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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Adjusting Neck Relief

WT. Foster Guitars Tech Tip of the day March 31, 2015

Adjust neck relief:
We wanted to give a condensed overview of how to check and adjust your guitar neck relief. You can check out our website for more info on Foster guitars setup.
The first step to determining whether a guitar’s neck needs to be adjusted is to check its relief, or the amount of bow the neck has. You should use a straight edge (16 to 18” steel ruler) to help determine the neck’s straightness or lack of. If you don’t have a ruler your guitar actually has a built-in straight edge! Your strings. To determine neck relief, simply tune the guitar to pitch, then fret the low E to high e strings at the first fret with a capo, then at the last fret where the neck meets the body depress the low E string. The string will form a straight line, Use a standard feeler gauge set to measure the amount of relief at the 7th fret. This measurement should be approx.010” from the bottom of the string to the top of the fret, if adjustment is required this is obtained by adjusting the truss rod. Most modern electric guitars have a 2 way adjustable truss rod. These adjustments should only be done if you are familiar and comfortable with this procedure. Turn the truss rod in ¼ turn increments, (with the headstock top pointing at you) Left will loosen the truss creating more bow or right to tighten the truss straightening or leveling the fret board. Never adjust more than a ¼ turn at a time and allow a few minutes for the wood of the neck to adjust before measuring.

This is the basics to adjusting your guitars neck relief we hope this helps with furthering your knowledge of the finer workings of the guitar!     

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Intonation and playing style

WT. Foster Guitars Tech Tip of the day! March 27, 2015

Luthiers and set-up tech’s actually intonate a guitar very slightly flat when doing a “bench” setup. The reasoning being that on the bench a technician uses minimum amount of pressure to fret the string, maintaining constant tension and stretch to the string. But when play takes the instrument onstage, all bets are off, and he or she will likely use a tighter grip, resulting in the guitar playing sharp.

This is also a reason that should familiarize yourself on how you play your guitar before intonating it to get a good idea of how hard you squeeze the strings when playing. This will allow you to adjust intonation to your guitar accordingly. We hope this answers that question you keep asking yourself “Why when I play my guitar is it out of tune” when the guitar is in tune and intonation is set properly.

Distortion vs Overdrive

WT. Foster Guitars Tech Tip of the day! March 28, 2015

We have been asked: what is the difference between “Distortion” and “Overdrive” in relation to guitar sound/tone

These terms are often used interchangeably. We will try providing you with more than a vague general answer. In our opinion guitar “overdrive” refers to the sound of an amplifier that has been pushed past where it is capable of producing clean tone, whether that “push” is coming from a pedal or the amp itself. (However, many people would also say the amp has been pushed into distortion! Here’s your vague generality) “Distortion,” with guitar amps and effects, again this is our opinion is often used to refer both to “fuzz” types of effects as well as overdrive types of sounds. It’s a more general term that can be applied to any audio signal that is not clean.

As a final note, for some guitarists, the difference between overdrive and distortion is a matter of degree. A lightly distorted sound or small amount of breakup is referred to as “overdrive,” while a more heavily distorted sound is referred to as “distortion.” The relation between “distortion” and pickup strength is also a factor.

WT. Foster Guitars instruments offer a variety of pickup options; our stock pickup sets offer warm clear tones from the neck position with 7.5 to 7.8k pickups and a powerful crisp clean tone through over the top distortion from our 14.5k bridge pickup. The higher the ohm rating of a pickup, the greater the ability to overdrive your amplifier at lower volumes. In short, our guitars allow you to run your amp at a modest volume to obtain warm, clean tones from the neck position.  When switched to the bridge position, you have nice overdriven sound without any adjustments to the volume. We understand this is a subjective topic but we thought we would throw our 2 cents into the ring…… Keep playing and just enjoy what guitar playing brings to your life!!! That’s what we are devoted to at WT. Foster Guitars!