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String action question

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by Tele-friend, Mar 5, 2021.

  1. Tele-friend

    Tele-friend Tele-Meister

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    I finally have the right gear (key) for adjusting the string action on my avatar photo guitar (the bridge has 6 saddles, so each string on its own saddle). Action I prefer is around 2 mm and previous owner had it way over 3mm. And while I was adjusting the action and playing after that a question pop up. Should all strings have to have the same action or can some be higher and others lower in order to achieve the best "feel" when playing - and by that, I mean just minor differences not huge ones.
    On my lower strings I think that 2 mm is spot on, but maybe just a hair more on higher (thinner) strings.
    So my question is, do you have the same string action on all strings or not?
     
  2. jfgesquire

    jfgesquire Tele-Afflicted

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    The norm is usually 1.5 to 2.0mm on the Low E and 1.0 to 1.5mm on the high e depending on fret buzz and what the player prefers. Usually the lower strings are a little higher above the frets because when they vibrate the oscillations will be larger with a greater chance of vibrating off the frets.... usually.

    if you are adjusting action, make sure you have checked nut slot depth, fret level, then relief, and maybe even neck angle before saddle height.
     
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  3. breadfreak

    breadfreak TDPRI Member

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    jfgesquire offers good info!

    Another reason you might want the thicker strings higher is to prevent them from ducking underneath your fingers when bending strings. I've found my guitars feel a lot easier to play with the action a little over 2mm at the high E and a little under 3mm at the low E for this reason. Setup is easy to experiment with and can be rewarding
     
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  4. DougM

    DougM Poster Extraordinaire

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    There's no right or wrong. Whatever feels and sounds best to you is fine.
     
  5. takauya

    takauya Tele-Meister

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    We are talking the height at 12th fret, right?
    Then I like to have at least 2mm on both E, but 3mm on high E might be too high, perhaps?
    I don't know why but to me higher the strings, easier to bend. And also my right hand fingers enjoy snapping them more.
     
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  6. Wallaby

    Wallaby Friend of Leo's

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    Echoing what @DougM said.

    And adding that it can take a while to determine what works best for you and a particular guitar, they're not all the same and what works for you might change over time, too.

    2mm is a good place to start, and from there you can try different things, analyze, tweak, and repeat as long as it takes.

    Personally I start at 1/16" at the 17th fret and tweak upward ( usually ) from there. I like string heights to conform to the fingerboard radius, and a bit higher on the bass side.

    I also don't like neighboring strings to slip under my fingers when bending.
     
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  7. EsquireBoy

    EsquireBoy Friend of Leo's

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    There are too much rules in this life for adding new ones when playing the guitar: experiment and keep the setup that you’re comfortable with!

    If you bend a lot, I find it easier to have a bit of room under the higher strings to be able to grab them better.
     
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  8. kennl

    kennl Tele-Afflicted

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    the correct string height depends on the player & style
    my guitar set up really low for jazz stuff (no bends) would be horrible for slide playing
    whatever feels correct to the player is correct
     
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  9. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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  10. PCollen

    PCollen Friend of Leo's

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    Here is a "quick" string action set-up to get you started. Then you can fine tune each string to your preference using Ron's guide, above.

     
  11. Wrighty

    Wrighty Friend of Leo's

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    I’ve no idea why but, save for the bottom E being a tad higher than the top E, mine seem to feel best at different settings for different neck radii.
     
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