#1
I recently posted a thread on setting up my Music Man Majesty. Link posted at end of this thread/message/etc.

I got a great email from Music Man tech support about how to lower the action.

First, he said to check the neck relief. You know, capo the 2nd fret, hold down the 12th, slide business card in at 6-7. After that, you can adjust the saddle height to your liking on each string.

Well, I did that and I realize I've never tried to adjust a guitar's string height from the saddles before.

For starters, I couldn't get the action all that much lower without getting some pretty noticeable fret buzz/lost some sustain.

I also couldn't figure out how to get the strings back to where they were.

To sum up:

I really don't know what to look for on the neck to know if it's adjusted correctly and I don't know what to look for on the saddles either.

Before you ask, the bridge is level and even with the body.

Any thoughts? Any help is appreciated. Helpful comments only, please.

Below is the link to my last thread about the Majesty and the first reply is the email I got from Music Man. Thank you!

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1731374
#2
Here's my email from Music Man:

James,

To lower the action, you'll first want to check the relief in the neck. You can do this by placing a capo on the 2nd fret and holding the string at the 12th fret down, then tap in the middle (around 6th/7th fret) and the gap should be about the thickness of a business card. If there is more of a gap you can tighten the truss rod wheel (we recommend 1/8th turn of the wheel, then tune up and check it again), this will in turn lower the action. If there is no gap, the truss rod wheel will need to be loosened (1/8th turn at a time, then tune and check it). If the relief in the neck is already set well, you can lower the action by lowering the individual string saddles. It's best to keep the top of the bridge plate level with the top of the guitar for full motion of the tremolo and to prevent tuning stability issues. Thank you.

On Tue, Mar 21, 2017 at 12:44 PM, James Harmon wrote:
I replaced the strings and got the bridge level and even with the body. I tried two springs, but couldn't get it level. Brought the 3rd spring and returned all 3 to their original positions. Loosened the claw like you said, and it lined up nicely.

The action is a little high for my taste. What's the best way to lower it? Is it ok for the bridge to go below the surface of the body as long as it's level? Also, do you think I'll need to adjust the truss? What's the best way to know?

Thank you!
-James

Sent from my iPhone

On Mar 21, 2017, at 2:25 PM, Music Man Customer Service wrote:

James,

Thanks for playing Ernie Ball Music Man! Most of our models that use the 9 gauge strings are setup with only 2 tremolo springs in the "V" shape, but it may be possible to loosen the tremolo tension claw and keep the 3 springs. The ultimate goal with the bridge is to have the top of the plate level/flush with the top of the body from side to side and front to back. The bridge will loose tension and pull back if the strings are removed, so you can either change one at a time or block the bridge temporarily during the string change and change all at once. We've attached the factory setup guidelines from the FAQ page on our website below if you'd like to check out our technician's process.

Floating Petrucci Tremolo (including Majesty)

1. String the guitar
2. Set the bridge plate height
a. Tune up the inner 4 (or 5) strings until some amount of tension is placed on the trem system.
i. This will help keep the bridge from “jumping” on the pivot screws and in its natural resting place while performing the setup.
ii. Full string tension, tuned to exact pitch, is not necessary.
iii. Tension is only placed on the inner 4 (or 5) strings as to not permanently nick the outer strings while adjusting the pivot screws.
b. Raise or lower the bridge using the pivot screws until the plate is level and flush with the top of the body.
i. Ensure the bass and treble sides are even by sighting from the back of the bridge.
c. Move the trem through its full range of motion. If the front edge of the plate contacts the recess (usually at the end of the dive bomb motion), raise the bridge until it moves unimpeded.
3. Block the tremolo
a. Place an object to block the bridge between the bridge plate and body.
i. You can use anything that will support the bridge under tension and not mar the finish. A folded piece of cardboard wrapped in masking tape works well.
b. Maneuver the bridge and block to where the bridge plate sits level with the body, supported by the block and held in place by the tension on the springs.
c. Tune to pitch. If the bridge plate begins to lift out of the recess, more spring tension is needed. An extra spring (up to five) can be added to the rear trem cavity if necessary.
i. Check that the trem springs are engaged through the entire range of motion. If they disengage from the claw when the bridge is pulled back, remove a spring and readjust the claw.
ii. Generally, 9-42 string sets will use two springs. 10-46, 11-48, and 10-52 will use three. Heavier gauges in standard tuning can use four or even five springs, but drop tuning will usually lessen the tension to only require three or four.
4. Follow setup instructions for a hardtail guitar. (https://www.music-man.com/faq#category3)
5. Float the bridge
a. With the tremolo still blocked, tune to pitch.
b. Stretch the strings and re-tune.
c. Loosen the trem claw screws until the bridge block pulls out easily.
d. Remove the block.
e. Pluck the G string, and observe its pitch on a tuner. It will likely be out of tune.
f. Adjust the trem claw to bring the open G back in tune. When the string reaches the correct pitch, the bridge should return to where it was originally set when blocked.
i. If the bridge is not floating correctly, tighten the trem claw/springs, re-block the bridge, and repeat steps a-d.
6. Double-check the setup and enjoy!!
a. If experiencing fret buzz on the first few frets (1~4), the truss rod needs to be loosened. If experiencing buzz in the middle of the neck (frets 6~10) the truss rod needs to be tightened.
b. If experiencing fret buzz across the entire neck, the bridge saddles need to be raised.
c. If making adjustments to the setup after the bridge has been floated, it may be necessary to re-block and re-float the bridge.

