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SRV Strat setup

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by VintageMike, Jan 22, 2016.

  1. VintageMike

    VintageMike TDPRI Member

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    In an interview I read, Stevie's guitar tech said his action was really high-like a 1/2 inch. If I kept my action low and lowered the pickup height, would that basically do the same thing, in theory?
     
  2. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh Poster Extraordinaire

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    As far as the relative pickup-string height, sure. But high action (it was on the high side but wasn't a half inch btw, I've seen #1 in person) also give greater clearance from the fretboard. So, buzz is eliminated and sustain is improved, even when beating on the strings- and that is a key component of his sound, the authority with which he hit them.
     
  3. NaviCat

    NaviCat TDPRI Member

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    Nope. It wont be the same.

    Stevie had insanely high action, mainly due to his style of "attack."

    Combine that with the completely ridiculously heavy strings that he used .013 e .014 e - etc. and the action had to come up to avoid buzzing.

    He did switch to .011 e strings later in life, at the begging of his guitar tech, and because his fingers were pretty abused.

    I've never heard of him having the action lowered with the lighter strings either.

    Just the way he played, and why he and his sound were so unique - and awesome!
     
  4. surfoverb

    surfoverb Doctor of Teleocity

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    what interview? His number 1 has been measured and it was
    around 6/64ths at the ow E and 4/64ths at the high E

    thats medium-high action. No where near 32/64ths!
     
  5. Vladimir

    Vladimir Friend of Leo's

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    Aaarrgh! This imperical measuring system is gonna drive me insane!:eek:
     
  6. VintageMike

    VintageMike TDPRI Member

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    The interview with his tech Rene Martinez
     
  7. surfoverb

    surfoverb Doctor of Teleocity

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    2.3mm vs 13mm

    which one makes more sense?
    Its been measured at 2.3mm
    13mm is goofy high
     
  8. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Ad Free Member

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    No way it's 1/2". That's like a lap steel. :lol:
     
  9. surfoverb

    surfoverb Doctor of Teleocity

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    sounds like a fish tale

    how high was it?
    "a half inch if it were a mm!" :eek:
     
  10. rogb

    rogb Tele-Afflicted

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    This is from Dan Erlewine's measurements of #1 that he did for Guitar Player back in 1990 or thereabouts.
     

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  11. kennl

    kennl Tele-Afflicted

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    That Erlewine measurement is unusual. All the single coil Tele and Strat pickups I have ever adjusted sent a balanced signal (equal VU meter setting) between the high and low "E" strings with the high "E" pole piece closer to the string. That measurement, along with Ceasar Diaz's amp mods and Stevie's use of 15" speakers points to a signal chain with accentuated low end at the source and speaker. That, and the heavier strings, would slap the preamp of his amps with a hot signal.
     
  12. rogb

    rogb Tele-Afflicted

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    It wasn't only 15" speakers, here's a photo from GP Dec1993 where SRV's amp setup is examined (sorry about the quality of the phone pic)
     

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  13. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

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    I feel the same way about the metric system... :D
     
  14. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    All SRV lore aside, low pickups with low action would NOT do the same thing as high action.
    With high action, the distance from the string to the pickup changes as you play further up the neck, so the pickup output increases as you move up the neck, but output is lower when playing open chords.
    This happens with any action height, but the higher the action the more the distance between string and pickup changes as you pull the strings down to the frets and closer to the pickups.
     
  15. surfoverb

    surfoverb Doctor of Teleocity

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    to give you an idea, this is what 13mm looks like
    I believe this is actually lower than 13mm lol

    so SRV used action at least this high if not higher
    and he walked up hill both ways, chopped a Mt. down
    with his hand etc....

    My guess it was an offhand remark ,"he used really high action, like 1/2" !
    he wasnt being literal


    [​IMG]
     
  16. ThermionicScott

    ThermionicScott Poster Extraordinaire

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    That's always been my guess. And try intonating a guitar with action that high! ;)
     
  17. tap4154

    tap4154 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    ^^^^^^ That's even high for lap steel or squareneck reso!
     
  18. Lobomov

    Lobomov Friend of Leo's

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    I've always found that you can get lower action with heavier string. Tension is larger, so they don't vibrate as strong.

    If you look at the gauges posted, it's not even that wild. The e-strings is heavy at .13, but then you have .15 and .19, which isn't that insane given that it is tuned down to Eb.



     
  19. surfoverb

    surfoverb Doctor of Teleocity

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    pfft aint nothin'
    -dick dale
     
  20. mojosman

    mojosman Tele-Meister

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    There is a guy over on Strat talk that tells a story of Meeting SRV backstage when touring for In Step. The board member got to play #1 while seated on a couch backstage. He said the action was uncomfortably high. My recollection was there were many reasons for this, most have already been mentioned here. Another reason not mentioned here yet was his crazy big Buddy Guy style bends. With a lower action bending under neighboring strings causes issues.
     
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