Lowering the oaction on this tele?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by squeally dan, Mar 28, 2008.

  1. squeally dan

    squeally dan Member

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    I'm tired of leaving my guitar to be setup for seveal days and paying out a bunch of money.

    I just got this used James Burton tele and the string feel high and uneven. In other words some feel higher than others and I wan't to lower the action. Can someone tell me how to adjust that type of bridge and what tool I need. Also, do I need to measure?

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Blue4Now

    Blue4Now Gold Supporting Member

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    you need to raise or lower each individual saddle to how you liek it. There are 2 small allen head screws on each side of each saddle. Make half turn adustments to each screw at a time. Re-tune, then try and see if its to your liking. If not gove it another half turn.

    You can check the specs at the fender cite for a starting point, and then go from there.
     
  3. GuitaristZ

    GuitaristZ Guest

    If I remember correctly, you are also supposed to adjust the strings so that they sort of fit the radius of the neck too a bit....so sort of follow the curve of the neck? don't quote me on that though...better check with others before trying
     
  4. mainsale

    mainsale Member

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    Google the Terry C. Mcinturff Guitars website and go there. In the technical section is one of the best set up proceedures I've found. Download and save it for future use.

    End of problem....
     
  5. Blue4Now

    Blue4Now Gold Supporting Member

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    Yes, thats correct about following the radius of the neck, but in the end you have to set it up how it feels best for you. Sometimes I have to rais jsut one string a bit more to get it to fret noce and clean. I am really picky about set up and tweak untill it''s perfect for me. Follow the advise of mainsale and get soem good set up instructions and learn to do it yourself. In the end you will be much happier.
     
  6. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    Hey Squeally Dan -

    Couple things:

    1) (ALWAYS) Adjust the relief FIRST, then the action.

    2) MAKE SURE to adjust the saddles so that each saddle is level, so that both allen screws have equal downward pressure on 'em. The saddle height should be adjusted so that the strings follow the radius of the neck, but still, each individual saddle should be level, parallel with the top of the guitar, not cocked to one side or the other.

    I like to use an engineer's rule to check the action height. Measure from the top of the fret to the bottom of the string. It's not necessary to measure each string, but if you're not experienced doing setups, a ruler marked in 1/32 " increments is a huge help until you get used to the tolerances.

    People usually call 4/64" and less low action, med action is like 5/64 - 6/64". There are maybe 1 1/2-1 3/4 turns of each adjusting screw to go from 4/64 to 6/64, that's why the ruler can help, and magnifying glasses can help too, just a cheap pair.

    In the end, if it buzzes, raise it a little until it stops. If the strings are all different heights, you may need a fret level and crown.

    My two cents, Dana O.
     
  7. playon

    playon Supporting Member

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    You also might be feeling that from the nut slots being cut too high... I see that all the time on brand new guitars right out of the box. One symptom of this is when first position chords often sound out of tune. If that is a problem you will need a set of specialized files to do that yourself, probably easier to have it done for you if you aren't up for it. If you get too heavy handed with the files, you will have to replace or shim up the nut.

    I set all my guitars up myself & I have never understood why so many guitar players will pay someone else a bunch of money to do it, especially when you can get it exactly how you like it when you DIY. I prefer very little relief on the neck, I agree you should definitely set that first, and then adjust the action and nut slots if needed.
     
  8. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    What Playon said!

    1) Relief
    2) Action at the nut
    3) Action at the bridge.

    Also, take a look at the neck angle, just to see if it seems "normal". Sight down the neck to see if the frets look relatively level.

    Here's the deal: If it's not responding to what you're doing, take it to a tech. If it DOES respond, that's great.

    Thanks, hope this helps, Dana O.
     
  9. squeally dan

    squeally dan Member

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    What do you mean by "relief" Is that adjusting the truss rod? How do I know if it needs adjusted?
     
  10. playon

    playon Supporting Member

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    "Relief" means having the truss rod tension just right - if the neck is perfectly, absolutely straight or a little back-bowed, the strings will snap and buzz too much when the action is low. If the rod is too loose, allowing the neck to bow forward a bit, the action will feel high and harder to play, especially in the middle range of the fingerboard. I also believe that guitars sound better with the neck stiffer under tension, ie, not much forward bow, & I like to have mine almost totally, but not quite perfectly straight. But I like that snappy funky tele tone, some guys don't.

    Press the high E string down at the first fret and while holding it, press also down on the 14th fret. In between the 1st and 14th fret along the fingerboard you should see just a very tiny amount of space under the E string, like maybe barely enough for a thin playing card to slip under. You can also measure this with a feeler guage but I just do it from experience & feel. Try also holding down in the same two places with the low E. You can also sight down the edge of the neck from the nut as if it was a rifle barrel to see how much bow is in the neck... there should be just a teeny touch of forward bow. Slowly adjust the truss rod until it looks right and feels right. You will have to adjust the bridge saddles to compensate aFterwards. If you don't get the hang of it, take it to a guy who will teach you.
     
  11. haml

    haml Member

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  12. fixed

    fixed Member

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    How would you accurately adjust the relief on a tele neck that you have to take off to access the truss rod?
     
  13. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    All old Tele and Strat necks have to be removed to adjust the truss rod. It's just one of those things - you just do it.

    You don't actually have to completely remove the neck, just losen the screws and tweak the truss rod, then button her back up again and restring. Measure again and see how you did. Adjusting the relief is maybe more art than science ...

    Good Luck, Dana O.
     
  14. guitarguru1969

    guitarguru1969 Member

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    Sometimes the neck angle is not correct also and would require a neck shim. That one is best left for a tech. Other then that their is some great posts above. One thing to remember on a fender radius is that you must allow enough height on the B and especially high E so that when you do a full bend above the 12th fret the note doesn't fret out.
     

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