#1
Hi,

I've just finished building an electric guitar and I've noticed the string height is noticeably higher than my other guitar (a strat). The bridge system I used was a tuneomatic bridge (its set as low as it can go and I've tried adjusting the truss rod. I have looked closely at where I installed the bridge it's self and have noticed I didnt hammer the piece in completely so there is a few mm gap I could take out, but is there another way I could reduce the string height. Well is it worthwhile filing down the grooves on the bridge piece to make it lower and should I try and adjust the truss rod some more?

Sorry if that's confusing but any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
#3
No. Filing down the saddles will make the string more likely to bind there and cause tuning issues, and adjusting the truss rod isn't going to fix the issue if the bridge is too high.

You need to lower the bridge itself. Check the nut, too, but if the bridge is not installed properly you should fix that.
#4
Okay here are some pics of my guitar which may help. (I don't know how they will look, because I had to make the file smaller so UG would let me upload it). Anyway I havent adjusted any of the pickups if you were wondering and the elastic band was just a quick fix for my high E string that kept popping out (im ordering a string tree for it). You can also see how high the strings are and you may be able to just make out the few mm of gap on the bridge.

Hope this helps
Attachments:
Guitar pic 1(1).jpg
Guitar pic 2(1).jpg
Guitar pic 3(1).jpg
#5
Well, I'm very surprised that you can build a guitar and can't work out how to get the strings right.

Let's start with the nut end. the nut should be filed to let the strings in such that they are lower than you appear to have them, but not so low as to catch the first fret.

The MAIN thing, however, is that you are going to have to take the neck off and put a shim in it to make it bend back from the body line (assuming its not a through neck design), OR you are going to have to recess the bridge fixings to get it lower.

Suggest you type guitar setup into youtube and watch some videos on how to set up a guitar.
You need to have the strings about 1/8 inch above the 1/12 fret.
#6
Let me guess. - This is a through-neck, and you didn't angle the neck down from the body?

I would be aiming at an action height of about 1/16" at the 14th fret, treble side, and that is going to be tricky to get that if it is a through neck. The only thing I can think of is to recess the bridge very low into the body and use a string-through body design like a tele to get sufficient break angle over the saddles.

The nut slots are way too high, the strings should only be just above the 1st fret.
#7
Thanks very useful and its a one piece so basically a through neck (it does have a truss rid though). And so yeah I may have to just file Down the metal on the bridge unless anyone else can think of something else?
#8
Quote by EpicGuitarGuy13
Thanks very useful and its a one piece so basically a through neck (it does have a truss rid though). And so yeah I may have to just file Down the metal on the bridge unless anyone else can think of something else?


I would cut a well in the body rather than take metal off the bridge. The stop tailpiece might not work because of insufficient break angle. You might be able to fix that simply by understringing the tailpiece. That is, thread the strings from the front of the tailpiece and pass then back underneath it, to get them as low as possible at the tailpiece.
#9
^Yes.

Speaking of break angles, your angle over the nut looks bad. Like, more than a string tree is going to fix bad. I'd think about one of those bars that hits all 6 strings, or staggered tuners. And lower the tailpiece.
#10
With all due respect, the guitar looks like it was put together by someone who is clueless about building guitars. With action that ridiculously high, and the bridge being so low to the deck, the amount of material you'd need to remove from the body would have to be ridiculous. This is why giving a guitar a tune-o-matic bridge when the guitar has no neck angle whatsoever is a very poor idea.

Also the break angle of the strings at the nut is nowhere near what it needs to be. It suggests to me that the headstock angle is nowhere near steep enough.

The amount of work you need to do to this guitar to fix these issues is enormous. I'd honestly just scrap the guitar altogether, learn my lessons and try again on a new body and neck. It sucks, but this is why you need to know what you're getting yourself into when building guitars of this type.
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#11
Surely you can adjust the neck angle using the truss rod and the angle at the nut isn't enough hence why I'm installing string trees(the photos don't show it but by the looks of things these string trees will be fine). And yeah I'm not going to give up now!There are ways I will try to fix it, I was just looking for some other peoples suggestions, rather than just grief about how bad it is .
#12
The truss rod isn't going to do anything to the neck angle. It only adjusts the bow in the neck, that's not going to help you. Since it's a one piece guitar, you're going to have to recess the bridge. That's the only option.
#13
Okay yeah I guess, and I think I will recess the bridge, looking at it though I may get away with just drilling a hole wide enough for the post to sink low enough so that I do not need to make a long groove for the bridge. If I do do that though, do you think I will need to recess the tail piece as well?
#14
Quote by EpicGuitarGuy13
Okay yeah I guess, and I think I will recess the bridge, looking at it though I may get away with just drilling a hole wide enough for the post to sink low enough so that I do not need to make a long groove for the bridge. If I do do that though, do you think I will need to recess the tail piece as well?


Yes.

Though without totally rebuilding the guitar I'd say take the TOM out, fill the holes and recess a hipshot bridge and make it string thru. A TOM needs a neck angle to have the strings sit properly, and a hipshot can have a straight neck. It will serve you a lot better. If you wanted to recess that TOM you'd have to go at least 1/2" down judging by that action.
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Last edited by TheStig1214 at Nov 20, 2014,