#1
i need help in several ways!
1. the string height in the 17th fret is supposed to be about 4/64 or 1/16 of an inch right? mine is like 1.5/16 and it still buzzes!
2. which side of the pickup is the treble and the bass side? the side close to the neck and the bridge or left and right?
3. I heard that Gibson's recommendation of the pickup height is bass:3/32 and treble 2/32 or 1/16. my neck pickup is like really low and my bridge is high, but i lowered the bridge pup a little and now i think neck one is louder.
Help me!!!
#2
bass side of the pickups means where the strings are thicker.

You could have numerous issues causing buzzing. Did you adjust the truss rod?
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#3
String height is measured from top of fret crown to bottom of string at the 12th fret. Buzzing can actually be caused by too much neck relief as well as too little. Fret your low E string (Bass) at the first fret and the 15th fret at the same time and observe the between the bottom of the string and the fret crowns around the 7th - 9th fret. It should be between 0.004" and 0.012". You should then be able to set your string height to around 4/64", a bit of buzzing is normal if it doesn't sound thru your pickups.
For pickup height, you're supposed to fret the strings on the last (22 or 24th) fret and measure from pickup to bottom of string.
Moving on.....
#4
Quote by KenG
String height is measured from top of fret crown to bottom of string at the 12th fret. Buzzing can actually be caused by too much neck relief as well as too little. Fret your low E string (Bass) at the first fret and the 15th fret at the same time and observe the between the bottom of the string and the fret crowns around the 7th - 9th fret. It should be between 0.004" and 0.012". You should then be able to set your string height to around 4/64", a bit of buzzing is normal if it doesn't sound thru your pickups.
For pickup height, you're supposed to fret the strings on the last (22 or 24th) fret and measure from pickup to bottom of string.


so what gibson means by the 3/32 and the 1/16 is the distance from the bottom of the fret and the pickup when pressed on the 22nd fret? that make sense. So since 3/32 is the bass side and 1/16 is the treble, does it mean it should be 3/32 inch when i press the 22nd fret of the 6th string, and 1/16 when i press 22nd of 1st? and also how do you measure 0.004 and 0.012?
#5
it didn't buzz when i had the stock strings... i think the stock was .010 and i changed it to 0.009. how do i adjust this? and i don't want to adjust the truss rod... to scared!
#6
Quote by hatooku
so what gibson means by the 3/32 and the 1/16 is the distance from the bottom of the fret and the pickup when pressed on the 22nd fret? that make sense. So since 3/32 is the bass side and 1/16 is the treble, does it mean it should be 3/32 inch when i press the 22nd fret of the 6th string, and 1/16 when i press 22nd of 1st? and also how do you measure 0.004 and 0.012?



Feeler gauges are one way like the ones used to measure spark plug gaps.
Moving on.....
#7
Umm... action is measured on the 17th fret on an electric guitar or bass.
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#8
Quote by hatooku
it didn't buzz when i had the stock strings... i think the stock was .010 and i changed it to 0.009. how do i adjust this? and i don't want to adjust the truss rod... to scared!



When you went to a smaller gauge two things happened, your neck relief would've decreased due to decreased tension on the neck with the lighter strings & your intonation is now out a tad for the same reason.
Basically you would need to loosen your truss rod slightly to compensate for the lighter strings. To loosen the rod you turn the tool counterclockwise gently. 1/4 turn at a time is plenty checking frequently using the fretted string method as mentioned above. As you are loosening the truss rod there's very little chance to break or damage it (tightening is the more risky of the two.)
You should also intonate your guiatr after the truss rod & string height adjustments are done so it will play in tune as close as possible.
Moving on.....
#9
I found a good way to adjust a truss rod... fret the 1st fret and the last one. In the middle around the 12th fret there should be some spacing. IF not adjust until there is. For electric guitars a little less then a business card's thickness is very good. Bass, a bit more I would safely assume. If any of the frets hit... then they need to be crowned with a metal file. No biggie, just has to be done. Hope this helps!
#10
Quote by ESP_Shreder
I found a good way to adjust a truss rod... fret the 1st fret and the last one. In the middle around the 12th fret there should be some spacing. IF not adjust until there is. For electric guitars a little less then a business card's thickness is very good. Bass, a bit more I would safely assume. If any of the frets hit... then they need to be crowned with a metal file. No biggie, just has to be done. Hope this helps!


