New tool to adjust string height fast.

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by viccortes285, May 8, 2018.

  1. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    My eyes are bad too but I learned guitar repair before the internet introduced numbers to guitar setup.

    Basically all you need to do is press each string down to the fret and feel how far it goes. Lower it until it seems about right and make sure the string rings clear at every fret and doesn't feel too high.
    Once all are set you can use the same method to make sure none are much higher or lower than adjacent strings.

    Even using radius gauges for action adjustment is IMO all about retailers selling products to an unsuspecting public of hobby guitar techs.
    The radius of the strings should not match the radius of the fingerboard.
    Because 1) the low strings need to be higher to allow for their larger excursion, and 2) the top of the strings will have a different radius than the bottom, even if the bottom matches the board.
    The radius of the top of the strings should be a good deal flatter than the board radius!
    Setting the action with the strings in the same numerical radius as the board will give poor action, either too low on the wound strings, or too high on the D and G.

    I would agree that having some numbers that are typical ballpark action heights for a specific guitar can help hobby techs to be sure they are getting the expected results, but using the numbers on every string during setup is IMO harmful to both the learning process and the end result.
     
  2. PCollen

    PCollen Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    $5.00 (or less) Chinese depth guage with a $84.00 machined (I think) attachment...what does the attachment do ? I can not even imagine what that attachment is for, and would have to see this thing in action to understand it other than for making simple depth measurements without the attachment attached, at which point it becomes a cheap Chinese tire depth guage
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2018
  3. luckett

    luckett Banned

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    Then as a man who can appreciate the finest tools of the highest quality, you should be aware of the compromises you're making by setting your string height with a digital gauge from China that costs $2.82.

    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Dig...yre-tread-gauge-For-Car-Tire/32812401205.html

    [​IMG]
     
  4. slinger

    slinger Friend of Leo's

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    used this for years..cheap.. easy to see..carb float ruler..[​IMG]
     
  5. stratclub

    stratclub Tele-Meister

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    If it isn't BluTooth enabled, I wouldn't buy it. I'm spending my money on something that will hopefully do my thinking for me. Something like this: http://www.mysmalt.com
     
  6. Sconnie

    Sconnie Tele-Afflicted

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    Yet the string cleaning sponge sleeve thing is a bigger hit at NAMM... folks are dumb, this thing is way more useful!
     
  7. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    A hit among the merchants?
    Or are players excited about a special sponge for guitar strings?

    I can hear the merchants laughing about guitar players buying yet another product they don't need...
     
  8. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I think trying to get the numbers as close to factory recommendations as possible gets people in trouble. I have a buddy who thinks he's actually accomplishing something by getting the string height to the lowest possible height even kind of fudging on the way he looks at a ruler! I have never played one of his guitars that I could even trying not to, keep from making the strings buzz. He also plays no where on the guitar except as closely as he can get to the back of the bridge. I just can't play his guitars. I set mine up similar to what you do, the all important thing is to for ME to be able to play MY guitar without having to think about being careful of how I play it. I just want to play it. If the action is too high to suit someone else, then so be it.

    I do have radius gauges, nut files, (which I do use) and even a dial indicator for checking string height which I no longer use. It's not about numbers it's about how the guitar plays, feels, and sounds. I used to read stuff like I just wrote and think, hurumph. Now I know better. One neat trick I do use is to fold a two inch square of telephone yellow pages paper twice and use that to gauge string height at the nut. I fret at the third, then pass the paper under the string at the first. When it feels just right, I stop cutting the nut slot. I used to make 'em a little lower, but if you do, there's no room for wear. Using the method I do now, there's a little meat left for wear. Since you are measuring from the bottom of the string, it works with all strings.
     
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  9. highwaycat

    highwaycat Tele-Meister

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    I just recommend setting the high e around 4/64 and the action gradually gets higher to around 5/64th around the low E. I've set friends guitars up like this and have had them put a $100 bill in my hand because they are so happy with they way I sat their guitar up;)
    It works!
    I only use radius gauges for identifying a radius.
    And ya that tool is like $2 on ebay, please don't spend $99 bucks on it.
    You know those cheap string action metal cards? Don't pay $9 for one, you can find em for $1 free shipping.
    Oh, the metric side is inaccurate by the way.
    I'll stick to my drill bits. Ya got a 1/16th(4/64th) 5/64th, and even a 3/32(6/64th). If you don;t have one, just go for a walk and eventually you;ll stumble upon a penny or a drill bit. Please don't spend $99 on these 'guitar tools'. Or $40 or whatever.
     
  10. notmyusualuserid

    notmyusualuserid Friend of Leo's

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    About £10, if you have to pay for them yourself. I don't :)

    All the adjustment you'll ever need. You still may have to do the fine tuning by WAG though :)

    [​IMG]
     
  11. john_cribbin

    john_cribbin Tele-Afflicted

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    Just looks like a solution looking for a problem to me.
     
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  12. Sconnie

    Sconnie Tele-Afflicted

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    I seem to remember this getting some acknowledgment for being the best new product of 2017 or something to that effect.

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. notmyusualuserid

    notmyusualuserid Friend of Leo's

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    They've been around for years. I seem to remember a guitar mag having a cheap one as a cover giveaway.
     
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  14. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Does it clean vinyl records too?
    I tried boiling my records but they all warped, maybe I mixed up my forum suggestions?
     
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  15. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I admit I occasionally use some greasy feeler gauges from the car repair tools to check neck relief, because I can no longer eyeball it due to worsening eyesight.
    But really, a piece of paper makes it possible to see that there's a little relief and not too much. I use very little relief, and between .002 and .006 makes little difference IME, as long as the frets are good and there's no humps.
     
  16. AndrewG

    AndrewG Friend of Leo's

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    What is the point of that thing? Numbers and measurements are meaningless where 'feel' is concerned. I use what nature gave me-my senses of touch, sight and hearing, plus what experience has taught me over 50 years of playing the things.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2018
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  17. viccortes285

    viccortes285 Tele-Afflicted

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    IMG_0639.JPG

    When I wanted real low action I use this Gage.
     
  18. JustABluesGuy

    JustABluesGuy Friend of Leo's

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    I’ve never gone by the numbers. I don’t even have feeler gauges to use. I use the strings themselves to check the neck relief first. Then I go by playability when setting the action.

    Then I simply follow the radius of the fretboard to set the action, setting the 6th string first and highest (basically as low as it will go without rattling as I’m fairly heavy handed) and gradually reduce the height till the first string.

    When it all feels/sounds right, I intonate and go! It’s really not “rocket surgery”.
     
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  19. gentlyweeping

    gentlyweeping Tele-Meister

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    Six inch ruler to get near Fender spec and season to taste. It's not hard to do.
     
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  20. JustABluesGuy

    JustABluesGuy Friend of Leo's

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    I’d forgotten that trick!
     
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