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Old 03-12-2013, 08:30 PM   #1
Natural_High
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Floyd Rose with too much string height / action

Hey guys,

I received today a guitar I bought, used. It's a Peavey HP Special EX. I got it pretty cheap, and just wanted it to pratice a bit while I'm away from home.
Since it's my first floyd rose guitar I started watching some videos on how to set it up, because I quickly noticed the strings are a bit too high.
It happens that the two bridge / trem height screws are at the maximum tightness, and cannot be screwed anymore, and still I find the strings are too high. I will give you some measurement values soon.
But for now, I think the truss rod is pretty ok. What else could influence the string action? Is there a way to replace these screws in order to get more depth?

two pics in case you want to check something out...





Thanks in advance!
Alex

Last edited by Natural_High : 03-12-2013 at 08:37 PM.
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Old 03-12-2013, 08:39 PM   #2
4FunandProphet
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Unstring it, pull the bridge out, and check to see if the stud inserts have pulled out of the body. If that happens, it will sit higher than it should even with the screw all the way down. If they have pulled up, remove them, dab some Elmer's glue or wood glue in the hole and push them back in until they are fully seated. This should correct the issue. If they are fully seated and the studs are screwed all the way in, then you'll have to shim the heel of the neck in order to give it more tilt and bring the strings closer to the fretboard. This takes a little trial and error, and if you don't feel like doing it a tech can certainly fix it.

Out of curiosity, is the bridge sitting level with the body, or is it at an angle?

EDIT: I can see the pics now. Looks like it is right where it should be. You'll have to shim the neck, in all likelyhood.

Last edited by 4FunandProphet : 03-12-2013 at 08:42 PM.
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Old 03-12-2013, 09:05 PM   #3
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Have you tried tuning it to something low? Clearly they are too tight and the strings are probably too thick for standard if that's what your in.
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Old 03-12-2013, 09:27 PM   #4
Natural_High
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Thanks guys! My bad, I forgot to take a side picture! Here it goes:



I forgot to mention the bridge is leveled, just a tiny bit tilted, as you can see, but not enough to make the strings so high. Even pressing it to the right balance doesn't help much.
I don't think it has anything to do with tuning or thickness of strings. It's out of tune right now, but it wouldn't change much, I guess.
I'll try to remove the bridge and check the stud inserts. In case they are ok, is there a nice guide or tutorial on how to do a proper shimming of the neck? I don't mind trying it, since my idea was not to spend much money with this guitar and it's always fun for me.

Thanks again!

edit: I don't know what's up also with the neck pickup being tilted...

Last edited by Natural_High : 03-12-2013 at 09:28 PM.
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:08 PM   #5
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Now although I second checking the studs as posted above by 4FunAndProphet based on the side pic your bridge is titled way to far forward, although it only looks like a cm or so it will affect the string height x times especially considering thats the bridges position when not in tune. So I suggest restring it, tuning it properly, resetting the spring tension until leveled and then repost a side pic of the guitar cause their may not be no issue here.
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:21 PM   #6
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that is wierd, I can get the strings to touch the frets quite easily and you should be able to sink the bridge much lower into the body than that. Even if the bridge isn't flat that shouldn't affect your ability to lower the height screws I don't think
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:55 PM   #7
4FunandProphet
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Looking at the pics a little more closely, it doesn't appear that the recess is very deep, so that may really be as low as it gets.

Do you have any pictures of the neck, or the whole guitar from a side view? I think things would be a bit clearer with the whole picture.
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Old 03-12-2013, 11:01 PM   #8
Tremolo Bum
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The studs usually have a hex key slot on top to lower or raise them into the body to adjust the action.
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Old 03-12-2013, 11:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tremolo Bum
The studs usually have a hex key slot on top to lower or raise them into the body to adjust the action.


He said in his first post that they're already screwed all the way down.

