Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Telecaster Set Up

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by giacono, Aug 19, 2003.

  1. giacono

    giacono NEW MEMBER!

    Aug 19, 2003
    Toronto, Canada
    I am a new Telecaster owner and would like to learn how to properly set up the guitar myself (ie. action, intonation etc.). Does anyone know anywhere I can get some info. on how to set up the guitar myself?

  2. Mike D.

    Mike D. Tele-Holic

    Mar 17, 2003
    Mr. Gearhead

    Fender has a very helpful site dedicated to set ups and schematics. Lots of helpful hints for the do-it-yourselfer. See below for the link.

  3. 'ol hank pank

    'ol hank pank Tele-Holic

    Mar 25, 2003
    Exeter NH

    how to make your electric guitar play great
    by dan ehrlwine

    borders should have it

  4. TeleTwanger37

    TeleTwanger37 Tele-Meister

    Mar 17, 2003
    have a good tech show you

    Along with the books you will need some one to show you how to do it and do it right.go to your local music shop where you do business they should be willing to take the time to show you how to do it and do it right if not shop some wheres esle becuase they dont value you as a customer

  5. Kurt

    Kurt Tele-Meister

    Mar 19, 2003
    Get both Erlewine books if you can

    Guitar Player Repair Guide and How to Make Your Electric Guitar Play Great. Using these books, a few tools, and lots of help from TDPRIers, I've been able to take care of most maintenance, minor repairs, and a few major modifications. It's worth it to teach yourself to do the setups - it's fun and you'll get excatly the setup that feels right for you. Good luck.

  6. Rob DiStefano

    Rob DiStefano Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Mar 3, 2003
    NJ via TX
    IMO ...

    First, check the nut relief - one at a time, depress each string at the 3rd fret and see what the distance is between the bottom of each string and the top of the 1st fret. If there's a large gap (.020" or greater), then that string's nut slot should be a bit deepened - we're looking for anywhere between .003" and .012" or so. If there is no gap, and the string touches the 1st fret, you should consider either - (1) filling that fret slot with baking powder and a drop of thin CYA, then refile the slot depth correctly, or (2) make a new nut.

    Then, check the neck relief - capo at the 1st fret, hold down a string (I like using the 6th string) at the 20th fret, look to see the distance between the bottom of the string and the 8th fret. It should be minimal (.003" to about .006") for starters. If the gap is larger, adjust the truss rod nut clockwise to decrease that gap. If there is no gap, adjust the truss rod nut counter-clockwise to create a gap.

    Now, adjust the saddle height for each string, one at a time, for the best playability for *you*. There are no rules here, just the ones *you* make up, with regards to how you like your g'tar action. Some folks like a high and clean action, with no fret rattle ... some like their action low and fast, and this style will almost always have some kinda fret rattle (not fret buzz). Your string attack - hard or easy - is all part of this "string action" equation.

    When the action's been set, adjust the intonation of each string, one at a time, using an electronic tuner, get the string tuned to concert pitch then lightly depress that string at the 12th fret - if the note goes flat, shorten the string length - if the note goes sharp, increase the string length. Keep at it 'til both the open and 12th fret notes are in pitch, an octave apart. I'm not gonna go into a rap about "tempered tuning", just get the notes to the coincide.

    One the intonation's completed, you may hafta go back and revisit the action as it may have changed!

    Take your time - all this stuff is fairly critical to a good playing g'tar.
    tacensi likes this.

  7. Artemio_Cruz

    Artemio_Cruz Tele-Meister

    Sep 4, 2008
    Nuevo Laredo
    Old thread, but im gonna post in it instead of making a new thread about exactly the same thing, i have these questions:

    whats exactly the difference between fret rattle and fret buzz??

    in a classic style bridge(3 saddles), how the strings should be positioned in the saddles???

    nut lubricating (is that how you say it?), what do you use to get the lube in the smaller slots on the nut?, and what exactly does this does/prevents?

    Pickup position, the neck pup on my baja its slightly slanted... is this bad?

    i think thats all, any

  8. Five-O

    Five-O Tele-Afflicted

    Nov 2, 2008
    Huntsville, AL.
    Rob, my friend, that is the best overall, understandable, explanation of the guitar set up process, I've ever read and at my age I have read and re-read many ! My tele doesn't actually need one right now but I'm tempted to get her out and do one anyway......Way to go , Five-O

  9. Guran

    Guran Friend of Leo's

    Mar 20, 2007
    I believe that if it just rattles initially, especially when the attack is hard, it's referred to as rattle. Buzzing goes on longer into the notes decay. Buzzing may indicate a fret problem while rattle is more or less inevitable with very low action.

    I use the end of an old string OR toothpick OR dental floss to apply some chapstick into the slot. This prevents the string from binding in the slot.

    You know, you turn the tuner and nothing happens. Then there's a "ping" or "tick" sound, and the string goes up quite a bit, maybe even ends up sharp. After some struggle you get the guitar in tune and starts playing. You bend a string, and all of a sudden it has gone flat. That kind of things happen because the string binds in the slot.

    No, it's not. If it's slanted sideways it's all a matter of adjustment to the balance between bass and treble. You may readjust it if you like. It's just a matter of turning two screws. Remove the pickguard and try adjusting the pickup while you're plugged in to see what it does. If you like it the way it sounds now, just leave it then.

    If it's slanted the other way, along the strings direction, it's a very minor, but also very common, visual flaw. Nothing to worry about.

  10. pengipete

    pengipete Friend of Leo's

    Feb 6, 2008
    I use the phrase "fret buzz" for a sound that can be heard through the amp and it's the result of too low an action. Fret Rattle may be down to having one or more slightly raised frets but is often down to a heavy picking hand technique with a lowish action.

    Fret buzz is a bad thing - it affects the sustain and tone of the string. Fret rattle is normal for many guitars that have a low action, isn't heard through the amp and is only a problem if it bothers you.

  11. Old Cane

    Old Cane Poster Extraordinaire

    Sep 7, 2007
    Murfreesboro, TN
    Well, I was gonna say go to Rob's site and read it. But he's already been here.

  12. SaltyStrings

    SaltyStrings Tele-Meister

    Sep 28, 2010

    Old post, but absolutely what I was looking for. Thank you, Sir!

    One question: Baking soda right, not powder? Never used it on a guitar, but I've used the sodium bicarbonate in epoxy as a hard filler.

  13. telex76

    telex76 Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Jun 24, 2006
    Fort Worth,Tx.
    If you got a new tele it should have come with an owners manual that has all the info you need, although its not very indepth.

  14. phblues

    phblues TDPRI Member

    Aug 9, 2011
    Seattle, WA
    Great thread!

    Q: I have a "buzz" coming from my saddle(old style brass) on the B string and a buzz coming from the nut on the High do i go about fixing this?

  15. phblues

    phblues TDPRI Member

    Aug 9, 2011
    Seattle, WA

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