#1
I know the heading doesnt quite make sense, but Im trying to decide how high I should put my strings relative to the fret board.

What is the normal height for acoustics?

How is your action set up?

What is the trade off?

etc. etc.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
#2
As low as it can go without getting any fret buzz under a normal string attack. This is assuming the rest of the guitar is setup correctly also. The nut slots should be checked, and the neck relief as well.
#3
Thanks.

I realise it will depend on the guitar, but what is an average/normal distance? What is yours?

ATM the distance between teh fretboard and the bottom of my thick e string is about 4mm. I have a feeling this is quite high.
#5
I am interested in this as well. My strings range from High E at 3 cm to Low E at 4 cm off the fret bar.
#6
Measured at the first fret, my Alvarez is .5mm on high E, and .6mm for low E. At the 12th fret, high E measures 2.2mm, low E 2.6mm. So yes, your low E being 4mm is quite high. You can lower it in small increments by sanding down the bottom of the saddle. Tape a piece of 125 or 250 grit sandpaper to a nice flat surface. Work the bottom, flat edge of the saddle on the sandpaper until you remove however much you need to. Take your time and do it slowly. If you overdo it, you'll need to replace the saddle. You also need to watch that you are keeping the angle of the saddle right. Before taking it off, take a close look at it and notice that it's lower on the treble side than on the bass side. You'll want to keep this ratio intact. All you want to do is lower the entire thing. Here's a helpful hint: before removing the saddle, scribe a straight line along the front and rear of the saddle right at the point where it meets with the wood of the bridge. You can then use this as a reference as you sand, since you'll sand a little, you can then put the saddle back in place, then make another line across it to check on your progress. Use a nice sharp point on a pencil.
I don't deal with metrics much being from USA, but for every 1/64th of an inch you want to lower the action at the 12th fret, you need to remove 1/32nd of an inch from the bottom of the saddle. I'm not sure if the same equation works in metric or not.
#7
It does work with metrics. to lower the action on the twelth fret .5mm you would need to sand the saddle 1mm. its awl good
#8
So is that the only way or the best way to lower the action? And by doing that will it affect the neck relief?
#9
I dont think you actually need to sand anything down do you. Cant you just get a guitar store to adjust the truss rod?
#10
Quote by Danboy_06
I dont think you actually need to sand anything down do you. Cant you just get a guitar store to adjust the truss rod?

Completely different. Truss rod controls relief.
Sincerely, Chad.
Quote by LP Addict
LP doesnt have to stand for les paul.. it can stand for.... lesbian porn.
#11
Quote by Chad48309
Completely different. Truss rod controls relief.


Thanks. Theoretically though, wouldnt tightening the relief/truss rod pull the neck back, thereby bring the strings closer to the fretboard?

Is it just a case where that is not the ideal thing to do because it cant change the height enough, or could do damage?



Thanks in advance?
Last edited by Danboy_06 at Mar 3, 2008,
#12
Quote by Danboy_06
Thanks. Theoretically though, wouldnt tightening the relief/truss rod pull the neck back, thereby bring the strings closer to the fretboard?

Is it just a case where that is not the ideal thing to do because it cant change the height enough, or could do damage?



Thanks in advance?

You got it. It could very possibly do damage, among other things. The action should properly be lowered by adjusting the height of the nut and the saddle. Relief simply holds the neck against caving in under the immense pressure of the strings, and should only be adjusted to accommodate weather and tension.
Sincerely, Chad.
Quote by LP Addict
LP doesnt have to stand for les paul.. it can stand for.... lesbian porn.
#13
You need to understand how the neck bends and also where it bends in order to understand truss rods. Picture a simple bow, such as a violin bow. Your guitar strings are the horsehair material of the bow, and the neck is curved bow itself. Since the base of the neck is rigidly mounted at the base of the guitar, let's lock down one end of the bow also, say in a vice. That leaves the headstock end free right? In a way it is, and isn't. The way a guitar's neck is made doesn't allow a whole lot of travel of the bowed portion. It also doesn't allow for movement of the headstock relative to that curve. So in our pretend bow, one end clamped in a vice, what's going to happen to the other end if we hold it in place so that it can't flex in and out, while we push against the back of the bow? It'll want to go somewhere, and up would be the correct answer. Your hand pressing against the backside of the curve of the bow is mimicking the truss rod. If this were the guitar, decreasing the inward bow of the neck would tend to lengthen the scale. It will also want to lower the action, but in the middle of the fretboard, where the curvature of the neck is the greatest. The farther out you travel from that point, the less the movement is, and the less of an impact it will have on action. Go far enough, and you'll notice that there was no change at all by adjusting the truss rod. It can't adjust what it can't move, such as the base of the neck, or the headstock. Do you all follow where I'm going with this? I've tried to explain this in other posts, maybe this one will work better.
Action is the distance the strings are away from the fretboard, and is adjusted at the saddle and nut. Relief is distance the strings are away from the fretboard and is adjusted by the truss rod, but it's the curvature of the neck that gives this relief, and is primarily along the center of the fretboard. Then intonation is directly related to scale length.
Ok, all that said, here's a couple hypothetical questions for all you guitar enthusiasts: Based on what I've written above, if you have a guitar that has high action around the 15th fret, what are you going to want to adjust to cure it, the saddle or the truss rod?
Next question: All the strings are buzzing around the 6th and 7th frets when strumming all strings open under a normal/hard attack, and it's the middle of summer. What are you most likely to want to adjust to fix it?
I'll watch for replies before giving out correct answers.
Last edited by LeftyDave at Mar 3, 2008,