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rcs1
07-19-2011, 07:43 PM
From day 1, my standard series ESP's tension has felt tight. I figured all it needed was a setup. I went down from the factory 10s into 9s (personal preference), and had a tech do the setup. The result is that the string tension still seems high. Could this just be a characteristic of the guitar? This guitar has a fixed bridge, no floating trem. My cheapo Ibanez guitars are much looser, and that's how I'm used to playing. Bending on the ESP is a workout.

thanks

leray1
07-19-2011, 08:43 PM
If all your guitars are the same scale length, maybe the set up is not to your liking. High saddles can make the strings feel tight, as does high action at the nut.

mike shaw
07-19-2011, 09:17 PM
Straighten your neck, raise your tailpiece, polish your frets and switch to a string with a round core.

HaggertysMusic
07-19-2011, 09:34 PM
Straighten your neck, raise your tailpiece, polish your frets and switch to a string with a round core.

John Suhr has pointed out on several occasions that raising the tailpiece will result in stiffer tension and harder string bends. Although it's counter intuitive, this has to do with effective string length and by lowering the tailpiece and creating a stronger break angle over the saddle, it results in less force needed to bend a note to pitch.

I experimented with my les Paul an found this to be accurate. The same is true for fender saddles. Taller saddle, less string length, more break angle = easier bends.

Some other things to consider...

If your other guitars have floating trems, the bridge is pulling up as you bend a note, meaning you have to push the note further to reach the pitch, because as the bridge pulls up it's flattening the note... Of course while this happens, the strings lose tension as well... There's no doubt floating trems have a different feel... Whether that's more or less tension, I don't know.

I've also found tune o matic guitars with stop tail pieces bend easier for me than string through body, so this may come in to play with your guitar too... Not sure which kind your guitar has.

mike shaw
07-19-2011, 09:42 PM
Not to argue with John, but I haven't had this issue. Maybe it's one of those things where a little is good and too much is bad?

HaggertysMusic
07-19-2011, 09:47 PM
No idea. I'm not smart enough to have figured the physics out on my own. Just read what John said, tried it, and came up with the same conclusion although it was going against my common sense.

mike shaw
07-19-2011, 09:53 PM
LOL! Yeah, a YMMV situation!
But each guitar is different and responds to tweaks in different ways so you can never be positive ablout anything!

Jef Bardsley
07-20-2011, 04:34 AM
John Suhr has pointed out on several occasions that raising the tailpiece will result in stiffer tension and harder string bends. Although it's counter intuitive, this has to do with effective string length and by lowering the tailpiece and creating a stronger break angle over the saddle, it results in less force needed to bend a note to pitch.
It's not only counter-intuitive, it runs counter to what a lot of players agree upon when experimenting with stop tailpieces. Raising the tailpiece is reported to produce a "slinkier" feel.

Someone on the LPF actually measured the lateral distance needed to bend a string to pitch with the tailpiece up and down. It took a greater distance with the tailpiece up, which implies less force for an equal distance since the strings need the same longitudinal tension to reach a given pitch.

It may be that in bending a string to pitch over a longer distance, you push the adjacent strings further, and that accounts for your sense that there's more tension with a higher tailpiece.

rcs1
07-20-2011, 09:34 AM
So lowering the bridge, results in less string tension? The action is a bit too high, I will try lowering it. I have a tune-o-matic Gotoh bridge by the way. Yes, my other guitar has a floating trem.

The neck seems straight btw

travisvwright
07-20-2011, 09:43 AM
The more string length (from tailpiece to tuner) the slinkier the feel. So a trapeze feels slinkier.

To the OP try top wrapping it will give you longer string length thus a loosser feel.

