Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 26

Thread: String Height/adjustment

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    980

    String Height/adjustment

    Hey folks,
    I don't normally set my own guitars up, but I figured I better learn (being that I've played for almost 30 years now).
    I am in the middle of trying to adjust my string height (lower).
    I feel like I am having a bit of success and I was wondering if anyone would like to share any secrets or tips with me?
    Do I lower all the saddles and gradually adjust each string up?
    OR Do I just try to follow the shape of the fretboard (convex)..?
    It feels pretty close, but I would like to find a fool proof measure or action that I could use again and again..Any advice would be appreciated. How do you guys do this stuff?
    Shaun

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Southington, CT
    Posts
    1,140
    For guitars with indivually adjustable saddle heights I set the height of the high and low E strings to where I want to be then follow the radius of the fretboard to set the "middle" saddle heights.

    In order to do this it is useful to have a radius gauge to hold under the strings and ge the radius correct. Stewart-MacDonald Guitar Supply sells an excellent set, each with a small handle to hold the gauge while you adjust. Stew-Mac also sells a stainless-steel gauge tool which is excekllent for measuring string and pickup height. Don Erlwine's book "Make Your Electric Guitar Play Great" comes with a free set of plastic gauges to help set up a guitar.

  3. #3
    tom is offline Supreme Commander of the Anderson Empire
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    thousand oaks, CA
    Posts
    9,832
    always, always, always make sure the neck is in proper adjustment first.
    we use a metal ruler and follow the radius. we set the high e at 1/16", at the last fret, and the low e just above the 1/16" line. everything in the middle morphs from the high to low setting. this is a fairly low setting, if you are a hard right hand hitter you may want it a bit higher.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    980

    Thanks

    Thank you Tom and Stan.
    I realize its a feel thing for alot of players. I'm just not technically gifted...
    BTW, Tom how are you able to hang out on the forum...don't you have some guitars to sell at NAMM, young man?

    Stan, I take it you didn't need that KOA alert from indoor storm I sent you the other day?? I understand you already found your piece..congratulations!

    Shaun

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Southington, CT
    Posts
    1,140
    Shaun,

    I'm sorry but I never read your message! It never occurs to me to look to see if anyone has sent me anything. I will have to train myself to look periodically.

    Thanks for keeping me in mind. I actually had seen that Koa HDT at IS a couple of weeks ago. Believe it or not I was not crazy about the solid RW neck. Luckily Tom set up a deal for me and I am completly enjoying my new Koa.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Southington, CT
    Posts
    1,140
    Shaun,

    I just happened to stumble across a website with the template to make your own radius gauges!

    Radius Gauge Templates

  7. #7
    tom is offline Supreme Commander of the Anderson Empire
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    thousand oaks, CA
    Posts
    9,832
    earlier this year when my back was out i got a laptop so i could be working in bed at home. i've since been using it for everything. i took it to namm so i could check in at night. how could i go 5 days without checking in to the forum?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    980

    Thanks!

    Thanks Stan!!
    I guess after I cut out the templates, I use one of the guages to set the bridges? Do I need to know what my neck radius is ?Or are these just a preference thing?

    I have a TA standard .030 over on my drop top and a 62 rb on my classic...
    any further advice? Sorry I'm so slow..
    Shaun

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Southington, CT
    Posts
    1,140
    Shaun,

    When you make the templates be sure they are constructed on a piece of cardboard to make them stiff.

    With the strings off the guitar use the template to find the radius of the fretboard. Restring the guitar and make sure the neck relief is within limits (as Tom suggested). What I do then is set the high and low E strings to the proper height. I do it by feel but you can use a metal machinists ruler that has graduations of 1/64" to set the height. Then use the appropriate radius gauge to set the "curvature" of the middle 4 saddle heights to match the radius of the fretboard.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    980

    OK

    Thanks Stan, I will have to go and get one of the rulers, can't wait to try it out! Thanks again!
    Shaun

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Southington, CT
    Posts
    1,140
    Shaun,

    Here are some of the tools I use QUITE frequently:

    Measuring Gauge

    Radius Gauges

    Relief Gauge

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    980

    Wow

    I am going to explore the Stew Mac website, I feel the credit card vibrating

    Thanks for all your help Stan....

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    196
    Stan mentioned this, but I want to reiterate it: before adjusting the saddle heights, make sure the neck relief is set correctly. There are tips on how to do this on the TA web site.

    You'll be surprised how much the action changes with a tiny tweak of the truss rod.
    Joe

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Nashville
    Posts
    384
    I just wanted to say I purchased a few tools that Stan mentioned a long time ago. I must say, the Radius gauges and the Action Height Gauges are amazing. I don't know how I survived with out them!! This has revolutionized the way I setup my guitars now! Haha! Thanks!!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    732
    You can save yourself the dough, the squinting of your eyes, and your time by skipping the radius gauge routine... just measure each string height by resting the steel rule on the top of the last two frets.... voila!! Instant radius! Plus, it's way more accurate since you are measuring from the fret radius on the guitar, not a gauge.

    MAKE SURE YOU CHECK AND ADJUST YOUR NECK FIRST!
    Bruce

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •