String Change and setup on parlour guitar

Hello everyone,

My name is Janice and I have a Recording King Dirty 37 Parlour Guitar. It came with 10 gauge steel strings, which is what I have been learning on. I’m wanting to learn more about maintaining and setting up my guitar so that I can do some of the basics on my own. As such, I replaced the strings with nylon coated 12 gauge strings. But now I think I need to adjust the string action and have been reviewing Justin’s video tutorial.

My question is if there are differences between a parlour size guitar and a regular size acoustic guitar that I should be aware of when following instructions based on a standard acoustic.

For example one of the instructions is to take a measurement at the 12th fret, is that same for a parlour that has 20 frets apposed to a full 24 frets?

Hello Janice & welcome to the Community!

As a newbie as far as guitar maintenance & setups goes, I can only say “I think so” about measuring action at the 12th fret. I saw that on Justin’s website & also others on the web. I commend you for tackling your string changes etc.! It’s a bit disconcerting sometimes to do things to your gear without being 100% certain of the “right” course to follow!!!

Also, pop over here Introduce yourself ... - JustinGuitar Community
& introduce yourself to the rest of us! We’re generally a friendly lot & I hope you’ll find this to be a fun & supportive place!


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Hi Janice welcome to the forum.
The set up on your Parlour guitar will be the same as any acoustic, the measurement you will find for string height is personal preference and only a guide line. If you are a heavy strummer you’ll want the action higher than someone you finger picks.

Seeing that you just put new strings on your guitar if you are going to sand down your saddle a good trick is to place a capo at the first or second fret and pull the strings though the capo as you loosen them Them pull the bridge pins and remove the ball end of the strings. This way you won’t have to replace the new strings.
Or you can wait until the next time you need to change string to sand the saddle down.


Thanks for the encourage, advice, and tips. It’s much appreciated. I’m going to give it a shot and if I get stuck then it’s worth more to pay to get it fixed because the only way to really learn is by doing. Although, I likely wouldn’t want to mess around too much if my guitar was more expensive. I’ll make a point to introduce myself to the community.

If it were me, before messing with sanding the saddle, I’d check the neck relief. A change from 10s to 12s is putting quite a bit more tension on the neck and you probably would need to adjust the truss rod. The higher tension will create more of a bow in the middle of the neck, making the action higher at those frets.

After getting the neck relief correctly set, if you’re still having problems with the action being high, then move on to the next step.

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10s steel to 12s nylon no less. I’d imagine the difference in tension could be quite dramatic.

nylon coated

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Janice, acoustic guitars do not have 24 frets.
Virtually all acoustic guitars have 20 frets and yours is no different.
Therefore, treat it the same.
The only difference is the body size - the scale length (measured from bridge to nut) is a regular 25.4" too.
If you have made a minor adjustment to the truss rod let it settle ofr a week or so and see how things are.

Truss rod adjustment to compensate for greater string tension from higher gauge -

  • loosen strings (detune)
  • turn clockwise about 1/8th of a rotation
  • stop
  • retune
  • several days - one week later (if needed) repeat
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Thanks for all the tips, I wanted to experiment and see what a different set of string feels. I don’t think I realized I was making a big jump for my guitar. I’m going to give it a shoot taking the advice here, and stop if it doesn’t seem to be going right.