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Setting guitars up is actually fun!

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Padawan, Sep 13, 2017.

  1. Padawan

    Padawan Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    32
    31
    Aug 30, 2017
    Bristol, UK
    Just spent the evening fiddling with my CV strat after getting fed up of the floating trem. Decked it, lowered the pickups (using a video that was posted on here recently) and did a bit of saddle adjustment too. Not perfect, but so rewarding!

    I was terrified of messing with this stuff at first, and my other guitar (my first) went off to the shop for a basic setup. It cost a lot and the guy was cool enough to say "look, you can do this yourself." So I had a proper go on the strat tonight and I feel much more involved with my guitar now! It's funny how just turning a few screws and fixing a few silly mistakes make you appreciate the instrument more. Give it a go, if you haven't!

    The only thing I'm not sure about is the action, bending is still difficult without catching other strings but that's probably bad technique more than anything. Ah well, I'll keep fiddling forever.

    PS - Still suck at vintage tuners. Damn that high E.
     
    Ebidis, vlxerdon, Yves and 5 others like this.

  2. Wrighty

    Wrighty Senior Stratmaster

    Mar 7, 2013
    Harlow, Essex, UK
    Congrats! Most of us were wary at first but take easy, don't force anything, and you can't do permanent damage. Once it's sorted it'll be set up how you want it, not to someone else's needs
     
    Omar and Padawan like this.

  3. Omar

    Omar ɹɐɯO Strat-Talk Supporter

    182
    Aug 9, 2017
    Marbella, Spain
    Me next!
     
    Groovey likes this.

  4. Guy Named Sue

    Guy Named Sue Beer me up Scotty Strat-Talk Supporter

    Feb 11, 2015
    Sweden

  5. Diamond_Dave

    Diamond_Dave Strat-Talker

    261
    Jun 18, 2015
    Roanoke, VA
    Did you adjust the truss rod?
     

  6. Stratoholic

    Stratoholic Senior Stratmaster

    Mar 30, 2010
    somewhere
    Is the high E slipping? If so, you could wind the first wind over the string where it comes out of the hole, and wind the rest under, like you normally would. It works for me.
     
    waltschwarzkopf likes this.

  7. bigbasscat

    bigbasscat Strat-Talk Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    91
    Sep 10, 2017
    San Francisco
    There are good videos available on YT explaining how to properly float the trem if you're so inclined.
     

  8. stratcpo

    stratcpo Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    64
    Jan 19, 2010
    south texas USA
    Yea, that high "E" can be tricky, I put it in the hole hold it in place and wrap it twice by hand before I use the tuners to tighten it up. ENJOY!!!
     

  9. Paperback Rocker

    Paperback Rocker Nitro-mancer

    Sep 18, 2014
    Victoria TX
    I love doing it, and people pay me to do it for them all the time! :)
     
    Padawan and Namelyguitar like this.

  10. Namelyguitar

    Namelyguitar Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jun 3, 2009
    Mobile Bay
    Do you understand the geometry and how a guitar is functioning? Some of us (me included) follow steps, and don't really understand all the geometry.

    Some people trained years to make a guitar from raw materials, and produce something special. Fortunately, the adjustments we hobbyists make most on Strats are not particularly difficult. In my mind, there's luthiers, techs (working around musical instruments), and hobbyists. The hobbyists, and techs can be accidents waiting for a place to happen. It depends on the person, or situation.

    Luthier's tend to be trustworthy in my experience. I've dealt with more than one that will call you when it's nearing your turn instead of having you leave it for weeks in the corner of his shop. It's helps if they know you, or they think you might turn into a repeat, friendly customer.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
    Yves likes this.

  11. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh needs you to go ahead and come in on Sunday, too. Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jan 10, 2014
    Initech, Inc.
    Silly Jeff Beck, that's a non-adjustable pole piece you have that impact driver on!
     

  12. ashtray

    ashtray Strat-O-Master

    Age:
    46
    855
    Mar 15, 2017
    LA
    Hence the need for the impact wrench! ;)
     

  13. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh needs you to go ahead and come in on Sunday, too. Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jan 10, 2014
    Initech, Inc.
    Ahhhhhh, got it.....
    [​IMG]
     
    Guy Named Sue likes this.

  14. Ebidis

    Ebidis Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    50
    Nov 14, 2013
    Alabama
    Good on ya! It is satisfying, and does help you bond with the instrument.

    As far as bending and such, yeah, it's a technique thing. Keep at it, you'll figure it out. :thumb:
     
    Padawan likes this.

  15. dante1963

    dante1963 Strat-Talker

    Age:
    53
    145
    Apr 28, 2016
    St. Louis
    Doing setups can be fun. I've just started doing my own after the tech I took one of my Strats to--a very, very respected tech at probably the most respected shop in St. Louis--held on to my Jimmie Vaughan Strat for over three weeks. Then, when I picked it up, it turned out that he set the neck totally straight (I told him I like a little relief) and he set the action really, really low (after I had told him that I like the action a touch higher) basically I said the Fender specs are more or less fine. But then he undecked the bridge and set it to float, throwing away the other two springs I had installed--AND changed the wiring without asking me. Now, there was nothing intrinsically wrong with how he set it up. A lot of players would have called it perfect. Except none of those choices had anything to do with how I like my Strats. I mean, WTF?? It was just like he wanted to off his skills.

    I made him change it all back right in front of me.

    So, I bought two Stewart Mac repair books--a set of radius gauges. I then set up my CP '50s with no problems.

    Next, I'm going to get some nut files. This is fun!
     

  16. Ebidis

    Ebidis Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    50
    Nov 14, 2013
    Alabama
    That's why I agree with the quote that I have seen in someone's signature, that says something like; "paying someone else to setup your guitar makes as much sense as taking your car to the dealer to adjust your seat".
     
    dante1963 likes this.

  17. Padawan

    Padawan Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    32
    31
    Aug 30, 2017
    Bristol, UK
    Yep, gave the neck a slight relief. I think that's the most unnerving part of the setup, but now it plays great, unlike me...
     

  18. Diamond_Dave

    Diamond_Dave Strat-Talker

    261
    Jun 18, 2015
    Roanoke, VA
    Way to go! The real fun is when they're stuck. The CRACK they make when they release is enough to give you a heart attack.
     
    Padawan likes this.