Martin Dreadnought Junior Setup

Received this Junior for setup. The guitar was previously restrung by me to Elixir 12s and owner wanted to lower the action.


Nut height seems OK. But for some reasons, the neck seem a little too straight so I had to add a bit of relief.

I gave the truss rod a quarter turn anti-clockwise to loosen things up.

Relief at 7th fret was about 0.25mm. Probably good for a lady who doesn’t strum so hard. Measurements taken using a cheap feeler gauge.


String height at 12th fret (capo on 1st) was a hair over 1/8 inch. Some sanding required to lower the saddle height. Owner wanted something “not too low” so I went for just a hair over 7/64 inch.


Next came the Bearclaw Special

Fingerboard and bridge clean up. These are all richlite on the DJR, so it’s just soap and water for cleaning.


Pencil lead over nut slots and saddle. I also gave the saddle surface some sanding using super high grit sandpaper to smooth out the grooves cut by the strings. This eliminates binding and pinging.

Fitted in a set of brass bridge pins which I felt makes the heavily built Junior more responsive and “lively”.

Final tune up and we’re good.


Although this particular Junior was purchased in August, it is in immaculate condition. Makes me tear my hair out in buying the display piece a few weeks back myself.

Read about my story here:

Here’s a shot of both Juniors and you can see how dark my DJ is from being out in the open at the store. Of course there’s the funny tan line on most of my guitars. 🙂


Footnote: The DJR comes fitted with Medium 13-56 strings. Using 12s may make it easier to play, but I feel volume, projection and clarity is slightly compromised. Having said that, Guitarbear may try out some Elixir PB 12-53 on next string change. Ease of playing overrides the slight advantage in tone and volume.

Footnote: At the time of this blog entry, Citymusic is having their annual year end sale and the DJR is going for just slightly over $800 after a good discount. This is an absolutely great deal for an all-solid Martin with 1.75 inch nut width. Grab it fast.



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