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Old 10-28-2013, 02:26 PM   #1
Derpyy
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Tune string height individually

Hello !


Since a couple of months, I've got a problem with my guitar : my strings are not all at the same height ! Not only the sound is bad because some notes ring louder than the others, but it is also unpleasant to play ! I can pick some strings better than the others, that are really hard to hit with the pick. It's also really annoying to fret the strings, I must apply different pressures depending on the string I want to hit... Impossible to play fast then, and some notes lose a lot of sustain. I don't take as much pleasure playing as before... the playability and the sound have become really bad.

Here is how the bridge looks when seen from the bottom of the guitar
http://i.img***ur.com/cPRXRib.jpg?1 (remove the ***)

We can clearly see that the 2 middle strings are way too high, and the 2 high pitched strings are way too low in height. The high E string almost touches the pickup. When I look at the level of the strings horizontally form the side of the guitar, I can also clearly see the difference of heights.

I play a lot of rock, so I use most of the time the 3-4 lower strings. I have therefore tuned the bridge height in order to have the best playability for these said strings. But in that case, the higher strings are impossible to play.

Do you know how I could get my older setting ? I went to the luthier to ask some advice, but he told me that he needed 2 whole weeks to fix that. I told him that I was going to try and fix the problem by myself beforehand, and ask for his help if I couldn't. I've got nothing to lose so I'm willing to try and fix my guitar by myself before seeking his help.

Thanks in advance if you can help me, it would be much appreciated !
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Old 10-28-2013, 03:03 PM   #2
jthm_guitarist
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What kind of guitar is it? Seems like the bridge might be the wrong radius for the neck.

You can buy a new tune-o-matic bridge with a flatter radius (12" maybe?)
Or take the saddles off and put shims underneath the outer ones.
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Old 10-28-2013, 03:42 PM   #3
D_M_I
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derpyy
Do you know how I could get my older setting ?


What is your older setting? What changes did you make?

Did you replace the bridge? I agree it seems wrong for the neck.
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Old 10-28-2013, 03:43 PM   #4
Derpyy
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It is an Epiphone Special SG, it is only 1 year old and I haven't changed anything on it, it only has the factory parts, but I remember it being actually cool to play and with a (rather) good sound for the price
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Old 10-28-2013, 03:51 PM   #5
Derpyy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D_M_I
What is your older setting? What changes did you make?

Did you replace the bridge? I agree it seems wrong for the neck.



I only tried to fiddle with the screws on the sides of the bridge (general string height, not individual), and the screws under each individual string (but these ones are used to set intonation, I believe, not the height). It doesn't seem to actually change something, whether I tighten or loosen the said screws
And no, everything is from the factory, I didn't change anything

Last edited by Derpyy : 10-28-2013 at 03:53 PM.
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Old 10-28-2013, 04:00 PM   #6
DeathByDestroyr
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Yeah that bridge is all wrong. That's why it would take the guy 2 weeks; to order a bridge.

So... yeah...
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Old 10-28-2013, 04:03 PM   #7
Derpyy
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I didn't show him the guitar, I just told him the problem, besides it is the factory bridge and I really liked the gameplay before, it's pretty weird IMO
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Old 10-28-2013, 04:08 PM   #8
DeathByDestroyr
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WTF did you do?

=/
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Old 10-28-2013, 04:13 PM   #9
Derpyy
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I fiddled with the screw under the strings, but only once the problem was already there. I learned afterwards that it was to set the intonation, and I set it as it should be, so I don't think this is the problem.
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Old 10-28-2013, 05:17 PM   #10
Robbgnarly
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You F-ed it up, take it to a pro and be done with it
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Old 10-28-2013, 09:52 PM   #11
jthm_guitarist
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If I were you, I might throw $25 into a bridge upgrade. Maybe try a roller bridge; I have one of these and it does have a 12" radius (what your SG needs) and it also helps tuning a little.
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Old 10-28-2013, 10:07 PM   #12
dspellman
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There's no reason to get a new bridge; what you have is fine.

Your strings should be at different levels if you're viewing them from the side.

Remember that your fretboard has a side-to-side curvature, called a radius. If your strings follow the radius of the fretboard, your middle two strings will be higher than the rest. I use under-string radius gauges to set the string radius properly:


The bridge and the nut should follow the basic radius of the fretboard as well.

I'll also set the low E side so that the bottom of the string is around 1/64" higher than the bottom of the high (treble) E side, and the rest of the string bottoms will follow the fretboard radius from there.

Go to Amazon and buy a book called "How to make your electric guitar play great" by Dan Erlewine. It's a great way to learn about setting your guitar up *correctly*.

Last edited by dspellman : 10-28-2013 at 10:11 PM.
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