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Thread: Low action?

  1. #1
    Top Of The World thebrownboys's Avatar
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    Default Low action?

    Aside from my social life, what exactly is meant when a guitar is setup for low action. I know it is in regard to the distance between the fret board and the string but what exactly is considered low???
    The standard measurement is based on sixteenths of an inch.

    Got a new guitar and was thinking about the setup and what needed to be done to tweak everything in.

    thanks

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    Eruption wingnut's Avatar
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    You want the strings to buzz and vibrate against all the frets in the open position.

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    Eruption Yerfdog's Avatar
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    Default

    From the Ibanez website...

    String Action

    The most common of all guitar requests by far is the ‘low action request’.

    Lowering or raising the action is relatively easy.

    First make sure the neck truss rod is correctly adjusted. Each string runs over a saddle on the bridge. There are normally two small Allen bolts for each saddle that can be adjusted by using one of the small Allen keys that came with your guitar. By winding both Allen keys anti-clockwise you can lower the saddle for each string individually. Clockwise raises the action. About half a turn each attempt is good.

    Setting the action too low will cause excessive ‘buzzing’ or ‘choking’ of notes. Try playing around the 1st and 12 fret after each adjustment while listening through an amp. Try a few upward bends to ensure no choking occurs.

    Its worth noting that well-set up electric guitar will buzz a little while played acoustically. Plug into your amp for the real test. A little is ok and won’t come through on the amp, too much and you’ll buzz and choke.

    Some of the speed players set up with loads of buzz because they know their high gain sound will cover all the noise.

    As ever, if in doubt, consult your local guitar guru!!

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    Baluchitherium Mikey Metalhead's Avatar
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    I see some people post exact measurements, but since each of my guitars is very different (even the ones that look the same) I like it as low as I can get without any buzz. and with most the ibanez necks I use.. thats pretty low.
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    http://www.fender.com/support/stratocaster.php

    Check out the link above. It is for a Strat directly from the Fender website. If you get the tools it requires (automotive feeler guage and a good ruler are the basics), you can easily follow the guide and setup everything from trussrod to action. This method can be done on other guitars besides a Strat as well.

    This page shows a measurement of 5/64 from the Low E and A to the TOP OF THE FRET and 4/64 for the rest of the strings. When I follow this guide to setup my guitars, it works like a charm. I used to screw around with the saddles and trussrod forever and then this solved it all.

    Notice above that I stressed the distance is from the string to the TOP OF THE FRET. Guitars with large frets give the illusion of a higher action because the string distance is further from the fretboard, but that is not the measurement, it is from the fret.

 

 

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