#1
I want to buy an Ibanez RG421 but I've heard they don't come very well set up. Is there any way I can know if the frets need levelling, or if the action needs to be lowered, or if the pickup heights need to be adjusted? This is my first electric, so I haven't played any really well set up guitars to compare with.

I can give the luthier the guitar to set up, but I don't trust then too much because services are really cheap for some reason. Besides, I won't even know if he's made any changes at all.
#2
i doubt fret leveling would be bad from the factory.

the main thing with a setup is relief (truss rod), string height, intonation, etc. additional things if you have a tremolo.

you can get it set up for the first time for $20 and ask to watch so you can learn how to do it yourself.

edited action for relief for the sake of clarity.
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Last edited by trashedlostfdup at Feb 25, 2015,
#3
Does it feel nice for you to play? If yes then it's properly set up
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#4
Low action, no fret buzz, good playing feeling = good setup. Altough the string height is a pretty personal decision.
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#5
Quote by trashedlostfdup
i doubt fret leveling would be bad from the factory.

the main thing with a setup is action (truss rod), string height, intonation, etc. additional things if you have a tremolo.

you can get it set up for the first time for $20 and ask to watch so you can learn how to do it yourself.


Being a bit pedantic about this, but the truss rod is used to set neck relief, which should be the first step in, or preliminary to setting action height - that's just a semantic difference. Thereafter action height is set by adjusting the saddle height and nut slot height, if either are then necessary. If this doesn't get a low action with buzzing, then fret leveling is the next thing to look at.

Watching it done is a good idea, there must be lots of Youtube vids.
#6
Tony must be reading my mind...I've been trying to point out every time I see it the truss rod has one function and one only...neck relief, NOT action. It has very little to do with action. So little it should not even be mentioned in the same sentence, except to note that neck relief should be checked along with everything else. and it has absolutely nothing to do with intonation.

As for the original question, go to a few music stores and pawn shops and play some guitars, check out those owned by some friends, it won't take too long to get an idea what kind of setup you like. It's not hard or expensive to either do it yourself or have it done at a shop. Check around with some of the local musicians, they usually have a good idea who in your area does a good job.
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
#7
yea i probably should have said relief. my apologies. action is a bit of a slippery word.
WTLT 2014 GG&A

Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



****** NEW NEW NEW!
2017-07-07 2017-07-07 Update and a Chat On Noise Constraints *** NEW FRIDAY 7/7
2017-04-13 RUN AWAY from COMPUTERS!!! TCE? RANT ALERT!!!
2017-03-02 - Guitar Philosophy 1001- Be Prepared For the Situation (Thursday 2017-03-02)
2017-02-21 How to Hot-Rod the Hell of your Stratocaster for $50! (Tuesday 2017-2-21)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/
#8
You might pick up a book called "How to make your Electric Guitar Play Great" by Dan Erlewine.




Under $20 on Amazon. Probably the best $20 accessory you'll buy for your guitars. It covers a lot of ground regarding getting your guitar set up properly, and it's definitive and *right* (YouTube vids are all over the place in that regard).
Last edited by dspellman at Feb 25, 2015,
#9
Quote by dspellman
You might pick up a book called "How to make your Electric Guitar Play Great" by Dan Erlewine.


Under $20 on Amazon. Probably the best $20 accessory you'll buy for your guitars. It covers a lot of ground regarding getting your guitar set up properly, and it's definitive and *right* (YouTube vids are all over the place in that regard).


i agree on that. that is why i would take it to a good tech who will show you.

a book isn't bad either, but some youtube videos are good, for example fender has some, and i have seen other manufacturers have them as well.

but some people may do better seeing it first, then maybe reinforce their knowledge by the book.
WTLT 2014 GG&A

Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



****** NEW NEW NEW!
2017-07-07 2017-07-07 Update and a Chat On Noise Constraints *** NEW FRIDAY 7/7
2017-04-13 RUN AWAY from COMPUTERS!!! TCE? RANT ALERT!!!
2017-03-02 - Guitar Philosophy 1001- Be Prepared For the Situation (Thursday 2017-03-02)
2017-02-21 How to Hot-Rod the Hell of your Stratocaster for $50! (Tuesday 2017-2-21)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/
#10
Thank you everybody for the suggestions. I think I will go to a couple of stores and play a few guitars, then I will get the store that I purchase the guitar from to set it up in front of me (how long does that take BTW?).

I'll buy the book once I feel that my guitar needs to be taken care of again, so I can do it myself.

But all of this doesn't help me with getting the height of those pesky humbuckers right. I know the perfect height can be elusive, but any tips?
Last edited by josonmj at Feb 26, 2015,
#11
Quote by josonmj
Thank you everybody for the suggestions. I think I will go to a couple of stores and play a few guitars, then I will get the store that I purchase the guitar from to set it up in front of me (how long does that take BTW?).

I'll buy the book once I feel that my guitar needs to be taken care of again, so I can do it myself.

But all of this doesn't help me with getting the height of those pesky humbuckers right. I know the perfect height can be elusive, but any tips?


There are suggestions from Gibson regarding starting pickup height. There are also suggestions in the book. If your guitar is new, leave them alone for now; moving them closer to the strings will make them a tad louder, but muddier in the lower registers and you'll take a chance on losing sustain (the magnetic flux closer to the strings can actually slow the strings down). Farther away, the pickups add clarity and sustain. A traditional Les Paul neck pickup, for example, is nestled down almost level with its pickup ring.

Having a tech walk you through a setup is a great idea (though the tech might not think so). You'll definitely slow him down with questions, and he/she gets paid by the hour . Depending on the tech, there may be work ahead of yours and you may not be able to schedule a time when you can both be available at the same time.

Setups vary in time spent depending on what's necessary. Some techs like to make an adjustment and then let the guitar settle out a bit, play it a bit, and then recheck things.
#12
Quote by trashedlostfdup
i doubt fret leveling would be bad from the factory.
.


It often is, sadly. Sometimes this isn't the factory's fault; the time and distance between production and sale can sometimes undo the factory's best efforts. And sometimes the factories simply don't do good work. For example Gibson, at one point, had developed a reputation for mediocre fretwork, and this included $4K+ guitars. They set their action fairly high, cut their nuts a bit high and recommended that higher action gave better tone. But if you wanted lower action, you often needed to have the nut cut differently and the frets leveled before it would play the way you liked.
#13
I heard the book has a lot of info on buying new guitars too, so I am definitely going to get it now. Pickup height doesn't have too much of an effect on tone, right?
#14
Quote by josonmj
I heard the book has a lot of info on buying new guitars too, so I am definitely going to get it now. Pickup height doesn't have too much of an effect on tone, right?


quite a lot actually. it takes five seconds to raise or lower with a screwdriver. so its easy to find what you like.
WTLT 2014 GG&A

Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



****** NEW NEW NEW!
2017-07-07 2017-07-07 Update and a Chat On Noise Constraints *** NEW FRIDAY 7/7
2017-04-13 RUN AWAY from COMPUTERS!!! TCE? RANT ALERT!!!
2017-03-02 - Guitar Philosophy 1001- Be Prepared For the Situation (Thursday 2017-03-02)
2017-02-21 How to Hot-Rod the Hell of your Stratocaster for $50! (Tuesday 2017-2-21)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/