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We got a beautiful maritime semigloss qit for my church, and so far al the guitarists are loving it, especialy the beginners who have never had the chance to play such a nice guitar. But the action is a litle low out of the factory... and I'm wondering if it's safe to try to adjust the trus rod myself? I've never done it before, but the tech at L and M I asked about it seemed to think it wasn't too hard to job, just a matter of finding the bolt. Can anyone tell me how to do this without breaking the thing? I gather there's a bolt in the body of the guitar somewhere... but I haven't seemed to have found it yet, even on my own Seagull entourage which I asume will be in the same place. Thanks for any help!
 

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What Mooh and Dorian2 said. . . Are any of the strings 'buzzing' on any of the frets. If they are, that could be more of a truss rod issue. Most people like the action a little low. Easier on the fingers.
 

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Sight down the neck. Does there appear to be an upbow, higher in the middle. Or is it flat, or lower in the middle? Only if there is an upbow would you adjust the neck rod to raise the action. Also there would be lots of buzzing were this the case. Where is the action too low, at the neck joint or nut? If at the nut, there will be buzzing when the strings are played open, but clean when fretted at the first fret. Raise the nut or make a new one. If too low at the saddle, there might be buzzing at the higher frets closer to the sound hole. Raise the saddle or make a new one. If there are s no buzzing anywhere, enjoy the well set up low action you have like Guitar 101 said.
 

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Btw. Neck rods are not meant to take out an upbow or down bow by simply adjusting them. You need to remove the string tension , straighten the neck as necessary, usually with clamps and a well supported neck, and then adjust the neck rod, to keep a neck down flatter. An up bow is easier, but err on the side of caution, a stripped neck rod nut is an expensive fix. Or bring it to a pro, as mentioned before.
 

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If you have ever assembled a desk from Ikea you can adjust a truss rod. My seagull requires a 4mm hex wrench (aka allen key). Go through the sound hole and look up - you'll see the adjustment nut there. Insert the wrench and turn to the left for more relief (higher action). If you think of it as a clock insert at 12 and turn to 11 (just a little) then try it out. It's not a complicated mechanism so you should be able to get a feel for it by taking it slow. It should also be relatively easy to turn. If you have to push really hard to move it just stop and take it into a shop. I think you'll likely be able to meet your needs by doing the above basic adjustment. Here's a pic of the adjustment nut location:

 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks everyone for the feedback. Will do a bit more investigating and will probably try an adjustment on my own guitar before making one on the churches... failing that, I will bring it in to L and M to see what can be done. I haven't run any of the tests to see where buzz happens specifically, but it does happen and more than one person I know has come in to play the guitar only to find the action is just that little bit too low.
 

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Although truss rod adjustment will effect action somewhat, that isn't the purpose off it. Saddle height is where it is determined. If action is too low and the relief is right, (that's where the truss rod comes in) you may need a new saddle. I would take it to a tech and and have it set up properly.
 

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If it’s not clear to you what needs to be done about the action take it back to L&M. The problem might have nothing to do with the truss rod.
 

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As long as you don't crank on the trussrod and instead just use small incremental changes, like maybe 20 degrees of swing for each adjustment and then recheck, you should be OK trying it yourself.
There's nothing quite like learning by doing.
Everybody has a first time.
It's not rocket science but you do have to understand what you are doing and what actually happens when you do it and why you do it.
The first setup step is to check the relief and adjust if necessary.
If someone reading this doesn't know what neck relief is they need to read up on it.
Also read up on how to check neck relief.
Adjusting it is as easy as swinging a wrench a small amount.
Knowing how to measure the amount of relief you have is key.
Relief is related to string gauge so if you are thinking of switching gauges, now would be the time to do it; before you set the relief.
Tuning to pitch and the gauge of the strings combine together to affect string tension on the neck which affects neck relief.
Relief is required to allow the strings room to move as they vibrate and as such it really isn't the sort of thing that is subject to a lot of personal preference.
There needs to be a certain amount of relief for the guitar to be playable.
Too much and too little both present issues.

AFTER you have ensured the relief is appropriate, then you can address the action height.
Saddle height, as mentioned by a few others already, dictates action height and it is more open to variations due to personal preference ... within reason.
If you tend to switch back and forth between standard tuning and altered tunings you'll want to set the action a tad on the high side when using standard tuning.
The majority of altered tunings involve detuning which will reduce relief as well as action height.
Be careful that you don't set your action too low.
If it is too low the strings will contact the frets and create problems.
The guitar will buzz, it will lose volume and sustain, it will make your guitar tend to 'fret out' and the worst part is, it will make your guitar sound like a cheap piece of garbage.
No amount of buzzing is acceptable.
Acquiring a softer feel by sacrificing tone, volume and clarity and creating buzz is a silly thing to do on an acoustic guitar.
The other downside to going too low is that you usually have to get a new saddle and start again from scratch.
I believe somebody already said that as well.
 

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There is good and bad information in this thread. Some of it is downright completely wrong.

Here's a basic setup guide from StewMac to get you started. It should also make clear what advice in this thread is good and what's off base. It's definitely not rocket science and pretty much anyone is capable of the basics. Good luck!

Basic Set-up Instructions | stewmac.com
 

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I'd like to mention something else with the Seagulls in particular. There does happen to be a hex nut that attaches the neck to the body of the guitar covered with a Godin Label. It might require a specialty wrench to get at as it's fairly deep in the guitar body towards the neck. When I bring my Godin brands into the guy I go to, he typically tightens that up as well. I'm not sure how it effects the actual action or not, but it should probably be considered none the less. I'd think this is common in non set neck acoustics but I'm don't know. I'm sure someone with better knowledge about it can chime in.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I'd like to mention something else with the Seagulls in particular. There does happen to be a hex nut that attaches the neck to the body of the guitar covered with a Godin Label. It might require a specialty wrench to get at as it's fairly deep in the guitar body towards the neck. When I bring my Godin brands into the guy I go to, he typically tightens that up as well. I'm not sure how it effects the actual action or not, but it should probably be considered none the less. I'd think this is common in non set neck acoustics but I'm don't know. I'm sure someone with better knowledge about it can chime in.
I found the nut in my own guitar and it's definitely behind that label. No bolt that I can adjust with a key.. so I'm guessing that I will need something to turn that with. Thanks gtrguy for the basic setup tips! I always take every piece of advice given on an internet forum with a grain of salt and research it... because there's definitely more subjective opinion than anything else, and without correct information especially relating to instruments and gear, things can go south real fast. Will give that guide a read as soon as I'm able!
 
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