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Vintage acoustic tone affected by dirt on the body?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #61
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Karloff70's Avatar
 

Ok, last post to thank Russel Dawkins and Bstapper for pointing towards the truss rod. Seems loosening it an 1/8 of a turn has enabled me to wind the saddle down half a turn, getting a shallower angle across yet still staying clear of fret rattles even when struck with a jolly strum and the overall tone is more mellow again, plus she feels much nicer to grab on the left hand again. Ebony pins are back (after trying bone ones to calm her down earlier) and liking it again.

Feeling partially stupid, but still convinced the dirt was magical. But mostly, really happy to have got her to a much much better place thanks to this thread, so however stupid to some, it helped out this end, so thanks!!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #62
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Great to hear, man. Enjoy!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
Excellent post, thank you! Your point 3 is something I have been very aware of indeed for a long time, but now when I think about it I can't remember exactly how the break angle over the saddle was when I got her, and since it is the ceramic Gibson on screws thing and was set for my preferred action both before and after I hadn't thought of that. But then, as he did alter the truss rod, and probably quite a bit, as before the top few frets were not playable, a setting resulting in the same action might in fact have had quite a different break angle!

Thank you, that one is valuable indeed! I rarely go past the 12th fret, so might ask him to 'unoptimise' the rod back to the region of where it was, and see whether I get a shallower break angle and mellower sound from it. Your post has put. big smile on my face, thank you very much indeed for your thoughts!
That is one possible explanation if these assumptions are correct:

[1] The headstock end of the neck was pulled forward a fair bit by the string tension

[2] Tightening the rod flattened the neck to an appreciable degree, effectively lowering the action at several points.

[3] to compensate, the bridge height was increased, increasing the break angle.

[4] the increased break angle is responsible for the change in tone
Old 4 weeks ago
  #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norfolk martin View Post
That is one possible explanation if these assumptions are correct:

[1] The headstock end of the neck was pulled forward a fair bit by the string tension

[2] Tightening the rod flattened the neck to an appreciable degree, effectively lowering the action at several points.

[3] to compensate, the bridge height was increased, increasing the break angle.

[4] the increased break angle is responsible for the change in tone

Maybe. I understand what you are saying about the break angle, but have a hard time believing a truss rod adjustment would require a difference in bridge height significant enough to make such a drastic difference.

String elevation in relation to the neck and soundboard, however, is a huge impact on the sound. Not uncommon at all to lower the action and find that you have lost some tone and "mellowness".

Either way - glad it has improved and was a fun educational experiment (now that it has worked out OK and all!)

cheers,
Brock
Old 4 weeks ago
  #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bstapper View Post
Maybe. I understand what you are saying about the break angle, but have a hard time believing a truss rod adjustment would require a difference in bridge height significant enough to make such a drastic difference.

String elevation in relation to the neck and soundboard, however, is a huge impact on the sound. Not uncommon at all to lower the action and find that you have lost some tone and "mellowness".

Either way - glad it has improved and was a fun educational experiment (now that it has worked out OK and all!)

cheers,
Brock
It seems more as if the rod loosening allowed me to drop the saddle just enough without creating fret rattling of the struck strings. I like them quite high anyway, so there is some free dynamic range without hitting the rattling end stops. And now I can have that with less break angle.

The thing actually feels strangely noticeably more loose and pliable in general compared to a more tense feel before which I struggled to 'grab into' with the left hand. Really quite taken aback that 1/8th of a turn on the rod and 1/2 turn on the saddle screws could make this much feel difference.

And yes, educational indeed. Love it.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bstapper View Post
Maybe. I understand what you are saying about the break angle, but have a hard time believing a truss rod adjustment would require a difference in bridge height significant enough to make such a drastic difference.

String elevation in relation to the neck and soundboard, however, is a huge impact on the sound. Not uncommon at all to lower the action and find that you have lost some tone and "mellowness".