Jef Bardsley
07-20-2011, 09:47 AM
Is there a difference in neck woods between the ESP and your other guitars?

buddastrat
07-20-2011, 09:55 AM
Why then do guitars with shorter scales feel slinkier with same gauge? For ex. .010's on an LP vs. strat. A strat will play a lot stiffer due to the longer string, no?

rcs1
07-20-2011, 10:09 AM
My ESP has the same scale length as my Ibanez. The neck wood on both is maple. The fretboard on the ESP is ebony and the freboard on the Ibanez is maple. The Ibanez actually has 10s on it, but it does have a floating trem. I've always wondered if the floating trem is the reason it feels so nice and loose. I play better that way, but maybe it's because that's what I'm used to.

travisvwright
07-20-2011, 10:09 AM
Why then do guitars with shorter scales feel slinkier with same gauge? For ex. .010's on an LP vs. strat. A strat will play a lot stiffer due to the longer string, no?On a shorter scale the string can be looser to get the same pitch. Take two hypothecial guitars where one is exactly one fret shorter in scale. The second would feel tuned a half step down compared to the first.

rcs1
07-20-2011, 10:10 AM
To the OP try top wrapping it will give you longer string length thus a loosser feel.

You mean around the key? The only issue is that it has Gotoh locking tuners. So there really is no way to wrap.....

travisvwright
07-20-2011, 10:13 AM
You mean around the key? The only issue is that it has Gotoh locking tuners. So there really is no way to wrap.....No I mean string the string through your tailepiece away from your neck then wrap them back over to the bridge. Like:
http://ts2.mm.bing.net/images/thumbnail.aspx?q=991102121269&id=b26d101e6df91a088eeda5ff7af66ad3&url=http%3a%2f%2fi42.tinypic.com%2f1jvr85.jpg


This will also allow you to lower your tailpiece all the way locked to the body for increased sympathetic vibrations (allegedly).

mocaster
07-20-2011, 10:20 AM
Ive found that its inherent with the guitar itself...get rid of it. You'll chase it forever..

I have owned several Fender 63 relic teles since 1999 and 75% of them played too stiff...

I have a 2008 I got from Eddies that has .010's that feel like .009's..plays amazing..

I have had the same happen with Strats, Les Pauls and whatever...

Another major tension difference is also strings....

I have Ernie Balls on my Crook but they hurt to bend on my Tele's or Strats...

Again though, the Crook would play great with .011's....

Its the break angle, neck pocket, neck heel, nut and all the variables adding up...

frankie5fingers
07-20-2011, 10:25 AM
Why then do guitars with shorter scales feel slinkier with same gauge? For ex. .010's on an LP vs. strat. A strat will play a lot stiffer due to the longer string, no?
Makes sense that a longer string requires more tension to tune to pitch; true. That said; I look at long runs of steel (thin or otherwise) in other applications. The longer the run, the less effort to "bend" it, overall, but the more ability to withstand that flexing e.g., a bridge cable in the wind. Tensile strength is a wire's ability to withstand pull and twisting without breaking right? A guitar string is no more than steel (or other alloy), ground to a given tolerance, not unlike the wire used in many things; say, the "steel belts" in a radial tire. I think the 1/2" or so difference in the roughly two feet of a guitar's scale is less likely to produce a stiffer feel, than the type of alloy used, the core's shape or the method of winding. IIRC, most (plain) guitar strings are made to within a relatively small plus/minus and almost exclusively of the same alloy. With very little exception, there isn't much you can do to affect their tension, perhaps some subtle differences. The wound strings provide most of the difference, thus the softer alloys like nickel will allow for a softer feel than a steel over steel string. The round core idea seems sound, as it allows for more winds per inch, which I would think, in turn, allows for less lateral tension on the winds themselves. A smaller, round, wire needs to stretch slightly to grip effectively onto a square or hexagonal core wire. If the outer wire is of a softer alloy (which it is in a guitar string) than it follows that it also will "groove" itself to hold it's shape, also creating more tension. I dunno, just thinking out loud, but IMO the greater variability or tendency toward soft feel would come from the few string winders that actually wind their own strings in house to achieve just that. Mapes, SIT, Stringdog, Thomastick are a few that come to mind - I'm sure there are more. My .02

senseofrelief
07-20-2011, 01:42 PM
I could give you a ton of advice here...to what purpose...so you can tell your tech how to set up a guitar?

