#1
hey guys, i'm trying to set up my strat ('62 RI if that matters) after realizing i hadn't done it yet since i bought it. but i have never set up a guitar before.
i want my action to be as high as possible and i want to adjust my intonation.
questions: - to adjust my intonation, do i need to turn the screws at the very end of the tremolo block ?
- to adjust the action, do i turn those tiny screws, holes in the saddles with the small tool that came with the guitar ?

anything that i should be careful with, such as not ****ing up my neck with the fast pressure changes ?

thanks guys !
#2
I suggest not having a high action. Why do you want one?
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#3
Quote by The red Strat.
hey guys, i'm trying to set up my strat ('62 RI if that matters) after realizing i hadn't done it yet since i bought it. but i have never set up a guitar before.
i want my action to be as high as possible and i want to adjust my intonation.
questions: - to adjust my intonation, do i need to turn the screws at the very end of the tremolo block ?
- to adjust the action, do i turn those tiny screws, holes in the saddles with the small tool that came with the guitar ?

anything that i should be careful with, such as not ****ing up my neck with the fast pressure changes ?

thanks guys !


Why would you want the action as high as possible?

Intonation: Yes, the screws on the bottom of the bridge that face the bottom of the guitar. Tune, fret at the 12th fret and check the tuning. If it's too sharp, tighten the screws, too flat, loosen the screws.

Action: Yes, you need to turn the screws for each string with the allen key that came with your guitar.
#4
Do you mean you want your action as low as possible? Having a high action is pointless, only makes work for yourself. Maybe you have them confused? :S

Anyway...you need to turn the holes in the saddles to raise or lower them, remember to make sure it's an even drop or raise on both sides though. And correct again for intonation. Just do it a little at a time, tune up and check, little again, etc, until you find it.

And altering these shouldn't have any drastic impact on your neck at all, don't worry.
#5
Quote by LightningRider
I suggest not having a high action. Why do you want one?


because i like that and it will improve my tone aswell.

Quote by TheProducer
Why would you want the action as high as possible?

Intonation: Yes, the screws on the bottom of the bridge that face the bottom of the guitar. Tune, fret at the 12th fret and check the tuning. If it's too sharp, tighten the screws, too flat, loosen the screws.

Action: Yes, you need to turn the screws for each string with the allen key that came with your guitar.

ok, anything i should be careful with or look out for in particular ?

Quote by Mazzakazza
Do you mean you want your action as low as possible? Having a high action is pointless, only makes work for yourself. Maybe you have them confused? :S

Anyway...you need to turn the holes in the saddles to raise or lower them, remember to make sure it's an even drop or raise on both sides though. And correct again for intonation. Just do it a little at a time, tune up and check, little again, etc, until you find it.

And altering these shouldn't have any drastic impact on your neck at all, don't worry.

no, as high as possible.
i just like it.


alrighty.
Last edited by The red Strat. at May 30, 2008,
#6
Quote by The red Strat.
because i like that and it will improve my tone aswell.


It won't alter your tone. If you like it, fine, but are you seriously sure you don't mean 'lower' the action here?
#7
Quote by Mazzakazza
It won't alter your tone. If you like it, fine, but are you seriously sure you don't mean 'lower' the action here?

it will . no, i want a higher action .
#9
Quote by The red Strat.
it will . no, i want a higher action .


out of curiosity where did you hear this?
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#10
Well, maybe for some reason he plays better with a really high action and that will impact his tone. That's the only thing I can think of.
#11
Quote by Mazzakazza
Do you mean you want your action as low as possible? Having a high action is pointless, only makes work for yourself. Maybe you have them confused? :S


Quote by LightningRider
I suggest not having a high action. Why do you want one?


Try telling that to Pete Townshend

Higher action means less fret buzz, better sustain and therefore better tone.

...must be the time of year, darned outbreaks of noobitis.
Actually called Mark!

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Last edited by steven seagull at May 30, 2008,
#12
^That's just what i suggested. I sort of eliminated the idea that Pete Townshend was the Threadstarter.
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#13
Quote by steven seagull
Try telling that to Pete Townshend

Higher action means less fret buzz, better sustain and therefore better tone.

...must be the time of year, darned outbreaks of noobitis.


