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Neck Action Issue


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Hey, Im having a problem with one of the guitars I am working on. I also have a couple general "action" questions from after.

Ok, I set up the guitar truss rod and all, but it seems that the action is very low at the headstock end of the neck, and it is way to high at the body end of the neck. I know it should be a little bit, but it is to much. Im wondering hwo this can be fixed, I am thinking some kind of shim could fix it? Any help would be appreciated.

Ok, this is a gernal question about guitars action. Im wonder if its possible t get some guitars action lower than others. Like, all strats I have played generally have a higher action... and all Ibanez or Jackson I have played ussually have a very low action... Do these new modern style guitars have the ability to to go lower than fender strats without farting out in bends...? Or can you get a Fender strats action just as low, without gaining any extra consequences?

Last question... With a guitar how do you know when you need a shim? Like what tells you when you need one... what is wrong with a guitar when it needs a shim? thanks :D

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If you have set your truss rod correctly you should have a very slight dip in the middle of your fingerboard when sighting down it from the nut end, with all strings tuned to correct pitch. This is necessary to allow string to have extra clearance to vibrate at the mid point.

The nut end action is correct when you fret a string at the 3rd fret and it just clears the first fret.

Once the truss rod and nut height is set then you need to raise the action at the bridge saddles until there is no fret buzz at normal strumming. Intonation needs to be done at the same time of course.

I dont know what shims you are talking about? it is normal for the strings to be lowest at the first fret and higher at the bridge.

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First, let me say " have you read Melvyn Hiscocks book?" Next, the question you ask is a very loaded question. What guitar, What bridge? What adjustments have you made and to what? Do you have a neck jig to make these adjustments? IF not, then are they done under string tension? There are so many variables, it is very hard to really answer the question without ALL of the facts. So please expand our knowledge of what you have done and to what, THEN maybe someone will be able to help you.

Thanks,

Mike

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Hey, I will check out that book^ and thanks for the replies. Ok, well its a ibanez guitar with aicensid floyd rose. I had to but some piece of a card cut out under the nut to put it to the proper height, and I have set the truss rod. The thing that concerns me, Is that the action at the headstock end frets are real low and at the body end frets it is really high.... like to extremes... they are to different. I want the action to be low as possible so I did that except it is very high at the body end frets. Hopefulyl you can help me with that info Mike, I can post some pics if not. thanks

BTW, im looking for a good guitar setup/maintance... not a basic one, but mroe advanced, I dont mean guitar repair, just more advanced guitar setup and maintanance, I have read to many intro ones. Is that oen you suggested good for this? oh, and can someone take a look at those other questions I had^^

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Hey, I will check out that book^ and thanks for the replies. Ok, well its a ibanez guitar with aicensid floyd rose. I had to but some piece of a card cut out under the nut to put it to the proper height, and I have set the truss rod. The thing that concerns me, Is that the action at the headstock end frets are real low and at the body end frets it is really high.... like to extremes... they are to different. I want the action to be low as possible so I did that except it is very high at the body end frets. Hopefulyl you can help me with that info Mike, I can post some pics if not. thanks

BTW, im looking for a good guitar setup/maintance... not a basic one, but mroe advanced, I dont mean guitar repair, just more advanced guitar setup and maintanance, I have read to many intro ones. Is that oen you suggested good for this? oh, and can someone take a look at those other questions I had^^

Go look at the Project Guitar main pages tutorials on set-up. It can give you a pretty good start. To answer your question about the difference in clearances. Yes, it is normal to have much lower clearance at the first fret than the highest fret. You could have 1-1.5/64ths clear at the 1st. and 3-4/64ths. at the 12th, and that would be pretty common. You want to be sure the nut is not too low(to test this hold the string down between the 2nd and 3rd fret, and be sure you have some clearance above the first fret- this should be like .005"(very close)). You definately do not want a lot of clearance at the first fret or you will have nasty intonation problems and a guitar that plays with nasty high feeling action. Also as far as your neck being perfectly straight or having a slight bit of relief. You want to be absolutely sure your neck does not bow backwards(higher in the middle), a dead flat neck is wonderful if you can achive and maintain it, a slight bit of relief(say .004" @about the 7th to 9th is good) and that bit of relief can also act as insurance against the neck developing negative relief with changes in humidity.

Peace,Rich

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Ok, thanks guys im goign to try some stuff out on it and get back to you, hopefully i can fix this. Can you guys answer my other questions? I will copy paste them from my first post.

Ok, this is a gernal question about guitars action. Im wonder if its possible t get some guitars action lower than others. Like, all strats I have played generally have a higher action... and all Ibanez or Jackson I have played ussually have a very low action... Do these new modern style guitars have the ability to to go lower than fender strats without farting out in bends...? Or can you get a Fender strats action just as low, without gaining any extra consequences?

Last question... With a guitar how do you know when you need a shim? Like what tells you when you need one... what is wrong with a guitar when it needs a shim?

