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String action ruler question

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by StratPlus97, Sep 13, 2018.

  1. StratPlus97

    StratPlus97 Strat-O-Master

    986
    Apr 7, 2016
    USA
    The recommended measurements for the 12th fret in the center...
    Does that mean, with the strings pressed down on the first fret or as is?

    IMG_6923.JPG
     
    abnormaltoy likes this.

  2. Paperback Rocker

    Paperback Rocker Nitro-mancer Strat-Talk Supporter

    Sep 18, 2014
    Lewisville, TX

  3. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 27, 2018
    North Central NC
    It doesn't seem quite right setting string height to a recommended number. That's such a personal preference kind of thing.
     

  4. macoshark

    macoshark Strat-Talker

    173
    Aug 30, 2016
    arizona
    As is, from the bottom of the string to the top of the fret. I believe there's a measurement on the bass side and the treble side. Others will chime in and this thread might be better served in the Tech forum. As triple Jim suggested the measurement might have to be tweaked for your style.
    Assuming also your frets are leveled and crowned, relief adjusted and measurement at the first fret is acceptable.
     
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  5. StratPlus97

    StratPlus97 Strat-O-Master

    986
    Apr 7, 2016
    USA
    It’s meant as a guide or a starting point. Not everyone knows what they like or even where to start. Same reason Fender has recommendations on set up measurements.
     

  6. StratPlus97

    StratPlus97 Strat-O-Master

    986
    Apr 7, 2016
    USA
    Appreciate it. I do understand all this. That was my only question. My bad on the placement of this post.
    MODS, if your reading, you can move or close

    Thanks all
     
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  7. enchantpth44

    enchantpth44 Strat-Talker

    Age:
    37
    250
    Jun 29, 2018
    Canada
    pretty sure they recommend 17th fret, and it's radius dependent.
     

  8. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    72
    May 26, 2006
    Jacksonville, FL
    and remember. . . the ruler is ONLY to get it close.. from there you use your fingers, playing and adjusting to accommodate your personal style.

    rk
     
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  9. RegularJim

    RegularJim Strat-Talker

    Age:
    46
    216
    May 8, 2017
    Winthrop Harbor, IL
    I measure at the 12th fret with the guitar in playing position on my lap. I go with 5/64 clearance low E and A, and 4/64 (1/16 if you like proper fractions) for D through high e. You may prefer to go a little lower or higher.

    If you follow Fender's set up instructions on their website, I believe they say use a capo at the first fret and measure at the 17th fret, which should give you about the same clearance as long as your truss rod and nut are correct.
     

  10. Wrighty

    Wrighty Senior Stratmaster

    Mar 7, 2013
    Harlow, Essex, UK
    My problem is always getting the arc of the strings to follow the neck radius. Having set top and bottom Es to ‘my’ action, getting the four in the middle to feel right always takes me ages
     

  11. Tone Deaf

    Tone Deaf Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    67
    Feb 12, 2009
    New Jersey, USA

  12. henderman

    henderman Most Honored Senior Member

    Dec 4, 2013
    largo,fl
    A radius gauge is the only measuring tool I use for a setup and what I use after I set the outside E's, best tool ever.

    @Tone Deaf deaf beat me to it !
     

  13. Tone Deaf

    Tone Deaf Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    67
    Feb 12, 2009
    New Jersey, USA
    Great minds think alike.
    Someone here has frequently beaten me to the punch.
     
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  14. nadzab

    nadzab So many guitars, so little time... Strat-Talk Supporter

    Not to confuse things, but I've heard 12th fret open, or 17th with a capo at the 1st fret.

    That said, I adjust mine to personal taste, only occasionally using measurements as a reference point.
     

  15. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    72
    May 26, 2006
    Jacksonville, FL
    Thrup'ny Bit, Omar, dbolt and 2 others like this.

  16. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    72
    May 26, 2006
    Jacksonville, FL
    Here's the thing, and the mistake many make, they get hung-up on specific metrics... like if they envy Clapton, they want their guitars setup exactly to the same measurements as Eric's.

    Well which one, 'cause I guarantee ya Not all of Eric's guitars are setup to exactly. precisely the same metrics... Each guitar is different, so each has to have subtle differences to accommodate those differences.... and that;s based on the way Eric plays each guitar..


    One sets up a guitar based on how it feels and sounds NOT on how it "specs" out when measured..

    r
     
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  17. Wrighty

    Wrighty Senior Stratmaster

    Mar 7, 2013
    Harlow, Essex, UK

  18. jvin248

    jvin248 Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 10, 2014
    Michigan
    .

    I use open strings at the 12th. If I played all the time with a capo on the first then the capo+17th makes sense...

    Don't forget that you need to set the nut action first (fret 3rd and check gap to first fret) then set the truss rod (fret first and 'last' and check gap at 12th) and finally the saddle action (check open string action to 12th).

    When I get to the saddles ... I often put the 'club card' (credit card without imprint raised letters) under the strings at the 12th and lower the saddles so they uniformly touch the card on the frets (learned this from the Frudua youtube videos). That sets the initial curve to match the fretboard. Then I raise and tune and strum until the buzzing goes away. Where I measure with the ruler and find out if the guitar is ok by the standards or will I need some touchups like fretwork/etc.

    .
     

  19. dante1963

    dante1963 Strat-Talker

    Age:
    54
    390
    Apr 28, 2016
    St. Louis

  20. The Ballzz

    The Ballzz Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 26, 2014
    LAS VEGAS , NV
    Fender's recommendation is using the capo at the first and fretting at the last fret only for checking relief at the 8th fret. Action height is recommended at the 17th fret with the string open. I realize a ruler can't play a guitar, but having a reference point to start from is never a bad thing! It's kinda interesting how comparing actual measurements to setting up to feel can point out your own personal preferences for deviation from recommended specs! Again, never a bad thing to start from factory recommended specs and then adjust to taste, especially for folks who may be sort of new to the setup game! :D

    FWIW, setting action at the 12th may still have a little bit of relief factoring in, but by the time you get to the 17th, all relief should be fully removed from the picture! I realize releif is generally considered as between the 6th and 10th frets, but it's not unusual to see it range from the 4th or 5th to the 12th or 13th. and it often does not actually center on the 8th fret. I regularly check to see where the relief centers itself on a neck!

    Just My $.02 & Certainly Worth Even Less!
    Gene