Mind Riot Posted September 12, 2007 Report Share Posted September 12, 2007 For those of us that like to set their guitars up with low action, what do you consider to be "low" when making these kinds of adjustments? And what sort of mitigating factors do you run into that can change how you would set a guitar up? I've only been doing fret work for a bit less than a year now. I've done about ten or so fret levels, using a few different methods, either on my own or some friends' guitars, all of them cheaper instruments. Thus far all have been satisfactory to good, at least as far as I can tell. Truth be told, I'm not the pickiest when it comes to action being really low myself, but I sort of have become that way as a result of doing more work on guitars. So I'm curious as to what people who are really experienced, and who build guitars from scratch to their own specs, have to say. I'm a rock and metal player, but not shred. I like to bend, I hit the guitar hard. I know that each person's touch comes into play when setting things up. Someone with more finesse would probably be able to get lower action than me, and I'm sure there are also harder pickers out there as well. Thus far on my guitars I've only been able to get things so low with my playing style. I've leveled in the paths of the strings, creating a slight compound radius on the fret tops. On one of my guitars, which has about a 13" radius or so, I can only get the action to just a hair above 3/64" on the high E without fretting out on a whole step bend at the fifteenth fret or so. If I don't bend, I can set it lower. The wound strings are just above 4/64". On another guitar which has a 9 1/2" radius that flattens out to about a 12" due to the compound leveling, I have to set the high E at 4/64" to get whole step bends without fretting out. If I don't bend at all, I can set the action on this particular guitar to about 1/32" on the high strings and it will play cleanly. I'm not particularly averse to having the action set this way, but I've heard of people getting it lower and I'm wondering what the X-factor in this is. Are people with super low action not big benders? Are they using guitars with very flat radii, like 16"? Or is my fret work not quite up to snuff and I should be able to get things lower as my fret work improves? All thoughts welcome, and thanks for sharing. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Join the conversation
You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.