Skip to content
Clear all

adjusting play

2 Posts
2 Users
Eminent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 15
Topic starter  

I have an old (late 60's)Contessa nylon string classical. The string height at the 12th fret is a little over 11/64th of an inch at both E strings. There is no bulge at the bridge and the neck releif is about .010 at the 7th fret with the string held down at the first and 14th fret. I would like to lower the bridge height. But. I have read that to lower the play you must remove twice as much height from the bridge to get the desired effect at the 12th fret i.e. 4/32 removed is 2/32 lower play at the 12th fret. In order to get the play down to 6/64th I would have to remove 10/64th at the bridge. This would be lower than the saddle height itself. (I am not sure if I am using the correct terminology for bridge and saddle.) So what would the minimum amount that the bridge (white thing that the strings rest on) needs to stick up over the saddle (wooden part attached to the body)? I have tried pushing down the string down just at the front of the bridge unit and it looks like it would actually be okay for the strings to be lower than the saddle. But I know that its impossible. Is it because its a nylon stringer that the action is so high? Or is this due to cheapness? I will eventually get a better guitar but for now I would like to learn on this one. When/if I get better I will reward myself with a decent guitar.

Estimable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 136

I'll just let you know now, I'm not going to be of any help in fixing your guitar. I'm assuming form your post that you are learning guitar (it's a lifetime thing, that) but I don't know how far along you are, so please don't think my reply is patronising - I don't mean it to be.

I can say though, that if you really want to learn guitar, a nicely playing guitar will increase your motivation.

Are you sure your action is 11/64ths? If it is, that seems fine to me for a nylon, but if it's 11/32nd's (my ruler only goes to 32nds) then it's a bit high for some styles- but not to high to learn on. It's probably a better investment to buy a cheap learning guitar & then if you do like it & stick with it, have the nice old guitar properly set up by a qualified Luthier. I think there's a more to it than meets the eye. Hope this helps!!

"Who says you can't 'dive bomb' a bigsby?!"