And what a bout an advanced setup book? any recommendations I already can setup quite well, but im looking for more advanced tips and tricks.

Edited by Devon8822
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Ok, thanks guys im goign to try some stuff out on it and get back to you, hopefully i can fix this. Can you guys answer my other questions? I will copy paste them from my first post.

Ok, this is a gernal question about guitars action. Im wonder if its possible t get some guitars action lower than others. Like, all strats I have played generally have a higher action... and all Ibanez or Jackson I have played ussually have a very low action... Do these new modern style guitars have the ability to to go lower than fender strats without farting out in bends...? Or can you get a Fender strats action just as low, without gaining any extra consequences?

Last question... With a guitar how do you know when you need a shim? Like what tells you when you need one... what is wrong with a guitar when it needs a shim?

And what a bout an advanced setup book? any recommendations I already can setup quite well, but im looking for more advanced tips and tricks.

Question #1-You should do a search and you will find recent topics that cover this subject. Technically a radiused fretboard can provide issues as you cross over the radius during bending. This is not to say that it is a huge issue because most people do not prefer "extreamly low" action, but in has the potential. Personally I have never had an issue, but then again I don't care for extreamly low action.

Question #2 You will have to be more specific. A shim for what? Neck, Nut, Saddle...... If you have a nut saddle that is worn too low. You can detect that with the test that has been mentioned. If your having a problem with your bridge bottoming out then you may need a neck shim or an adjustment to neck angle. Please re-state your question being more specific.

Edit; Recommendation on a book- Read through the tutorials first, and if you can get a good book like Melvyn Hiscocks. Get down the basics(which cover most everything you need). Then look for books or vids on specific areas that you want to refine(such as fret work or what have you).

Peace,Rich

P.S. I am going to say there is a 99% chance all of the answers you are looking for can be found if you read through the tutorials, and do a quick topic search.

Edited by fryovanni
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Shimming the neck, either fore or aft part of the neck pocket changes the neck angle to better accomodate bridge height and string travel over the fingerboard. It doesn't take much shim thickness to make a profound effect on your neck angle. If you aren't sure what effect shimming will have then try some experimenting yourself. Lay a long straightedge along the fretboard and measure its height over the bridge. Then install a shim in the back of the neck pocket, reinstall the neck and do that measurement again. Some things you have to see for yourself.

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Question 2 - to shim a neck.. like what does it fix? why would you shim a neck?

Shimming a neck- You can add a flat shim to raise the height of the neck in relation to the bridge. You can add a tapered shim to either increase or decrease the neck angle and or add height to the neck in relation to the bridge. Adding poitive neck angle or negative neck angle is a way of accomodating a bridge that is not able to be raised or lowered enough to get your desired string action. Raising the neck itself is another method of accomodating a bridge that cannot be raised high enough to get the needed action.

Now go read the tutorials :D Asking questions like these are not going to help give you a clear understanding of how these things work. You need to read up and look at some of the diagrams that are included in the tutorials.

Peace,Rich

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Hey, I will check out that book^ and thanks for the replies. Ok, well its a ibanez guitar with aicensid floyd rose. I had to but some piece of a card cut out under the nut to put it to the proper height, and I have set the truss rod. The thing that concerns me, Is that the action at the headstock end frets are real low and at the body end frets it is really high.... like to extremes... they are to different. I want the action to be low as possible so I did that except it is very high at the body end frets. Hopefulyl you can help me with that info Mike, I can post some pics if not. thanks

BTW, im looking for a good guitar setup/maintance... not a basic one, but mroe advanced, I dont mean guitar repair, just more advanced guitar setup and maintanance, I have read to many intro ones. Is that oen you suggested good for this? oh, and can someone take a look at those other questions I had^^

Devon,

I don't think I can expand on what Rich has suggested. So please read what you can, research and learn , then your questions will be more thought out and easier to answer as your new found knowledge will allow you to understand. Many of those here are not here to spoon feed the masses. We will help those that will take the time to help themselves and learn. Then when they have questions they will understand the answer. I hope you understand my meaning? I'm not trying to be an A$$, just every year we get a new influx of newbies during springbreak and thousands of questions that are loaded and the new (ME GENERATION) wants everything done for them or spoon fed, they just won't take the time to learn. Also many Newbies add advice that's just plain wrong, so take what you read from some with a grain of salt.

I have built 1 guitar so far and 3 on the work bench at this time, so I don't know that much about certain things, but I have worked with wood for over 30 yrs and my knowledge of that has helped me with making a guitar and hopefully helped others when asked about that subject, whereas I also read, read, read and ask questions after I have read and still not sure.. So you see many of us have knowledge that applies in some way and makes this the best damn forum out there. I am also very knowledgeable with electronics. Everyone, including yourself can and will be an asset here if they or you will take the steps to learn and add your individual knowledge as well.

Peace and God Bless to you,

MK

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