You generally use the 15th fret for the top end as is just outside the area where the truss rod's adjustments have an effect and by checking at the 7th -9th fret you are looking at roughly the center of the truss rod's length.
Moving on.....
#11
thx! but i won't adjust the truss... i'll just leave it until i change strings to 0.010.
Anyway... where to i measure the string action? 12th or 17th! and how high?
#12
12th fret for string height as it's half the fingerboard length and where Gibson uses for their measurements (Fender too).
Moving on.....
#13
Quote by KenG
When you went to a smaller gauge two things happened, your neck relief would've decreased due to decreased tension on the neck with the lighter strings & your intonation is now out a tad for the same reason.
Basically you would need to loosen your truss rod slightly to compensate for the lighter strings. To loosen the rod you turn the tool counterclockwise gently. 1/4 turn at a time is plenty checking frequently using the fretted string method as mentioned above. As you are loosening the truss rod there's very little chance to break or damage it (tightening is the more risky of the two.)
You should also intonate your guiatr after the truss rod & string height adjustments are done so it will play in tune as close as possible.

think you've got that backwards, if you loosen the truss rod, you get more relief in the neck, which you'd be trying to avoid going from heavier gauge strings to a lighter set.
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#14
Quote by KenG
12th fret for string height as it's half the fingerboard length and where Gibson uses for their measurements (Fender too).

how high is the distance supposed to be? some people said 4/64 which is 1/16. is that right?
#15
Quote by ferretjoe
think you've got that backwards, if you loosen the truss rod, you get more relief in the neck, which you'd be trying to avoid going from heavier gauge strings to a lighter set.


When he put lighter strings on the guitar the the relief would've decreased because the truss rod was expecting the higher tension of the 10's vs the 9's. This means his truss rod is now too tight for the lighter strings and now the neck may be straight or even back bowing (closer to strings in the middle) Loosening the truss rod would restore the balance by allowing the neck to flex in the strings direction more (ie relief).
Moving on.....
#16
Quote by hatooku
how high is the distance supposed to be? some people said 4/64 which is 1/16. is that right?

That's what I use for both my Elitist Les Pauls and it feels fine to me.
Moving on.....
#17
Weird, your fret numbers all differ from anything I've read elsewhere... and what I learned in school.

Whatever though... I do setups professionally, so the more confused people we have out there, the more business I get... I guess.

I use the 17th fret to set the truss rod and to set the bridge height. (12th fret on an acoustic)

17th is an approximation for the truss rod adjustment.. you should use the fret around where the neck meets the body.

If you have a capo, put that on the first fret so you don't have to hold the string at both ends and check the gap in the middle.
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#18
About the neck pickup volume being louder: For a lot of pickup sets the output of the neck pickup is a bit louder, so this is probably normal. And if you don't like it, you don't have to follow Gibson's specs, you can do whatever you feel like, of course.
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#19
I'm using Dan Erlewine's book as a reference and he also mentions the 17th fret for the truss rod when fretting (Strat) or 15th fret - 17th fret when using a straight edge vs fretting. I suppose if you used the 17th fret you''d look at clearance under the 9th as it's closest to the centre of 17 frets. His reference fret for string height though is 12th fret on Gibson & Fender electrics not the 17th. I've been very happy using his advice as are a lot of big name professionals. While I certainly can't judge your workmanship, there are professionals out there that don't do good work & I've seen conflicting views on several setup procedures, particularly intonation methods. Did you go to a Luthier School of note?


EDIT: I checked your profile and according to your BD (1999) you're 9 years old which is hard to believe. 19 Perhaps???
Moving on.....
Last edited by KenG at Aug 6, 2008,
#20
Quote by KenG
I'm using Dan Erlewine's book as a reference and he also mentions the 17th fret for the truss rod when fretting (Strat) or 15th fret - 17th fret when using a straight edge vs fretting. I suppose if you used the 17th fret you''d look at clearance under the 9th as it's closest to the centre of 17 frets. His reference fret for string height though is 12th fret on Gibson & Fender electrics not the 17th. I've been very happy using his advice as are a lot of big name professionals. While I certainly can't judge your workmanship, there are professionals out there that don't do good work & I've seen conflicting views on several setup procedures, particularly intonation methods. Did you go to a Luthier School of note?


