Scott's Guitar Blog: July 11, 2017

Helping out a Goodall Guitar

This fine Goodall had been misunderstood a bit by a couple of well-meaning repair people along the way. The owner who drove in from out of State to bring it to me was frustrated because after two attempts with different shops, it still didn’t seem right to him.

The action was a bit higher than he wanted and the tone was bit choked-off. When anyone tried to lower the action it would buzz despite his light touch.

What was going on was pretty simple; several small issues had combined into that feeling that it just wasn’t right.

Firstly, the saddle radius was rounder than that of the fingerboard. This made the g and d string higher on the arc than the others, causing him to have to push slightly harder to fret them. He was not even aware this was happening, but it was causing slight tuning problems, as those two strings were going sharp slightly from being higher and having to be pressed down more.

Next, despite having minimal fret wear, the frets were not level. The truss rod had been overtightened making the neck very slightly back-bowed. This caused some of the frets to rise up in their slots. They needed to be to tapped into place, and that tiny adjustment of the truss rod to bring the neck to a small amount of relief. Some of the frets also had grooves in them from being played, so I did a level an re-crowning of the frets, then carefully sanded and polished the frets until they gleamed.

Also the bottom of the saddle was not perpendicular to the sides. A quick flattening of the bottom edge brought better contact between the saddle and bridge.

Lastly, the nut slots were erratic in their depths. The strings were at different heights, and it required different finger pressure on each to push down to the first fret. This makes a guitar less intuitive to play, and causing tuning problems. One by one, each issue was dealt with. When complete, it had more tone, greater sustain, and was easier to play. It was not rocket science but these small issues added up to a larger picture which was stopping this nice guitar from being its best.