UPDATE: 10/5/11 Just got a reply from Michel Belanger at Godin and my 2005 Artist model has the older neck that is simply bolted on and CAN be re-set ... the epoxied neck process began in 2006 ... this is good news for me, but I do agree with the comment made by RLV, that the higher-end models should be made in such a way that they can be adjusted. Michel confirmed to me by e-mail today that the newer Seagulls with the epoxied necks are indeed fully covered under warranty, so that's comforting for original owners. Either Godin is correct in their theory that these necks will not need re-set ... or they are going to be replacing a fair number of guitars under lifetime warranty for original owners. It's the people who buy them second-hand who may suffer, however.
I found out recently that newer Seagull guitars necks cannot be "re-set" ... if you watch this video at the 20:40 mark you'll see why. Note: I'm talking about an actual neck re-set, and not a simple truss rod adjustment.
The video shows that the neck, while technically bolted on, is actually set in a bed of epoxy glue, making it extremely strong and stable, but impossible to remove or reset. This is good, because according to Seagull, neck angle problems are practically non-existent on newer Seagulls, but bad if you do happen to experience a neck angle problem. I talked to the luthier at the shop where I bought my Martin, because they are a Seagull dealer too, He confirmed two things for me ... Seagull necks are in fact, not re-settable, and my 2005 Seagull Artist Mosaic does in fact have a bad neck angle.
Just bad luck for me. 99% of you out there with newer Seagulls need not worry.
So, what's he going to do?? Well, Seagulls are set up with various height bridges as the video also shows in that same segment at about the 21: 15 mark and fortunately mine received a particularly high bridge ... so high that he can shave it down enough to compensate for the neck angle and I'll be good to go! Yay!! He's also going to replace the first three frets for me.
At first I was really bummed when he told me that the neck was un-repairable. Now I'm fine with the compromise fix. He says that there is almost no chance of further neck angle deterioration and the fix should last indefinitely. I knew I'd probably have to throw a little money at a seven-year-old guitar that had been through a fair amount of abuse, so I'm not disappointed. I'll still be under $500 investment on a $1,200 all solid wood guitar that has aged and opened up beautifully.
PS: More good news for you guys and gals! I also found out that if you are the original owner of a post 2005 Seagull, and you do actually experience a demonstrable neck angle problem, Seagull will replace your guitar free, no questions asked. That's how confident they are that the manufacturing process is sound. While I don't know anyone who has experienced this, it's what I was told is current policy.
Bob ... Do go back in this discussion and check the photos posted by Fred Nagle and then by me.
My Seagull Artist Mosaic QII serial number #05303664 is a 2005 model. This is indicated by the first two digits which are 05. According to Michel Belanger, the epoxied neck join began in 2006. One way to determine if your neck angle is off is to take a metal straight edge and lay it on the fingerboard and see where it meets the bridge. See the two photos posted earlier by Fred Nagle. As I understand it, the straight edge should either clear the top of the bridge or be very close. If it doesn't, as in the case of Fred's and mine, then the neck angle is off. The severity of it would determine how much you worried about it. A bad neck angle raises the action a great deal more than a normal set-up can account for. With an older (2005 and earlier) you (or a luthier) can simply loosen the bolts and insert sandpaper like the photo I posted, drawing it in and out until you remove enough wood to make the necessary adjustment in the neck. This is what they do with Taylor bolt on necks as well. If you own a Seagull with epoxied neck and are unlucky enough to have a bad neck angle, then you (or a luthier) can still adjust it by lowering the bridge height.
If you have a 12 digit serial number, you can't tell the year. Other, earlier serial numbers contain that information in the code.
I think Jud said the year was 2006? Check earlier in the discussion, which I failed to do before I began to type...
I got my guitar back from Godin, and the neck has been perfectly reset. The action is better than I could have gotten it myself, and it just plays great. I am very impressed by the speed and the quality of the repair. There is not a mark on the guitar to show that the neck has been reset.
It is very interesting to me that the original neck came back on the guitar! I was told that the neck would be sawed off and a new one applied. What this means is that Godin has the technology to flawlessly remove and readjust the old neck. Do they steam the area of the neck that is glued to the top of the guitar? Heat it? Do they use shims like Taylor? Whatever the process, it is perfect, and can be done quite fast.
Seagulls are a very well made guitar, fully backed by Godin.
Should the guitar ever need a neck reset in the future, it is nice to know that they can be done for those made after 2005. I would also love to know HOW it was done. Of course, there is the bolt holding the neck on. But each guitar has a wooden rectangle, part of the guitar's body, that gets routed out before the top of the neck is glued to it. So the necks are both glued and bolted. I wonder if any good luthier could do this neck reset? Or do they have to go back to the factory?
Fred ... the luthier I took my 2005 Artist to first said it was not possible to re-set the neck because he thought that mine was epoxied like the newer ones. Once Godin e-mailed that it wasn't, he proceeded to do a regular re-set very effectively. I don't think he'd have tackled the job that you describe having been done to yours at the factory at the factory. Have you watched the video on the Seagull manufacturing process forum. It shows and describes the process of the neck being put on the guitar at the factory, If you haven't seen the video it's worth the time. Here's the link:
Thanks, Jud, I have seen the video. That's what has made me wonder how Godin did the neck reset. Must be a way to soften the epoxy. Then it would be a simple matter of unscrewing the bolts. I would like to think that a guitar out of warranty would not always have to be sent back to the factory.
Here is a screenshot of the guitar right before the neck is added. Check out the epoxy.
I figured out how Godin reset the neck of my Maritime SWS. The company didn't. Just replaced the bridge with a thinner one. That sort of rules out neck work on this guitar. Here are two pictures, one before and one after. Notice the thinner bridge, and if you look closely, the wood grain is different. Godin simply put a new one on. Now if I can get rid of a new buzzing on the 4th and 5th strings, I will call it a day. I have reset the strings, so it can't be that. Will try a touch more relief.