#1
Hey all. I have an ibanez 7 string, which I really enjoy, but I've gotten a little bit sick of the action. I really dislike relatively high action on guitars, and it seems like the strings are far too taut. My question is to what extent will a set of less taut strings fix my action/tension problem? Will it be enough, or may I need to do some sweet, sweet, truss rod adjustments.

Thanks,
have a good weekend
#2
Lighter strings will feel easier, but truss rod adjustments aren't generally the first "go to" for action height fixes, that's more often a function of the bridge.

It is true that you may need to adjust your truss rod slightly after you go to lighter strings due to the overall tension change on the neck, but that's something you'll have to wait to determine.

What guitar and what bridge specifically do you have?
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#3
As Arby 911 says, you don't adjust action height form the truss rod/neck relief, but you need to get that right before you do do any action height adjustments from the bridge. It might be bad at the moment, in which case the action might be OK once it is adjusted. If you go to lighter strings, you might have to alter the neck relief again, depending on the difference in string tension and how low you like the action.
#4
Right now it's on the high end of playable for me, as in it isn't optimal, but I can still manage fine. So I think lighter strings will make the ever so slight difference which I need. My guitar is an "Ibanez RG927QMF Premium Electric Guitar 7-String" with an Ibanez tight-end bridge.
#5
Quote by guitarmanftw
Right now it's on the high end of playable for me, as in it isn't optimal, but I can still manage fine. So I think lighter strings will make the ever so slight difference which I need. My guitar is an "Ibanez RG927QMF Premium Electric Guitar 7-String" with an Ibanez tight-end bridge.


Yeah, it could do the trick, but it will depend on the change in string tension, among other things. I would just try it and see. - Since you say you prefer lighter strings anyway, you haven't lost anything even if you then have to do neck relief and saddle height.
#7
Contrary to what some people think, a good amount of relief can lessen some tension in the strings, making it easier to fret. I play with medium (my medium, some might call it slide-high) action and has found no problems when every aspect of the guitar accommodates for it.

However, it is NOT advisable to adjust action from the truss rod.

Follow the instructions here: http://www.ibanezrules.com/tech/setup/action.htm
Gear:
Jackson Dinky (JB+59) > TC Polytune Noir > TS808 clone > DOD 250 > Modded RAT > CH-1 > GE-7 > TC Flashback > Plexi Clone
#8
Quote by Archer250
Contrary to what some people think, a good amount of relief can lessen some tension in the strings, making it easier to fret. I play with medium (my medium, some might call it slide-high) action and has found no problems when every aspect of the guitar accommodates for it.

However, it is NOT advisable to adjust action from the truss rod.

Follow the instructions here: http://www.ibanezrules.com/tech/setup/action.htm


I think this concept causes confusion among those who haven't done their own set ups. If an electric guitar has the correct neck relief and action height when it leaves the shop, and the same gauge strings are used, then thing most likely to change is neck relief. - Due to changes in temperature and humidity. This in turn causes a change in action height, and the correct remedy is to put the neck relief back where it should be. So you can argue that in this instance, changing the neck relief is the right fix for a high action.

If, however, you are doing a set up from scratch, then the first thing to do (assuming fret work isn't needed) is to get the neck relief right. After that saddle and nut height are adjusted. If the neck relief thereafter remains correct, then action height is altered by adjusting the saddle, not by altering neck relief.
#9
Quote by Tony Done
I think this concept causes confusion among those who haven't done their own set ups. If an electric guitar has the correct neck relief and action height when it leaves the shop, and the same gauge strings are used, then thing most likely to change is neck relief. - Due to changes in temperature and humidity. This in turn causes a change in action height, and the correct remedy is to put the neck relief back where it should be. So you can argue that in this instance, changing the neck relief is the right fix for a high action.

If, however, you are doing a set up from scratch, then the first thing to do (assuming fret work isn't needed) is to get the neck relief right. After that saddle and nut height are adjusted. If the neck relief thereafter remains correct, then action height is altered by adjusting the saddle, not by altering neck relief.


You're right. I had never thought about that! I always do a full setup on my guitars
Gear:
Jackson Dinky (JB+59) > TC Polytune Noir > TS808 clone > DOD 250 > Modded RAT > CH-1 > GE-7 > TC Flashback > Plexi Clone
#10
Quote by Archer250
Contrary to what some people think, a good amount of relief can lessen some tension in the strings, making it easier to fret. I play with medium (my medium, some might call it slide-high) action and has found no problems when every aspect of the guitar accommodates for it.

