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question on guitar action

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well its probably either A. because the nut is too high up, or B. the action is set too low,

idealy the strings should be parallel to the fretboard, so it shouldnt be higher at the 24th fret, even though you usually see guitars set up this way, so to remedy, either raise the action, or if its too high to get to the parallel state, adjust the nut (you or a qualified repair person), or replace it.

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could be a "rising tongue" ( board curving upward at end of neck)

Or it's from "fallaway" (end of board planed so that it slopes down). I see fallaway as something they do to compensate for less than perfect fret-work. I think it started with non-cutaway acoustic guitars. The logic was that you don't really even play those frets on the fret-board extension on the body, so why not get that area down lower , and more out of the way.

But on a guitar where you do play those upper frets, fallaway just makes the action higher than needed in that area, and allows slightly lower action down the neck, but in the area where the strings have the most give, and are easiest to play anyway.

the action at the 21st, and up, is always the highest on the neck and the first fret action is the lowest. That's how a proper set-up is to keep the buzzing to a minimum.

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First off, the nut height is ok as long as it doesn't buzz bad or fret out when you fret anthing on the 1st fret, and if it's comfortable action at the 1st fret. If either of these are the case then you will need to adjust the neck. The way I'm seeing this whole thing is that you should check the truss rod first using a straightedge and set of feeler guages. Measure the relief at the 7th fret by seeing which feeler guage will clear it. Most of the time anything under 1/32" is generally acceptable, but you really can't go by this because each guitar should be setup for the player and the way the guitar is attacked when it's played can be the difference between buzzing and not. You need to get a good 18" straightedge and tighten the truss rod until under string tension you have as close to level fretboard as possible. If it won't level out straight, then you can see where the trouble spots are and if they are too bad, you might consider pulling the frets, leveling the fretboard, and refretting. If the fretboard comes out near flat and you might have a bit of fall away at the higher frets, which is normal. Then just relieve tension and play the guitar until it doesn't buzz and the action is still comfortable to play. If the neck was flat and the strings are still too close to the frets in the upper frets, you can start thinking about the bridge at this point. You should move it up until it gives you a higher, but still a comfortable action on the higher frets. It's a real balancing act until you can get everything like you want it, but it's worth it in the long run.

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also, I think "fall away" is something often done when a "neck jig" is not being used. Maybe using the "neck jig" does actually give somewhat of a "fall away" effect, if you were to examine the neck after a fret-job, without strings, but adjusted the t-rod to see how straight you can get the neck in that situation.

Erlewine uses the "neck jig" but still gives the fret-board "fall away". One reason , is that he thinks if the end of the neck were to ever swell up (rising tongue), that fall away would help keep it from being a problem.

I used to use fall away, but phased it out when I found I could get really low string action without it. If someone were to insist I use it on their guitar, I probably would, but that hasn't happened yet.

And speaking of straightedges.... Frenzy, what ever came about with that one from the art supply place ?

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