Say that, but IMO it's best to find an optimum balance between the action and fret buzz, i.e. the min height you can get away with without causing fret buzz, for the sake of speed, yet keeping buzz at bay. Personal preference I guess.
Last edited by Mazzakazza at May 30, 2008,
#14
Quote by shredhead22
out of curiosity where did you hear this?

i'm not sure, but even if it doesn't alter my tone (i'm pretty sure it does though, it seems quite logical it would) i still prefer a high action. there's less tension on the strings that way.


i'm having major problems with intonation. i can't get it right. i am never in tune at the 12th fret, whatever i do... i'm screwing up the screw by screwing so much ( ).
Last edited by The red Strat. at May 30, 2008,
#15
Quote by The red Strat.
i'm not sure, but even if it doesn't alter my tone (i'm pretty sure it does though, it seems quite logical it would) i still prefer a high action. there's less tension on the strings that way.


Uh, I'm not sure actual tension changes, because only the height changes. But higher strings is going to feel more tense IMO because you will need to press harder to play...
#16
And you can forget about bending.
My Gear:

Guitars:
Fender American HSS Stratocaster

Amps & Effects:
Hand-Wired JCM 800 2204
Hand-Wired V30 2x12 Cab
Keeley TS-9 Tube Screamer
ISP Decimator
EHX Holiest Grail
Modded Dunlop Crybaby
Boss RC-2 Loop Station
#17
Quote by The red Strat.
i'm not sure, but even if it doesn't alter my tone (i'm pretty sure it does though, it seems quite logical it would) i still prefer a high action. there's less tension on the strings that way.


i'm having major problems with intonation. i can't get it right. i am never in tune at the 12th fret, whatever i do... i'm screwing up the screw by screwing so much ( ).


Try loosening the string off before adjust the screw, maybe it's stuck and not actually moving with the screw.
#18
Quote by TheProducer
Uh, I'm not sure actual tension changes, because only the height changes. But higher strings is going to feel more tense IMO because you will need to press harder to play...

i'm not sure on that either, but the feel definitely changes.

no, i'm experiencing it the other way around.

Quote by LightningRider
And you can forget about bending.

call me crazy, but it's slightly easier now IMO.

Quote by TheProducer
Try loosening the string off before adjust the screw, maybe it's stuck and not actually moving with the screw.

it's moving, but i'm always too sharp, no matter what i do... perhaps my tuner sucks ?
#19
Quote by The red Strat.
i'm not sure, but even if it doesn't alter my tone (i'm pretty sure it does though, it seems quite logical it would) i still prefer a high action. there's less tension on the strings that way.


i doubt it would, but fair enough if that's what you like
Quote by pedaler466
Shreadhead22 had nothing helpful to say to me. He just immediatly started being a prick.

Quote by Yngwi3
Shredhead's advice is the best in the thread.


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-'93 Gibby LP studio
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-TS9dx
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#20
Perhaps you have a bow in your neck? Look down the length and see if its curved. If it is, tighten the truss rod (female allen key at nut).
My Gear:

Guitars:
Fender American HSS Stratocaster

Amps & Effects:
Hand-Wired JCM 800 2204
Hand-Wired V30 2x12 Cab
Keeley TS-9 Tube Screamer
ISP Decimator
EHX Holiest Grail
Modded Dunlop Crybaby
Boss RC-2 Loop Station
#21
it's very slighty curved, which is normal i believe. what does it have to do with bending and intonation though ?
#22
It has to do with intonation profoundly. It really is the majority of fixing bad intonation while the screws on the bridge are mostly for fine-tuning.
My Gear:

Guitars:
Fender American HSS Stratocaster

Amps & Effects:
Hand-Wired JCM 800 2204
Hand-Wired V30 2x12 Cab
Keeley TS-9 Tube Screamer
ISP Decimator
EHX Holiest Grail
Modded Dunlop Crybaby
Boss RC-2 Loop Station
#23
Quote by The red Strat.
it's very slighty curved, which is normal i believe. what does it have to do with bending and intonation though ?


Always sharp? Are you screwing it the right way? Your going to want the saddle (the thing that the string sits on and that moves when you screw it) to move closer to the end of the guitar to make the string longer overall.
#24
ahh, it's working now. i'll let you guys know if i encounter some other problems. thanks for the help so far !!
#25
Higher action gives the strings more room to vibrate. It will affect the tone, maybe not drastically but it will afeect it.
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#26
Quote by Mazzakazza
Say that, but IMO it's best to find an optimum balance between the action and fret buzz, i.e. the min height you can get away with without causing fret buzz, for the sake of speed, yet keeping buzz at bay. Personal preference I guess.


