I'm just curious how low or high people usually keep their action (as measured on the 12th and 24th frets)?

Beyond just having the action as low as your guitar allows, I know some people like it a bit higher, so I just want to see what other people do, and why, as well as how low people usually keep their action on average.

Also, what is the lowest action that is possible on a guitar?
my jackson is very low, doesn't seem to be a problem as I'm also a light picker, the lowest action possible would be just when you start to get fret buzz
I love low action, but the lowest possible has to be the Shawn Lane Vigier model, the radius is completely flat allowing for the lowest action. The thing is about three grand and I have never found one in the U.S. but damn I want to play one so badly
I actually like mine a bit higher than average. My X-50 Pro is where I like it. It's nice to actually be able to hit the guitar hard and not worry about excessive buzz. On my old RG560, it's too low at the moment. It buzzes some, but the real issue is I don't feel like I can really get under my bends with low action. That's mostly why I like higher action, I get a better feel on bends and I can play pretty hard. I can play just as fast on those as I can with low action.
Very high, alot of people can't play my guitars since the action is so high. My strings are almost 1.5 centimeters above the fretboard.
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Quote by Gord@k
Very high, alot of people can't play my guitars since the action is so high. My strings are almost 1.5 centimeters above the fretboard.


anyways, mine are pretty low but i prefer my action a little higher, i seem to play legato a lot cleaner like that but nothing else
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do floyd/edge equipped guitars have higher strings because the ones I tried had pretty high strings

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i have a little bit of both.

my go to metal guitar for riffing is my Gibson SG VM(more of a rhythm setup, not really too many leads under its usage) has really high action, maybe i will measure it later and put it up here. but that is for lamb of god styled riffs and i will use it for some leads, but if i am doing more leads, i will go to my LP satin ebony, which has it more of a medium hieght, and if i am doing shread lead type of stuff, i use my ibanez 3550MZ pristege, which is as low as you can really get.

so really my height depends on the use of that paticular guitar.
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On my RG2228, the higher strings are just below 1mm. I can't measure any smaller than that. The lowest .080 at a bass low E is around 2mm, simply because there's so much string to vibrate that it needs more room to not buzz.

The lowest action possible is limited by the strings and a person's attack. The thicker the string, and the heavier the attack, the more room a string is going to need to vibrate without hitting the frets.

Edit: As for why... it makes it a lot easier to play. I have a sensitive touch, so my strings don't buzz. It's really damn good for playing touchstyle, too.
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Last edited by Dayn at Aug 27, 2011,
I keep a low action as well.

High E on one of my guitars is 1-1.5mm. Low E is a shade higher 1.5-2mm as the heavier strings need a bit more clearance. Everybody settles on their own really once they figure out what they prefer and what suits their playing style. Players with a light touch that dont hit the strings quite as hard get away with a lower action. The buzzing you hear directly from the guitar doesn't come out your cab so some folk tolerate a small level of buzz knowing the audience don't hear it. You dont want the action so low that bends choke or fret out though. Also if you get loads of buzzing then you will also be cutting the sustain of the string short.
depends on the guitar - different neck profiles need different action imo.

but rarely less than 2mm at the 12th fret.
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All my guitars have 1/16" at the last frets. It's a little high but all my notes are clear.
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Quote by Gord@k
Very high, alot of people can't play my guitars since the action is so high. My strings are almost 1.5 centimeters above the fretboard.

Video showcasing both your action height and you playing it or that is bullshit.

I keep mine in the middle, just high enough to suffice for slide guitar, low enough for regular play.
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Last edited by VanTheKraut at Aug 27, 2011,
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I have the action as high as it can go without the screws coming out of the saddle to reduce fret buzz.
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My Les Paul is about 2.5-3mm from the 12th fret.
My RG is about 1.5-2mm from the 12th fret and about 2-2.5mm at the 24th fret.

I'm probably going to raise the action a tad on my Les Paul at some point though.
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I just crank them down until they start buzzing up high, then jack them up a bit until they stop. The bolt-on's seem to be higher, though. The funny thing is, the older I get, the less I care. I used to be really anal about that stuff, but now it doesn't matter. As long as I can get a major third bend out of it, it's ok. I recently bought a used epi 335 dot that had a wound g string on it- 11's!, and I loved it. When I changed the strings out, to 9's, like all of the others, I couldn't tell the difference. Go figure.
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Quote by OliOsbourne

do floyd/edge equipped guitars have higher strings because the ones I tried had pretty high strings

No, it's probably just because they're more of a PITA to set up so the shop staff/owner of said guitar didn't bother.