RE-STRINGING YOUR LOWDEN GUITAR[+]
Strings should be regularly changed in order to ensure optimal tone and enjoyment. If your guitar has an under-saddle pickup it is best to change strings one at a time. This helps to stop any small movement in the saddles that may affect pickup balance. Your Lowden guitar is fitted with a pinless bridge and a little care is required to avoid damage to the soundboard caused by the ball end of the string. In order to protect your soundboard place a piece of card on the sound- board behind the bridge. A bend made at the tip of the string will help navigate it through the bridge.
NECK PROFILE ADJUSTMENTS
Your Lowden guitar is fitted with an integral truss rod that provides greater neck stability. The adjustment of this rod is to obtain optimal neck relief (not action adjustment) and we recommend that a professional technician make these adjustments.
NECK PROFILE AND TRUSS ROD ADJUSTMENTS (RECOMMENDED SETTINGS)
Before having a string action adjustment it is important that the neck relief is checked and corrected if necessary.
First check neck relief: To do this, press bass E string onto 1st and 13th frets simultaneously and observe the tiny hairline gap between the bottom of the string and the crown of the 6th fret- this gap is the amount of neck ‘relief’ For most playing styles relief should be between 0.15mm and 0.25mm. If the relief is too large the action may be too high and/or buzzing may occur when playing around the 5th to 10th frets. If the neck is too straight, the action may be too low and buzzing may occur when playing 1st to 4th frets. NB: It is very common for new guitars to develop a high playing action during the first 6 months as the string tension begins to take effect. Often the truss rod will need tightened in new guitars after a few months to correct neck relief and action.
If neck relief is less than the above measurements ( ie; almost straight or even slightly convex ) then the truss rod needs turned anti-clockwise using a 5mm allen key. While string tension has been slackened off, turn the truss rod adjustor (located in the internal neck block approximately under the 16th fret) a little at a time and re-tune until the correct neck relief has been achieved. (note, doing this will likely raise the action and therefore it may be necessary to lower the bridge saddles afterwards.)
If neck relief is too much (ie; the neck is more than 0.25mm concave along its length) then the truss rod should be turned clockwise until the neck has straightened sufficiently. Doing this will lower the action and it may be necessary to raise the saddles afterwards.
NB: Lowden guitars made between 1976 and 1993 and from 2004 to date have been fitted with single action aluminum channel type truss rods. Lowden guitars from 1994 to 2003 were most often fitted with a dual action truss rod. For these, there is a “mid-point” of adjustment where the truss rod is neutral and where the adjustor will feel slack.
The height of the strings above the fingerboard is known as the action and directly affects the ease and enjoyment of playing your guitar. Although your Lowden guitar leaves the workshop with optimal action height, it is possible that after some ‘settling in’ period adjustments need to be made. We strongly advise that these only be undertaken by a qualified technician. Ask us (or your dealer) for advice. Workshop standard action settings are considered “low/medium” and are 2.5mm (bass E) and 2.0mm (treble E) ... measured between the crown of the 12th fret and the underside of the string.