Yamaha CPX900 very high action

The CPX are high quality series of acoustic guitars featuring tops made from select pieces of spruce on bodies and backs of flamed maple. The CPX is designed to provide great playability for on-stage performance with large and deep bodies that deliver a dynamic sound, bracing designs that resist feedback, and single cutaways that provide access to the upper neck.

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Kenny202
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Yamaha CPX900 very high action

Unread post by Kenny202 » Sat Aug 24, 2019 9:03 am

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Screenshot 2019-08-24 15.44.19.png (345.87 KiB) Viewed 1617 times
I bought a second hand CPX 900 this week and so far a bit perplexed and unable to find much information on them. Very happy to have found this forum. The guitar itself beautiful, in good condition and sounds amazing amplified. I live in a remote area of Thailand so I bought it on line site unseen which in hindsight not a good idea. I thought I was pretty safe as I have had a few earl APX guitars (Japanese) and they were remarkable.

My biggest concern the action seems very high. In this respect I may not be the best judge because I normally play electrics and like a LOW action. I have done everything I possibly can to reduce the action. The area around the bridge (top of the guitar) seems raised slightly. Not noticeably to the eye bulging but put a straight edge across the top of guitar, behind the bridge and it is noticeable. I took it to a Luthier (He''s been trained but jury out on his capabilities) and he says the Yamaha CPX are meant to be raised slightly at the bridge and normally have a very high action. He checked for cracked braces etc and said all was good. Open chords are comfortable but you wouldn't be doing any lead work up past the 12th fret. I have set up at least a hundred guitars, mainly electrics and have a pretty good feel for truss rod adjustment etc. I have shaved some off the saddle. The nut is as low as it can be. Truss rod straight. It isn't too bad now with 2.5mm between the bottom E string and the 12th fret. I have a set of 11-55 strings on it. Open chords are pleasant but bar chords and lead further up the neck hard work. I did have a set of 10 strings on it but not a lot of difference.

I liked the APX series because I normally play amplified and while they had a pretty poor acoustic sound they seemed to be set up for amplified live work and sounded great, played easy. I figured the CPX would be the same. I am only starting to learn that it appears the more expensive the guitar the higher the action usually is. Its all about getting a better acoustic sound which isn't as important to me as playability.

I guess the long and the short of this, and a subjective question as you may like a high action but did you notice the action on your CPX was very high? String tension seems very tight too. Be very interested to hear from other players.
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Saul
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Re: Yamaha CPX900 very high action

Unread post by Saul » Sun Aug 25, 2019 12:22 pm

Hi Kenny. A very warm welcome to the forums :)

If you have just 2.5mm on the bottom E at the 12th fret you are WAY ahead of most people! ((i))

The CPX is a very different guitar to the APX range. Whereas they are a sort of halfway house to tempt electric players the CPX is very much a traditional acoustic guitar. The CPX is built to project the sound acoustically and unplugged. I have never liked the electronics on the CPX and would always mic them in order to get a true acoustic tone but that's just my preference.

If I remember correctly my CPX700 had around 2mm on the bottom E at the 1st fret and approx 4mm at the 12th but that felt very normal to me. In fact I just checked my current collection of acoustics and they are all around 4mm at the 12th fret.

That slight bulge at the bridge is quite normal and you will find that on a lot of guitars. It is just natural result of tension from the strings. Breedlove acoustics have a bridge truss to compensate for this but I have not seen it on any other guitar and I am not even sure it is needed but it seems to work for them :)

Bottom line is I think it is going to be a matter of training your fingers to become accustomed to the action...and they definitely will. Eventually you won't even consider there to be a problem because really there isn't one (Y) .
Saul
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Re: Yamaha CPX900 very high action

Unread post by Kenny202 » Mon Aug 26, 2019 7:22 am

Appreciate your help. Has made me feel a little more confident in the guitar now and I will persevere. Been playing a couple of hours a day and really starting to bond with the guitar. One strange thing I have noticed is I need to detune the guitar everyday slightly, like it is tensioning itself up. I have it in an air conditioned room (I live in Thailand) and I am guessing it has spent most of its life in a non air conditioned / humid environment. Would this be harmful to the guitar? Once tuned and played stays in tune beautifully. Could be just settling in too as it has new strings and I have made truss rod adjustments. Guitars normally detune themselves over time lol
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Saul
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Re: Yamaha CPX900 very high action

Unread post by Saul » Mon Aug 26, 2019 3:03 pm

Yeah air conditioners don't really work well with acoustic guitars unless you have a proper conditioner/humidifier setup to keep a balance and that sort of gear is not cheap!

Best thing you can do is get a soundhole humidifier kit. These are relatively inexpensive and will absorb as well as release moisture.

Also get yourself a digital hygrometer so you can monitor the moisture levels in the room. I would do that first because as you say the guitar may be just settling into the environment and of course if you have new strings on there they will stretch a little. I normally pre-stretch my strings when I fit them.

All in all though if you are only having to tune up a little each day then it is not far off being perfect :)
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Re: Yamaha CPX900 very high action

Unread post by Mimasu » Mon Aug 26, 2019 8:39 pm

Saul wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 12:22 pm
If you have just 2.5mm on the bottom E at the 12th fret you are WAY ahead of most people! ((i))
I agree on that with Saul. Perhaps I'm just lucky but till now I managed almost all my yamaha acoustics to be set within "Martin specs". Don't know why, perhaps becourse Martin is the mother of acoustics, but that's my way of setting up acoustics:

Martin considers the low E within spec if the distance from the 12th fret to the bottom of the low E string is max 2.78 mm (7/64″). The high e should measure between max 1.98 mm (5/64″).

So the 2.5 on your low e is very decent indeed.

Leon
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Kenny202
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Re: Yamaha CPX900 very high action

Unread post by Kenny202 » Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:23 am

Thanks all for the feedback. On a different note. My CPX 900 is a Mocha black finish. The paint is relatively good as it's probably 10 plus years old but would like to improve the finish a bit. I have guitar polish but really only any good on a newer finish. I really do need something that may polish out light scratches etc. Is there anything I could use for this?
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Re: Yamaha CPX900 very high action

Unread post by pianotime » Tue Oct 15, 2019 7:20 pm

Agreed. Action is more about feel than an exact science. You should try to get it to a place where it feels comfortable to you without having buzzing. Some people like it higher/lower than others. I'd say yours is actually pretty good.

As far as the de-tuning issue goes, your best bet is to try to control the humidity a little better and see if it still does it. You could put your guitar in a different room or leave it in the case with a humidifier in the soundhole. You'd be amazed at what that will do to your guitar.
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