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Old 04-22-2015, 04:32 PM   #1
Cheeseshark
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When is the action on a guitar too high?

I was previously using a set of 10-52 Ernie Ball Cobalts and recently switched to a set of
11-48 Ernie Ball M-Steels. Upon switching I noticed that the low E wasn't even ringing out, despite me having not tampered with the truss rod or saddles/bridge. So I tried raising the strings down at the bridge.

Now the the strings vibrate fine, though it is still very low around the 1st fret, but it has become way harder to play on the higher frets. I'll try include a picture of the strings at the 12th fret. I should probably mention that my guitar has a TOM bridge on it as well.


So, is this too high? Because it sure feels a bit too high. I would also appreciate if someone could tell me why my strings suddenly just wouldn't ring out. And a solution if possible, though I think I might need to adjust the truss rod.
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Last edited by Cheeseshark : 04-22-2015 at 04:34 PM.
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Old 04-22-2015, 04:37 PM   #2
dthmtl3
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If it feels too high, then it's too high.

You'll probably have to work on relief as you lower the action.
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Old 04-22-2015, 05:00 PM   #3
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^ yep or if the string is in tune opened and the rest od the frets are not intonated properly.
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Old 04-22-2015, 06:33 PM   #4
dspellman
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It's definitely too high for me.



FWIW, during the late '80's, Carvin advertised "action as low as 1/16th" from the 24th fret with no buzzing frets." And they delivered. Their fretwork was really good. You may not care if your action's that low, but what it communicated was that the frets were really level and the necks were really straight.

If you've got to crank your action up that high in order to play that guitar without buzzing, you've either got an issue with your technique or your setup/fretwork.

Last edited by dspellman : 04-22-2015 at 06:38 PM.
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Old 04-22-2015, 06:38 PM   #5
Cheeseshark
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Yeah, I think I'll have to try adjusting it. Is it at all difficult to do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dspellman
It's definitely too high for me.



FWIW, during the late '80's, Carvin advertised "action as low as 1/16th" from the 24th fret with no buzzing frets." And they delivered. Their fretwork was really good. You may not care if your action's that low, but what it communicated was that the frets were really level and the necks were really straight.

If you've got to crank your action up that high in order to play that guitar without buzzing, you've either got an issue with your technique or your setup/fretwork.



Like I said, it was totally fine before. And now the string still almost touches the fret wire even with the action as high as it can go on that side. If I have it at a comfortable height then it doesn't just buzz, it just doesn't vibrate at all.

Last edited by Cheeseshark : 04-22-2015 at 06:43 PM.
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Old 04-22-2015, 07:16 PM   #6
monwobobbo
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you may need to change your neck relief. that's part of the trussrod adjustment. the neck may bow a little foraward or back which will cause fret buzz and other intonation issues.

personally i like to feel the strings under my fingers when i play. not stupid high but i can't stand action that most shredders use.
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Old 04-22-2015, 07:17 PM   #7
Skar578
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A friend of mine would keep the strings on his SG like that. He really liked it for bluesy bends, but I could never stand it. So as long as it works for you its not too high
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Old 04-22-2015, 07:34 PM   #8
Fumble fingers
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monwobobbo
you may need to change your neck relief. that's part of the trussrod adjustment. the neck may bow a little foraward or back which will cause fret buzz and other intonation issues.

personally i like to feel the strings under my fingers when i play. not stupid high but i can't stand action that most shredders use.



I'll second the truss rod adjustment or it least check it , since you went from 10's to 11's it probably needs a quarter turn
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Old 04-22-2015, 07:38 PM   #9
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Yep, you need a setup starting with the truss rod. If the relief is off, the rest of the setup is pointless.
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Old 04-23-2015, 12:58 AM   #10
dspellman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by metalmingee
Yep, you need a setup starting with the truss rod. If the relief is off, the rest of the setup is pointless.


Waaal, it's actually just the opposite. You need a NON relieved board.
You start with level frets, a properly cut nut, a correctly positioned bridge, decent intonation, and then, if you NEED it, you add a tiny bit of relief. It's probably the last thing you do, and maybe the least important overall.
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Old 04-23-2015, 01:34 AM   #11
Vampire_State
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It's too high when it looks like that.
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Old 04-23-2015, 11:00 AM   #12
Wormholes
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I used to like my action pretty high and even that would be too high for me. Go take it to a reputable local shop and have them do a full setup. If you just don't want any fret buzz ask them to get the action as low as they can with whatever string gauge. Some guitars just can only be so low and some not made well for gauges so high(on purpose or just bad/cheap work idk).
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