Neck relief & set up questions

agentmatt

Member
Messages
205
The set on my Gibson SG is bad and I want to be able to set up my own guitars. I have straight edge and feeler gauges so this could get ugly. I am not the handiest person. :)

I read I should measure neck relief at the 7th fret. What the specs are seem to vary a bit. I am heavy handed and use 10 gauge strings. If I am measuring correctly the relief is above .025(largest gauge I have).

Also is the bridge suppose to be level? Mine seems higher on the bass side by a good bit.

Thanks
 

sidekick

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,532
IMO, (on the basis you want to do these things yourself) your best bet is to get the Dan Erlewine book 'How to make your electric guitar play great' which explains these things, (and more) in reasonable and concise detail.
 

jklotz

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,799
When I set up sg's, I usualky shoot for somwhere between .004 - .008 neck relief. Yours appears to be way out given the numbers you provided. And yes, the bass side should be higher than the trebble side.I use a string action guage from stew mac to set mine.

Go easy on that truss rod. You really really don't want to strip it
 

bluesjuke

Disrespected Elder
Messages
24,126
The set on my Gibson SG is bad and I want to be able to set up my own guitars. I have straight edge and feeler gauges so this could get ugly. I am not the handiest person. :)

I read I should measure neck relief at the 7th fret. What the specs are seem to vary a bit. I am heavy handed and use 10 gauge strings. If I am measuring correctly the relief is above .025(largest gauge I have).

Also is the bridge suppose to be level? Mine seems higher on the bass side by a good bit.

Thanks


Are you measuring with the string depressed at the 12th fret as Gibson recommends while measuring? Doesn't sound like it especially if you have very low string height.

You could have that large of a measurement still but that would be a huge relief that some guitars can't even get.
 

agentmatt

Member
Messages
205
I measured it with it strapped on in standing position and on the bench. I have the string action gauge as well. I am tuning up in between adjustments.
 

bluesjuke

Disrespected Elder
Messages
24,126
But did you depress the string at the 12th fret while measuring?

I do mine sitting down in playing position.
 

agentmatt

Member
Messages
205
For the neck relief I have a straight edge laid across the fret board and measure at the middle of the 7th fret. I checked both standing & on bench. String height/action is high as well at
 

Fireball XL5

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,959
For the neck relief I have a straight edge laid across the fret board and measure at the middle of the 7th fret. I checked both standing & on bench. String height/action is high as well at
Good article on setting neck relief here with some good ballpark measurements. Make sure you take all measurements with the guitar held in the playing position.

http://www.fretnotguitarrepair.com/repair/acoustic-guitar/truss-rod.php

http://www.fretnotguitarrepair.com/repair/electric-guitar/truss-rod.php
 

agentmatt

Member
Messages
205
Those are great articles. Thanks. I got it down to around .009 now in standing/playing position. There certainly is a difference in measurement from bench. Thanks. Now on to action. Hey it's snowy here and I have no cable(choice). What else have I got to do?
 

Fireball XL5

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,959
Those are great articles. Thanks. I got it down to around .009 now in standing/playing position. There certainly is a difference in measurement from bench. Thanks. Now on to action. Hey it's snowy here and I have no cable(choice). What else have I got to do?
I like low action and typically shoot for .004" - .006" of relief at 7th fret and a string height of 3/64" treble and 4/64" bass measured from the bottom of the string to the top of the 12th fret when setting up my Gibson's.
 

agentmatt

Member
Messages
205
I like low action as well. I am thinking with my heavy hand a bit more relief may be in order based on what I've read.
 

Fretsalot

Member
Messages
1,654
I hadn't done any truss rod or intelligent action adjustments on my LP's until a few weeks ago. This video helped me understand (visually) how to do some things I was unsure of...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYO23rGO_7M

I'm pleased with the adjustments/improvements I was able to make on my own guitars with some basic hand tools I already had on hand.

Hope that helps,

Fretsalot/Scott
 




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