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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-11-2012, 11:52 AM Thread Starter
 
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Truss Rod and Action measurements

I've always set my truss rod and action with these easy to remember measurements and was wondering if there is a "set in stone" measurement or if this is just user specific. I would like to get some feeler gauges (and small metric ruler) and make this more of an exact measurement. But here is what I was taught about 10 years ago and have been using it since and it really seems to work well for me.

Get the truss rod so that with a Capo on the first fret and my finger barring the 14th fret I measure at the 7th or 8th fret with a business card to make sure it just slides under the low e string without raising it up... touching it but not raising it. Then for the action once I have that set I take the Capo off and the bar with my finger at 14 off and measure the same way as above with a dime between the 12th fret of the low E string and a nickle between the high E and the 12 fret.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-11-2012, 11:58 AM
 
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Re: Truss Rod and Action measurements

Action and relief are completely personal. for every member here, there will be different preferences. For me, I like different guitars with different setups........I have no "set" preference.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-11-2012, 02:55 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Truss Rod and Action measurements

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Originally Posted by RGTFanatic View Post
Action and relief are completely personal. for every member here, there will be different preferences. For me, I like different guitars with different setups........I have no "set" preference.
Thanks... I had seen this on a guitar setup and repair video and have always done it so I just thought it might be the norm. Do you use measurements on certain guitars or just go by sight and experience?
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-11-2012, 03:01 PM
 
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Re: Truss Rod and Action measurements

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Originally Posted by chrisf View Post
Thanks... I had seen this on a guitar setup and repair video and have always done it so I just thought it might be the norm. Do you use measurements on certain guitars or just go by sight and experience?
Actually, I go mostly by feel. My measurements never seemed to translate well from guitar to guitar. What was a great setup on one was unplayable on another. That kind of thing.

I've always preferred a "low as she'll go" setup in the past, but over the last year or two I've forced myself to get used to a little higher setup. The higher action seems to make a guitar more "expressive"
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-11-2012, 03:29 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Truss Rod and Action measurements

Yep, I know what you mean about higher giving more expression. I've also noticed that high makes string bending a little quiter and I'm less likely to catch another string when bending or doing vibrato. I would think you would use close to the same relief in all your guitars though wouldn't you?
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-11-2012, 04:28 PM
 
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Re: Truss Rod and Action measurements

I have a little trick to check the truss rod adjustment.
Press down on each string one at a time just past the 24th fret and pluck the string over the neck to see if your getting a lot of buzzing. A little buzzing is normal on the D and G strings. If you get none at all, the truss rod needs to be tighter / straighten the neck more. You can also see the relief under the string when you do this.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-11-2012, 04:33 PM
 
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Re: Truss Rod and Action measurements

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Originally Posted by chrisf View Post
Yep, I know what you mean about higher giving more expression. I've also noticed that high makes string bending a little quiter and I'm less likely to catch another string when bending or doing vibrato. I would think you would use close to the same relief in all your guitars though wouldn't you?
Actually, each of my necks seem to have their own "sweet spots". Obviously there's always a tradeoff between playability and sound (tone, sustain...etc,). On every guitar there's a sweet spot where your action/relief and sound come together without too much sacrifice of either. For example, my RGT (Ultra Prestige) requires far less relief than the original wizard on my RG770. The 770 will start to choke fretted notes with the relief set like the RGT. The neck on my USA likes to be in between the RGT setting and the 770 even though, theoretically, it's the same neck as the 770.

Obviously there are differences between all of my guitars that will affect the "sweet spot" on each, but it does kind of show that you can't get one "perfect setting" that works for all of your guitars. Wood just isn't that exact. Two identical pieces cut from the same tree can, and usually do, have completely different properties. Multi-piece laminated necks are good at neutralizing those differences to some extent, but even they have different sweet spots.

There's a metric TON of players that think "the lower the better", and for some it might be true, but the vast majority of players could probably benefit from a slightly higher action, more relief, or both. Especially the ones that complain about their guitars being "thin" sounding. There's no good excuse for a thin sounding Ibanez.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-11-2012, 04:37 PM
 
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Re: Truss Rod and Action measurements

Fret wear plays a big part is how much.
Sometimes nut shims are needed too.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-11-2012, 04:45 PM
 
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Re: Truss Rod and Action measurements

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Fret wear plays a big part is how much.
Sometimes nut shims are needed too.
This is absolutely true. Although, in truth, I've never had to shim a nut up. I typically remove all nut shims on first setup, replacing only what HAS to be there.

I made my statement with the "all things being equal" thought in mind.....of course all things are never equal
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-11-2012, 04:52 PM
 
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Re: Truss Rod and Action measurements

for just shreddy type lead low as possible is easier to play,

I find its better if the action is a bit higher, then you can pick harder and not get buzz.

You can get more tonal variation with a higher action,
if you bang it when the action is low it doesnt ring properly.

I have guitars with a high action, good for finger strength excercise.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-11-2012, 05:05 PM
 
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Re: Truss Rod and Action measurements

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Originally Posted by LostInRockFormations View Post
for just shreddy type lead low as possible is easier to play,

I find its better if the action is a bit higher, then you can pick harder and not get buzz.

You can get more tonal variation with a higher action,
if you bang it when the action is low it doesnt ring properly.

I have guitars with a high action, good for finger strength excercise.
There you have it!!

I do think that shredding can be just as good with a guitar that has a bit higher action. Shredding is a technique that is learned. I believe that it can be learned (or re-learned) on a different setup.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-12-2012, 03:39 AM
 
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Smile Re: Truss Rod and Action measurements

Quote:
Originally Posted by LostInRockFormations View Post
for just shreddy type lead low as possible is easier to play,

I find its better if the action is a bit higher, then you can pick harder and not get buzz.

You can get more tonal variation with a higher action,
if you bang it when the action is low it doesnt ring properly.

I have guitars with a high action, good for finger strength excercise.
I can only play really fast if I use a very light touch.
Over doing it trips me up and my hands get worn out faster.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-12-2012, 08:59 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Truss Rod and Action measurements

Quote:
Originally Posted by sebastian View Post
I have a little trick to check the truss rod adjustment.
Press down on each string one at a time just past the 24th fret and pluck the string over the neck to see if your getting a lot of buzzing. A little buzzing is normal on the D and G strings. If you get none at all, the truss rod needs to be tighter / straighten the neck more. You can also see the relief under the string when you do this.
That is a quick and easy test to do to get an idea of the relief of the fretboard. Never thought of that. Cool!
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-12-2012, 09:01 AM
 
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Re: Truss Rod and Action measurements

If you ever stop over, I'll help you set one up so you can do it yourself in the future.
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