However, it is NOT advisable to adjust action from the truss rod.

Follow the instructions here: http://www.ibanezrules.com/tech/setup/action.htm


String tension is a function of length and frequency (tuning). Neck relief plays no part that I'm aware of?
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#11
i agree. im not sure how the string hiegh has any effect on the tension if they are tuned to the same pitch.
__________

TS - strings are not your answer. it sounds to me like you could be experiencing 2 things at play. one, is high action, make you have to press down further than needed, which would feel like the strings are too taut.

two - your strings may be too thick. frankly. if you are drop tuning generally thicker strings are good, but with the 7th string you should have some ticker guage opposed to drop tuning a 6 string where that low E really gets hammered on and is super slack.

i recommend adjusting the action first and seeing if that helps. you have a hard tail bridge (non tremolo) and this hould be very easy. have you tried lowering it? its a fairly simple job. i think thats the root cause.

if that does nothing, change your strings. but have a well setup guitar is a long lasting priority. string will not fix that.
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#12
Got some new strings today, I'll be taking a look into all of this and I'll let you all know how it goes.
#13
Quote by Arby911
String tension is a function of length and frequency (tuning). Neck relief plays no part that I'm aware of?


I'm a bit confused by this aspect of the thread. High action will give an impression of higher string tension, and high tension can cause the neck to bow more, ie more relief. So heavier strings will feel tighter because their tension is higher, and perhaps also because neck relief, and therefor action height, has increased.
#14
Quote by Tony Done
I'm a bit confused by this aspect of the thread. High action will give an impression of higher string tension, and high tension can cause the neck to bow more, ie more relief. So heavier strings will feel tighter because their tension is higher, and perhaps also because neck relief, and therefor action height, has increased.


You're saying a lot of words, but not making a lot of sense, and least not to me?

You say high action will give an impression of higher string tension, and although I'm unconvinced let's accept that as fact for the moment. You then go on to say that high tension can cause the neck to bow more (relief) which is absolutely correct. The problem is that the 'impression' of higher tension (your first premise) doesn't do ANYTHING to the neck (your second premise). You appear to be conflating two very different things and arriving at an irrational conclusion?

Of course heavier strings feel like they have more tension, because at a given tuning, they do.

Neck relief is immaterial to string tension, but string tension is not immaterial to neck relief. (As an analogy, excess salt can cause high blood pressure, but high blood pressure cannot cause excess salt...)
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#15
Quote by Arby911
String tension is a function of length and frequency (tuning). Neck relief plays no part that I'm aware of?


Go ahead and bend with a dead straight neck and then bend again with a 0.010" relief at the 9th fret. Oh, and to notice some real differences, set your guitar up like mine first: 2.3mm-2.6mm action at 12th fret. Not sure about the actual tension, but it does feel easier. Done this to no less than three guitars and got the same results.
Gear:
Jackson Dinky (JB+59) > TC Polytune Noir > TS808 clone > DOD 250 > Modded RAT > CH-1 > GE-7 > TC Flashback > Plexi Clone
Last edited by Archer250 at Jul 19, 2014,
#16
Quote by Arby911
You're saying a lot of words, but not making a lot of sense, and least not to me?

You say high action will give an impression of higher string tension, and although I'm unconvinced let's accept that as fact for the moment. You then go on to say that high tension can cause the neck to bow more (relief) which is absolutely correct. The problem is that the 'impression' of higher tension (your first premise) doesn't do ANYTHING to the neck (your second premise). You appear to be conflating two very different things and arriving at an irrational conclusion?

Of course heavier strings feel like they have more tension, because at a given tuning, they do.

Neck relief is immaterial to string tension, but string tension is not immaterial to neck relief. (As an analogy, excess salt can cause high blood pressure, but high blood pressure cannot cause excess salt...)


What I am suggesting is that the tactile effect of heavier strings can come from two interrelated sources:

The higher tension can be felt difectly.

The higher tension increases neck relief (and perhaps top lifting in acoustics), which exacerbates the high tension feel already present because the action gets higher.

The relationship between string tension feel and action height is very evident to me on acoustics, on which I use 13-56 strings. The action only has to be about 0.2mm higher than I'm used to, and it starts to feel like hard work. OTOH, with lighter strings, the higher action seems OK unless it is really high. Slightly OT, but the feeling of "hardness" various a lot between individual acoustics. I'm not sure why, but part of it is the springiness of the top - resos feel softer than flattops.
Last edited by Tony Done at Jul 20, 2014,