Came to a reassuring realization just now...

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by zsno, Feb 18, 2009.


  1. zsno

    zsno Supporting Member

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    745
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    Richmond, VA
    I've never actually measured my string height when doing a setup, never. In fact, I didn't own a proper 1/64" increment ruler until today. I just got my MoTone tele in the mail, which came with 10's. After a few days, I've decided to opt for 11's on this guitar. Last night, I gave it my traditional set-up, feeling and listening in order to make my adjustments. I was at lowes today buying some stuff for a pedalboard I'm making, and saw a ruler for like two bucks. Decided to pick it up, just for kicks. Got home, measured my new tele a bit, and realized that I'm right where Fender says I should be as far as string height. MY bass side strings are maybe a bit less than 1/64" higher than the "starting point," and my treble side strings are dead on at 2/32". I'm quite weird about buzz, and tend to pick hard, so all things considered, I think I may even have a little room to raise everything a bit more. And to think I like my guitars with "high action." It's always nice to realize that you really can trust yourself, your eyes, your ears, and your fingers to achieve your desired results.:AOK
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2009
  2. Soapbarstrat

    Soapbarstrat Senior Member

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    So that would be 1/32" for the high E and 3/64" for the low E over the 12th fret. That means you have a real good fret-job. That's the action I get on my guitars, but only after a good fret-job.
     
  3. zsno

    zsno Supporting Member

    Messages:
    745
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2006
    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    Well it did just come fresh from our very own Mike9, props to him and his great work :BEER

    Oh, and I went by Fender's standard guide, which says to check at the 17th fret:dude
     
  4. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    then it should be 2/32nds at the 17th.
     
  5. zsno

    zsno Supporting Member

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    745
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2006
    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    Yup. That's what they measure. High E 2/32", low E 3/32". Sorry for the typo.
     
  6. bchamorro

    bchamorro Member

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    777
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    Miami
    thats low!
     
  7. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    then kudos are certainly in order. it's cool when you wrestle the guitar into shape by "feel" over the course of days and weeks and it turns out to be "dead right" by accepted standards.

    now with the ruler it will be quick and easy for you to duplicate or modify your settings and know where you are and what you did.
     
  8. benjammin420

    benjammin420 Member

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    by feel is always the best way to setup your guitar (if you know what you want)
     
  9. Bob V

    Bob V Member

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    I'm confused. Are you measuring open at the 12th (like most people do) or fretting at the first fret and measuring at the 17th (for some reason Fender's instructions say to do that, probably to avoid the effect of miserably high nut slots)?

    2/32 is 4/64, which is a tad higher than it could be unless you pick hard. Another issue is the fretboard radius. You can get a lower action with a flatter fingerboard and the notes won't choke out when bending. As a consequence my Fenders have 3/64" high E, 4/64 low E measured at the 12th but the Gibson is a little lower (maybe shy of 3/64 treble and 3/64 bass).

    Dan Erlewine's books have chapters with the setup measurements of various musicians' guitars, interesting stuff.
     
  10. Kingbeegtrs

    Kingbeegtrs Senior Member

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    I set up by feel. I've done it a time or two which also helps. Here's my full-proof method if you want a low action.

    Take a radius gauge and set the radius with the action so low that the 6th string will fret-out at somewhere around the 8th fret on a whole-step bend. Then I slightly raise the 1st and sixth strings until the 6th string doesn't fret out anywhere at anytime. It's that easy - and people are always complimenting my set-ups. That doesn't include the truss rod adjustment or filing the nut correctly of course.
     
  11. zsno

    zsno Supporting Member

    Messages:
    745
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2006
    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    I just googled fender setup guide, and was directed to the FMIC site, which said to measure at the 17th fret, open. Like I said, I've never measured when doing a set-up before, so I've not seen if that's a standard "norm" or not.
     

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