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Does it happen to anyone else?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Count, Sep 3, 2014.

  1. Count

    Count Friend of Leo's

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    I get a phone call, "can you show me how to tune a steel guitar I have been given so that I can learn to play it". OK I reply, is it a six string lap or on a stand, six strings comes the reply.
    Later walking up my drive comes the phoned with an acoustic guitar on their shoulder. "Where is the lap steel?" I ask, "here it is" comes the reply lifting the acoustic off the shoulder.
    "Ahhh!!! that is not a Steel guitar it is a bog standard classical acoustic, early model of Japanese make and low end of the market type". "But it's got steel strings" comes the answer.
    I then have to explain that steel strings on an acoustic guitar does not a steel guitar make. Then go further to explain that some clown has wrecked the guitar by putting steel strings on it and that is why the bridge is lifting, the soundboard is bowed, the neck is twisted, and the tuner pegs are making their locating holes oval. The whole mess being now untunable and unplayable.
    The number of acoustics designed for nylon strings that have been wrecked by someone putting steel strings on them is incredible. Is it only me seeing this happen or do others find the same?
     
  2. Paul in Colorado

    Paul in Colorado Telefied Ad Free Member

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    It's a steal guitar. I stole it!

    I used to work in a music store. I've seen a lot. It's sad what happens to some guitars.
     
  3. bparnell57

    bparnell57 Poster Extraordinaire

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    It's a shame, but even with the right strings and precautions, many guitars still need neck resets and bridge repairs just due to the nature of the glues used and how they age. 90% or old Kay archtops need neck resets, even if they were closer queens with no strings on them, but yeah, it's sad to see what people do with vintage guitars, and don't even get me started on amps....
     
  4. String Tree

    String Tree Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Make him trade it for a Tele.
    He'll thank you for the rest of his life. :)

    ~ ST
     
  5. Glen Smith

    Glen Smith RIP

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    You should know the rule by now, pics or it didn't happen!
     
  6. J-man

    J-man Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    A few years ago in a guitar shop I overheard one guy tell his friend to buy a cheapo Classical Guitar and put steel strings on it to save money.. It's more common than you'd think.
     
  7. studio

    studio Poster Extraordinaire

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    Is it just the design of the headstock with the slotted tuning
    or is there more to the string switch?
     
  8. J-man

    J-man Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I'm far from an expert, but I think there are a ton of reasons.. Classicals (or at least, the cheapo ones) just seem less able to handle the high tension in most ways.. The bridge will pull away from the body, the body/neck will warp.. The neck may start coming unglued, the tuners will break/slip.

    I don't think Classicals generally even have truss rods.

    Bad, bad idea to put steel strings on one. Not that you'd need to.. A decent nylon string acoustic is a great sounding thing.
     
  9. Gautfrid

    Gautfrid Banned

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    No truss rod to give stiffness to the neck either.

    I know some electrics don't have truss rods, but at least the necks are (nominally) engineered to take the extra tension.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2014
  10. J-man

    J-man Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Heh, I was in the process of adding the truss rod thing when you replied.
     
  11. Count

    Count Friend of Leo's

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    Just to clarify: the bridge was screwed to the soundboard with no reinforcing underneath, two screws into the thin ply top, it was a cheapie after all. The bridge was lifting as the screws were pulling through and the glue was letting go. The soundboard was deformed because the force on the bridge was pushing the soundboard down between the bridge and the sound hole. It has been that way for a while it would seem as when the pressure was released it stayed deformed. No truss rod, and no reinforcing in the neck, judging by the way it was bowed. The neck was also twisted by the greater tension exerted on one side by the thicker 4,5 & 6th strings. In other words it was a guitar designed only to take the tension that nylon strings would exert. If it had been kept with Nylon strings it would have been a playable beginners guitar, nothing special but playable. Now it is just a wall hanger as repairs would cost more than the original purchase price.
     
  12. idjster

    idjster VERY grateful member Silver Supporter

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    For me its not a question of why someone would do this to a guitar - people do stranger things when they think they're saving money. To me what is odd is that someone thinks this is repairable. Just looking at is should tell them that it has major problems. Ah, well...like the other poster said, point them at a Tele. It doesn't even have to be an expensive one. They'll thank you. :D
     
  13. Preacher

    Preacher Friend of Leo's

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    Its the age old thing of, "hey I got a guitar, will you teach me to play it?". So you put together a number of pages of chords and theory with some easy songs for them to play to practice. You see them a few weeks later and ask how it is going and they tell you they practiced for a few minutes and did not get any better so they quit...

    Some people really have no idea of what a musical instrument needs or any idea of how to go about making music with it.
     
  14. 63dot

    63dot Friend of Leo's

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    I am not surprised that this thing of putting steel strings on a classical is an issue. For a non-player who wants to put strings on, they may only see that their guitar has six strings and that the set of strings they bought had six strings in it.

    One store who sells records, and sometimes instruments, tuned up a five string acoustic guitar bass low E to high B but I told them about the excessive tension over time and that they should tune it low B to G instead which they now have it at.
     
  15. Bill

    Bill Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Two weeks later...

    Hey, I took your advice and bought one of them Telecaster geetars and a geetar amplifier. I found a pack of the strings that came with my busted classical geetar so I strung up my new Tele with 'em.

    Problem is, I can barely hear the bottom three strings when I play and can't hear a dang thing from the top three. I think my Tele must be broken.
     
  16. Count

    Count Friend of Leo's

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    For which all your neighbours are extremely grateful.:lol::lol::lol:
     
  17. Count

    Count Friend of Leo's

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    I guess what it is that really bugs me is that we live at a time when knowledge is so easily accessible and people don't bother. I might be peculiar but if I know nothing about something then I try to find out. If I go into a music store and see lots of different types of strings on the wall my reaction is, which is the type that is best for my guitar. That is knowledge I need to make sensible decision, so I try to obtain that knowledge, do some research, and that does not mean just relying on the advice of a sales assistant.
    But with some people I guess it's the old adage, they don't know enough to know that they don't know enough.
     
  18. Buckocaster51

    Buckocaster51 Super Moderator Staff Member Ad Free Member

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    I have scored two (2) really neat old Gibsons on conversations that started a lot like that.

    :)
     
  19. dr.chevalier

    dr.chevalier Tele-Holic

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    True, but there's plenty of idiot snake-oil salesmen who clog the airwaves with enough bad advice/ideas and sell it good enough to lull the uninitiated into their own stupid foibles. I work on water wells and have seen my share of idiots who looked up 'how to do this repair' on the interwebs and got themselves into serious trouble.:rolleyes:
     
  20. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

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    So Kfan and his gang are up to their usual exploits. :D
     
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