A Reader Asks about Martin Guitar String Height Specs
I’m making a decision to buy a D28 authentic 1941 but some question happen in my mind since this guitar has no adjustable truss rod. What about the action (guitar string height) of this guitar and playability?
How about the action at fret 12th of the sixth and first strings?
– Kanarat, Thailand
Thank you Kanarat for this very good question. The D-28 Authentic 1941 is by all accounts very comfortable to play. And that includes my own opinion. Guitar string height can vary within Martin factory specs.
Martin dreadnoughts with “factory action” tend to have slightly higher action than some other modern guitars. This is particularly true with vintage-style Martins.
The Martin guitar factory considers a low ‘E’ bass string to be within specification if the distance from the 12th fret to the bottom of the low E string is between 2.38 mm (3/32″) minimum, to 2.78 mm (7/64″) maximum.
The high ‘e’ treble string should measure between 1.59 mm (1/16″) and 1.98 mm (5/64″) at the maximum.
I have not measured one myself, but I would expect these guitars to come in the middle range, near 2.45 for the low E bass string and 1.86 or so for the high e treble string. That would be with medium gauges strings. Light gauge strings may make the action a little lower, if one replaced mediums without doing any other other adjustments.
Personally, I rarely notice action unless it is abnormally low and buzzy, or abnormally high so intonation and degree of difficulty in the highest frets becomes apparent.
But since you would be acquiring a Martin from overseas, with a glued in saddle and a non-adjustable truss rod, I would recommend you ask the dealer you are buying it from to get an accurate measurement for you, or even ask them to adjust the saddle height to meet your specifications.
And that is one man’s world on…
Martin String Height Specs
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