Is it okay for the neck to have more relief?

BallisticSquid

Most Honored Senior Member
Oct 12, 2016
5,534
US
I set my action and neck relief by feel. I tried setting to Fender spec once and it seemed to high to me.

I set neck flat and then adjust for a slight bow. Then I set the action so when I bend a note, I naturally push the neighboring string with the tip of my finger. If the action is too low, I'll grab the neighboring string on the bend; too high and my finger will go underneath the string. I both cases, the neighboring string will ring out...not good. It just so happens that this action height also feel good to me just fretting notes.
 

graystone1

Strat-Talk Member
Apr 5, 2010
46
belfast
I tried to adjust my strat neck relief to fender specs .010" and didn't like it as the neck felt straight so i added more relief(up curve) and measured it .018"(about thin pick .46mm)
adjusted my desired action (2mm on the low strings 1.5 on the high ones at the 12th fret) no buzz or intonation problem.
I use 9 gauge string so the tension on the neck not that much. should it be tighter than 0.018" or okay to have more relief if i like it that way?
I too have a good bit of relief on or my guitars with 2mm height across-the-board. I think it makes the guitar sound more full and open unplugged. I also like the way it makes the action more of the same right down the neck, plus you can feel the strings better when bending. Matt Schofield plays with high action and good amount of relief on his strat necks, he doesn't seem to have any problems with tuning or intonation.
 
Last edited:

Wrighty

Dr. Stratster
Mar 7, 2013
11,631
Harlow, Essex, UK
I tried to adjust my strat neck relief to fender specs .010" and didn't like it as the neck felt straight so i added more relief(up curve) and measured it .018"(about thin pick .46mm)
adjusted my desired action (2mm on the low strings 1.5 on the high ones at the 12th fret) no buzz or intonation problem.
I use 9 gauge string so the tension on the neck not that much. should it be tighter than 0.018" or okay to have more relief if i like it that way?
You should set up your guitar how you want it! Specs. should be viewed only as a good starting point.
 

Ebidis

Providing the world with flat bends since 1985
Nov 14, 2013
29,561
Alabama
There's no right or wrong. There is only what feels good to you. Forget about Fender's arbitrary (because that's what they are) specs, and set it the way you like it. Period.
 

CB91710

No GAS shortage here
Double Platinum Supporting Member
Feb 24, 2019
11,198
SoCal
If you like the way it plays, it's adjusted properly for you.
Personally, I prefer my necks a little straighter... mine are typically between .006 and .010. My Custom Shop 60s is .008
 

Handsome McClane

Senior Stratmaster
Sep 6, 2020
1,999
Sacramento
theres-too-much-confas-on-i-cant-ge-no-relie-8822758.png
 

Wound_Up

You can call me Duane 😁
Jan 23, 2020
5,053
NW LA
I guess the thing is that if you've got too much relief, then you need to push the string down further to contact the fret. Seems to me like that would put additional tension on the string, and make some of the notes ring out slightly out of pitch.

I'm not sure whether or not that would be enough relief to do that or how much that would take though.
An, extra 0.008" makes almost, no difference in how far you have to push, the string down. Action causes bigger swings in that than, relief does. I'd be more worried about action too high causing that vs adding 0.008" or 0.2mm to the relief
 

mattier303

Strat-Talker
Apr 28, 2012
183
new mexico
I’m pretty much the oppsite. I like a flat board with a larger radius…10”+.
you can also just raise the action if you want higher strings.
 

StratoMutt

Dr. Stratster
Mar 15, 2019
11,957
SE Pennsylvania
I guess the thing is that if you've got too much relief, then you need to push the string down further to contact the fret. Seems to me like that would put additional tension on the string, and make some of the notes ring out slightly out of pitch.

I'm not sure whether or not that would be enough relief to do that or how much that would take though.
This.

Fret a note while using a tuner and observe just how much the pitch changes. Ideally there should be no significant change while lightly pressing just behind the fret.
 


Latest posts

Top