Exactly

You could drive a train under Townshends strings...I personally don't like too low an action myself but I understand exactly why some people like a low action, just as I understand why some people like a high action.

Action doesn't affect string tension, nor does it affect bending in any significant way. The only thing it's really going to impact is faster, shred-type runs, extended legato playing and sweep picking...

...and contrary to popular belief, not everyone who owns a guitar wants to play like that
Actually called Mark!

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#27
OK, i am finished for the moment. my G-string was really hard to intonate, i was still slightly sharp at the end of the screw, but i managed to screw it a little tighter. is it bad though, that the little spring is completely pressed together because of the pressure that i needed to make to intonate the G string ?
another thing, i heightened the saddles to the max height, but they aren't all in line height-wise. does this matter or should i make them curve nicely along with the fretboard (thus having to lower the action a bit) ?
#28
If the action is higher, the sustain is greater, and you can build calluses.
If the action is lower, it will be easier to "fret" a note, but it increases fret buzz.
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#30
a compressed intonation screw is fine, and put the saddles at the height best for each string.
Jenneh

Quote by TNfootballfan62
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#31
ok, but with compressed i mean REALLY compressed, i can't screw it any further. still fine ?

what exactly do you mean by at best height ?
thanks for the reply !
#32
Quote by The red Strat.
OK, i am finished for the moment. my G-string was really hard to intonate, i was still slightly sharp at the end of the screw, but i managed to screw it a little tighter. is it bad though, that the little spring is completely pressed together because of the pressure that i needed to make to intonate the G string ?


sometimes i tell guys to snip the spring in half to get more wiggle room out of an intonation screw.
you could buy a second spring clip it and then install that one, to see if it's easier to intonate that saddle.
if you dont want to go to the bother, then just compress that spring, yes. it's only purpose is to push the saddle back towards the headstock when needed.
with your current set up it';s not needed.

another thing, i heightened the saddles to the max height, but they aren't all in line height-wise. does this matter or should i make them curve nicely along with the fretboard (thus having to lower the action a bit) ?



you shouldnt worry about how the saddles look as a set. just make sure that each string is at a good height for the action you want.

for example, if you want low action and no fret buzz. lower each saddle, just until you hear some buzz that transmits thru the amp, then back that saddle up again, just until the buzz stops.

each saddle should be level. the group of saddles dont need to be.


i didnt flip thru the whole thread. so im just guessing that ur bridge is balanced, or flush against the body.
Jenneh

Quote by TNfootballfan62
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#34
Actually, Jenny's post about the saddles not all needing to be in line is a bit off. The position of the saddles should be curved in relation to the neck radius. If you look at the frets, they are not perfectly flat across the neck, they and the neck have a curve to them. This is called the fretboard radius. The saddles should match this arc so that all the strings are the same distance from the frets, and obviously the fatter strings will need to be farther away from the fretboard than the thinner need to be. What you don't want is to have some strings higher and others lower. You want a smooth arc to them just like the frets are.
Ok, next item. If you really want to do a thorough job of setting up your guitar, follow the guide I've posted below. It's directly from Fender, and is specifically for Strats.

http://www.fender.com/support/stratocaster.php

Last item. You say you want high action. All well and good, but be careful of just how high you go with it. If excessive, you are going to be playing everything sharp, and there won't be a thing you can do about it unless you lower the action again. It's inevitable since you have to move and stretch the strings to get to the frets, and the farther they have to go to reach the frets the sharper each note is going to be once it does finally touch the fret wire. Ideally you want to have the note be right on once you fret it. You could try to compensate by lowering the open tuning of each string a tad, but all that will do is make all open notes flat, with all fretted notes on target. See what I'm getting at? I believe this is the concern of some of the other people too when they read that you want your action as high as possible. Just be aware that you can overdo it is all I'm saying.
#35
yeah in curve with the arc is fine, but in reason. imo, if it's buzzing then it doesnt make sense to follow the curve of the fretboard if it means raising all the strings to compensate for a high one.

assuming of course the strings are all reasonable close. would be odd to see one high string for whatever reason.

edit: it's single saddle adjustment for a reason, and as long as the frets are pretty good, an arc should present itself naturally anyway.
Jenneh

Quote by TNfootballfan62
Jenny needs to sow her wild oats with random Gibsons and Taylors she picks up in bars before she settles down with a PRS.


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Last edited by jj1565 at Jun 3, 2008,