new guitar setup? action

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by neastguy, Feb 10, 2008.


  1. neastguy

    neastguy Supporting Member

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    just got a new guitar and would like to lower the action a bit... its at 5/64th at the 12th fret on each string.. is realistic to want to get it down to 3/64 on each string... sounds low but when you stick a ruler there, it looks like that would be a good height.... before I start messing with it.. wanted you opinions...
     
  2. Janglin_Jack

    Janglin_Jack Member

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    Guitar set-up needs to be done in order. Set the neck relief first, then the action, then the PU height. 3/64 at the 12th fret might make sense if you like a lot of neck relief, but with a straighter neck, will probably buzz. It is a balancing act.

    If you set up a gutiar with Standard relief, I would say that 3/64 is too low, it will probably buzz 4/64 to 5/64 is about right.

    Jack
     
  3. neastguy

    neastguy Supporting Member

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    thanks
     
  4. Janglin_Jack

    Janglin_Jack Member

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    I find putting a capo on the first fret and fretting at the last fret. Measure at the 8th fret, (top of fret to bottom of E string). Measure .010". Then go to action, (4/64 to 5/64"). The PU height, etc.

    Good luck,
    Jack
     
  5. David Collins

    David Collins Member

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    It all depends on a lot of things. What kind of music you play, if you're playing an overdriven rectifier or a Jazz Chorus - basically how do you pick, and how much rattle is coming through the amp. It of course also depends on the guitar itself, and how perfect the frets are.

    If you wanted to go that low, I would certainly have the neck at or nearly dead straight, and even then you should in general plan on 1/64" higher on the bass side. 4 and 5/64" is more common, but for some players it can go lower. I've set up stuff for shredders at 2/64" almost all the way across, and it sounded fine for them - if anyone else were to pick it up though it would do nothing but buzz out and rattle from top to bottom.

    It depends on what the guitar can handle, how you play, and what you want in the end. 3/64" treble and 4/64th bass is lower than average, but not unreasonable depending on your style.

    Of course communicating this is hard, because I've found that different people can read a rule with 64ths at about +/-1/64" tolerance from one another. Your 3/64" could very well be my 4/64".
     
  6. Pete Galati

    Pete Galati Member

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    Depends on how you play. I think the vast majority of players would say that 5/64" at the 12th fret is pretty low. And to get more extreme than that, and go 3/64", you'll need very level frets to make that work, and the slightest change in weather is likely to require a trussrod adjustment.

    I don't measure string heights anyhow though. I go by how things feel, and how the guitar plays. Measuring how high your strings are always just seemed like a waste of time to me.

    When I bought a Carvin in '76, they guaranteed that it's action would be 1/16" or less up and down the neck. Which it did seem to be. And it was as fast a playing guitar as I've played. I do tend to shoot for relatively low action because my first couple of good electrics had very fast necks, and it reduces intonation issues. But I don't actually measure it.
     
  7. FastFret

    FastFret Member

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    What Pete Galati said - level frets! All things being equal it's the quality of the leveling that will make the ultimate difference on those tenths of a millimeter. I'd say 4/64 is very hard to achieve for <10" radius and 3/64 for a <12" without proper leveling.

    Edit: the above assumes clean 1.5 step bends everywhere on the neck. I forgot, the nut action makes a lot of difference so have it cut as low-as-possible!
     
  8. neastguy

    neastguy Supporting Member

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    [​IMG]
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    got it down to between 3 and 4/64... there is a little buzz on the 3rd string and I may be have issues with the G staying in tune.... but just changed strings and only have maybe 10 minutes on it...... had to post my new purchase.... $600 at GC blem
     
  9. GuitarsFromMars

    GuitarsFromMars Member

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    Get a pro to do it the first time.You will never regret it,with a competent pro doing the work.
     
  10. GregoryL

    GregoryL Supporting Member

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    I respectfully disagree with with GuitarsFromMars ... if you're comfortable doing it yourself, go for it. I'm not bad-mouthing the good guitar techs out there, but if you know what you're doing, it's tough to find a tech who will give your guitar as much personal attention as you can yourself.
     
  11. neastguy

    neastguy Supporting Member

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    i understand what he is saying.. but I'm pretty comfy doing it... the G string seems to have settled down.... so I'm pretty happy w/ my new blem....
     
  12. supar6

    supar6 Member

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    Looks like a Fender Classic Players 60's???

    I've had three of them in the past and had to send to a Fender tech because I couldn't add anymore relief to the neck. Not sure if it was a truss issue or what the problem was. Nevertheless - better him damage the guitar than me. :)

    If that's what it is - those Classic Players are freakin FANTASTIC sounding!!!!! She's beautiful!
     
  13. neastguy

    neastguy Supporting Member

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    yep thats what it is.. I didnt even mess with the truss.. was able to set the action and do the intonation and it seems fine now... I may have set the action too low..lol.. so far so good... just dont like that there is no tone knob for the bridge pickup... we will see where that takes me.....:D
     
  14. GuitslingerTim

    GuitslingerTim Member

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    All of my electric guitars are setup with the action at 3/64" for the 1st string, and 5/64" for the 6th string, which is a factory spec for many brands of electric guitars. I like my necks with around .007" of relief, maybe a little more for longer scale lengths, and I never experience fret buzz, and will add that my frets are never quite level, there are always a few high spots straight from the factory.
     

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