Either way - glad it has improved and was a fun educational experiment (now that it has worked out OK and all!)

cheers,
Brock
If the break angle was normal before the adjustment, I'd agree that putting the bridge up a little wouldn't have much affect on the downward pressure on the saddle. The relation between break angle and downforce is not linear, however. If the original angle was very shallow, a small change would have a more substantial effect.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norfolk martin View Post
If the break angle was normal before the adjustment, I'd agree that putting the bridge up a little wouldn't have much affect on the downward pressure on the saddle. The relation between break angle and downforce is not linear, however. If the original angle was very shallow, a small change would have a more substantial effect.
It's not very shallow, even now.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
It's not very shallow, even now.
Were the adjusters all the way down before? That would change the contact between the saddle and the bridge.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norfolk martin View Post
Were the adjusters all the way down before? That would change the contact between the saddle and the bridge.
Nope.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norfolk martin View Post
Were the adjusters all the way down before? That would change the contact between the saddle and the bridge.
And while we are at it can we throw a shoutout for Gibson for one crappy bridge saddle system. It's bad enough when it shows up on a cheap plywood Japanese instrument, but come on man. That whole metal baseplate with screw height adjustment system is just wrong...

;~)
Old 4 weeks ago
  #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bstapper View Post
And while we are at it can we throw a shoutout for Gibson for one crappy bridge saddle system. It's bad enough when it shows up on a cheap plywood Japanese instrument, but come on man. That whole metal baseplate with screw height adjustment system is just wrong...

;~)
It is. But even that has some sort of a sound, kind of does something to add up to the overall guitar sound, and the overall tone is pretty sweet indeed. And I am quite addicted now to the ceramic saddle in the sense that I can't futz around with intonation, yet it intonates great as is. Plus, today would have meant filing around with no way to get back other than making a new saddle on a 'normal' acoustic.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
It is. But even that has some sort of a sound, kind of does something to add up to the overall guitar sound, and the overall tone is pretty sweet indeed. And I am quite addicted now to the ceramic saddle in the sense that I can't futz around with intonation, yet it intonates great as is. Plus, today would have meant filing around with no way to get back other than making a new saddle on a 'normal' acoustic.
Totally agree - to change it is to change the instrument to something it isn't meant to be. And it has that unique sound you enjoy and that design element is a part of it.

To me every instrument has something unique to offer - and "cool Junk" (as I call it) is my personal specialty. The funkier the better (even if it is worse).
Old 4 weeks ago
  #73
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so, we are back to the cigarettes,beer snot and KFC.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Russell Dawkins View Post
Looks like you have excess time on your hands.
A general tendency of all his posts on the site from what I have seen.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
It is. But even [the adjustable bridge] has some sort of a sound, kind of does something to add up to the overall guitar sound, and the overall tone is pretty sweet indeed.
If you're old enough, you'll probably remember the late 60s and early 70s in the UK, when the only playable budget acoustics were the Italian Eko's (usually some variation of the Eko Ranger) As I remember, they were about 20 -25 pounds

They had the same adjustable bridge system, and a very distinctive tone.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norfolk martin View Post
If you're old enough, you'll probably remember the late 60s and early 70s in the UK, when the only playable budget acoustics were the Italian Eko's (usually some variation of the Eko Ranger) As I remember, they were about 20 -25 pounds

They had the same adjustable bridge system, and a very distinctive tone.
Hey Martin.

usta see them years ago in second hand shops, unfortunately all the cheap second hand shops are gone, in my part of the world. Were the eko worth buying?
Paul
Old 4 weeks ago
  #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pquinn View Post
Hey Martin.

usta see them years ago in second hand shops, unfortunately all the cheap second hand shops are gone, in my part of the world. Were the eko worth buying?
Paul
Depends entirely on the price. Only a few years ago you coudl still find them in charity shops and at car boot sales for 40 quid, but recently they see to have gone up a lot Here in the states, people are asking $150-350 now


Their best feature was that the combination of the adjustable bridge and the use of a zero fret (no anguish in how high or low to cut the nut) produced an instrument that was easily playable, at a time when "cheap acoustic" usually meant " strings half an inch off the fret board."

They were built like tanks,and could take a lot of abuse. They had a bolt-on neck like some of the Fender acoustics and the Japanese Epiphone acoustics. This upsets purists, but guarantees that, 40 or 50 years later, they won't need an expensive neck reset.

The tone and volume were not great. 'Midrangey" comes to mind. The top and side were plywood, They were finished in a fairly thick liquid poly that seemed to damp both the low end and and the very high end. Because they were not particularly resonant, they worked well with a magnetic pickup without going into feedback. When I was a teenager they were pretty much everyone's first playable acoustic.


The opinions here seem to match mine:
https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/...d.php?t=224362
Old 4 weeks ago
  #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norfolk martin View Post
When I was a teenager they were pretty much everyone's first playable acoustic.
Yes! I had an EKO 12 string when I was a teenager, could that be why I ended up being a drummer?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #79
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Yes . i am also truly sorry mr force. can you please find it in your heart to forgive me............................please
Old 4 weeks ago
  #80
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I abase myself and grovel ....although I have a tendency to do that anyway...
Old 4 weeks ago
  #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clump View Post
Yes! I had an EKO 12 string when I was a teenager, could that be why I ended up being a drummer?
Ha! So did I.

