Lower String Height on Collapsible Guitars – Detailed Guide

If you’re experiencing undesirable action (string height) on your collapsible Journey Instruments Travel guitar, this can be addressed quickly with one of the first two steps in most cases.

1) Firstly, please check to see that the knob on the back is fully tightened. Fully tightening the main knob on the back will resolve 95% of any high action issues. To tighten fully, there’s two effective methods:
a. Placing the body of the guitar between your knees, Twist the knob with one hand while pressing the headstock downward against the guitar body – this makes it easier to twist fully. see pic:

b. First, grab the neck of the guitar near the headstock and angle the Guitar soundboard facing down at about a 45 degree angle against a floor, table, desk, chair or flat surface. Now tighten the knob while applying downward force against the guitar back until it’s tight. see pic:

c. If you experience high swings of humidity and have kept your collapsible wood guitar assembled during this time, it’s likely that the bolt may be very tight. Apply force to the neck in one of the above two methods while twisting the knob to loosen the bolt. (this is not an issue for carbon models as the material does not swell and contract with humidity or temperature changes.

2) Secondly, you can reduce the height of the saddle in one of two ways:  1) swap out the existing saddle with the lower one provided by Journey (located in with the truss rod key), or  2) file down the saddle. Here’s a great video from StewMac that shows how to file down the saddle, change nut slot depth, as well as adjust the truss rod. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6DpLRfbv9ok

3) Thirdly, check your truss rod adjustment. After confirming the neck mechanism is fully tightened – if you still find string height is too high or two low, this may also be due to changes in temperature or humidity causing changes in the neck of the guitar. Usually in high humidity and a wood guitar neck will have a more forward bow (causing high action), and in low humidity it will have a backward bow (causing low action and buzzing). Here’s a great video by Tony Polecastro that clearly explains how to do this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFlIFN8oPDw
a. Firstly evaluate the neck bow. There should be a very slight neck bow (nearly flat) to achieve proper string height.
b. If the neck bow is high, causing high action – remove the truss rod cover and use the included hex wrench to tighten the truss rod. Turn the truss rod clockwise a quarter turn and then evaluate the neck curve. Repeat this process
c. If the neck bow is backward or too low, causing low action – remove the truss rod cover and use the included hex wrench to tighten the truss rod. Turn the truss rod counter-clockwise a quarter turn and then evaluate the neck curve. Repeat this process

*NOTE: The OC660M has no truss rod for adjustments.

4) Fourthly, we can provide you with precision shims to adjust the neck angle if needed. This is rarely needed, but can be done within 5 minutes if needed. Here’s the Guide to how our Shim Kit works.
Here’s a link to order an inexpensive shim kit from our website (choose based on your guitar).

From our experience, tightening the neck fully and adjusting the truss rod if necessary usually fixes 98%+ of string height issues. Steps 3 and 4 are rarely needed.

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