

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Koendb
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Posted by: @tv101

The guidance is to take this to "your local Taylor authorised service centre". 

YOU are your local Koendb's authorised service center 😉


   
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Posted by: @tv101

I did think about it @robin - always an option - but as Taylor offered to send me a pack of alternative shims, I didn't need to.

I've had very good experience from Taylor Customer Service before too, impressed with them.

 

You could just make the shims yourself anyway and keep the Taylor supplied shims as a plan B ? That's what I would do 🙂


   
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tv1
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Posted by: @koendb

Posted by: @tv101

The guidance is to take this to "your local Taylor authorised service centre". 

YOU are your local Koendb's authorised service center 😉

😆

Not so local Koen - unless you're planning on taking your latest wow creation on a European (and, post-Brexit, non-European) tour??

😉

If you've got a Taylor, their CS (based in Netherlands) is really impressive.  When I bought my first one (12 string), the shop sent it with a gig bag that was *really* tight fitting, so I emailed Taylor CS and they just offered to send me a bigger one.  FoC.  Thank you Taylor CS.

This little GS-mini is a great pick-up-and-play guitar, so great that I decided to spend some time on it to get it playing as well as it should.  It was a fairly cheap buy because I think the seller realised that it wasn't quite right - but it should be entirely fixable with a little time and care.

I also had a T3 in years-gone-by, which was beautifully built but the body was just too big to be playable comfortably, so I sold that one.  But I was impressed by its quality.

Overall, my impression of Taylor is very positive.  That probably explains why I also bough a T5z earlier this year ...

(sssshhhhh - don't tell anyone)

 

 

Online guitar making courses – guitarmaking.co.uk


   
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tv1
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Posted by: @koendb

You could just make the shims yourself anyway and keep the Taylor supplied shims as a plan B ? That's what I would do 🙂

I might - just as a challenge for the CNC.  From what I've seen, their shims are made to fractions of a mm, and have to be fitted as a matching pair.  It'd be an interesting challenge to see how closely I could replicate a pair of genuine Taylor shims on the CNC.  

Not least because I might well need to create some for my one-day Acoustic build.

 

Online guitar making courses – guitarmaking.co.uk


   
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