Are all your guitars set up exactly the same way?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by soulgeezer, Aug 16, 2017.

  1. soulgeezer

    soulgeezer Poster Extraordinaire

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    The recent "action" threads got me to thinking...

    I have guitars. LOTS of guitars. WAY too many guitars, which my wife reminds me pretty much every freakin' day. In short, let's just say I have a bumch of freakin' guitars.

    The other threads today seem to indicate that people set up all their guitars in exactly the same way, regardless of the guitar in question. Now, I don't mean electric vs. acoustic, as it's pretty obvious that that would be apples to oranges. I'm talking about people seeming to say that the action on all of their electric guitars (assuming they have more than one) is set up exactly the same way.

    In my case, I know that no two of my guitars have the action set the same. The guitars are different, the necks are different, the frets are different, the fretboard width and radius are different, the bridges are different, the string gauges are different, etc., etc.

    My guitars are set up individually for what feels best to me for that guitar. My ES-335 is set up very differently than my Strat or my Les Paul or my SG or my Tele. And each of those is set up differently than the others.

    What about you? Do you strive to have all your guitars set up exactly the same, or do you take each as an individual and find what's right for it?
     
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  2. Old Tele man

    Old Tele man Friend of Leo's

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    Identical, as much as a Fender and a Gibson can be considered identical, so, maybe, similar is a better description.

    But, string-wise, yes, same gauge and make (ground wound, pure nickel, wound 3rd G-string).
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2017
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  3. TeleFunk Man

    TeleFunk Man Tele-Afflicted

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    Nah, I use 10-46 on all my guitars except strat which has 11-50. But I never purposely set the action to be the same for all, just depends on the guitar. I tend to play slide on my Gibson Melody Maker so I left the action a bit higher the way it was when first go the the guitar.

    I should mention that I'm not experienced enough to do my own setups, such as intonation or adjusting truss rod, action, swapping tuners etc... I should really learn!!!
     
  4. MDent77

    MDent77 Tele-Afflicted

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    Nope. I have .09's on my Tele and S style guitars. .10's on my LP single cutaway style and .11's on my Hollowbody.
     
  5. jimash

    jimash Friend of Leo's

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    I set them all up for the lowest action possible, straightest necks, and I don't mind a little buzz.
    Teles get 09's even though 10's sound better.
    Other solids and hollow bodies get 10's.
    And a low bone bridge and 10's or 11's on the Martin, and the Chet Atkins solid acoustic.
     
  6. soulgeezer

    soulgeezer Poster Extraordinaire

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    Wow, that's pretty much exactly the opposite of what I do: .009s on my humbucker-equipped guitars (i.e. Gibson or Gibson-style) and .010 on my single coil guitars (.010 - .038 on the Strat, .010 to .046 on the rest).
     
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  7. crossroader

    crossroader Tele-Afflicted

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    I doubt it, but it's hard to say since I set them all up by feel. To find out what the exact measurements are, I'd have to go measure all of them. I never do that when I'm setting them up.

    Plus, I run different string gauges - .10's on the Tele's and Strat's, .11's on my Jazzmaster and the J5 Tele.

    But they all feel great and play well for me, and that's all I really care about.
     
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  8. MDent77

    MDent77 Tele-Afflicted

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    I am not sure if it has anything to do with scale length but I can't stand the tension playing solo's in the lower areas from F to B on my Strat with .10's or 11's. With .09's it's perfect. And a LP with 09's I feel lazy all over.

    If you were close I'd switch axes to see if it was unique to the guitar. :)
     
  9. soulgeezer

    soulgeezer Poster Extraordinaire

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    For me, it's about the pickups -- I just feel like (and I have NOTHING to back this up!) .009s sound better with the HBs and .010 sound better with the single coils. Tension differences due to scale length are noticeable, but not a deal breaker for me. Like I said, I take each guitar as an individual, so the fact that they play differently is to be expected and just part of playing that guitar.
     
