#1
..with a straight neck? I have .013's on my strat, first of all.
I have it right now to the point where's there barely acoustically noticeable buzz on like 4 frets spread out on the fretboard, If i go any lower then I get buzz
But my action isn't really low, the 12 fret on my low E is 5 mm and high e is like 4mm

This is the best setup Ive ever given it, so I dont really want to mess that up.
Would I have lower action if I straightened the neck out and raised my saddles a bit?

My neck is like 1/2-3/4 turns of relief from being straight but If I straighten it I start getting buzz

Let me know if pictures are required
thanks
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#4
I personally wouldn't go higher than a mixed set of heavy bottom 11s. I haven't noticed a tonal change on the high strings when you go heavier, it just makes them harder to bend, so I go light with them, sort of.

As far as low action is concerned, level frets matter quite a bit. You may not have any dead notes, but some frets may be a little higher than others causing a buzz. I've never found Fender's guitars to have a stellar setup from the factory, even the American ones, and I think frets settle in on new guitars from playing and whatnot, even if it's just a tiny bit. That's the only way I can figure so many guitars that have had a factory fret leveling can usually use another one.

A little forward bow in the neck is ok, it really doesn't need to be flat.

here's a good website for truss rod adjustment http://www.igdb.co.uk/pages/guitar_setup/truss_rod.htm

Of course, you really gotta find out how you like the truss rod to be in the end.
#6
Quote by Artemis Entreri
Well using .13s isn't part of it if there is one. Strats were NEVER designed to use that gauge.



Strats and Teles were designed with massive strings in mind, even the Jazzmaster and the Jaguar were designed to have at least .12s (It's why smaller strings pop out of the saddles on the JM bridge). Thinner strings (.10s, .9s, .8s, etc) only became popular in the late '60s and early '70s (note: the Strat was designed in the early '50s, FYI).
Actually, I go by Dave, but there are already too many Daves on this forum.


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#7
a proper set up helps.

did you get a nut made for 13s? have you gotten your saddles filed?
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#8
1.) saddles and nut filed - big enough grooves?
2.) check you frets - are they dressed and radiused well? are they level?
3.) check your trem string make sure you bridge is perfectly parrallel to the body
4.) is you bridge set to the radius of the fretboard?
5.) double check your necks straightness, also make sure its not warped or weird in any way
6.) lower your bridge as much as you can until you can notice fret buzz through an amp, then raise it a hair from that point
i wouldn't think it could get any lower if all these things are done
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#9
I prefer the 13 over an 11, I like the full piano like tone I couldn't get with the lighter gauges

And I like straight necks, I like how my brother's Jazzmaster neck felt, he made it as straight as he possibly could for some reason and ended up not liking it, but I did

Mine has a little bit of an angle, not far off from straight, I just wanted to show I wasn't willing to change the truss rod

the nut is a graphtec nut, all the strings fit nicely besides the low E and G, but I filed those just a bit.
you're talking about a nut that sits higher from the fretboard though right?

What do you mean filing the saddles though? why is this necessary?
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#10
Fact is, thicker strings need more room to clear the frets in front of them and that means higher action. Never expect action lower than about 3mm if you insist on using .13 strings. In fact I'd be surprised if you could even get it that low, I would think 3.5mm would be more or less the most reasonable action you could expect. Especially with a tremolo guitar which will always have slightly higher action than the same thing would if it were a hardtail. You also can not have a perfectly straight neck and low action either. Again, especially with thicker strings.

If you like the feel of .13s then that's fair enough but tone-wise there is absolutely nothing in it. All you're gaining in terms of tone by using .13s over .10s or .11s is a little more bass and you're losing lots of the harmonic overtones that Strat pickups are famous for. Using .10s or .11s and simply turning the bass up or using thicker-toned pickups will give you the same core tone as the .13s but with much better harmonic response. That's pretty much guitar tone 101. Strings should be chosen for feel, not tone. Even if you do like the feel of the .13s the fact that that gauge will never get you as low action as .10s really means that a thinner gauge will play better for you. Nobody has ever seriously used .13 strings on a Strat with good results. The closest was maybe Stevie Ray Vaughan and he only used that set on the first two strings and that was only for a couple of months before he switched back to .11s. Plus he had freaky huge monster hands and was okay with high action. You ain't Stevie Ray.

