Changing Taylor shims an easy task?

Discussion in 'Acoustic Heaven' started by Tomm Williams, Nov 7, 2019 at 10:23 PM.

  1. Tomm Williams

    Tomm Williams Tele-Afflicted

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    Tonight I received a beautiful used 414ce from a GC back east. The neck is nice and straight but the action is still quite high so it looks like it could use a different set of neck shims. My question to those that have done this, is this an easy task? Both my local GC’s said they couldn’t help me other than take the guitar back which I don’t want to do just yet anyway......
     
  2. Deeve

    Deeve Friend of Leo's

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    A pal briefly owned a Taylor, and wanted to shim it, but found the company reluctant to sell direct, preferring to do it through an authorized dealer.
    I can understand their desire to keep user-service to a minimum, assuming most owner/users have a dull butter-knife and a played out soldering iron as the two best tools in their case.
    My bud is an amazing mechanical talent, with a remarkable selection of tools (and the ability to properly use 'em).

    The Taylor quickly returned as trade-bait for something else.

    Peace - Deeve
     
  3. reckless meanie

    reckless meanie Tele-Meister

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    This guy did it.
     
  4. milocj

    milocj Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    Can't you lower the saddle by taking it out of the bridge and sanding it like on other acoustics or is the saddle already too low?
     
  5. Tomm Williams

    Tomm Williams Tele-Afflicted

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    Yes I can but knowing the neck angle can be changed with shims I’d rather leave the saddle as is.
     
  6. boredguy6060

    boredguy6060 Friend of Leo's

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    Looks like it came out nice, good luck and enjoy.
     
  7. DougM

    DougM Friend of Leo's

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    Take it to an authorized Taylor warranty station and have them do it. They have the expertise to do it right and it's worth a few bucks to get it done by someone who knows how. Taylor isn't going to sell you the shims, and besides that, you need a tech who has a good collection of them in all the different sizes, both vertical and horizontal, in order to evaluate which ones it needs to be optimum.
     
  8. Tomm Williams

    Tomm Williams Tele-Afflicted

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    I started searching for one last night and found that a certain GC in my area was listed as a Taylor repair location. When I called them the salesman in guitars said he didn’t know you could remove the neck from a Taylor........ a phone call to two other GC’s was no more productive.
    I will contact Taylor today to find a repair shop without the initials GC.
     
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  9. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Tele-Afflicted

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    To give you an idea of how relatively simple it is, I have the on line price list from a well known and reputable repair tech who quotes dovetail resets at $540 plus setup, bolt on necks with glued fingerboard extensions (which is how I mostly build) at $360 plus setup and Taylor NT at 75 which includes shim exchange. Problem is you need to be an authorized Taylor shop to get the shims. I had a nice old 714 on my bench the other day that needed a reset - I did everything else and sent the owner to a Taylor shop in the next town.
     
  10. corliss1

    corliss1 Friend of Leo's

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    Taylor also specifically doesn't want you to try and change the saddle height. Unless it wears out, you shouldn't have to with how easy it is to reset the angle. Although, as others have mentioned, getting the shims on the aftermarket if just about nonexistent.
     
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  11. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    It is an easy task if you can get the factory shims. If you know how to do "stuff," you can take the neck off, look at how the system works, and reverse engineer your own.

    Unless you specifically want more neck angle anyhow, I would lower the saddle to start.
     
  12. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Tele-Afflicted

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    Well, yes and no. The two shims work together to raise and tilt the entire neck assembly including the fretboard extension. The shims have laser inscribed numbers that tell their thickness and a Taylor tech knows how to match them to how much you need to move the geometry. You could, in theory, make your own or modify the ones you have but since it is so easy to have it done correctly that seems to be the best choice.

    And yes, lowering the saddle a bit might be necessary after the neck has been shimmed but I would start by getting the angle as close as possible.
     
  13. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    Of course it is best to take it to a Taylor authored repair center; that goes without saying. I was speaking only of D.I.Y. workarounds that could be done by an intelligent craftsman.
     
  14. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Tele-Afflicted

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    Here is what we are talking about

    1017191537.jpg

    I set and reset necks all the time - dovetails and bolted M&T's but I'll pass on this one.
     
  15. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Tele-Afflicted

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    Oh, and one more reason to take it to a Taylor shop - you will destroy the label over the heads of the bolts at the neck block. A Taylor shop has replacements.
     
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  16. Tomm Williams

    Tomm Williams Tele-Afflicted

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    I took it to a shop today and had the neck adjusted further and it helped. The action is still a bit too high from the 9th fret on (for me anyway) to comfortably do barre chords. I have another call in to yet another Sacramento area shop to see if they can do a shim set up.
    I like this guitar a great deal, the pita is worth it as it’s sooooo close.
     
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