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  10. MDent77

    MDent77 Tele-Afflicted

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    Ah, if I had it my way I'd play .11's on every guitar (and set them up that way) -- since I find they tonal last longer for me. But as a guitarist with RA - I am in need of the easiest path. :) (But if Alex Lifeson can do it so can I)





     
  11. Teleposer

    Teleposer Tele-Holic

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    I try to buy the same guitar twice. Just so I can put a different set of strings on them. No guitar, even the same model, and by the same manufacturer is ever the same twice. They just make it up as they go along.

    I'm going to have to go to a private small time luthier to test this string theory out.

    Having said that, I was quite pleased to get my second Aria Pro strat, exactly the same as the first strat, but a different colour. When it turned up with a different body shape, different neck, different pickguard. Yeah, technically not the same colour. Technically not the same guitar either.

    But this is a good thing. Who wants two identical guitars just in a different colour? Well, actually, I do, just so I can see what they sound like when I put a different gauge of strings on.

    I realise I am asking too much. First world problems.

    With all that being said, my two Teles are probably closer than any of the other 'twins' I own. Amazing difference just with high action and different gauge strings. I really want to try a different more modern bridge as well, compared to my 3-barrel jobs. Love them, but a six piece is going on my next one.

    One day I will get two guitars exactly the same. Then I will just change the action a bit or change out the pups, to see the real difference.

    Hell, I might even change the 'tonewood'.

    :)
     
  12. clintj

    clintj Friend of Leo's

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    This isn't to be smart assed, but yes. I strive to have every one of my guitars feel just right. Not too high or low, no excessive fret buzz, reasonably low at the nut, and properly intonated.

    I'm pretty sure if I actually sat down and took measurements on action, relief, etc, I would find several differences between them. But in my hands, they all feel familiar and easy to play. Feedback from folks I've done setup work for says pretty much the same thing - they're just comfy to play.
     
  13. teledude1958

    teledude1958 TDPRI Member

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    same for gibsons and fenders, strings and all. It's just how I like them to feel all the same.
     
  14. Nickfl

    Nickfl Tele-Afflicted

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    No, and I don't necessarily keep them setup the same way permanently. I have a couple of guitars that I've recently thought need to be setup with heavier gague strings and higher action. I set them up a while back with 9s, but I have become disenchanted with the idea of really light strings, despite my best efforts to develop a lighter touch I play and grip too hard and light strings end up sounding out of tune more than they should.

    I've also had one guitar permanently dedicated to open G for a while now and recently devoted another one to open E. I will probably open tune more of them as time goes on as I have way to many for them all to be in standard tuning!
     
  15. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Of course not,it is impossible to set up different guitars the exact same way,still all of my guitars feel great and super easy to play.

    The only common thing they have is a very straight neck with almost zero relief and 010-046 strings (except my White Falcon which prefers 011-049)

    Other than that and since their radius,fret size and scale length are different their set up varies.
     
  16. Flakey

    Flakey Friend of Leo's

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    No.
     
  17. viccortes285

    viccortes285 Tele-Afflicted

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    On my Electrics I use only Exlir 10's, action set about 3/63 on treble and 5/64 on bass side. So all the same on Gibson's, Carvin, and Ibanez.
     
  18. stratguy23

    stratguy23 TDPRI Member

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    I use 11s on all my guitars except my Jaguar which gets 12s. I've figured out what I like in terms of fretboard radius, and fret size. Not all of my guitars have that, but any new guitar I build will have a 12" radius or flatter and jumbo frets set up with 11s with a little relief and slightly high action. I'd say outside of the Jag which is vintage and short scale, all my guitars are set up similarly. They don't all have the same fret size, but they will if/when I refret them.
     
  19. scottser

    scottser Friend of Leo's

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    My main tele has a slightly higher action for slide but it's very comfortable to play generally. My les.paul copy has a thin neck and it suits a lower action. The p90 custom is in between but again the difference isn't huge, maybe a.fraction of a millimetre between each of them
     
  20. Tele wacker

    Tele wacker Tele-Holic

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    Pretty much the same. I have so many guitars but I play only a few of them.
    I'm pretty sure some here will argue with me that different guitars can't be set up the same.
    I know how to set up a guitar and I know what I like and that is all that counts.
     
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