bluesy Posted January 9, 2009 Report Share Posted January 9, 2009 Since I have just started building guitars, 3 in total so far, I am still learning a lot, and I read often about people struggling to set up guitars, just as I have at times. The last couple of guitars that I setup, one I made myself, and one commercial guitar, I used a method that worked well for me and wondered what people think. I am mainly talking about bridge height, neck relief and low-action, starting with a neck, assuming the frets are level with no relief and the neck angle should be such that the bridge saddles are within range of adjustment and a straight edge used guitar string laid down the neck just contacts the saddles where the strings sit. So, the bit I have started doing differently is this. I set the bridge height FIRST so that, with strings on the guitar and in tune (i.e. under correct tension), the notes in the top region (where neck relief has little effect), will just play with out buzzing. You have to retune the guitar after raising the bridge (if you do it with the strings under tension) because they will all go sharp, and you want the correct tension for setting the neck relief next. To me, this seems to be the lowest possible bridge height for the given neck angle. After doing this, I usually find the action is a bit high, and, hopefully, there will be too much neck relief because the truss rod has not been tensioned yet (on a newly made neck). So, I next tighten the truss rod, measuring the relief in the usual way as it reduces. This happily, brings the action down nice and low at the same time. You need to retune again because the strings will be sharp due to the truss rod tension straightening the neck. Without to much mucking about, I end up with a guitar with pretty much the lowest action. Seems fairly foolproof to me, and it avoids one mistake I was making. That was, I was trying to set action using the bridge height, while I had too much relief in the neck. This resulted in buzzing on the high frets, when playing above the octave, by the time I had the action low enough at the 12th fret (because by then, the bridge was too low for the neck angle) Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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