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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently raised the action on my RG, after all these months of wanting the lowest action possible. Let me tell you, it was like lifting a blanket off my sound! All my notes are now much "fuller", and they sustain a lot longer. At first, it was a little difficult getting used to, but after a week, I'm back up to my normal speed. I know this might seem obvious, but then again, I see some guys (like me a few months ago) running around trying to get 1mm action. If Vinnie Moore, Yngwie, Steve Morse, and Eric Johnson use higher action, I guess I can too. Just wonder if anybody has any thoughts about this.
 

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at the end of the day i think a lot of it is what your used to and just trying everything out. with guitar theres always two sides. either high action and good tone or low action and easier to play. its just a balancing act
 

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at the end of the day i think a lot of it is what your used to and just trying everything out. with guitar theres always two sides. either high action and good tone or low action and easier to play. its just a balancing act
+1

I always had my action a little high. I was always a heavy picker which doesn't
work well with really low action. Its only recent that I have lowered it some and
have been working on having a really light touch.
 

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it definitely changes the compression of your note... makes it overall sound better.. and yes, you can get used to it, but you CANNOT pull off some of the same stuff that you could do with hair low action... Tapping is especially hard with a higher action..
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah, it's definitely harder. I think it cane be done with some practice. This guy here plays with SRV's setup, and he sure can play:

 

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its a good cure for fret buzz :D
Holly words here!

Only way to obtain a great tone, w/ sustain, and w/o fret buzz is to raise your action. It's something that if you've always played w/ low action, may take some time to get used to, but as Waylay00 has just discovered, it'll make a tremendous difference to your tone.

I don't think tapping is easier or more difficult one way or the other. Again, it's just a matter of getting used to playing with the new action. Notes will, for sure, sound better and sustain more w/ higher action.

Now, don't think you need to raise the strings 4 or 5 mm to get good higher action. All my guitars are set-up at a hair over 2mm, w/ no fret buzz at all and great playing feel. Caution though: Setting up your guitar to achieve such result is not trivial. Combination of neck straightness (trust rod adjustment), frets in perfect shape, tremolo well aligned and its height correctly adjusted.

Gus.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yep, that's about where my action is at now (2mm). It's still "medium" by most standards, but I definitely like the tone much more. I seem to get more definition on single note runs.
 

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It depends on your style. I play EXTREMELY lightly and don't dig in much. Therefore, I find higher action to be frustrating. I find the most difficult thing about high action to be legato stuff (hammer ons & pull offs). If your frets are level and your neck is adjusted correctly, you can get a pretty damn good tone out of a guitar with low action.
 

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I've always preffered slightly higher action, and I've never really noticed a lot of difference in tone between low action and high action, unless it is so low it's choking in the first place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
All that stuff about raising your action to obtain better tone is just a myth! :roll: all my guitars are set up extra low and have great sustain and tone!!!
It's definitely not a myth, but it does depend on several factors:

string gauge
what you consider to be "low" action (several books say 2.0mm and 1.5mm at the 12th is low; to me, that's medium)
how hard you pick
how much gain/distortion you use
how much bending you use

There is a point though when it's just simple physics. The more room the string has to oscillate, the longer it will sustain. With higher action, you also add more dynamics to your time. Your guitars are probably just set up really well though.
 

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Yeah, high action does sound better, and it makes bending easier for me. When the action is low on one of my guitars, it tends to fret out pretty easily. But when the action is higher, it's heavenly.
 

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Yeah, high action does sound better, and it makes bending easier for me. When the action is low on one of my guitars, it tends to fret out pretty easily. But when the action is higher, it's heavenly.
If you fret out during bends with low action is either because your guitar is not set properly or because the frets need to be leveled, no rocket science here folks!!!
 

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A big part of the difference in tone will be due to the fact that the strings are now further away from the pickups. Increasing the distance between the strings and the pickups reduces the magnetic pull and increases sustain.

If I have a sustain problem, I just lower the pickups. I tap far too frequently to raise my action; and with a decent setup, I have never had a problem with notes fretting out.
 

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You can have perfect fretwork and fretout during bends because of the fretboard radius if you're running action too low to do so.
 

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And no fret buzz I'm sure...... yeah, of course....

But may be you basically play high gain, distorted sounds, am I right?

Gus.
I guess you have never heard of a professional set up!!! :roll: I recomend you to save some money and take your guitar to a qualified tech and have your guitar set up properly! only then can we have this conversation again!
 
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