#1
After many of threads of "how do I lower my action" or "I have fret buzz" or "how do I set my intonation". Please note, NOTHING IN THIS THREAD IS SET IN STONE! I will not address repairs or advanced tuning like nut filing or pickup adjustment of any kind. If the guitar needs repair see JJ's stick post and ask there.

I took my Epi LP and did a string Gauge change just for this thread and for the specific purpose of showing how to make the adjustments. This guitar played perfect.

Skip what you don't need.

The tools

Note the large ruler cut in two. It was cut at 18" for a reason. You can get one at Sears for about $10.00. Very handy, or not depending on how you set it all up. Myself, I like to have it, great for finding defects fast. Yup, I'm blind, two different strength reading glasses for that real close look.

Here is the victim. Yup, a Epi LP, less then 3 months old. plays perfect. I believe it had 10's, I'm going to string it with 9's.

So here is the victim with the strings off it. Notice I removed the truss rod cover. Just easier when unstrung. Go ahead and clean it up now. I use lighter fluid or mineral spirits to loose the crap on the fingerboard and an old bodyshop bondo filler plastic squeegee to scrape the crap off.

I use "boiled lin seed oil" to condition the fingerboard. I do not have any experience with maple fretboards and only recommend this for rosewood and ebony. This stuff conditions and seals the wood. Once dry, go ahead and restring. Notice that the low E string is "about" 1 1/2 long. I find this to be a good starting point.


Pinch and slide forward, then wind that baby up. that should give you close to what you need.



This is my technique
Last edited by Sin City Sid at Nov 15, 2008,
#2
The strings should get slightly longer as the size decreases. The high E will be about 3" long at the tuning peg.

I use some pencil lead in the nut slots to lube the strings. Lots of stuff to do this with, I'm cheap and it works good.


With the guitar tuned to pitch, measure the neck. I'm using a capo and a old 10 thousands string. Capo the first fret, hold the string against the last fret and use the string to see if it will fit between the 7th fret and the E string.

I like my boards flat, around 3 thousands of an inch, so I use the straight edge and feeler gauges beecause it's more accurate. 10 thousands is a good starting point. Some people like more and some less. Same thing, two different way's of measuring.

Tighten the truss rod for less clearance and loosen for more. The neck will move fast so only turn it less then a 1/4 of a turn at a time.
Last edited by Sin City Sid at Nov 15, 2008,
#3
Now that the neck is where you want it adjust the action/string height/bridge. You can use a 6" ruler with 64th of increments. I bought a niffty little over priced tool from stewmac. I check the action at the 12th fret and set mine to 4/64 Low E and 3/64 high E.

Adjust the tom bridge here.

Set the intonation and you are set to go.

Floyd Rose bridges have a hex bolt on each side of the bridge to adjust it's height. Also before you adjust the action on a FR guitar make sure the bridge is level.


If it's not level then flip the guitar over and remove the back cover. You will find a couple of screws. Basically tighten to lower the back and loosen to raise the back of the bridge. Retune to pitch and check again.
Last edited by Sin City Sid at Nov 15, 2008,
#4
Sorry folks, forgot intonation. Tune to pitch. Basically play the string open then play it at the 12th fret. If the note is sharp, lengthen the string. If it's flat shorten it. Here is a couple of pics. One a tom and one a FR.



I think that covers most of it.

One thing...NEVER FORCE ANY ADJUSTMENT!!!!!! If it doesn't want to move take it to a shop and let a professional fix it.

If anyone wants to add bridges and other basic setups, please do so as I don't have access to things like Fender trems.
Last edited by Sin City Sid at Nov 15, 2008,
#5
isn't it bad to take all the tension off the neck by taking all the strings off at once?
Quote by pmeg568c
oh man, seems as though i totally forgot about anal

My Gear
Fender American Deluxe Stratocaster
Fender Standard Strat
Boss ME-50 Multieffect
Fender Hot Rod Deluxe
#6
^ It really only matters if you have a Floyd Rose, or you leave them off for a long time.
#7
I have a high action on my Epiphone SG, I was wondering how I could make it lower the next time I restring. I've tried lowering the bridge saddles, but then it only buzzes. Any way to get rid of this?
Gear
Fender Jaguar > effects (x9) > Orange AD5


╠═══════╬═══════╣

THE EUNEIROPHRENIAC σƒ τλε τρπ βπστλεπλσσδ

╠═══════╬═══════╣
#8
Quote by SoccerRM1
isn't it bad to take all the tension off the neck by taking all the strings off at once?

No, won't hurt it a bit.

As for the FR. I take an old paint stir stick and wrap it with a piece of cloth and set it between the bridge and the body.
#9
Quote by MoonageDaydream
I have a high action on my Epiphone SG, I was wondering how I could make it lower the next time I restring. I've tried lowering the bridge saddles, but then it only buzzes. Any way to get rid of this?

Adjust the neck first. Guitars a rattle boxes. Some fret buzz is normal as long as you don't hear it through the amp.
#10
good guide man.

I've been having a lingering question for some time.
The dudes at a music shop put i think 5 springs in the back of my strat after I got my 11s put on.

The bridge is now pinned to the body of my guitar (it's an american deluxe strat). If I took a spring out and/or loosened/tightened the screws, would I be able to make my bridge "float" again, or does this cause other parts to go out that I'd also have to adjust?
Quote by pmeg568c
oh man, seems as though i totally forgot about anal

My Gear
Fender American Deluxe Stratocaster
Fender Standard Strat
Boss ME-50 Multieffect
Fender Hot Rod Deluxe
#11
Quote by SoccerRM1
good guide man.

I've been having a lingering question for some time.
The dudes at a music shop put i think 5 springs in the back of my strat after I got my 11s put on.

The bridge is now pinned to the body of my guitar (it's an american deluxe strat). If I took a spring out and/or loosened/tightened the screws, would I be able to make my bridge "float" again, or does this cause other parts to go out that I'd also have to adjust?

If the 5 springs are pulling the bridge down to the body, preventing any upward pitch bending, it shouldn't hurt a thing to remove the middle spring and let off some tension. Depending on what the dudes did to set the guitar up after putting the 11s and the 5 springs on, you may have make corrective adjustments.
#12
The strings must have over powered the springs. Being a standard that trem must be stiff. I'm not a big fan of Fenders trems. I like to tinker so I would take out the two extra springs and see if will adjust properly.