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Partscaster about done, share your setup system.

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Mark the Moose, Apr 22, 2021.

  1. Mark the Moose

    Mark the Moose Tele-Afflicted

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    Just about finished with my first partscaster and I'd like to take a run at a setup. It's a Warmoth neck, no fret sprout or sharp edges. The nut came precut. I did a quick adjustment of saddle height and intonation, but I've not touched the neck. I've heard the nut could be cut deeper and I imagine a proper relief adjustment is in order, but honestly it plays great as is. All of that being said, what measurements would you check (nut slots, relief, saddles, pickup heights, etc) and in what order?
     
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  2. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    https://www.tdpri.com/threads/basic-setup.952636/


    In an interview in one of the lutherie magazines Ken Warmoth said they expect people buying their necks to have to do a bit of fret work but he knows most won't.

    And order of measuring doesn't matter but order of adjustment matters a lot. I measure everything before I change anything, then its frets, relief, first fret action, 12th fret action, intonation, pickups.
     
  3. Mark the Moose

    Mark the Moose Tele-Afflicted

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    Thanks, Freeman. I'm deeply indebted to you on this project.
     
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  4. no doz

    no doz Tele-Meister

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    anecdotal, but both warmoth necks i have arrived with picture perfect fretwork / nut slotting, and i've never had to mess with either minus the occasional fret polish. i'd only recommend trying to adjust those things if one is causing you an identifiable issue (and even then only if you have the proper tools and bit of prior experience). they are easy areas to make a very minor problem a much bigger one.

    like freeman, i always adjust neck relief first, then action, then intonation, then pickups. you can use recommended factory spec as a starting point for each one and then dial it in further by feel + sound. might be worthwhile to check the nut slot height too, but in my limited experience warmoth's work has been right on the money
     
  5. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Poster Extraordinaire

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    Hmm. I start with a fret level and dress (They all need it and if one doesn't need it, then it will reveal itself immediately while leveling the frets).

    Once the neck is level and the frets are all done I string it up and rough out the neck relief. Then I work on the nut (regardless of whether its precut or not).

    Once that is where I like it, I get the final string height and pickup height to my liking.

    Then I intonate it. If I'm assembling a partscaster then intonation is the least of my problems and the easiest thing to fix.
     
  6. Skydog1010

    Skydog1010 Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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  7. 1 21 gigawatts

    1 21 gigawatts Tele-Holic

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    If it plays great as is, don't mess with it other than setting intonation.
     
  8. Mojotron

    Mojotron Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yep - play the mess out of it and do more in a month or two. In general if it plays better than other guitars you have, that will give you an idea of what to focus on in the set up. But, do a good setup on it after that.
     
  9. Mark the Moose

    Mark the Moose Tele-Afflicted

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  10. 1 21 gigawatts

    1 21 gigawatts Tele-Holic

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    Exactly. I used to stress about setting a guitar up to "Fender" or "Gibson" spec, because that must be the perfect setup. Someone gave me a really cheap guitar that I had to setup with a higher action to prevent string buzz. It was the easiest guitar that I had to play. The higher string height made bends so much easier. I realized, that I prefer a higher action than what F or G recommends.

    My point is that everyone's perfect set-up is different. If your guitar plays great already, it might be your perfect set-up already. Trying to get it to some arbitrary numbers just to match some spec could very well make it worse to you.
     
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  11. gregulator450

    gregulator450 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    The only difference in my order of adjustment is that I do the 12th fret action first, but with a capo on the first fret. Doing the nut first would eliminate the need for a capo.

    Measuring and documenting everything before changing anything is an invaluable practice, which I don't do enough but should do a lot more.
     
  12. gregulator450

    gregulator450 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Setup also depends on your playing style.
     
  13. gregulator450

    gregulator450 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I look at Fender and Gibson specs as a good jumping-off point. When I have a customer bring a guitar for a setup and they struggle to communicate how they play (when I can't spend a few minutes watching them), I set it to a little lower than factory spec (the factory specs, IMHO, are higher than necessary), get the guitar back into the player's hands, and then we make adjustments from there.
     
  14. Skydog1010

    Skydog1010 Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    Sure does
     
  15. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    If I'm working on someone else's guitar I always ask them to play it for me, I look at wear patterns and I ask them what they like and don't like about it. They brought it to me for a reason, I try to find out what it is. But even my own guitars get different setups depending on how they get played.
     
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  16. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    I've bought a lot of Warmoth necks over the years and every one of their stock nuts came "high and tight" like it should before a final setup to a player's preferred spec. Getting the nut just perfect is the key to the perfect playing guitar.
     
  17. gregulator450

    gregulator450 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Same here. I should spend more time watching my clients play instead of asking them how they play. Very few people are completely self-aware of their playing style
     
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