Part of it actually survives. When I was younger, I loved 12 strings, but had difficulty with narrow necks. The Rickenbackers sounded best, but had the narrowest necks. (In the last ten years, I've managed to change my fretting technique, and now can comfortably play my Rick 360/12 c63).

Anyway, many years before that, the Ranger 12 was in the back of a truck in a gig bag when a Marshall cab slid off the top of another cab and landed on the body. They were tough, but not that tough. I salvaged the bolt on neck, and later fitted it to a semi-hollow Harmony body.

I had the widest necked electric 12 string in Oklahoma.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pquinn View Post
Hey Martin.

usta see them years ago in second hand shops, unfortunately all the cheap second hand shops are gone, in my part of the world. Were the eko worth buying?
Paul
Funny. I have an Eko made HD28 ply job, very similar if not identical to a Ranger, which I spotted in a charity shop window and cost 20 quid. It has cost a bit more since, as the box actually sounds really cool on this one, so it has had all manner of nonsense done to it. Including getting rid of the horrid saddle arrangement and replacing with bone, and now it has a Humbucker in the sound hole and a gold foil by the bridge with pots on the top, permanently. Like a bargain basement, italian HD28E hot rod. It's excellent fun.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clump View Post
Yes! I had an EKO 12 string when I was a teenager, could that be why I ended up being a drummer?
I had a similar-ish Eros 12 string as a teenager, with a high action and some kind of soft metal bridge which the higher strings would sometimes slip out of. I could see how it would turn someone to drumming. The only Eko 6 string I've played was quite nice though and recorded well.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #84
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Good thread really......lots of useful insights that are tangential to the original topic. That's how we roll here at GS.

I honestly don't think there is any way that you can replicate the patina of all those years of slow accretion. I think you should accept the change and let the new tone grow on you rather than mess with the guitar.

I say that knowing that I would be very upset if my 1933 Kalamazoo KG-11 (think Robert Johnson) got cleaned like that.

Old 4 weeks ago
  #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unclenny View Post
Good thread really......lots of useful insights that are tangential to the original topic. That's how we roll here at GS.

I honestly don't think there is any way that you can replicate the patina of all those years of slow accretion. I think you should accept the change and let the new tone grow on you rather than mess with the guitar.

I say that knowing that I would be very upset if my 1933 Kalamazoo KG-11 (think Robert Johnson) got cleaned like that.

I'm done pooping with it now. The slight loosening of the rod did the most good. It's still different, but it's nice to grab hold of now. Let's see how we go. But today I preferred playing the FG180.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bstapper View Post
There are plenty of other threads to play in. No reason to play the bully in this one. We get it. Multiple posts driving your point home is not a contribution. Let’s put some space in this tune.
Sure there is - the same reason he always has....
Old 4 weeks ago
  #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unclenny View Post
Good thread really......lots of useful insights that are tangential to the original topic. That's how we roll here at GS.

I honestly don't think there is any way that you can replicate the patina of all those years of slow accretion. I think you should accept the change and let the new tone grow on you rather than mess with the guitar.

I say that knowing that I would be very upset if my 1933 Kalamazoo KG-11 (think Robert Johnson) got cleaned like that.

Will you PLEASE stop being reasonable? It's getting tiresome.....
Old 4 weeks ago
  #88
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Old 3 weeks ago
  #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
...still convinced the dirt was magical.
I'm smelling a fantastic marketing opportunity here.

The filth on an old guitar is its patina. Part of this "dirt" is aged finish, and if you clean too deeply, you are getting past the piled-on dirt and removing aged lacquer, effectively thinning out the finish.

I've been a luthier and repair person for decades, and we've also been buying and selling antiques for many years. I learned hard lessons about cleaning things in both realms years ago. Unless specifically asked, I leave all finishes exactly as they are when I get a guitar... or a nice side table. And if I do clean a guitar finish, I'm beyond gentle, usually using nothing more than a damp cloth and easy touch. If that won't take it off, it's meant to be there.

Last edited by kennybro; 3 weeks ago at 05:01 AM..
Old 3 weeks ago
  #90
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Seems the thread has grown a new force. Bless. You must be very bored mate.
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