If this is a concern, start learning how to do your own setups. We'll go from there.

Jef Bardsley
07-20-2011, 03:03 PM
My ESP has the same scale length as my Ibanez. The neck wood on both is maple. The fretboard on the ESP is ebony and the freboard on the Ibanez is maple. The Ibanez actually has 10s on it, but it does have a floating trem. I've always wondered if the floating trem is the reason it feels so nice and loose. I play better that way, but maybe it's because that's what I'm used to.
There you go.

You'll never get a TOM/TP to have the feel of strings mounted to springs.

dspellman
07-20-2011, 05:52 PM
I'm not sure what "slinky" really means.

Scale and string tension are what make the note what it is, no matter how much string is hanging beyond the bridge or nut, or if there's a floating trem, er wot.

If you want to bend to a certain note, you have to increase the string tension by stretching the string. If you have a lot of string beyond the bridge and nut, bending may seem easier because there won't be as much tension change (because you have to stretch the extra string length, too). You'll have to push the string farther across the fretboard in order to get to the note you want.

Same thing happens if you have a floating trem; the springs extend (the rear of your Floyd lifts) and you have to push the string further across the fretboard (meanwhile, the rest of your strings are going flat).

I guess the above instances could be considered "slinky."

If, on the other hand, you have a shorter string length (let's say a locked-down Floyd, so that there's essentially NO extra string length), you can get to the same note by pushing the string a shorter distance across the fretboard to change the tension.

I personally call THAT "slinky" <G>.

buddastrat
07-21-2011, 10:56 AM
I'm not sure what "slinky" really means.

Scale and string tension are what make the note what it is, no matter how much string is hanging beyond the bridge or nut, or if there's a floating trem, er wot.

If you want to bend to a certain note, you have to increase the string tension by stretching the string. If you have a lot of string beyond the bridge and nut, bending may seem easier because there won't be as much tension change (because you have to stretch the extra string length, too). You'll have to push the string farther across the fretboard in order to get to the note you want.

Same thing happens if you have a floating trem; the springs extend (the rear of your Floyd lifts) and you have to push the string further across the fretboard (meanwhile, the rest of your strings are going flat).

I guess the above instances could be considered "slinky."

If, on the other hand, you have a shorter string length (let's say a locked-down Floyd, so that there's essentially NO extra string length), you can get to the same note by pushing the string a shorter distance across the fretboard to change the tension.

I personally call THAT "slinky" <G>.

Slinky (to me anyhow), is when you have two identically made and identical setup guitars with same strings/tuning and one plays real easy and loose. The pick glides through the strings like butter and even min 3rd bends are easy and smooth. While the other can be stiff and even a chore to do a normal full step bend. The strings feel taut like piano strings. To me many of the Eric Johnson strats feel like this, it feels like a set of .010's are tuned up to a high F string, instead of E.

I attribute this to the neck's ability to "give" and flex with the string tension. Sometimes the cut of the wood affects this.

Ronsonic
07-21-2011, 11:56 AM
To reach a specific pitch a string of a given gauge and scale length will have a certain tension on it. This tension will not be different from one guitar to another if they are the same scale length. Look at the string pull numbers on a pack of D'Addarios for an example.

The string tension is what it must be to be in tune. Nothing else. Ever.

If there is a lot of extra string length beyond the nut and bridge saddle it will be easier to bend the string to a given distance, but that bend will not have as great an effect on pitch as a string with no extra length. If there is an unlocked trem that is allowed to move when a string is bent this goes even moreso, easier to push for distance, less change in the pitch.

A G string tuned to pitch is going to have X pounds of pull. To bend it to Bb it will have Y. It doesn't matter whether that only requires pushing it a short distance or all the way across the neck, it will have Y pounds of pull at the new pitch.

All this is to say, this is stuff you can't change or fix. Polishing frets is something you can do and will affect the feel you're talking about.

buddastrat
07-21-2011, 12:42 PM
To reach a specific pitch a string of a given gauge and scale length will have a certain tension on it. This tension will not be different from one guitar to another if they are the same scale length. Look at the string pull numbers on a pack of D'Addarios for an example.

