Richlite fretboard has failed me

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2
Folks, I bought a Godin DS-1 guitar in March. When it arrived I had it professionally set up by a superb local luthier. Action was set nice and low which I like. This week, after the guitar sat on a stand for one week without being played, I picked it up and was shocked to see that I was getting a ton of fret buzz which I wasn’t getting for the last few months since I bought it. What changed? The humidity and temperature changed a little in my basement where I keep my guitars. The temperature fluctuated from about 16 Celsius (62.6 F) to 20 celcius (68 F) and the humidity fluctuated from about 45% to 57%. I’m working hard to try to minimize these fluctuations but I live in Toronto where we go from cold winters to hot and humid summers. At any rate, I was surprised to find the change in my guitar and can only conclude that the Richlite board does not expand/contract as the maple neck does. My guitar has not reverted back yet and I’m going to have to set it up again. I hope this isn’t a semi-annual exercise as seasons change. Anyone else have this problem?
 

Strummerfan

Member
Messages
8,045
I'm in Toronto as well, and many of my guitars have needed set up overhauls, particularly truss rod related, when the seasons change. They tend to be less temperamental after a couple of years, but it's not a big deal. You just check the relief and tweak it accordingly. It has nothing to do with richlite in my experience, as none of my guitars have richlite boards. And @vadsy , no this is not likely a QC problem at Godin. They make excellent product, and although every manufacturer lets a miss get out on occasion, this doesn't sound like a quality issue.
 

disconnector

It's been swell, but the swelling's gone down.
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,918
From my answer to a different thread (edited slightly to fit here better)

<warning - science below. Mojo free zone>

Hmmmm . . . the coefficient of expansion of Richlite in the X direction (length) is 5.2 micro inches (5.2 millionths of an inch) per degree per inch. So for a 20" fretboard (keeping the numbers simple!) the difference in overall length with a 100F degree temp change is .0104" or an even 1/100 of an inch. And that's for an entire 100 degree swing which hopefully a guitar will never be subjected to. A 25 degree swing would be 2.5 thousandths of an inch. I'm pretty sure that would be imperceptible IMO.

The coefficient of expansion of maple (for the neck) is 2.78 . . . so the difference with a 100 degree swing is 2.78 x 20 x 100 = 0.0056". The difference between the two is .0048 or about a 5 thousands of an inch. That's about the width of a human hair. I doubt that difference is twisting up a neck. I'm not doubting that it's happening - I just don't think that it's Richlite on maple.

A 100F degree temp swing is a ridiculous standard to be judged by and almost all materials show issues at this wide temp swing including wood. Guitars are usually built at ~72F and are generally kept somewhere near that number. Richlite doesn't shrink or swell with moisture unless you leave it submerged.

Maybe it's the fret slots? If they get moisture into them it can cause significant back bow. Or if the maple itself isn't sealed well . . . that can cause a neck to turn into a pretzel in short order.

Original thread - https://www.thegearpage.net/board/i...es-achilles-heel.2202191/page-3#post-34898657
 
Last edited:

wox

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,947
Yeah this has nothing to do with Richlite as a material, that's not the issue here. A new setup with very low action will acclimate to a new environment and move around a little. Totally normal and has nothing to do with the fingerboard material.

It sounds like your home environment is a little more humid that the guitar was set up in, and the neck has straightened out a little. Either turn your truss rod a quarter turn counter-clockwise to let the strings pull the neck into more relief, or raise your bridge a hair.
 

twoheadedboy

Member
Messages
14,057
Folks, I bought a Godin DS-1 guitar in March. When it arrived I had it professionally set up by a superb local luthier. Action was set nice and low which I like. This week, after the guitar sat on a stand for one week without being played, I picked it up and was shocked to see that I was getting a ton of fret buzz which I wasn’t getting for the last few months since I bought it. What changed? The humidity and temperature changed a little in my basement where I keep my guitars. The temperature fluctuated from about 16 Celsius (62.6 F) to 20 celcius (68 F) and the humidity fluctuated from about 45% to 57%. I’m working hard to try to minimize these fluctuations but I live in Toronto where we go from cold winters to hot and humid summers. At any rate, I was surprised to find the change in my guitar and can only conclude that the Richlite board does not expand/contract as the maple neck does. My guitar has not reverted back yet and I’m going to have to set it up again. I hope this isn’t a semi-annual exercise as seasons change. Anyone else have this problem?

This has nothing to do with Richlite or Godin. You just described what happens to any wooden guitar when exposed to changes in temp and humidity. Your thread title is inaccurate and it would be irresponsible of you to leave it as it is now.

In the future, you might want to consider doing some research and self-reflection before you run to the internet to trash a company. Threads like these can have a significant and negative impact on real people's jobs and lives, and should not be made frivolously.

I must say, I'm getting very tired of these threads.
 
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pepedede

Member
Messages
4,005
The neck material is more likely to move than the fretboard, which moves with the neck it's fixed to. That's why the neck has a truss rod. I have to adjust mine slightly with season changes (expansiin/ contraction).
 

PixMix

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,425
Those are temp and humidity fluctuations that should't cause this. I mean, day to night, car trunk to indoor stage in an air-conditioned facility to an outdoor stage you will hit much bigger fluctuations. In short, that should't have happened to your guitar.
 

Steadfastly

Member
Messages
4,992
Those are temp and humidity fluctuations that should't cause this. I mean, day to night, car trunk to indoor stage in an air-conditioned facility to an outdoor stage you will hit much bigger fluctuations. In short, that should't have happened to your guitar.

If his numbers are correct.....

I have a hard time believing everything is factual or that something else has been left out or overlooked.
 

edwarddavis

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
8,039
it's not the guitar's fault. I love how we have learned to blame everything and everyone but the actual cause
there are many areas just like what you mention as far as temps and humidity , come to Connecticut changes by the minute
, learn how to adjust a truss rod
 




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