EDIT: I checked your profile and according to your BD (1999) you're 9 years old which is hard to believe. 19 Perhaps???

i think you're right... but mine is buzzing becus of the truss right? i'll just wait until i get new strings for that.... and for the pickups... when i press it on the last fret(the fret or the fretboard?) the height is different from the side of the pickup where it is facing the neck, and the side where it isn't... are those the treble and the bass side? i thought the treble and the bass was bass:6th string and treb:1st string.. just tell me where the treble and the bass side is.. plz
P.S. if i change the strings to original size than i don't have to adjust truss rod right>?
#21
Neck pickup (Rythym) is closest to the fingerboard and the treble side is High E string, Bass side Low E. Because the low E is larger and vibrates more it can be farther from the Pickups relative to the High E. The bridge PU )Lead) is of course closer to the bridge and the same goes for it. Pickup height is used to balance the different string output levels and to have the magnets close enough for good pick up but not so close the magnet interferes with the natural vibration of the string when plucked.
Moving on.....
#22
Quote by KenG
Neck pickup (Rythym) is closest to the fingerboard and the treble side is High E string, Bass side Low E. Because the low E is larger and vibrates more it can be farther from the Pickups relative to the High E. The bridge PU )Lead) is of course closer to the bridge and the same goes for it. Pickup height is used to balance the different string output levels and to have the magnets close enough for good pick up but not so close the magnet interferes with the natural vibration of the string when plucked.

thx, and i don't have to do the truss rod if i change strings to original size right?
#23
Quote by KenG
I'm using Dan Erlewine's book as a reference and he also mentions the 17th fret for the truss rod when fretting (Strat) or 15th fret - 17th fret when using a straight edge vs fretting. I suppose if you used the 17th fret you''d look at clearance under the 9th as it's closest to the centre of 17 frets. His reference fret for string height though is 12th fret on Gibson & Fender electrics not the 17th. I've been very happy using his advice as are a lot of big name professionals. While I certainly can't judge your workmanship, there are professionals out there that don't do good work & I've seen conflicting views on several setup procedures, particularly intonation methods. Did you go to a Luthier School of note?


EDIT: I checked your profile and according to your BD (1999) you're 9 years old which is hard to believe. 19 Perhaps???



I'm 32 years old.

I'm currently attending GCA at MI. Yes, It's a luthier's school of note.

I spoke with a friend of mine who has worked at Fender for the past 30 years. He does setups on the custom shop guitars. He said that Fender uses the 17th fret for truss rod adjustment and saddle height. He couldn't comment on how Gisbon measures, as he had no idea.
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#24
Quote by zeroyon
I'm 32 years old.

I'm currently attending GCA at MI. Yes, It's a luthier's school of note.

I spoke with a friend of mine who has worked at Fender for the past 30 years. He does setups on the custom shop guitars. He said that Fender uses the 17th fret for truss rod adjustment and saddle height. He couldn't comment on how Gisbon measures, as he had no idea.



Ha Ha! I see you've corrected your birthdate on your profile. 1976 sounds a lot better than 1999.
If MI stands for Musician's Institute then yes I've heard of it too. I'm not disputing your methods or Fender's, I was only passing on what I got from Dan's book. Yes, he mentions Fenders factory setup on pgs 29-32 and it's as you say, capo on 1st fret & press on 17th fret for straightedge and also 17th fret for string height. I also have no idea what Gibson uses and Dan doesn't mention it in his book either. But 4/64ths is what he measured at the 12th fret for string height on a factory setup Les Paul. Why he chooses the 12th fret as his standard I don't know but in order to compare my setups to his I use it as well.
Moving on.....
#25
I don't like putting the neck relief into the saddle height equation. Of course, if the neck relief is just right... then no problem, right?

There's more than one way to skin a cat. I was just passing on what I've learned and its been backed up by numerous other sources I've read on the internet.
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#26
I usually check/adjust my LPs in this order....
A) Neck Relief
B) String Height
C) Intonation
Does this seem OK to you Zeroyon? The LPs mohagany necks do change a little over the seasons here and I don't need to adjust too much or too often.
Moving on.....
#27
Yeah, in school they teach us:
A - neck relief
B - saddle height
C - Nut height
D - intonation

I always end up adjusting the saddle height more than once during the process... maybe because I'm a stickler for it. Neck relief adjustment is obviously not affected by saddle height, but if the saddles are super high or super low and must be adjusted a lot, it throws off neck tension and intonation a bit...If you're tuned to pitch then tension will change and seems to me like it could affect the relief. so I like to set the saddle height in the range I plan to use, then do everything from there. I also recheck after adjusting the nut, usually.

If its already been professionally setup in the past, this process usually goes really smoothly. It's the asian import guitars that take some time.

Name is Hugh, by the way. Zeroyon is the website i used to run. They wouldn't let me change my name on here.
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Last edited by zeroyon at Aug 8, 2008,
#28
Thanks Hugh. I don't touch the nut myself as I don't have the proper tools for shaping or slotting. I take my LPs to a guy called Jim Mozzell here in Calgary for the tricky stuff. He's got a good rep and you actually have to book an appointment in advance because he's so busy. He actually restored my American Strat that another professional repairman (who I won't name) f***ed up badly when I had the roller nut removed and rosewood added and standard nut installed.
Moving on.....