first try at own setup

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by emann, Jan 21, 2020.

  1. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon

    Age:
    62
    Messages:
    40,090
    Joined:
    May 21, 2010
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    I would use a radius block before the frets are fitted, but not afterwards. The radius of the top of the frets is not the same as the fretboard.
     
    CB91710 likes this.
  2. CB91710

    CB91710 No GAS shortage here Double Platinum Supporting Member

    Messages:
    7,064
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2019
    Location:
    SoCal
    Moving between any of the common gauges 8-9-10-11 will not require any changes to the nut unless the nut was custom cut specifically for light strings.
     
    Violeiro likes this.
  3. Heavyriff

    Heavyriff Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    52
    Messages:
    1,185
    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2019
    Location:
    NE PA
    You are doing a good job and getting there. Take a look at your saddles and make sure they are all straight and butted up against each other. I see some space between a couple of them. The tuners have nothing to do with intonation, the tuners tune the open string to pitch. Intonation means that the open string when in tune is also in tune at the 12th fret or the octave if you will. This is what the saddle adjustment is for.
    Edit: once you get your saddles lined up let's take a look at your pickup height before you go ahead and do the intonation. They look a tad high to me. This can pull on the strings magnetically and throw off intonation and also produce some unwanted harmonics when amplified. Get a screw driver and just as a starting point to eliminate any problems adjust the pickups down until you can just feel it with your fingernails (above the pick guard) on both sides, then make it a little higher on the treble side. Then do your intonation. Then we can talk about pickup height. OK?
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2020
    rgbedard and Willmunny like this.
  4. rgbedard

    rgbedard non-compliant Silver Member

    Messages:
    789
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2018
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
    It's probably 6 to 8 thousandths. It depends on the guitar, but I try to get the neck almost flat unstrung, and let the strings pull a tiny bit of relief into the neck. I agree with others that suggest the numbers are really a starting point, or a sanity check if things aren't going well ... but setting up a guitar is a very personal thing. The way you like your action. How much string buzz you think is normal. No substitute for just trial and error, finding out what you like on a particular instrument. Your numbers aren't far off or anything. Just keep at it. You will figure out what you like.

    I live near the coast, so it's humid. But a couple times per year we ger off-shore airflow that is really dry. Even my Fenders need to be set up a couple times per year. The lower your action, the more often you will need to adjust it.
     
  5. swamptrash

    swamptrash Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    31
    Messages:
    56
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2020
    Location:
    Tampa
    You are well on your way. As much as specs matter, it has to be what works and feels right to you. Get the intonation set and you will be in business.
     
  6. Stonetone

    Stonetone Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    53
    Messages:
    3,670
    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2019
    Location:
    Mean Streets
    Boy i sure wish I could do my own set ups besides changing string I’ve tried to do intonation and not sure i can get that tight
     
  7. Heavyriff

    Heavyriff Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    52
    Messages:
    1,185
    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2019
    Location:
    NE PA
    You can. Watch some youtube videos on it, some of them are very good, some are not. And then you can ask people here for advice.
     
  8. emann

    emann Strat-Talk Member Silver Member

    Age:
    48
    Messages:
    94
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2018
    Location:
    malta
    @Heavyriff: thanks again. I think in the last photo I managed to get the saddles pretty level but I am not sure about butting them up together...is this another setting I have to do and from where do I do it.

    On the pickups, when you say feel them with fingernail, which part to feel the magnet itself or the whole body of the pickup against the pick guard.

    Re intonation ok it is much more clearer to me now from your explanation...so will go ahead and set this up as well and then let me know how to set pick up height then.

    @rgbedard: Thanks for the numbers...and yes I understand when to go by how you feel the guitar now whilst experimenting with the setup myself.

    I also now proceeded with the intonation and I think I have managed this as well. I lowered the pickups and then brought them back to their original height. So same readings while pressing last fret I have 4.5mm bass and 2.5mm treble. For the professional from fender specs this is the setting table:

    Texas Specials Bass8/64" (3.2 mm) Treble 6/64" (2.4 mm)
    Vintage style Bass 6/64" (2.4 mm) Treble 5/64" (2 mm)
    Noiseless™ Bass8/64" (3.2 mm) Treble 6/64" (2.4 mm)
    Standard Single-Coil Bass5/64" (2 mm) Treble 4/64" (1.6 mm)
    Humbuckers Bass4/64" (1.6 mm) Treble 4/64" (1.6 mm)

    The profession has Tim Shaw-designed V-Mod single-coil Stratocaster pickups..so should I start with the standard single coil above then as not sure which type I should follow. If this is the case my pickup height is way off. Should I follow some other advise from your end for setting pickup height please.

    Thanks for all this help
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2020
  9. Heavyriff

    Heavyriff Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    52
    Messages:
    1,185
    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2019
    Location:
    NE PA
    As far as the pickups are concerned they just look a little high to me. Using the top of the screwdriver as a reference just lower each side like a mm. Its a subjective thing in how it sounds to your ear. You can see in the picks that the treble side is higher so just lower each side the same amount of turns. As far as the saddles, if you are looking at the bridge all of the saddles are in a row against one another and straight. This is what gives you your string spacing. In other words if both E saddles are straight and you were to put your fingers on the outside of the E saddles and push in towards each other so all six saddles are tight together.
     
