How Much Does It Cost To Lower The Action On An Acoustic Guitar?


An acoustic guitar produces sound acoustically without the need for electronic amplification.

It typically has a hollow body, a sound hole, and a soundboard made of wood.

The strings are usually made of steel or nylon and are played by plucking or strumming with the fingers or a pick.

Acoustic guitars exhibit versatility that effortlessly transcends musical boundaries, finding their place harmoniously within the diverse realms of folk, country, rock, and pop genres.

The need to lower the action on an acoustic guitar arises when the string height is too high, affecting playability and causing discomfort while playing.

By reducing the string height, it becomes easier to fret notes and chords, allowing for smoother and more comfortable playing.

The cost of lowering the action on an acoustic guitar can vary depending on several factors.

The price may depend on the guitar technician’s experience, location, and the extent of the work needed.

On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $150 for a professional setup that includes action adjustment.

Factors Affecting The Cost Of Lowering Action On An Acoustic Guitar

Guitar Construction And Design

The cost of lowering the action can be influenced by the complexity of the guitar’s construction, such as the type of bracing, neck joint, and overall build quality.

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Instruments with intricate designs may require more time and expertise to adjust, impacting the overall cost.

Extent Of Adjustment Needed

Adjusting to lower the action significantly determines the cost.

If extensive modifications to the saddle, nut, or truss rod are necessary, it may require more labour and expertise, resulting in a higher price.

Guitar Technician Experience

The skill and experience of the guitar technician can impact the cost.

Technicians with a higher level of expertise and reputation may charge more for their services, as their expertise can ensure precise and accurate adjustments to achieve the desired action height.


The geographic location can also influence the cost. Prices may vary depending on the local market and cost of living.

In areas with a higher cost of living, the cost of services, including lowering the action, may be comparatively higher.

On the other hand, suburban and rural areas typically have lower operating costs and may offer more affordable prices for action adjustment.

Additional Setup Services

If other setup services are required alongside lowering the action, such as adjusting intonation, fretwork, or replacing strings, it can affect the overall cost.

These services may be bundled or offered as separate options, so it’s important to clarify with the technician beforehand.

Cost Considerations Beyond Action Adjustment For An Acoustic Guitar

Nut And Saddle Replacement

Additional costs for the materials and labour will be incurred if the nut or saddle needs to be replaced as part of the action adjustment process.

Prices for nut and saddle replacements can range from $20 to $100 or more, depending on the type of material and complexity of the work.

Fretwork And Leveling

This additional service can involve filing or reshaping the frets to achieve a consistent height and smooth playing surface.

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Fretwork and levelling costs can range from $50 to $200, depending on the extent of the work required.

Truss Rod Adjustment

There may be additional costs if the action adjustment involves changing the truss rod, such as adjusting the neck relief.

Truss rod adjustments are typically included in a standard setup but can incur extra charges if extensive work is needed, ranging from $20 to $75.

Intonation Setup

Lowering the action may require adjusting the intonation, which ensures accurate pitch across the entire fretboard.

It requires significant adjustments or compensation, additional costs may range from $20 to $50.

Strings And Accessories

If desired, you should consider the cost of accessories, such as a capo or strap buttons.

Prices for strings and accessories can vary depending on the brand and quality, typically ranging from $10 to $30 or more.

Does The Geographic Location Influence Action Adjustment Costs?

Action adjustment costs can vary depending on the geographic location.

Urban areas with a higher cost of living and demand for guitar services tend to have higher prices for action adjustment.

This is due to increased overhead expenses and a larger pool of skilled technicians.

Conversely, suburban or rural areas with a lower cost of living generally offer more affordable prices for action adjustment due to lower operating costs.

Are There Other Costs To Consider Apart From The Action Adjustment Itself?

Besides the cost of action adjustment, it’s important to factor in additional expenses.

These may include the price of replacing strings, any required fretwork or leveling, adjustments to the truss rod, and intonation setup.

These supplementary services can contribute to the overall cost of achieving optimal playability and performance from your acoustic guitar.

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Discussing and clarifying all potential costs with the technician before proceeding with any adjustments is advisable.

Are There Affordable Options For Action Adjustment?

Affordable options for action adjustment may be found, especially in suburban or rural areas where operating costs are typically lower.

However, when considering lower-priced options, it’s crucial to assess the reputation and experience of the technician.

Quality workmanship is essential to achieve desired results and avoid potential issues.

Should I Be Wary Of Extremely Low-Priced Action Adjustment Services?

It is important to exercise caution when encountering extremely low-priced action adjustment services.

While affordability is appealing, low prices may suggest inexperienced technicians or compromised quality of work.

It is advisable to conduct thorough research and select a reputable professional with a proven track record to ensure a satisfactory outcome.

Investing in the expertise of a skilled technician will help maintain the integrity of your acoustic guitar and ensure that the action adjustment is performed to a high standard.

Is It Worth Investing In Lowering The Action On An Acoustic Guitar?

Lowering the action on an acoustic guitar can be a worthwhile investment as it can significantly enhance playability and overall enjoyment.

Reducing the distance between the strings and the fretboard makes it easier to fret notes and execute techniques.

However, the decision ultimately depends on personal factors such as playing style, preferences, the current condition of the guitar, and the associated cost.

These factors will help determine if the investment is justified and aligns with your needs and goals as a guitarist.

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