The string tension is what it must be to be in tune. Nothing else. Ever.

If there is a lot of extra string length beyond the nut and bridge saddle it will be easier to bend the string to a given distance, but that bend will not have as great an effect on pitch as a string with no extra length. If there is an unlocked trem that is allowed to move when a string is bent this goes even moreso, easier to push for distance, less change in the pitch.

A G string tuned to pitch is going to have X pounds of pull. To bend it to Bb it will have Y. It doesn't matter whether that only requires pushing it a short distance or all the way across the neck, it will have Y pounds of pull at the new pitch.

All this is to say, this is stuff you can't change or fix. Polishing frets is something you can do and will affect the feel you're talking about.

Disagree. With the last part, anyhow. I think there are variables, mainly the wood.

When I play EJ strats, that taut feel is very noticeable to me even with open strings. Scale and strings are same as my other strats. The taut feel is noticeable, and makes it seem as if the guitar is tuned a 1/2 step high in feel and the zingy tone. I notice when playing same strings I always use, my fingers have huge identations and feel sore from the string cutting into my flesh. I notice this with fingerpicking and also fretting. I can put those same strings on a Squier or just about any other strat and not get that.

The EJ's neck is thick, one piece 1/4sawn and does not give. I have taken several and moved them to other strat bodies and noticed that taut, sharp feel followed. I have also owned two custom shop necks also all quartersawn and have noticed that same perceived "extra tension". I'm sure there are variances among any cuts of wood and that may factor in to how much the neck gives.

My nocaster's neck is very big and flatsawn. It has a spongey, slinky feel to the strings. Also a warmer tone, whereas all those sharp, tight playing necks also had a zingy, sharp tone and feel. You might say but it's a tele...well I stuck it on my strat a few days ago, and same loose feel to the strings. .010's feel more like .009's when tuned to standard. It's the neck itself, I tell you guys!

Tone_Terrific
07-21-2011, 07:34 PM
^Tension at pitch is part of the manufacturing spec.
What you feel is just your perception, probably not measurable.
A lesser gauge, or construction variation, can yield lower tension.


http://store.daddario.com/category/145824/EXL120%2B_Super_Light_Plus_9.5-44

Dana Olsen
07-21-2011, 10:30 PM
We're really discussing two different things here:

1) String tension - which is equal on guitars of equal scale length and tuned to the same pitch, and

2) the Feel of the particular guitar, which is influenced by so many things - the fretboard finish or type of wood, the fret height, width and level of polish, the neck angle and break angle of the strings over the saddles, action, level of polish on the frets, just to name a few.

Whether strings are at the same 'tension' is one thing, but how the guitar 'feels' when you're playing it as far as it's compliance to your fingers is a far more subtle thing, with a lot more factors involved. In my opinion, it's certainly not explainable by string tension alone.

I have a Nocaster strung w/ 9.5's, stock frets, maple board with very few 'voids' in the relicing on the fret board, so a lot of the lacquer is still on the fret board. Jesse Harris ( of Rancho Deluxe and the Jesse Harris Band) has a Nocaster, refretted with big 6100's (approximately - they're tall and wide, taller than the slightly worn 6105's on mine), strung with 10's. The action is very close to the same on both guitars, and the relief is very close too.

Jesse's is way easier to bend on than mine, even though he uses 10's. I think it's because with the higher frets, I get way less 'drag' across the finish on the fret board on his guitar than on mine, 'cuz his taller and wider frets make my fingers 'clear' the fret board, so there's less drag.

Mine has less string tension, his has less drag on the fret board, and his feels slinkier to me even though there has to be more string tension on his due to the thicker strings. I can't tell if mine would feel better to me if I removed finish from the fret board, and I'm not going to replace the frets yet, I've only had it less than a year and the frets don't have much wear.

It seems to me after studying the two side by side, the subtle but noticeable difference in feel between 'em is the stickier/ grabbier finish on my maple board. Jesse's feels way faster than mine, to me.

