Is it normal to have high action on a Jaguar?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Rena Rune, Feb 9, 2012.

  1. Rena Rune

    Rena Rune Member

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    I've only been able to get my action so low, the neck is a little curved and the frets are quite thick. I've considered getting them redressed or whatever.

    I was playing a Mexican Fat Strat today, and it had ridiculously low action. It played like a Shred guitar. The thing is, that action almost felt kind of uncomfortable compared to my Jag. But at the same time, I could play crazy fast nonsense and it was a lot of fun(not really a shredder as such, but I do like playing fast).

    I'm considering getting a proper adjustable height roller bridge for my Jag(though the TOM has been filed down fairly well) and getting the frets dressed, but it'll cost a lot and I don't know if it's worth it if I enjoy the guitar as is. But I do like the idea of being able to play faster.

    I have a second guitar, a First Act Sheena, which is surprisingly good with quite low action. I might just keep that as my fast playing guitar.

    Suggestions?
     
  2. Dale

    Dale Member

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    My only one is a CP HH. Mine is not high at all.
     
  3. tsar nicholas

    tsar nicholas Member

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    Mine's pretty high, strung with 13s.
     
  4. vortexxxx

    vortexxxx Member

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    Mine has normal Action. I removed the shims when I set it up.
     
  5. GA20T

    GA20T Member

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    No reason for overly high action on any guitar with level frets, a bridge with proper radius, and proper nut slot depth... at least none that I can think of.
     
  6. Dale

    Dale Member

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    I agree.
     
  7. Devin

    Devin Low Voltage Supporting Member

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    did you change string guage on this guitar without adjusting the truss rod?

    remember before you mess with frets try to solve the action problem by manipulating the bridge and trussrod. Carefully. Then worry about the frets and nut. Then worry about the physical condition of the neck.

    best advice i can give is to take it to a good repair person and have a setup done the way you want it ideally.
     
  8. rockonomics

    rockonomics Member

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    Truer words have never been spoken. It sounds like you have too much relief, but without looking at it, none of us can tell you what's really going on.
     
  9. Rena Rune

    Rena Rune Member

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    I've given it in for a good setup. Apparently it was the best he could do without levelling the frets off. I kind of can't afford that sort of thing right now though.
     
  10. vortexxxx

    vortexxxx Member

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    If you post some pics of the action as it is currently perhaps we can help. It really shouldn't need a fret leveling unless the neck is twisted.
     
  11. EADGBE

    EADGBE Member

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    The relief may not be the problem. It may be the neck angle. A really good luthier or repair guy should be able to figure it out.
     
  12. Rena Rune

    Rena Rune Member

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    Yeah, really good guys cost money though. The guy I gave it to did the best he could. Angle of the neck can't really be changed any either, otherwise I get Fret buzz on the higher frets. There's already some fret buzz/sustain kill on some frets, but it's workable and adds a small degree of character. I imagine those frets may wear down over the years(though the neck's truss rod angle will probably get worse and have to be fixed too).


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  13. EightySix

    EightySix Member

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    Find a better tech. That's like 1/2" clearance @ the last fret, and looks like too much relief in the neck too.

    I dealt with 'ok' techs, then found a good one. They charge the same, but one has a turnaround of 3-4 weeks (that's how busy he is), one has a turnaround of 1-2 days. The difference is night and day.

    For example, I took an old Univox bolt-on to the local (1 day turnaround) tech to have a new bridge fitted because the new bridge needed a different size stud. Instead of finding the right size/thread studs, this moron drilled a hole through the body & neck and ran a bolt (5th bolt) under the neck plate because he was too stupid/blind to realize the bridge was at such a bad angle that it wouldn't work properly. None of the original 4 neck screws were stripped (before or after). I used a piece of brass to shim the bridge temporarily. I went back to ask why he drilled through the body and he denied doing it. Said 'we wouldn't do that'. I know they did, because I had taken the neck off before.

    Lesson learned for me, I could have done a better job myself. This place was recommended by more than one person on a forum, I think fdp. Luckily it wasn't a particularly collectible guitar.

    BTW, this was at Lone Star Guitar Repair in Houston, TX. Pretty much any novice with simple hand tools and patience can do a better job than these guys.
     
  14. Rena Rune

    Rena Rune Member

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    I think the angle I took those pictures at may be awkward and a little misleading. But it is probably about 1/2". Keep in mind that the frets themselves are high though, so that probably means I have to press down less.

    I've tried shimming the neck in various ways. Unfortunately the frets are just quite thick and the neck seems to bend up towards the end no matter what. I've heard this is a common problem with offsets.
     
  15. Rena Rune

    Rena Rune Member

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    Is it worth trying to adjust the Truss Rod further myself? What would I need to do it? It's one of those ones that looks like it needs a big screwdriver to do it. Could someone point me to the exact tool I need, pref. on a UK site? Thanks.
     
  16. EightySix

    EightySix Member

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    It looks like he put way too much relief in the neck to compensate for the bad neck angle. It needs a shim first, then truss rod adjustment, in that order. The shim needs to be at the very base of the neck (closest to the body), about 2"w (just narrower than the width of the neck pocket) x 1/4"-1/2"h, like a strip of a cut up business card, etc. You may need to fold it over a couple times.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2012
  17. EightySix

    EightySix Member

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    Before you adjust anything, you need to measure how much relief is in the neck already so you know which way to turn the rod. You can use feeler gauges (spark plug/ignition gauges) like fender recommends, or eyeball it. You want to barely see a sliver of light between the bottom of the low E string and the top of the frets at the 6th-8th fret. I'm guessing there's going to be way too much relief (more gap than is needed)

    http://www.fender.com/news/index.php?display_article=552
     
  18. Rena Rune

    Rena Rune Member

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    The neck pocket wasn't adjusted, from what I can tell. As I said, I experimented with shimming too. However the bridge won't go down much lower, so I may have to do that.

    I actually find the action as-is pretty okay to play though. Bending is pretty easy and pressing down on the strings is fine. I did put a capo on one of the higher frets to experiment what "lower" action would be like up there, and i liked that too. I might just need to bring it down a little bit.
     
  19. CA$H FLOW

    CA$H FLOW Member

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    I had a Fender japan Jaguar years ago and had trouble getting the action to go as low as I like it.
     
  20. Rena Rune

    Rena Rune Member

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    Also where can I get a tool for adjusting the truss rod? That's kind of important. I don't have one of those feeler things either.
     

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