Bought my first CBG, all good except it appears the neck is too thin for 4 strings. The low string ( .42 gauge) is right on the edge of the fretboard, better near the nut but lines up right on the edge come the 12th fret and down towards the bridge. So this interferes with intonation down the fretboard, string literally slides off the fretboard hitting notes closer to the bridge on that string. I believe my limitation in correcting this is that I have a fixed metal bridge on the CBG. So I'm wondering if there is anything I can do or if it's a matter of changing the bridge and nut or a different neck altogether. Here's a pic of the issue.

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My first suggestion would be to send it back from whence it came, if its a eBay type buy then that may be difficult. But if a reputable builder did a job like that, it would not get sent out.......surely?

I think your observation is correct, the neck is too narrow for that string spacing. Moving the neck or bridge will only cause the treble string to fall of the side, but looks to me that both outside strings would be too close to the edge of the fingerboard.

If you like that spacing then a new neck would be in order, if you can handle the strings closer then do that, bring the outside ones in and adjust the middle two. Or respace it for 3 strings.

It also looks like the neck is not lined up properly with the bridge or the bridge is off to one side.

Sorry I cant advise which is the best option, not knowing what tools and skills you have.

Good Luck Taff

Hi, yeah no tools or experience at the moment. As I'm new to CBG not sure if I'd be comfortable with smaller string spacing or not. It's a metal fixed bridge at any rate so only so narrow it can go. Perhaps my best bet is to convert it to a 3 string if I am unable to get a refund or replacement. 

Well luckily the seller agreed to a refund or an exchange, I'm looking at a 3-string at the moment. This kinda brings up a point about buying a CBG online. Aside from reviews it's probably a good idea to know what to look out for so people don't end up with a CBG with issues. 

Hi Elijah, that's good news that you can return it. You are really at the mercy of the seller.  

Any pointers or check advise given to you could only be done once you have the instrument really. It is a really basic instrument and there are those out there that go for looks, and don't really concern themselves with tone, volume, playability and the finer points of a decent CBG.

Taff

I'm not inclined to speak poorly of other builders...but

from this git pic it appears the builder doesn't play.  The string slots for the nut are too close to the edges, and the bridge as well, and seems to be off the centerline line with the neck, and should have never been shipped like that.

any builder worth a stick of wood plays their gits a bit before putting them on the for-sale table. 

Glad you're going to be able to work it out with the seller but this could be a blessing in disguise if you're like me. My first CBG was purchased on Ebay and looked great in the photos but when I got it I was really disappointed by the lack of craftsmanship and attention to detail. Even with no woodworking experience I thought "I can do better than this myself" and so I sent it back and started building. Thanks to that first bad experience I got into the hobby and I'm working on number 19 this weekend.  : ) 

I guess seeing different builds and approaches helps one refine their own technique. CBG are interesting because they are traditionally cheap homemade instruments but at the same time do require some craftsmanship and knowledge.  

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