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Old 01-23-2016, 10:37 PM   #1
XIVaughnIX
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Unhappy Guitar String Height

Hey guys I just bought this Marquis hollow body guitar from 1969 off of Reverb and when I got it the string height is alllll wacked up. The string height sticks way off and only gets worse as the frets go down. They're 1/2" off from like the 7th fret on. Any tips on how to fix this?
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Old 01-23-2016, 10:40 PM   #2
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Needs new amp.
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Old 01-23-2016, 10:41 PM   #3
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Only play slide from now on.
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Old 01-23-2016, 10:42 PM   #4
XIVaughnIX
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Only play slide from now on.


Hahaha sadly what I have been doing.
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Old 01-23-2016, 10:52 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by XIVaughnIX
Hahaha sadly what I have been doing.

Problem solved then
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Old 01-23-2016, 10:56 PM   #6
XIVaughnIX
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Not at all. But would adjusting the truss rod alone fix the problem or?
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Old 01-23-2016, 11:02 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by XIVaughnIX
Not at all. But would adjusting the truss rod alone fix the problem or?

Potentially, the posts at the bridge might also be set too high as well
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Old 01-23-2016, 11:04 PM   #8
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You most probably need a shim in the neck pocket if you want the guitar to be playable.
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Old 01-23-2016, 11:13 PM   #9
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did you even consider just asking your guitar what it needs?
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Old 01-23-2016, 11:16 PM   #10
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Old 01-23-2016, 11:46 PM   #11
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I've edited it to include a more helpful link
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Old 01-23-2016, 11:57 PM   #12
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Google 'truss rod adjustment' or turn it in to a guitar shop to have them fix the action
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Old 01-24-2016, 02:46 PM   #13
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just add cow bell
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Old 01-24-2016, 02:48 PM   #14
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Take it to a luthier. If you have to ask if adjusting the truss rod will fix it, you don't know what you're doing. I don't intend this to come off as mean, but you don't want to screw up your new toy.
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Old 01-24-2016, 03:32 PM   #15
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nice guitar. hope it works out for you
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Old 01-24-2016, 04:01 PM   #16
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It's not too terribly difficult to set up a guitar. I learned to do it from reading articles online. You have to be careful with the truss rod, only going a 1/8 turn or so at a time. And don't go at it like you're breaking a lug nut on a tire lol. Adjusting the action at the bridge is easy on electrics but not on acoustics - for them you'll have to pop out the saddle and sand the bottom to lower action and if you go too far it'll need a new saddle or at least stick some paper shims underneath, which isn't ideal, but I had to do it on mine and it's fine. Adjusting the action at the nut is the most difficult part and I wouldn't recommend it to a beginner unless you're a very meticulous sort of person and you're not scared of possibly screwing up the nut to the point where you have to get another one and start over.

Check your neck to see how straight it is. You can use a straight edge down the middle of the fretboard or you can use a string as straight edge by fretting or capoing the first fret and then pushing down on the string past the last fret. Then you check to see how much of a gap there is between the 7th fret and the string or straight edge using feeler gauges. There should be somewhere around a .005" gap, or around the thickness of a playing card (if you can just barely slide a playing card under the string without it moving it should be about right). If there's less than that or no gap the truss rod needs to be loosened (counterclockwise), if there's more then it needs to be tightened (clockwise). Just loosen the strings enough that you can move them out of the way and adjust the truss rod (only turn it something like a 1/8 of a turn at a time) then tune it back up and check it again. Repeat as many times as needed. Once you get it right you might want to check it again after it's been tuned up for a couple of hours. I'll note that I have heard of people getting their neck perfectly straight and being able to get the action super low, but you have to get the nut and bridge height and all of the frets absolutely perfect, and honestly I don't see how it could be that much better anyway since I've been able to get pretty low action doing it the usual way.

If the neck is good then you need to adjust the action at the bridge, which is pretty easy on most electric guitars, but how to do that differs slightly according to what type of bridge you have. Either the individual saddles for each string can be lowered using allen wrenches or if not then it probably has two posts holding the bridge up that you can screw in further to lower the whole bridge. How high you want the action depends on personal preference. I like mine as low as I can get away with without buzzing, so I keep lowering it until I get a little buzz and then I raise it back up until it stops. Be sure to keep tuning the strings back to the tuning you want them in after every adjustment and check for buzzing at every fret. If you ever change tuning or go to different gauge strings you might need to redo this.

If you lower the action as far as the bridge will allow and the action is still too high then you'll need a shim in the neck pocket to adjust for that, which isn't something I'd recommend you to take on by yourself.


After all this it would be a good idea to check the intonation as well. Get it tuned up as perfectly as you can using a tuner, and double check by hitting the harmonic at the 12th fret and tuning (this is a little more accurate) then check the tuning when you're fretting the 12th fret. If the 12th fret is sharp then you need to make the string longer by adjusting the saddle so it's further away (away from the pickups) if it's flat then it needs to move closer. There should be a screw on the back of each saddle that you can turn to move them. So for each string - tune, check 12th fret, adjust the saddle, repeat until it's perfect. The better the tuner the better you can get it, but really it's hard to hear unless it's way out. On an acoustic you can't adjust the intonation without reshaping the saddle or if the bridge isn't positioned correctly may not even be possible. Not something you want to mess with.



Wow, wall of text much? I could have just linked you to a few articles, but I felt like typing

Last edited by The4thHorsemen : 01-24-2016 at 04:05 PM.
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Old 01-24-2016, 04:04 PM   #17
Will Lane
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XIVaughnIX
Hey guys I just bought this Marquis hollow body guitar from 1969 off of Reverb and when I got it the string height is alllll wacked up. The string height sticks way off and only gets worse as the frets go down. They're 1/2" off from like the 7th fret on. Any tips on how to fix this?
Try posting in Gear Building and Customizing or Electric Guitar next time.

This exact tone I bet? I am basing all my information on this so apologies if it is not the same guitar: https://reverb.com/item/1530195-mar...c-1969-sunburst

A few questions:

Why did you buy a guitar from 1969 that is apparently not even worth that much?

-also-

Why did you buy a guitar from 1969 without getting a side-address picture of the action?
---
Make the neck straight if it is not already. But not straight relative to the strings, but straight as in you could take the side of a ruler to the fret board and it would sit flush. The neck should be very straight, and after that is achieved it should be given a slight bow inwards. Look up truss rod adjustment. If the neck is bowed (too much inward) you turn the rod to the right I think. If the neck is humped (too much outward) you turn the rod to the left. These directions are based on looking down the neck from the head stock, to the body of the guitar. Only turn a slight amount at a time, and let the neck sit for a while in between turns. The truss rod is underneath that plate on the head stock. You need a proper sized allen wrench/key.

I can't tell if the bridge is adjustable in height. If it is, try lowering it and see where that gets you. If you can get it lowered there but you start to get fret buzz, your neck still may be curved or you may need to shim up/shave down the nut. If that does not solve the issues as well, you may need to shim/shave down the neck (it is bolt-on) as well.

Or just take it to a proper luthier/guitar tech. I would choose that option.
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Old 01-24-2016, 04:18 PM   #18
UltimateGuizar
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Have you tried taking the strings off and putting them back on again?
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