  10. sadmoodyfrazier

    sadmoodyfrazier Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    35
    Messages:
    1,358
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2018
    Location:
    Italy
  11. Heavyriff

    Heavyriff Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    52
    Messages:
    1,185
    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2019
    Location:
    NE PA
    sadmoodyfrazier and Thrup'ny Bit like this.
  12. emann

    emann Strat-Talk Member Silver Member

    Age:
    48
    Messages:
    94
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2018
    Location:
    malta
    ok Heavyriff....hopefully I am getting there...this is another picture after i finished intonation. On intonating I am still getting a tad of sharp or flat sometimes..the tuner lightly turns on the red light and then goes green again...I hope this is ok as far as intonation goes.

    I also worked a bit the pickups and are mostly near to fender specs but then i adjusted it a bit for a sound that i think i prefer...it is quite tricky not knowing what is best and sometimes it is so slight changes that are hardly discernible. I am attaching three small clips recording the fender hooked into the blues junior iv through my mobile...not ideal way to record but maybe I can get some feedback on how the strat sounds.(copy link into browser please)

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/P6fiqQf2cyM335iU8

    thanks a lot once more...it takes lots of time and patience to nail it.
     

    Attached Files:

  13. Biddlin

    Biddlin Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    2,045
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2013
    Location:
    USA
    This will take less of each and ignore the conformists' wailing.
    Assuming no twisted neck or proud frets and a properly cut nut, with the guitar tuned to playing pitch, begin by setting the saddle height for frets 17-21(2) so that the strings play buzz free at the lowest possible height. (Lower the saddle until it buzzes, raise until clear.) When all strings are clean go to the lower frets and neck relief. Play the strings from fret 1 to fret 16, increasing relief (loosening trussrod) to relieve buzz or decreasing relief(tightening trussrod) to lower the string height, so tighten, by fractional turns, until it buzzes and back off until it doesn't. Once you have acceptable relief, i.e. no buzz and easy action, set your intonation and you're done.
    This is the opposite order of Fender's setup directions. It is based on performance and not measurements, hence, I don't take any. It works because the neck is immobile between frets 17 and 22. The trussrod only affects lower frets. By setting the upper end first, you know any buzzes are coming from too little relief. This method works for most guitars, with trussrods
     
    Thrup'ny Bit likes this.
  14. emann

    emann Strat-Talk Member Silver Member

    Age:
    48
    Messages:
    94
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2018
    Location:
    malta
    @Biddlin: that is completely different approach I would say...will try it for the next setup and maybe when I change to a hybrid string set...by chance you heard the clips i put in the link please.
     
  15. Heavyriff

    Heavyriff Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    52
    Messages:
    1,185
    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2019
    Location:
    NE PA
    Your welcome. As far as the intonation goes really close is fine. You did well, now enjoy your guitar.
     
  16. Biddlin

    Biddlin Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    2,045
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2013
    Location:
    USA
    I believe that the second and third clips are "typical"Strat open string sound. The purpose of a good setup is to make all the strings playable and clear of fret buzz open or fretted.
    It sounds like you're getting there. Try my method and let me know how you like it. On my MiM standard if I capo the first fret and finger the twelfth there is a barely perceptible relief. I'd be surprised if it's even .003" (.05mm)
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2020
    Thrup'ny Bit likes this.
  17. emann

    emann Strat-Talk Member Silver Member

    Age:
    48
    Messages:
    94
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2018
    Location:
    malta
    @Biddlin: thanks and yes they are all open sound but different pickups.

    I will definitely try your method once I come to replace my strings with the hybrid type and see how it goes.

    Infact, when starting a new setup, if I may ask, do you get the strat to some form of starting point like for examples lower all saddles, align them together before intonation, lower all pickups, etc and then go from there....I think this may be a good starting point so that you start from something as a benchmark...let me know pls
     
  18. Heavyriff

    Heavyriff Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    52
    Messages:
    1,185
    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2019
    Location:
    NE PA
    Watch a video or two next time, the visual might help you out. I just patiently walked you through your first setup and your asking what is the starting point for a setup?
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2020
  19. Antstrat

    Antstrat Most Honored Senior Member

    Messages:
    6,810
    Joined:
    May 6, 2019
    Location:
    Over There
    What is it that you didn't get right? Maybe if you post up a new thread or you can pm me if you like we can walk you through it. If I can do it anyone can!
     
  20. Stonetone

    Stonetone Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    53
    Messages:
    3,670
    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2019
    Location:
    Mean Streets
    Howdy mate sound good but gonna wait till I get my épi les Paul because i don’t want to mess my strat up cause I don’t want to be stuck without a Functional guitar as I practice everyday like a religion so if I had another guitar then I wouldn’t mind taking the time to learn to set up my strat
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2020
    Antstrat likes this.