What's the lowest you've gone?

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by joshm217, Sep 11, 2020.

  1. joshm217

    joshm217 New Member!

    Age:
    18
    Messages:
    2
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2020
    Location:
    California
    Hey everyone! To be honest, I'm definitely a low-action player, I have a Les Paul that's set up 3/64-2/64 on the Low E and High E respectively, and I just love the way it feels.

    I would love for my strat to feel and play with the same action, but the frets aren't level. Before I put the money into paying someone to level the frets, or even refret the guitar, is this low action possible?

    I'm not too concerned about the sound, or whether or not the strat sounds less responsive (both replies which I've read on other forums), but only whether or not this action is achievable with level frets. Thanks in advance everybody!
     
  2. Paperback Rocker

    Paperback Rocker Do it or screw it.

    Messages:
    16,254
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2014
    Location:
    Hurst, TX
    Neck has more radius, so it's trickier to dial in. And it's going to need very frequent readjustment.

    Strats don't sound as good with very low action in my opinion.
     
    Stratafied and rafasounds like this.
  3. nickmsmith

    nickmsmith Dr. Stratster

    Messages:
    12,554
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2011
    Location:
    USA
    I've never measured it, but I lower mine until it buzzes, then raise it just to the point where it stops buzzing, or where the buzz is inaudible through the amp.
    -
    I've found that the sound does get "snappier" with low action. On my bargain MIM Strat, there was a dramatic difference in sound once I lowered the action. Also helps that I lowered the pickups, too.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2020
    Stratafied likes this.
  4. stevierayfan91

    stevierayfan91 DEEPLY SHY.

    Messages:
    11,401
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2011
    Location:
    Private.
    Hi; @joshm217


    Welcome ! A Les Paul's fretboard radius is 12 inches so string action height can be lower then Strat.

    Generally, having a Strat set up to Fender reccomended specs from their customer support page site

    is a start point that balances between comfy feeling and avoiding rattling against neck or intonation saddle problems.
     
    Deathray and Stratafied like this.
  5. ibdrkn1

    ibdrkn1 Strat-O-Master

    Age:
    44
    Messages:
    764
    Joined:
    May 14, 2019
    Location:
    Ontario
    Strats and Les Pauls are very different guitars. There's the fretboard radius as mentioned above but also a different scale & fret size/shape as well. Both can be made to play well but trying to achieve "The same" is a stretch at best. You can use lighter gauge strings on the Strat to compensate for the scale difference but many models of Fender have tendency to choke out notes on bends higher up the neck if the action is too low.

    For me the point to having different guitars is to have a different playing experience.
     
    Stratafied likes this.
  6. Brian H

    Brian H Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    2,038
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2016
    Location:
    Delaware

    thats what I do. If things feel weird I might do a little turn on the truss rod.
     
    Believer7713 and nickmsmith like this.
  7. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Strat-O-Master Silver Member

    Messages:
    889
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2007
    Location:
    pennsyltucky
    I don't understand how radius matters.
    The nut and saddles are radiuses, so the strings follow the fretboard.
    When I set up a guitar for someone, I set the action ridiculously low...lower than just about anybody would want it...just to show that the frets are level and everything is just so.
    Then when the owner sees that, I raise it to his/her preference.
     
  8. dirocyn

    dirocyn Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    46
    Messages:
    4,496
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2018
    Location:
    Murfreesboro, TN
    On a radiused neck, the distance between the string and the frets decreases as you bend. If you never bend strings, the radius doesn't effect action. But the tighter the radius, the more likely you get choking out on bends--that's just a fact of geometry.

    A Strat has a longer scale length than a Les Paul, and that means the strings may have wider excursion playing the same notes. On the other hand, it also means more tension on the strings if they're the same gauge--which reduces string excursion. These two effects don't exactly cancel each other out. It's easier to get low action on a shorter scale length, especially if you also use heavier strings (which tend to reduce string excursion). My lowest-action guitar is a Jaguar (24" scale), which is strung with 12s.
     
  9. rafasounds

    rafasounds Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    4,362
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Location:
    Brazil
    Lowered it yesterday. This is the lowest it's been in years

    45C191E7-6E2E-4C2F-9AA2-2F366AC0B950.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2020
    Stratafied likes this.
  10. train

    train Strat-Talker Silver Member

    Messages:
    439
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2015
    Location:
    L.S.D. Chicago
    Strat with 12 radius neck
     
    Stratafied likes this.
  11. StratSounds

    StratSounds Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    3,059
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2016
    Location:
    Rocky Mountain Way
    I kinda feel like higher action comes with the territory with strats. All of mine have higher action than my LPs and I like it like that. They should feel different.

    I have one strat that’s pretty slinky due to the setup and string gauge, not as slinky as the LPs though. I reach for a strat when I’m in the mood to get a little physical with the guitar, bend hard, and not worry about over-bending or using too much muscle.

    Most of the time, unless I’m coming off of a hard night of playing the Martin with 13’s on it, I really like that extra tension. I think it suits my playing style and it also helps keep the hands in shape for when the Martin comes out.
     
  12. Believer7713

    Believer7713 The Pink Bunnyman Frankenstein Silver Member

    Age:
    46
    Messages:
    12,465
    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2016
    Location:
    KC
    I like to keep my action about this low on all of my guitars...
    [​IMG]
     
    Deathray and Stratafied like this.
  13. Stratafied

    Stratafied Most Honored Senior Member

    Age:
    69
    Messages:
    6,906
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2019
    Location:
    North of South
    I don’t particularly care for the feel of an LP neck.
     
    rafasounds likes this.
  14. joe_cpwe

    joe_cpwe Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    2,391
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2015
    Location:
    WI, USA
    It's good to read this. My Strats, and Tele too, have pretty high action, especially compared to my Kramer and Hamer. That Kramer has stunningly low action, flat neck and has to be at least a 14" radius. It's super flat and super low action.

    I've tried and it seems like an impossibility to get low action on my Fenders. All three have a 9.5" radius. Not sure if it's the frets, hardware or radius that's the killer on Fenders. I adapt regardless.
     
  15. train

    train Strat-Talker Silver Member

    Messages:
    439
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2015
    Location:
    L.S.D. Chicago
    I have a strat set to 1/64 at nut to 2.5/64 at 12 Th. .015 to .040
     
  16. rockon1

    rockon1 Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

    Messages:
    1,472
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2019
    Location:
    CT
    Pretty much all my guitars. With strats (all my guitars actually) I keep the relief very minimal and it helps for low action. Its about the geometery. Also the nut at .020 or a bit less on the low E and down near .010 on the high E. Thats tricky work and Ive messed up a couple in the process. Id try checking the relief and lowering it to about .005 (I rarely actually measure) and setting the action then. Worst that happens is it doesnt work(buzzing lower down)...
     
  17. macoshark

    macoshark Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    1,269
    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2016
    Location:
    arizona
    That is quite low. I usually have to level and crown to get my action that low. Sometimes it's necessary to do over and over, till it's right.
     
  18. fezz parka

    fezz parka fezz parka

    Age:
    62
    Messages:
    29,164
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2011
    Location:
    Ticket Booth at the JWPL
    I don't measure. On 7.25 guitars the B and E match the height of the G. So when I bend the B or E, it doesn't choke.

    Never liked extremely low string height.