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 Post subject: Earvana on a new Taylor
PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 7:25 pm 
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A client brought me a spanking new Taylor 317e, and he wants an Earvana nut fitted to it. In all my 42 years at the bench - I haven't done one of these. I watched a few vids, and read the websites - seems to be square with the world, but I keep thinking there must be an easier way.

Any advice from guys who've actually installed these?

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:00 pm 
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I thought the new Taylor’s with the new bracing system stayed in tune all the way up the neck. Perhaps this model doesn’t have that. Seems like some careful tuning is sufficient. Some folks are always chasing something, when maybe their limitation is themselves... don’t mean to be negative...

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:53 pm 
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A well madr saddle does more than these do. I've put them in before, pretty much made for cheaper guitars that have poor intonation. On a Taylor V class it's pointless.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:56 pm 
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Well.... this guy was a studio cat in Nashville for decades, and he spends about a grand with me every year.... Even if it's pointless, I'd like to make him happy.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:13 am 
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Took an earvanna install seminar once.... These nuts do have a demonstrable effect on intonation. They do not make it perfect but do make it closer. Similar to the Buzz Feiten deal but without the screwy tuning off sets.

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 Post subject: surefire resolution
PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:23 pm 
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Sounds to me like the solution of choice is to install the Earvana and see what happens - - - this is reversible, right?

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 2:32 pm 
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Forgot to mention this Taylor features a custom width at the nut of 1.760..... Earvana doesn't offer anything that wide. If the client stands firm, I guess I'll be stepping up to the challenge and fabricating one from scratch.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 4:06 am 
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Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
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Earvona like Feitin is BS.

Similar to my reply about the Gotoh 21:1. Again if nut slots are cut properly very low it's been our experience that 98% of intonation complaints vanish.

I'll add we get asked to install these "solutions looking for a problem..." from time to time and have yet to not be able to talk someone out of it with white board, physics and dumping a well set-up instrument in their laps and letting them try it.

Lastly simply cutting the slots well and skillfully is WAY less expensive for the client too. Everyone wins, kind of like that REM tune "Everyone Wins" whoops that was "Everyone Hurts..." :). Just played that last night so it's in my head.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2019 7:37 am 
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Well, delivered the Taylor to the client last night....

I forgot to mention he had me do my very popular "fretless wonder" mod on a spanking new guitar. The frets are all now .025 tall, and the action has been reduced to ridiculously low levels at both ends of the string. I must say, the guitar sounds and plays quite nicely. The stock Taylor nut and extensively shaped saddle seem to play in tune up and down the neck without an Earvana.

And he tipped me $100, so I guess he's pleased.

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These users thanked the author Chris Pile for the post (total 2): Hesh (Tue Oct 01, 2019 1:02 am) • dpetrzelka (Mon Sep 30, 2019 6:00 pm)
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2019 7:48 am 
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Chris, would you mind sharing some information about your "fretless wonder"

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2019 8:03 pm 
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Maybe I should ask if what you do is any different than the Gibson fretless wonder?

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2019 12:30 am 
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Hey, Dave.... This is only done for my most sensitive clients, guys with the absolute lightest touch. Mostly fingerstyle guys, but I have done it on electrics, too.... I have one for sale if you want it...

I do it the hard way on new guitars.... I grind the frets down to the correct height of .025, which sometimes takes DAYS if it had medium jumbos (I'm a part timer, ya know). What takes forever is crowning the frets which have now been flattened out considerably.

I use a StewMac 3 cornered file, a couple reworked Swiss die sinker files, a StewMac sanding stick, and one of those stainless StewMac fingerboard guards. I radius first from the bass side, then turn the guitar around and radius it across the fret from the treble side. Then I use 3 different grits of sandpaper to blend it all together. As you well know, with a fingerboard guard which measures .010 thick, or blue masking tape (about .007 thick), that doesn't leave much room at all to produce a full radius when crowning. I seldom achieve a perfectly round fret crown, but it's pretty close.

Frankly, it's a cast iron b*tch to do, which is why I charge triple to do it. It uses up a lot of tool and supplies, a bunch of my epidermis and even part of my fingernails. My fingers hurt for a day or two after I'm done.

And then I string up the guitar to pitch, and leave it for a day to settle. For setup, I adjust the truss rod almost perfectly straight, and check it several times over a few hours until it has settled. As you know, the lower the action - the less wiggle room for mistakes. When I'm finally satisfied, then I capo it at the first fret and lower the bridge saddle as low as possible. I'm looking for stoopid low. I might have to shim it, but usually I can get it a taste lower even then. Then I pull the capo, and set the action at the nut - again stoopid low. And then, I let the guitar sit at tension for a couple hours and I check it periodically. IF the guitar needs it, I'll adjust the truss rod a smidge - and I mean barely. At around the 10th fret you MIGHT be able to slip a piece of folded paper (.008) between the treble E and the fret when the string is held at the first fret and last fret. Triple fold on the bass E (.012).

You want to know what stoopid low is, right? On the plain strings there's about .005 between the bottom of the string and the top of the first fret. About .012 on the wound strings, with maybe .015 on the E. At the bridge, the treble E is about .035 with each string getting a little more gap until the low E is about .055. Most cats can't even play it now without making it rattle - including yours truly. One of these guys can play SLIDE with it that low, and you'll never hear the slide hit the frets. He's a spook.

On used guitars, I pull the old frets, sand the fingerboard perfectly flat. I refret with the tiniest mandolin frets I can find on Amazon. They are about .037 tall to start. Not much meat to remove, but I still have to do the radius thing.

I can't remember if I posted these pics from another Taylor I did for the spook (I've done 4 jobs for him).
Note there is no tape inducing tension in the strings. Under the treble E, a penny is held upside down by string tension only. It's a nickel under the bass E. I figured gravity would pull them out....

https://imgur.com/aOdaWN4

https://imgur.com/PjEcmyL

https://imgur.com/XftcseF

https://imgur.com/oLzlb7Q

Most of the cats remove the truss rod cover after this mod. This is Kansas after all, and the least change in humidity or barometric pressure makes the action move a bit.

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Last edited by Chris Pile on Wed Oct 02, 2019 12:50 am, edited 1 time in total.


These users thanked the author Chris Pile for the post (total 2): Dave Rickard (Fri Oct 04, 2019 8:18 am) • Hesh (Thu Oct 03, 2019 6:41 am)
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2019 8:21 am 
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THANKS
I'LL Stash this back for the future

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2019 11:03 am 
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You are welcome, sir.

ALSO, neglected to mention - on the Taylor in the pix.... it's tuned down to C. Heavier strings, but very little tension. The spook has this skin condition that peels if abraded very much, and he wants it light.

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