Is everyone happy with .010 neck relief

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by spyglass, Jan 16, 2015.

  1. spyglass

    spyglass Strat-O-Master

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    Is the specs fender gives of .010 neck relief or any guitar for that matter fall into your Proper measurement of where it should be or do you like it above or below this?
     
  2. Guitarmageddon

    Guitarmageddon Dr. Stratster

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    If you have a very light touch you can get away with less...if you're heavy and hard on the strings, you'd want more....

    .010 is just an average guide really...
     
  3. Boris Bubbanov

    Boris Bubbanov Most Honored Senior Member

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    :confused:

    Most players who have their guitars set up the way they like it, have no idea what the measurement in fractions of an inch the relief on their guitar necks are.

    Scores and scores of guitars; all have a pretty similar feel and touch and I have no idea what a single one of them might measure at.

    Use the measuring tool only if you're new to guitars and have no idea what is right.
     
  4. spyglass

    spyglass Strat-O-Master

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    For some reason I get drawn towards measurements but in the end I can sight down a neck or feel if its not to my liking relief wise,and wouldn't need a tool to mesure.
     
  5. antisinglecoil

    antisinglecoil Senior Stratmaster

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    All preference my friend. I personally try to make sure there is as little space as possible, but be sure that there IS still space. I like them just about dead flat. Even if you measure it, the weather will change it in less than a month so don't go crazy getting it perfect. I will say though, it is a good idea to keep on top of your truss rod adjustments. A quarter-turn can be the difference between a struggle and effortless playing.
     
  6. Paperback Rocker

    Paperback Rocker Do it or screw it.

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    My eyes tell me everything I need to know. A minute or two playing confirms.
     
  7. Rockape

    Rockape Most Honored Senior Member

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    Same here!
     
  8. thomasglide

    thomasglide Strat-Talk Member

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    Wow. Love these guys who say they can sight down a neck and see differences between .010 and .012. Ain't no way. Without a feeler gauge, you can't possibly know what you've got. God can't see a difference of 2 hundreths without a feeler gauge.
     
  9. joeybsyc

    joeybsyc Senior Stratmaster

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    They aren't saying they can see a difference, they're saying they know when it plays right and feels right.... and if it does then actual measurement doesn't mean squat. I've adjusted many many guitars, and have never ever used a feeler gauge. Maybe it's .010, maybe its .012, who knows? I know when it plays the way I like it. I don't really need to know what the actual measurements are.
     
  10. Paperback Rocker

    Paperback Rocker Do it or screw it.

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    Where are these guys who are saying that?
     
  11. Paperback Rocker

    Paperback Rocker Do it or screw it.

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    Rightamundo, to quote the Fonz.
     
  12. Zipperfoot

    Zipperfoot Senior Stratmaster

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    There are guys who claim they can feel the difference between 2 3/16 over 2 1/16 string spacing. Think about it. Thats a total of .125", or an extra .02" of spacing per string spread out over six strings. So ya, I would think those same guys can feel .010 as opposed to .012 of relief... That's pretty impressive in my book.

    Then again maybe it's all a grand illusion. :)
     
  13. joeybsyc

    joeybsyc Senior Stratmaster

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  14. Eric1982

    Eric1982 Senior Stratmaster

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    I adjusted my old sunburst mexi strat by eye only and it played absolutely perfect (for me)
     
  15. stratocarlster

    stratocarlster Most Honored Senior Member

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    OMG you guys make me feel like a total noob. Oh well until I'm older and wiser I'll just keep using my trusty feeler gauge to set relief.

    OP - I aim for 0.010in. I have experimented with a flatter board but keep coming back to Fender spec.
     
  16. Stratoholic

    Stratoholic Senior Stratmaster

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    0.10 is what I've got my Jazzmaster set at. It works for me.
     
  17. moosie

    moosie Senior Stratmaster

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    I notice that, especially on acoustic, but not in a measuring sense. In a "my fat fingers are muting strings" sense. Same with 1-11/16 vs 1-3/4 nut (the latter is a non-negotiable requirement).


    I figure after another five years of doing my setups, I might be able to do relief by feel, but not yet. By 'feel' I mean what my tech does. Hold the guitar in playing position (important), fret the 1st with the left hand, fret something on the body with the right arm/elbow. Reach out with the right hand finger and listen to, and feel, the way the string taps against the 7-8th fret. snik snik, not click, clunk, clack. When I bring my guitar in for something else, he always checks the setup just to know what he's dealing with. He has the relief and action checked within 20 seconds of me handing him the guitar. :D

    I've used the capo method, but I prefer a straightedge on the fret tops (mine are always well dressed -- wouldn't work if the frets were suspect). Slip feeler gauges underneath. In playing position. Takes three hands at first, but you get used to it pretty quick.

    I set my relief to .004, and the action a few thou under 3/64 x 4/64 (treble x bass). If I can grab a bit more without buzzing under normal picking, I will. Add a few thousandths to the treble strings for a 7.25 radius. No problem "getting under" bends. Never understood the difficulty.

    A setup like this plays like butter, but requires a fairly light touch, and well dressed frets. No room for variance, though. Living in the humid northeast, I may have to make minor adjustments every other month or so.
     
  18. moosie

    moosie Senior Stratmaster

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    First, god's dealing with thousandths, not hundredths, here.

    You might be surprised how small an amount the eye/brain can register when sighting a line.

    A lifetime ago I did carpentry work. A difficult job called for plumbing and bracing a bunch of 12' tall 6x6 posts for a covered walkway at a country club. There was nothing to use as a reference point. The walkway was far from any structure, and the ground was all dug up, and frozen. There were no lasers (that's right, and after the country club, I think we went to Egypt and built some triangular monuments).

    I had a guy work the post, holding it up, making adjustments. And a second guy ready to nail the bottom of the brace to something we'd managed to drive into the hard ground.

    I stood thirty feet away, holding a plumb bob at arms length, dangling from a string. "Tap left!", "Too far, back to the right!".

    I drove the guys nuts. We did one side of the walkway. The other side, the posts were opposite, so we could plumb by measuring off the first post. But I still wanted to do a few the 'hard way', to make sure. Holding a tape between the two posts, it was easy to see that my sighting measurements, using nothing but a pebble on a string from way over there, were all within 1/32". We only build to 1/16, which is why the guys were going nuts.

    I have no doubt you can see a few thousandths in a neck. But it would take some experience to know how many. But for instance, you could see straight vs up-bowed, and find the bow to be less than .003 relief. I'd bet on it.
     
  19. AlexJCRandall

    AlexJCRandall Senior Stratmaster

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    The feel is most important...how it plays. I'm sure that can't mean exactly the same relief for every guitar I own......some play easier and some harder.
     
  20. oldspot

    oldspot Strat-Talker

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    Anyone with average or better eyesight can see the difference between .010" and .012". If you go fishing, look at your line. Regular (unstretched) nylon monofilament of .010" diameter is about 6lb breaking strain; .012" is about 10lb. I could give you a few inches of each laid on a sheet of white paper and you'd see the difference clearly. In fact I can see the difference between 8lb (.011") and either of the above - a matter of one thou' of an inch.

    Back on topic: I guess my relief is about .012", maybe a shade more. I have the action slightly higher than 'standard' too, at around 5/64". However, the exact measurement is far less important than how it plays.