High string tension on my Suhr Classic

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by smv929, May 26, 2015.

  1. smv929

    smv929 Member

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    I have a Suhr Classic strat, a basic model. It’s a fine guitar, plays and sounds great. However, it seems to have more string tension than other non-Suhr strats. I do a lot of aggressive bending, so I notice that it’s simply easier to bend strings on other strats. I use 10 gauge strings.

    I was wondering if it’s the headstock design--the height and position of the tuners. I’d like to compare to another Suhr, but can’t at the moment, and it’s been a long time since I’ve played another one. I remember that I’ve always liked every Suhr I’ve picked up, just as I liked this one when I bought it. Although I do remember it did seem tough to bend, which I probably filed in the "I just suck right now" mode.

    I’ve blocked it off to see if that would make any difference, but it did not. I don’t believe there is a way to alter a guitar’s string tension. If I’m mistaken, let me know.

    So, do any of you other Suhr (Classic) owners detect a string tension difference when compared to non-Suhr strats?
     
  2. shallbe

    shallbe Deputy Plankspanker Gold Supporting Member

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    The perception of string tension in terms of ease of bending is all about setup.

    Neck relief and string height are the key. Small adjustments make a big difference, and can mean a guitar goes from stiff to slinky with the same gauge of strings.

    Typically, i like my Suhr necks pretty straight, and they play very easliy, even with 11-52's. Measure your other guitars as a starting point and go from there.
     
  3. Cal Webway

    Cal Webway Member

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    How hi is the string break angle over the saddles?

    For your action the saddles may be up hi. (Not talking the action. I'm sure it is the same on the ez bending gtrs). A shim or pro route of neck pocket would help if this is it
     
  4. smv929

    smv929 Member

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    SHALLBE, Ok. I will try to take some measurements and compare to a strat with less tension. However, I usually set all my guitars up similarly, little relief for a straight neck and low action.

    Cal, the saddles are fairly low, since I like the action low, but I will take some measurements and compare.

    Thanks
     
  5. critter74

    critter74 Supporting Member

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    OP- I feelings same way about my Classic Pro. As you stated, mine plays and sounds fine. But the string tension does seem a bit on the higher side than any of my other guitars. I have the neck set very straight and the action/saddle low.

    Not sure if it's just the way it is or mine still needs some fine tuning. But again it plays great. Just a preference thing. I'm sure I'll get it dialed in soon enough.
     
  6. cardinal

    cardinal Member

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    Try removing a trem spring.
     
  7. critter74

    critter74 Supporting Member

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    Where do you get that from? The OP stated in reference to other Strats, not Gibsons.
     
  8. MartinPiana

    MartinPiana Supporting Member

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    You're right. Was that in the post initially? I somehow missed it. My apologies - I've deleted my post accordingly.
     
  9. ieso

    ieso Member

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  10. critter74

    critter74 Supporting Member

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    No worries I thought I missed something,mthats why I asked.

    But you're right- my PRS's have 25" scale length and even that little bit changes the feel of the necks and playing.
     
  11. Rod

    Rod Tone is Paramount Silver Supporting Member

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    If you use 10 guage strings on the Suhr, try going to a set of 9.5's. I've found also that Curt Mangan nickel wound strings feel a bit looser than GHS or DR's.
     
  12. LReese

    LReese Member

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    Try some Raw Vintage springs - I don't buy the tone enhancement claims, but they aren't as stiff as typical Strat Springs.
     
  13. smv929

    smv929 Member

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    Thanks for that. Unfortuantely, it didn't tell me anything I haven't done or checked. I believe the guitar is setup appropriately: The neck is straight, the saddles are low as you can get. The action is great. In fact, the low E string sizzles (not buzzes, as quoted in that link) from being set low. The nut hight seems ok, but it could be a slight, slight bit lower (not enough to fix it). The strings sit on the nut just right (from what I've read).

    The tremelo is blocked off, so that rules out springs. With or without blocking it off, the string tension is about the same.

    Thanks for the tips of lighter or different strings. However, that would be a last resort. I'd likely sell the guitar before changing my string gauge.

    Perhaps the neck angle is off. That's something, I really know little about. I'd rather not shim a Surh unless it's a no brainer fix. I'd take it to a tech, but from my experience, the request to resolve high string tension usually is not seen as a problem by most local small time guitar techs. They usually write it off as you're picky or have weak hands, which is not the problem.
     
  14. Rod

    Rod Tone is Paramount Silver Supporting Member

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    Some guitars just have a stiffer feel than others.....
     
  15. shallbe

    shallbe Deputy Plankspanker Gold Supporting Member

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    I doubt it is need of a shim. No guitar is ever set up the way I like it, and I have 5 custom Suhrs.

    I need my action high enough for slide and low enough to fret and bend comfortably. During the tweaking, the SAME guitar with the SAME SET of strings goes from stiff to sweet and slinky. It takes a while and a bit of experimentation to get it right, but when it is there you feel it.

    A small 1/8" turn of the truss rod makes a big difference one way or the other. Saddle height is changed in tiny increments based on measurements and feel. I measure my favorite setups on similar guitars and go from there, but they are really just a starting point for a new guitar, since that sweet spot is individual to each instrument.

    It is a process, but i really love doing it. Helps me unlock the potential of the new guitar.
     
    tone? and your name here like this.
  16. Bluplirst

    Bluplirst Supporting Member

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