What do you check before sending out a guitar?

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Max Dickinson
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Joined: Wed Jun 17, 2020 1:47 pm

What do you check before sending out a guitar?

Post by Max Dickinson »

In short: What quality checks on a guitar do you make before sending them out the door or pronouncing them done?

When deciding if I've finished an acoustic guitar I'll go over it a look for around 15 things related to musicality, playability and quality. I thought I'd turn that checklist into a guide that others can use to evaluate instruments. I aimed this as a guide to explain to someone looking to buy a guitar what to look for. There's a lot of text, too much for this post. So here is the list below and you can check out more here: intermediate acoustic guitar guide

The list that I go through is:

Top quality , back and sides quality, tuning ease, bridge pin ease, fretboard buzz, fretboard dead spots, neck shape preference, action preference, measuring stiffness of the top and back, mass consideration, evenness of finish, craftsmanship details, intonation quality, pickup quality.

A lot of this is aimed at an intermediate guitar player level of knowledge so some of the techniques such as the stiffness testing has more detail I can go into. If you do something else that I'm missing please let me know!

Marshall Dixon
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Location: SW Oregon

Re: What do you check before sending out a guitar?

Post by Marshall Dixon »

You might reconsider what you say about laminates. People are doing some interesting stuff with laminates. Nomex honeycomb material, graphite, balsa laminates, etc. And I don't understand what you are saying in the last sentence here:

"There are two types of top: solid wood and laminate. The laminate is cheaper and is made from multiple layers of wood that are glued together in flat planes. The structural integrity provided by the grain in a solid piece is minimized."

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Barry Daniels
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Location: The Woodlands, Texas

Re: What do you check before sending out a guitar?

Post by Barry Daniels »

Is this saying that a laminated top is better than a solid spruce top?
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Max Dickinson
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Joined: Wed Jun 17, 2020 1:47 pm

Re: What do you check before sending out a guitar?

Post by Max Dickinson »

I agree, there are some really innovative stuff being done with laminates. I doubt it would be found on a $400 guitar, which is the quality I am trying to make that point apply to.

My writing isn't the best so I see where the confusion is. I'm trying to say that as a whole the laminate top is weaker than the solid top. I believe I use the word "solid" where I should say something like "the structural integrity provided by the grain, in a laminate top, is minimized."

I am not trying to say that a laminate is better than a solid top. Maybe given the cutting edge technology it could be, but that is a question of opinion.

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Barry Daniels
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Location: The Woodlands, Texas

Re: What do you check before sending out a guitar?

Post by Barry Daniels »

Solid wood is solid wood, but when you use the word laminate that can encompass a broad range of materials and construction. I think that using generalities with laminates can be misleading and that one should be more specific as what kind of laminate you are referring to.
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