Straight or slight upbow fretboard for CG?

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
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Arash Ahmadi
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Straight or slight upbow fretboard for CG?

Post by Arash Ahmadi » Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:14 am

I personally own CGs with "relief" fretboards but have also tried CGs that have flat fretboards. From a professional point of view, which one is best? What are pros and cons for each one?

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JRomano
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Re: Straight or slight upbow fretboard for CG?

Post by JRomano » Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:06 am

A slight amount of relief is usually what is recommended to help prevent buzzing, but you don't need much. If the guitar is playing well without buzzes, you're probably fine.

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Stephen Kenyon
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Re: Straight or slight upbow fretboard for CG?

Post by Stephen Kenyon » Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:16 am

I don't think I've ever seen one with a truly flat fingerboard - surely that would simply never work? There's also a slight 'twist', with the bass side lower than the treble.
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Re: Straight or slight upbow fretboard for CG?

Post by OldPotter » Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:53 am

which one is best? What are pros and cons for each one?
A fret board with some relief should give a better action over more of the frets. A flat fret board should be quicker to make and repair and give good results for action over the most used parts. Since relief only needs to be a very small amount it can be hard to be sure what is truly flat. A neck that is built flat may well develop a slight amount of relief when the strings are put on. The subject does ignore another factor, that is the compliance or flex of the top. I am told that a guitar with a more compliant top "feels" easier to play under the left hand, and that is the ultimate aim of the luthier.
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Philipp Lerche
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Re: Straight or slight upbow fretboard for CG?

Post by Philipp Lerche » Tue Jan 02, 2018 6:38 am

I tried a dead straight fretboard a few times. I gave up.
A slight relief is for me/my builds the only way to make sure the low E isn't buzzing at decent action.
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Arash Ahmadi
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Re: Straight or slight upbow fretboard for CG?

Post by Arash Ahmadi » Tue Jan 02, 2018 7:07 am

OldPotter wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:53 am
The subject does ignore another factor, that is the compliance or flex of the top. I am told that a guitar with a more compliant top "feels" easier to play under the left hand, and that is the ultimate aim of the luthier.
I am not very sure what you mean by a compliant top.
Last edited by Arash Ahmadi on Tue Jan 02, 2018 7:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Arash Ahmadi
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Re: Straight or slight upbow fretboard for CG?

Post by Arash Ahmadi » Tue Jan 02, 2018 7:12 am

Stephen Kenyon wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:16 am
I don't think I've ever seen one with a truly flat fingerboard - surely that would simply never work? There's also a slight 'twist', with the bass side lower than the treble.
Well, the ones that I had the chance to play were pretty dead flat. Slightly easier to play (probably because the strings are closer to the fretboard from the 5th to 8th frets), but you couldn't play very loudly or you would hear the buzz...
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Arash Ahmadi
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Re: Straight or slight upbow fretboard for CG?

Post by Arash Ahmadi » Tue Jan 02, 2018 7:15 am

Philipp Lerche wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 6:38 am
I tried a dead straight fretboard a few times. I gave up.
A slight relief is for me/my builds the only way to make sure the low E isn't buzzing at decent action.
Thanks Phil, It's helpful to hear it from a luthier.
To send light into the darkness of men's heart, such is the duty of the artist. (Robert Schumann)
2012 Jeroen Hilhorst

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