So, for Christmas yesterday, I got a new guitar. It's not a fancy Gibson or a custom-shop icon; it's just a cheap little electric guitar from Radioshack. It was about $200, but it really is a great-felling guitar. It is very well put-together and sounds great with the stock pickups. The only issue I'm having is the action. When I got it, the strings were so close to the fretboard that striking them produced a percussive sound. After a few minutes with the Musician's Tool Kit that I also got for Christmas, I eliminated the issue almost completely. But the issue is that I want to know how to fix the action to my liking with the bridge. It's a stoptail bridge, and I want to set the action just right for my strings (Dunlop Electric) so that it sounds great in Drop D, which is the tuning I like to use. In case you need to know, the gauges are, low to high, .046, .036, .026, .017, .013, and .010. I have the Ernie Ball Musician's Tool Kit, so I know that I have the tools I need to do the job. And before anyone says I should take it to a shop, there are none in my area. And I don't know anyone who I trust to do the job right.
Thanks in advance to anyone with answers.
And if anyone wants to know what the guitar looks like, here's a picture I pulled off of Rever:
Guitar strings are $8.50 a pack and that's just too much for me.
hey man, Its really as simple as tightening and/or loosening the circle piece that feels rough on the bridge. There is two of them on either side, and the one on the right side (thickest strings) will always be a little higher. Use adjustable pliers; being careful not to scratch up your paint job. Drop d is not a drastic change so I would not worry about setting up action specifically for that. Before you do any of this though I would recommend checking the truss rod and making sure the neck is set correctly. If its not you will have to repeat the whole process again once the truss rod is fixed. You can find all this information on google, which will explain it a lot better then I can. Also .10's are really light strings, I personally use .12 heavy bottom strings; also from ernie ball. They will play much nicer especially in drop d.
I started playing guitar to get far with the girls, now I play girls to get far with the guitar
Basically what jedke said. First make sure you set your truss rod correctly, as it will obviously have an influence on string acion. After setting the action, don't forget the intonation. I don't know whether the action is supposed to be different on your type of guitar, but my guitars have 1,5 mm on the high E-string and 2,2 on the low E-String. How and where to measure string action is different from guitar to guitar, as it depends on the scale. On my 25'5" and 24 fret guitars I have to measure it at the 14th fret, it might (and most likely will) be different on yours. I think the user's manual should provide some information there. Also, one thing to remember: You will ALWAYS get some fret buzz. That's completely normal and expectable. If you don't want to have ANY fret buzz, you would have to set the string action so insanely high that playing (especially in the higher frets) would be very, very uncomfortable. I know setting your guitar up properly will be a reall pain in the arse for the first time, you will most likely need a full day (or more) for it - especially the intonation. But you have to remember it's nothing you have to do on a daily basis, not even weekly or monthly. I usually just check if my guitars are set up properly twice a year, give or take. Usually the only time you'll have to re-adjust everything from scratch is when you put on different strings.

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Quote by metalmingee
In fact, wanting different tunings is one of the best reasons to convince others that you need more guitars.
Just to chime in - 10s aren't "really light", they're what I would call medium for standard tuning (same for drop D, though the low D will be a little bit looser). 9s are really light, 10s are about average, 11s are a little tight, and 12s are even tighter. This is all relative to standard tuning and drop D; in lower tunings like D standard, drop C, etc. you'll want heavier strings to get a similar feel. I'd say roughly it's something like one size up per whole step down, so if you like 10s in E standard then 11s in D standard would feel pretty similar.

But yea, check the neck relief and adjust the truss rod if necessary, adjust your action again after doing that, and check your intonation. As mentioned just do a google search for how to do these things. Don't want to type up a 3 page essay when it's fairly easy to find With all of these steps just adjust a little at a time and retune after each adjustment before checking again since they will all change the tuning, which changes the tension, which will throw off.
I'm behind on this thread, but I fixed it. Set the neck relief then set the bridge height. I'm keeping the axe in Drop C# though.
Guitar strings are $8.50 a pack and that's just too much for me.