Anyhow, just 'sayin ...

Thanks, Dana O.

buddastrat
07-22-2011, 09:59 AM
Dana if it was the finish, or frets, that'd be pretty easy to recognize as it was played. Yes those can be a factors but, the drag from the board would be felt. I like to fingerpick a lot and notice it right from the strings themselves, so no frets or finish involved.

What I notice is the extra perceived tension of the strings themselves on some strats. Take the frets/finish out of the equation,, and just finger pick open strings, I can tell a difference from one strat to the next sometimes. My '66 strat has a very easy, loose feel so if I string it with say Daddario .010's and then the same strings on one of those EJ strats, and fingerpick open strings, the EJ feels as if it's tuned a half step higher. That much!

My ears notice it sounds like it too. Not pitch wise, but tonally. The '56 relic strat with it's loose feel, has a fuller, looser tone. On the three EJ strats I've had, the notes are sharp and beaming, and tight sounding, and the projection is immediate, so it's very spanky. At first I tried to rationalize and say what many here are saying, it's the same strings, scale, and tuned the same so it must be the same, BUT my fingers don't lie. I can play that '56 all day and not feel anything and nothing shows on my fingers, but as I'd play that EJ, within minutes, I'd feel and see those identations from strings digging into my fingertips.

Usually the easier playing were flatsawn necks and they have a looser feel and a looser tone. They don't spank as much as a quartersawn neck which tends to have a tighter feel and so much spank. That is really the fingerpring of the guitar and it's whole personality. Pickups? That's just icing.

billyguitar
07-22-2011, 10:11 AM
If all your guitars are the same scale length, maybe the set up is not to your liking. High saddles can make the strings feel tight, as does high action at the nut.


Back in '78 I played in Houma for 2 weeks. I don't remember the name of the club. We got there the day Elvis died and we left when Groucho died. I was more upset about Groucho! How you folks stand the mosquitos I don't know!!

candid_x
07-22-2011, 05:37 PM
Imo, there's string length and break angle, and string length FROM the saddle break. On a Strat with bent saddles, anyway, pulling back the bridge to lay flat on the body, and snugging/torquing the 6 screws, increases the break angle over the saddle, without changing the overall string length, going from a 90 degree angle over the saddle adjustment screws (when floating), to tilting backward, effectively lowering the bridge height, requiring raising saddles, and increasing the strings' break angle. The end result was a tighter string feel.

I've been pondering the best way to correct this, as I didn't care much for the tighter feel. I decided to try a neck set trick I've read about here, to actually shorten the total string length a touch, but cracking the neck plate screws open a touch, with full string tension still applied, and carefully re torquing the plate back down. The pitch of the guitar dropped evenly about 1/4 step, because the string tension pulled the neck tighter into the pocket, hence shortening the string length, giving the strings a slightly looser feel.

Together with this was a natural seasonal neck change to almost no relief at all (requiring raising saddles), contributing to the tighter feel. If I back off it a touch to add more relief, the action would raise, I could lower my saddles a bit, and the string tension would decrease. But I'm leaving it as is, for now because the action is killer.

hunter
07-22-2011, 06:26 PM
Disagree. With the last part, anyhow. I think there are variables, mainly the wood.

When I play EJ strats, that taut feel is very noticeable to me even with open strings. Scale and strings are same as my other strats. The taut feel is noticeable, and makes it seem as if the guitar is tuned a 1/2 step high in feel and the zingy tone. I notice when playing same strings I always use, my fingers have huge identations and feel sore from the string cutting into my flesh. I notice this with fingerpicking and also fretting. I can put those same strings on a Squier or just about any other strat and not get that.

The EJ's neck is thick, one piece 1/4sawn and does not give. I have taken several and moved them to other strat bodies and noticed that taut, sharp feel followed. I have also owned two custom shop necks also all quartersawn and have noticed that same perceived "extra tension". I'm sure there are variances among any cuts of wood and that may factor in to how much the neck gives.