On Fri, Mar 17, 2017 at 10:30 PM, Webmaster wrote:
The following message was sent from James B Harmon having IP <98.29.197.56> via the Music Man contact form regarding Customer Service.

Hi, I'm James Harmon. I just bought a Majesty Silver Lining from Guitar Center. Never owned a guitar with a bridge like this.

I want to put on .009 gauge strings, and I'm curious about the set-up involved. Do I need to go down to 2 springs and reposition them?

Also, can I remove all the strings at once before restringing without losing tension? I know I've got to block the trem.

On my Schecter w/Floyd Rose, I would always restring one at a time. Curious If I'll need to do that with the Majesty.

Thank you!

-James Harmon
jamesharmonmusic@gmail.com


--
Cheers,

Music Man Customer Service Team
musicman_customerservice@ernieball.com
www.music-man.com
(866) 823-2255
7AM-5PM Mon-Ths
7AM-3:30PM Fri
4117 Earthwood Lane San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
NOTICE: This e-mail is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s). Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution of this e-mail or its contents is strictly prohibited.
If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply mail and destroy the original and all copies of the original message.
Show Quoted Content
I replaced the strings and got the bridge level and even with the body. I tried two springs, but couldn't get it level. Brought the 3rd spring and returned all 3 to their original positions. Loosened the claw like you said, and it lined up nicely.

The action is a little high for my taste. What's the best way to lower it? Is it ok for the bridge to go below the surface of the body as long as it's level? Also, do you think I'll need to adjust the truss? What's the best way to know?

Thank you!
-James

Sent from my iPhone

On Mar 21, 2017, at 2:25 PM, Music Man Customer Service wrote:

James,

Thanks for playing Ernie Ball Music Man! Most of our models that use the 9 gauge strings are setup with only 2 tremolo springs in the "V" shape, but it may be possible to loosen the tremolo tension claw and keep the 3 springs. The ultimate goal with the bridge is to have the top of the plate level/flush with the top of the body from side to side and front to back. The bridge will loose tension and pull back if the strings are removed, so you can either change one at a time or block the bridge temporarily during the string change and change all at once. We've attached the factory setup guidelines from the FAQ page on our website below if you'd like to check out our technician's process.

Floating Petrucci Tremolo (including Majesty)

1. String the guitar
2. Set the bridge plate height
a. Tune up the inner 4 (or 5) strings until some amount of tension is placed on the trem system.
i. This will help keep the bridge from “jumping” on the pivot screws and in its natural resting place while performing the setup.
ii. Full string tension, tuned to exact pitch, is not necessary.
iii. Tension is only placed on the inner 4 (or 5) strings as to not permanently nick the outer strings while adjusting the pivot screws.
b. Raise or lower the bridge using the pivot screws until the plate is level and flush with the top of the body.
i. Ensure the bass and treble sides are even by sighting from the back of the bridge.
c. Move the trem through its full range of motion. If the front edge of the plate contacts the recess (usually at the end of the dive bomb motion), raise the bridge until it moves unimpeded.
3. Block the tremolo
a. Place an object to block the bridge between the bridge plate and body.
i. You can use anything that will support the bridge under tension and not mar the finish. A folded piece of cardboard wrapped in masking tape works well.
b. Maneuver the bridge and block to where the bridge plate sits level with the body, supported by the block and held in place by the tension on the springs.
c. Tune to pitch. If the bridge plate begins to lift out of the recess, more spring tension is needed. An extra spring (up to five) can be added to the rear trem cavity if necessary.
i. Check that the trem springs are engaged through the entire range of motion. If they disengage from the claw when the bridge is pulled back, remove a spring and readjust the claw.
ii. Generally, 9-42 string sets will use two springs. 10-46, 11-48, and 10-52 will use three. Heavier gauges in standard tuning can use four or even five springs, but drop tuning will usually lessen the tension to only require three or four.
4. Follow setup instructions for a hardtail guitar. (https://www.music-man.com/faq#category3)
5. Float the bridge
a. With the tremolo still blocked, tune to pitch.
b. Stretch the strings and re-tune.
c. Loosen the trem claw screws until the bridge block pulls out easily.
d. Remove the block.
e. Pluck the G string, and observe its pitch on a tuner. It will likely be out of tune.
f. Adjust the trem claw to bring the open G back in tune. When the string reaches the correct pitch, the bridge should return to where it was originally set when blocked.
i. If the bridge is not floating correctly, tighten the trem claw/springs, re-block the bridge, and repeat steps a-d.
6. Double-check the setup and enjoy!!
a. If experiencing fret buzz on the first few frets (1~4), the truss rod needs to be loosened. If experiencing buzz in the middle of the neck (frets 6~10) the truss rod needs to be tightened.
b. If experiencing fret buzz across the entire neck, the bridge saddles need to be raised.
c. If making adjustments to the setup after the bridge has been floated, it may be necessary to re-block and re-float the bridge.