Did you actually read the thread or just the title before replying?
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Old 03-13-2013, 04:55 AM   #10
Natural_High
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Yes, they are already screwed all the way down...
Will take some pictures from a side view with the neck visible, so you can check the inclination of it etc. Will post it as soon as I can.
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Old 03-13-2013, 07:34 AM   #11
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yeah sounds like a neck shim might be in order.

have you tightened the springs in the back?
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Old 03-13-2013, 06:47 PM   #12
Natural_High
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So... here go some pictures I took from a side view.







Should I still check the studs? And for the shim, any recommendations? Materials for it, tutorials or something? I'll do some googling also...
After doing it, I have serious doubts about what to set-up first. I've been watching a lot of videos and done a lot of reading, but never found a solution to set it up from "zero". Bridge level first? Then string it and intonation? Truss-rod seems fine, so I wouldn't touch it for now...

Thanks, once again! Regards
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Old 03-13-2013, 10:25 PM   #13
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I use old aluminum pop cans for shimming. Just cut out a rectangle and insert however many you need. I find them to be just the right thickness.

Also, could you take a picture from the neck looking up the fretboard at the nut?


As for order of setup here's what I do with FR trems.
1. Put strings on, tune & level bridge

2. Check action by:
a) Check that truss rod is good
b) Check that bridge height is good, if not, loosen strings, adjust bridge height, and tighten strings back up

3. Check intonation, adjust as needed

It's a real pain in the ass with a Floyd Rose, but once I have mine set up, I rarely have to make any adjustments unless I switch brands or gauge of strings.
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Last edited by Tremolo Bum : 03-13-2013 at 10:32 PM.
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Old 03-14-2013, 06:39 PM   #14
Natural_High
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Ok TromoloRun, here are the pictures:





Ok. I'll try to work on the guitar during this weekend. The thing is that I only have the strings that are on the guitar right now and another pack. Will try to do it in a way so I don't brake them while trying to set it up.
- Should I start with the shimming and then with the guitar already shimmed, work with the bridge height if the action is too low? Because right now, it is already at its minimum.
- Another thing about the intonation... Is it ok if I return all the saddles to a middle position and start from zero? Because right now they are pretty dislocated from each other.
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Old 03-15-2013, 12:06 AM   #15
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Ok, here's what you need to do:

1. Before disassembly or any other mods, ensure that the guitar is in tune and the bridge base plate is sitting level with the body. If these two conditions are met, and the action is still too high, proceed to step 2. Otherwise, repeat step 1.

2. Unlock the nut and loosen the strings until they are slack and floppy. Remove the trem cavity cover and, using a pair of needle nosed pliers, pop the springs out of the sustain block. You should now be able to remove the bridge from the body without removing the strings. Ta Da! You can save your strings.

3. Check to make sure the bridge stud inserts are fully seated in the body. If not, correct the issue as previously mentioned. If they're fine, proceed in removing the neck. Yours appears to be a five bolt setup, so I would loosen all a half turn and then remove them from the body, noting any differences in length and diameter (shouldn't be any). Set the bolts with the backing plate and and any washers or other hardware aside. Remove the neck from the body.

4. Now you need to make your shim or shims. You can use many different materials to good effect, as I've seen everything from old credit card pieces, business cards, sandpaper, and of course wood. Metal could be used, but I really wouldn't want to use anything harder than the wood, or anything the could rust. If you want to use wood, go to a local cabinet maker and get a couple of scraps of rock maple, given that your neck is probably made from it. I typically use wood or plastic that is about .030" thick (thickness of a credit card) and cut a strip about 1/4" wide and long enough to fit in the neck pocket and sit flat with room to spare on each side.

5. Place your shim between the back set of screw holes and the back of the pocket. You may want to use a tiny dab of Elmer's glue to keep the shim in place, but I just carefully dry fit them.

6. Assembly is the reverse of disassembly. Pop the bridge back in, replace the springs, tune back up, and repeat step 1. If the action is still way too high, proceed from step 2 and add a slightly thicker shim this time. If the action is way too low, slack the strings and raise the bridge by 1/2 turn or so (eyeball the height change you need) and repeat step 1. If all is well, continue with a normal FR setup.

Last edited by 4FunandProphet : 03-15-2013 at 12:08 AM.
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