My nocaster's neck is very big and flatsawn. It has a spongey, slinky feel to the strings. Also a warmer tone, whereas all those sharp, tight playing necks also had a zingy, sharp tone and feel. You might say but it's a tele...well I stuck it on my strat a few days ago, and same loose feel to the strings. .010's feel more like .009's when tuned to standard. It's the neck itself, I tell you guys!


Pretty easy to validate this theory...if your trem is locked down.

If the neck flexes, the strings change pitch. Play an open string with your accurate tuner on, let it ring while fretting (or capoing if you prefer) other strings and see if the pitch of the open string changes. If it didn't your neck did not flex. You can also try bending strings while watching a plucked open string on your tuner to see if the neck flexes.

Odds are pretty good that you will not see evidence of neck flex unless you are really bearing down. Pushing that hard will push the fretted strings out of tune too.

hunter

trap
07-22-2011, 07:13 PM
to me, the deep drilled blocks on a strat have less sting tension in them.

Tone_Terrific
07-22-2011, 08:45 PM
IThe pitch of the guitar dropped evenly about 1/4 step, because the string tension pulled the neck tighter into the pocket, hence shortening the string length, giving the strings a slightly looser feel.


And retuning will increase the tension again.
You cannot, williy-nilly, change the scale length without re-intonating.

Any real scale length change requires fret repositioning.

If you adjust the gap at the neck joint you will have to move the bridge to compensate.

Notions of feel, that step outside the bounds of physics, require a darn good explanation.

buddastrat
07-23-2011, 09:08 AM
Pretty easy to validate this theory...if your trem is locked down.

If the neck flexes, the strings change pitch. Play an open string with your accurate tuner on, let it ring while fretting (or capoing if you prefer) other strings and see if the pitch of the open string changes. If it didn't your neck did not flex. You can also try bending strings while watching a plucked open string on your tuner to see if the neck flexes.

Odds are pretty good that you will not see evidence of neck flex unless you are really bearing down. Pushing that hard will push the fretted strings out of tune too.

hunter

Not even close. Trem setup is taken into consideration early on in the setup. Because you can keep the same setup with the trem and switch necks, tune up and note the difference in tightness even though trem has same setup. I did this many times. Or deck the trem hard with all 5 springs and still, the slinky necks play slinky, the tight necks play stiff. The trem, the break angle, floating the trem, looser springs, the string length, bridge holes deep or shallow...all matter so little compared to what the neck gives you from my experiments. And take out the frets and finish, and just note open strings, the difference is there and can be felt.

The neck flexing, imo, can be microscopic and not noticed as changing pitch in the slightest. It could be so subtle just "giving" with the fretting to make the strings feel slinkier.

Here's an experiment I suggest to folks who don't get this, try this, play open low E and bend pitch from the headstock, some necks bend pitch real easy, and those happen to be the slinky playing ones, everytime!!!! Now with the tight playing guitrs, those are stiff and don't bend the notes from the headstock. Especially noticeable on 1/4 sawn maple. Those can be play very tight.

The nocaster neck I spoke of earlier is flatsawn and thick, plays so slinky on whatever strat or tele body it's on. I can bend the low E string a lot with only my pinky touching the headstock. It's a very soft, bendy neck. Contrast that to three Eric Johnson necks which are pretty healthy cuts of 1/4 sawn and those necks are so tight playing, my same old strings cut into my fingertips whatever body those necks went on. They are very rigid and it takes a lot of force to bend the E at all from the headstock. Coincidence? I can name at least a dozen other necks and had same results.

buddastrat
07-23-2011, 09:25 AM
I had one strat I really wanted to love, it was a stiff player tho'. Even Dan Erlewine couldn't help it. All his suggestions on setup and shimming did not loosen it up. He finally said, well it is what it is....

Well that was back in '04 or so, and that skinny neck on that Fender was 1/4 sawn, and it wouldn't bend easily. Had it on 4-5 bodies and still tight.

hunter
07-23-2011, 10:02 AM
The neck flexing, imo, can be microscopic and not noticed as changing pitch in the slightest. It could be so subtle just "giving" with the fretting to make the strings feel slinkier.