On Fri, Mar 17, 2017 at 10:30 PM, Webmaster wrote:
The following message was sent from James B Harmon having IP <98.29.197.56> via the Music Man contact form regarding Customer Service.

Hi, I'm James Harmon. I just bought a Majesty Silver Lining from Guitar Center. Never owned a guitar with a bridge like this.

I want to put on .009 gauge strings, and I'm curious about the set-up involved. Do I need to go down to 2 springs and reposition them?

Also, can I remove all the strings at once before restringing without losing tension? I know I've got to block the trem.

On my Schecter w/Floyd Rose, I would always restring one at a time. Curious If I'll need to do that with the Majesty.

Thank you!

-James Harmon
jamesharmonmusic@gmail.com


--
Cheers,

Music Man Customer Service Team
musicman_customerservice@ernieball.com
www.music-man.com
(866) 823-2255
7AM-5PM Mon-Ths
7AM-3:30PM Fri
4117 Earthwood Lane San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
NOTICE: This e-mail is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s). Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution of this e-mail or its contents is strictly prohibited.
If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply mail and destroy the original and all copies of the original message.


--
Cheers,

Music Man Customer Service Team
#3
Checking the neck while fretting the 12th fret is unusual. Most recommend the 17th fret, some even the last fret. You want a straight neck or as straight as possible. I would not adjust the action at the saddle but at the bridge. Then once the action is ok, maybe raise or lower individual strings, but usually I leave that alone. What is often ignored is the nut. If the nut is too high/the slots not deep enough you won't be able to get low action without fret buzz until that is addressed.
#4
dthmtl3 I have seen sources recommend the 12th fret before but yeah most recommend the 22nd or 24th, I prefer to have slight relief to keep the buzz down to a minimum.
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#5
I check my neck relief with a capo at 1st fret, and fretted at the body/neck joint (since the fretboard flattens at the body), which varies from guitar to guitar, checking relief about half way between.
It works for me...YMMV
--- Joe ---
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#6
Quote by dthmtl3
You want a straight neck or as straight as possible.

That is not generally recommended, and I had to fix one a few days ago where the neck was too straight. I fret at the 1st and heel frets, and set the relief at the 6th fret to about the thickness of a business card. In the absence of fret rattles, a straight neck results in an action which is unnecessarily high at the high frets. Action setting is a balancing act between neck relief and saddle height.
#7
Quote by Evilnine
dthmtl3 I have seen sources recommend the 12th fret before but yeah most recommend the 22nd or 24th, I prefer to have slight relief to keep the buzz down to a minimum.



Generally speaking, relief is checked by holding down the string at the 1st and 17th fret and checking relief at the 7th-9th fret. 
No decent tech will use the 22nd or the 24th fret -- remember that the truss rod mostly doesn't extend that far or have an influence on frets that far down (yeah, I know that there are some guitars that are adjusted from near the neck pickup). "Business card" is never recommended, because they can be far too thick. Some tomes have suggested a "new playing card", but only as a rule of thumb if you do NOT have a set of feeler gauges. Relief is generally adjusted to between .005 and.010 inch using a feeler gauge. I've mostly adjusted to around .008".

Setting action is done using the nut and the bridge (often if the nut is cut too high you'll get buzzing in the upper frets, from the 15th fret up). The very first requirement, of course, is a set of level frets. If your frets aren't level, there's no hope for low action with no buzzing frets. Generally speaking, action is set *first* on a flat fretboard and then relief is added. 
Last edited by dspellman at Mar 30, 2017,