#1
I hope I got this in the right section.
Playing a stratocaster hard tail.
Something must have changed since I played 20 years ago (just started up again) but 1.75 MM (0.069 inches) at the 12th fret feels real high to me, feels like I can't keep the strings under control playing around the 12th.

I know string height varies and is subjective, if I labeled myself I would be a pop/rock/blues sort of guy.

What do you think is 1.75 mm high for a strat at the 12th fret??
#4
I may be wrong, but I'd geuss most would say 1.75mm is a bit high, but I'm sure some would love it. I demand feather light action. My guitars are about 1.35- 1.40mm at the 12th.
Both TOM bridge, 24 fret, 25.5 scale.

Having a properly cut nut with string slots low enough to allow the strings to almost touch the first fret is a part of low action. Truss rod and bridge adjustments are the other factors.

A .40mm pick will hold snuggly between high/low E strings and the first fret on my Jacksons and the necks are essentially as straight as possible. I have slight buzz in certain areas of the neck, but it isn't bad.

I can only suggest checking the nut height and doing a bridge/truss setup. In the end you may or may not require another nut or modification of the current nut.
Last edited by chaosinsues5 at Jan 28, 2017,
#5
chaosinsues5
This nut is new, the cuts in it are shallow.
Part of the problem is "stupid fingers" as I haven't played in over 2 decades, so my brain says yeah! but my fingers go huh?

It seems like a quarter turn on the rod would lower it just right, little leery of that though.
#6
OK, I lowered the saddles as far as I could without buzz, it's still intonated and now my fingers are happy.
It's ~1.50mm now.
#7
Don't be afraid of the truss. Common sense should keep most people from going too far. A neck should be flat, or with a slight amount of downward bow in the center. You'd have to crank the truss quite a bit to go beyond this range. Use small 1/4 turns and check the neck after each turn.
The bow will help alleviate buzz if it occurs on a flat neck.

Level frets are the best way to avoid fret buzz at low action on a flat board.

Sounds like you've helped the situation. I need to adjust my truss rods fairly often because of fluctuating humidity in my old house, and I live in a pretty humid location year round.
Find a coin and use it at the 12th to check it from time to time. Find the thickness of your local coins online and pick the best size for yourself.
Last edited by chaosinsues5 at Jan 28, 2017,
#8
Quote by 33db
chaosinsues5
This nut is new, the cuts in it are shallow.
Part of the problem is "stupid fingers" as I haven't played in over 2 decades, so my brain says yeah! but my fingers go huh?

It seems like a quarter turn on the rod would lower it just right, little leery of that though.


The depth of the cuts on a nut are immaterial -- if the strings are too high compared to where they should be at the first fret, you're going to get fret buzz when you lower the bridge. As chaosinsues5 notes, you need to start with level frets first. I have a tech who tosses the guitars on the PLEK and they end up perfect. The board itself is pretty flat (he uses feeler gauges to set relief at the 7th fret or thereabouts). Remember that relief is never measured up by the 12th fret, but closer to the 7th fret (Fender suggests the 8th fret http://www2.fender.com/experience/tech-talk/how-to-measure-neck-relief/ ) and it should be measured with a feeler gauge, with the amount dependent on the radius of the fretboard. My standard is .006" - .008" or less. Forget the rules of thumb about new playing card (it's never a "business card" or a credit card). A set of feeler gauges is cheap and repeatable.

1.5mm action height should be better -- I have mine lower than that at the 12th fret. If I don't, my sausage fingers are fretting half the other strings on the neck.
Last edited by dspellman at Jan 28, 2017,
#9
The slot depths may not be an issue here, but if you want low action across the board from the nut to the last fret, the slots are gonna need to be low.
An F barre chord should require minimal pressure, but if the slots aren't low enough it'll feel awful at the first few frets.

Or, perhaps I misinterpreted about slot depths being immaterial?
#10
Quote by chaosinsues5
The slot depths may not be an issue here, but if you want low action across the board from the nut to the last fret, the slots are gonna need to be low.
An F barre chord should require minimal pressure, but if the slots aren't low enough it'll feel awful at the first few frets.

Or, perhaps I misinterpreted about slot depths being immaterial?


You need to have the slots at the proper height for the first fret. But some folks bury the strings in deep slots, some have the strings sitting nearly on the top of the nut, and both can have the strings themselves at the proper height. I was taught that the string should sit no more than 2/3rds down into the slot, which means that you either whack off some of the top of the nut or some of the bottom or shim it or whatever to get that result.

[Edit: StewMac calls the process of getting the nut where it needs to be "shaping" the nut. They say, "The slots should be only deep enough so 1/3 of the string is above the top of the nut and 2/3 in the nut." Last sentence here: http://www.stewmac.com/How-To/Online_Resources/Learn_About_Guitar_Nut_and_Saddle_Setup_and_Repair/Using_Feeler_Gauges_to_Control_Nut_Slot_Depth.html
Last edited by dspellman at Jan 28, 2017,
#11
Quote by chaosinsues5
Don't be afraid of the truss. Common sense should keep most people from going too far.

I was going to tighten it a bit, turns out it's all the way tight, which is odd.
I certainly won't force it but it had room either way before I took it in to the Luthier.

Lowering the saddles did it, it plays fine now and is still intonated correctly.
Slot depth matters, or perhaps to be more precise nut height matters, whatever the issue was I'm happier now.

I like the strat, but I have a Agile AL-3200 coming Monday as I was a Les Paul player long ago, I prefer no tremolo and the sound of the Paul.
I'm excited but trying to keep my expectations on the Agile low, so fingers crossed.

Thanks for the help guys (and gals).
#12
Yeah, I totally go for the not burying the strings. The wound strings on mine look like they sit on the slot more than in the slot.
I love a low action at the nut. Love, love , love it.
#13
Quote by 33db

I like the strat, but I have a Agile AL-3200 coming Monday as I was a Les Paul player long ago, I prefer no tremolo and the sound of the Paul.
I'm excited but trying to keep my expectations on the Agile low, so fingers crossed.


Is this a NEW AL-3200, or used?
#15
Quote by 33db
dspellman
It's new, and if you have bad news save it, I'm stressed enough as it is.


the agiles are pretty good. that being said unless you are experienced at setting up guitars yourself you should have your new guitars setup.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#16
Go high or go home. If it ain't at least 1/4" at the 12th fret I'm gone!!
#18
Quote by TobusRex
Go high or go home. If it ain't at least 1/4" at the 12th fret I'm gone!!


#19
I'll tell you what on the Agile AL-3200, it sounds much better right out of the box than a Fender Strat, after an hour on the Agile I plugged the Strat in and it sounds thin and tinny.
The action needs some work, but not bad at all right out of the box.
#21
chaosinsues5
Maybe, this Agile has push pull pots and spilt coils, it sounds better in that mode too.

The Agile came with D'addrio 0.10 strings the strat has super bullet 0.9 which sound brighter to me than the slinkys I usually use.
Maybe that's part of it.