Low action comes from having the neck bow set just right, a suitable string gauge for the bridge type and fret size, a custom-cut nut and ideally a fixed bridge, though blocking yours off will get you halfway there. Shimming the neck pocket may be an option if your bridge can't be lowered enough. Remember too that especially when using thick strings and trying to get low action you'll need to lower the pickups a lot otherwise they'll pull the strings out of tune all the time.

What you really need to do though is accept that fact that a Strat with .13s is not a combination that's ever going to have properly low action like a Tele with .09s can have. The more complex you make your rig and the more you deviate from the norm the more problems you run in to.
#11
you can easily get 1-2mm with 13s.

numerous sources list srv's string heights at 5/64 on the treble and 7/64 on the bass.

getting lower then 1.5 mm would be hard. But under 2 is standard.
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Last edited by AcousticMirror at Jul 18, 2011,
#12
I don't know about 13s, but it was proven to me that you can get a lower action with a thicker string due to the added string tension. 9s just can't go as low as 11s, I've noticed.
#13
it's true. grohl loves his wall of texts...

unfortunately science doesn't always have his back. the vibration arc on a thick string is much small then a thin string.
Jumping on dat gear sig train.
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#14
Fact is, thicker strings need more room to clear the frets in front of them and that means higher action.

That doesn't make sense. The thickness of the of a heavier string elevates it just as much above the fret as it is thicker than a lighter string. So there is no reason that it needs extra room to clear the frets. Further, a heavier string has extra tension and thus a shorter wavelength than a lighter string, making even less likely to hit the frets.

Of course, if the heavier strings are being used to facilitate a lower tuning then the string's wavelength will increase and it will be more likely to hit the frets.

Anway, SKArface, are you sure that you just don't need to get your frets leveled? When I was driving myself crazy trying to fix my Strat's action I just paid a tech $90 to replace the nut, clean up the frets, and set it up for me. There's a lot to be said for handing a guitar over to a guy who does a couple setups every day.
#15
so just for shitz'n giggles, I measured the action on the low E of my 13-60 set.

It is 2.73mm from the top of the string to the top of the twelfth fret. so with a a string diameter of 1.55mm, that means the action from the top of the fret to the bottom of the string is ~1.18mm.

Quote by jpnyc

Anway, SKArface, are you sure that you just don't need to get your frets leveled?

+1 to this
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Last edited by kolonelkadat at Jul 18, 2011,
#17
So I just measured action of the low B on my baritone tuned B–B with a .013–.62 set. It's a hair over 2mm. And this guitar hasn't been set up in at least two years.
#18
Quote by grohl1987
Fact is, thicker strings need more room to clear the frets in front of them and that means higher action.
Fact is, this is a load of bullshit.
Last edited by al112987 at Jul 18, 2011,
#19
oh good i'm glad i'm not the only one that realizes grohl1987 types nothing but walls of nonsense.
Jumping on dat gear sig train.
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#20
Quote by AcousticMirror
oh good i'm glad i'm not the only one that realizes grohl1987 types nothing but walls of nonsense.
Definitely not the only one, at least the bullshit is usually well spread enough that you can pick it up within the first few sentences and can bypass the rest of the giant walls of text as crap.
#21
Haha, I just dont get how people can pay $50 for something so simple.
Id rather just learn how to do it on my own even if it takes a year or two to get it perfect.
My frets are level though, I checked using the side of a credit card, not one raised fret I can tell.

anyways, I put on 10s and they suck. So I put two .056s, a .046, two .017s, and a .013
no buzz

Honestly doesnt play bad. Im going to try to find some single 54, 20, and 12
Are there any sets of .012 that have those?
The illegality of cannabis is outrageous, an impediment to full utilization of a drug which helps produce the serenity and insight, sensitivity and fellowship so desperately needed in this increasingly mad and dangerous world.
- Carl Sagan