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Satriani's Setup

8085 Views 9 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  ryanb
Has anyone set up thier JS to duplicate the setup that Joe uses as explaned on his web site?
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I just poked around his site and I can't find the setup you talk about. Do you have a link to it?
Found in the http://www.satriani.com/2000/about/gear/ section.

Low and even, that's how Joe likes his string height. The measurement from the top of the 12th fret to the bottom of each string is just over 2/64". There are reasons for this (See Joe's Set-up Ideas)
This is low!

The final setup goes like this:

I arc the bridge saddles so the string height matches the fingerboard radius. Now strung to pitch I tighten the truss rod until the neck is perfectly straight.

At this point I adjust the bridge as low as possible and still allow 2 things: clean string bends above the 10th fret and a clean low e from the 10th fret up to the 22nd fret. Joe's touch is light so low works out fine.

Next we loosen the truss rod to create a very slight bow in the neck. I cannot say how much, each guitar has its own place that it wants to be. What we are trying to do is clean up the low strings from the 1st to 7th fret. I find this out by playing and experimenting.

There is a very tight tolerance in adjustments for the guitars to play well. Before the final intonation the nut must be lowered to the correct height. In Joe's case very low about .010 on the high e string to about .013 to .015 on the low e string.
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I have to take a guitar in for some fret work, I'll have the tech set it up this way and let you know. Should be interesting. I can always change it.
I can't help but think this would kill any chance for playing with a sense of dynamics. I read that Joe's tech says this sort of setup compresses the strings. So you're compressing and you have to play with a light touch. Sounds restrictive to me.
I agree. Joe set's his guitar up that way because that's how he plays the strings. Don't set the guitar up and then figure out how to play it. That sounds backwards to me. Set the guitar up with how you play.
Isn't Joe's tone usually heavily compressed?
Is it possible to do this type of setup on a JS100? I have a 100 and replaced the bridge with an edge pro. What is the difference in the radius of the neck on a 100 vs a 1000?

I've tightened my truss rod to bring the neck up almost straight and then I lowered the trem to bring the action to just under 3/64ths, but it's unplayable. I have to have a clearance of about 6/64ths to be able to play it and bend the high e string without it fretting out. I assume I need to shim some of the saddles in the bridge... how/where do I get shims for this? I'm no luthier or tech, so I'm not sure what else to do to get the action that low and have it playable. Thanks.
I believe Joe's neck has a compond radius. Not the neck actually but the frets in the higher registers are. This from what I read is how he gets the action that low. A flater radius on the frets. Not the fretboard.
Then allow enough relief in the lower register to allow clean playing.
I will leave mine the way it is, it would take to much off the fret life if I didn't like it. To correct it that is.
I would have to try someone else's first.
You need a really perfect setup to make it work that low. You need a really good fret level, with some compound radius added. Joe definitely has some compound radius in the frets, as mentioned, and I believe he has some in the fretboard itself as well. The compound shape can be all done in the board, which saves the fret height (but of course requires a re-fret). The production models don't have the compound radius. You need to make the bridge saddles match the radius well with shims (try Rich maybe?). You need a well-behaved (shape-wise) neck. You need a light touch while playing too.
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