Well, no need for me to discuss that any further then. I just don't share your experience.

And the point in mentioning locking down the trem is purely from the standpoint of eliminating it as a variable during the test.

hunter

Ronsonic
07-23-2011, 12:17 PM
Being a tech and not a witch doctor, I'm out of answers. A string has a given pull to be on pitch. Any change that would affect that will change the pitch. Enough give in the neck or trem or any other element sufficient to affect the feel will be very easily heard.

Buddastrat, I'm not saying you aren't feeling something there. But I am saying is that it has nothing to do with the things in the name of this thread. It isn't "string tension" and it has nothing to do with them being "tight." Those aren't the variables. If you can figure out what it is you are feeling as the difference between those guitars you will have learned something.

I suspect you are simply feeling the resonance of the overall structure of the guitar. But it's in your hands not mine.

buddastrat
07-23-2011, 07:23 PM
Well I think it is pertaining to the thread. As I say, it's the perceived tension, why two strats identical, with identical everything can feel so different. It's not a subjective feel either. Everyone will be able to notice the slinky playing one, as well as the taut playing one, 10 out 10 times. I've done that at the shop. What's the biggest diff? The wood, imo. I believe it is the neck's "give", and the type of cut factors into it.

It's not even about feeling something, as I said it's visually seeing it. I can play/fingerpick those tight playing .010's on those guitars and see the strings cutting into my fingertips, since I don't have callouses on that hand, strings cut into my fingers after only a little time playing. On the loose playing ones, I can play all day and not even notice anything. Of course we are talking same strings, tuning, setup on all. Those loose playing ones, also are easy to bend pitch via the headstock. I said all this already though. Sorry for repeating,

cdntac
07-23-2011, 08:54 PM
I've found --- at least on a handful of guitars --- that the neck/truss rod relationship has what I'd call a "sweet spot".

On some guitars it makes no difference but on a few I've discovered that if the truss rod is just loosened or tightened just a tiny bit --- a guitar will feel completely different in regards to string tension.

On the guitars where I've experienced this, the neck has been straight --- or very close to it --- and set up quite well.

I'm working on the assumption that the rod is making the wood more stiff (or less stiff is loosened).

candid_x
07-24-2011, 08:13 AM
I've found --- at least on a handful of guitars --- that the neck/truss rod relationship has what I'd call a "sweet spot".

On some guitars it makes no difference but on a few I've discovered that if the truss rod is just loosened or tightened just a tiny bit --- a guitar will feel completely different in regards to string tension.

On the guitars where I've experienced this, the neck has been straight --- or very close to it --- and set up quite well.



I found exactly these same things. And by straight I mean no or next to no relief. Great low action, no buzzing, but still stiffer than if I back off the truss rod just a touch to that sweet spot.

buddastrat
07-24-2011, 09:29 AM
I've found --- at least on a handful of guitars --- that the neck/truss rod relationship has what I'd call a "sweet spot".

On some guitars it makes no difference but on a few I've discovered that if the truss rod is just loosened or tightened just a tiny bit --- a guitar will feel completely different in regards to string tension.

On the guitars where I've experienced this, the neck has been straight --- or very close to it --- and set up quite well.

I'm working on the assumption that the rod is making the wood more stiff (or less stiff is loosened).

Now we're talking. This very much makes sense and could be a factor in those slinky play on the guitars with the necks that bend with little effort. On the Eric Johnson strats, though, a rod adjust did not seem to help too much. These guitars are notorious for being tight players, as over the years, there are tons of threads on "how can I get my EJ to play looser". On all the guitar forums I read. I have never seen this with any nother model of strat. Coincidentally, The EJ is the only production strat to use a big, 1/4 sawn neck. I also noticed that on the EJ's, they took a lot more truss rod adjust turns to get the neck to respond, it was so stiff.

Stiff neck=stiff player? Maybe not 100% but sure seems pretty consistent with the few dozen necks I've done these kinds of experiments with.