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> Neck, Action Adjustments
Anese
post Jun 23 2019, 01:10 PM
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Hello everyone,

the reason I made this post is that I want to get some help to set my guitar just right, I know this is more of a guitar learning community but I figured that I have to let my guitar siblings give me a hand in this.
And please do not tell me to take my guitar to a tech because there’s not guitar techs where I live, not even in a 3000 km radius. rolleyes.gif

So the thing is that I recently felt that my Ibanez RG655 plays a little bit difficult on the high frets, says from 19th - 24th frets and by difficult I mean that the strings seem to have a high action around those frets.
So I decided to make some measurements for that Super wizard HP neck and compare it to recommended measures which noted in the guitar manual that came with the instrument. Also please note that all the measurements that I did were done as instructed in the guitar manual.

Before I started to check the intonation, string action and the neck curvature, I decided to remove the (ESP arming adjuster) which I installed a on my guitar for more than two years now and had to readjust the spring tension and the trem angle, and let the guitar settle for two weeks.
here's a pic that show the ESP unit before i removed it

Attached Image

Also note that all the measurements where done several time during different time while I let the guitar set and nothing actually changed.

So here’s the check up that I did :

At first I check the intonation of the guitar, I tuned precisely, checked the intonation and I could say that it was almost perfect and non of the checked notes seemed to be flatter or sharper than they should be.

The next step I measured the Action on the Fourteenth fret as Recommended on the manual and it was as follows :
- The high E 1st string = 2.0 mm as shown in the pics below, while in the manual it is stated that the action on the 1st string at the Fourteenth fret should be (1.5- 1.7 mm)

Attached Image

- The low E 6th string action was 2.6 mm (see pic) where in the manual it was stated that it should be (2.0 - 2.2 mm)

Attached Image

According to what I know that before you start adjusting the guitar action by adjusting the floating trem stud bolts (my guitar has the Edge tremolo btw) I have to make sure that my neck is not bowing than what it should be in either direction so the third thing I checked was the Neck Curvature

The instructions in the manual says to fret the first fret ( I used a capo) and fretted the 18th fret with my finger and the recommended distance between the bottom of the string and the 8th fret, should be around (0.3 - 0.5 mm).
In my case it was hard to see a clear gab, and to be certain about that I did the business card test, I took a card (of a 0.5 mm thickness) and slipped it right between the string and the 8th fret, and I could say that the string was raised slightly but not too much, and I can confirm that there was no way to slip the card without causing the string to raise. Here’s some pics below shows the distance between the 8th fret and both of the E strings

Attached Image

Attached Image

So in my humble knowledge I can say that I have a slight backward bow even though I hear very little buzzing when I play the guitar acoustically but nothing too serious. And when I play the guitar plugged in I don’t hear anything wrong or any buzzing at all.

So I’m thinking to make a small tiny adjustment ( a couple of quarter turns) to the truss rod and let the guitar set and recheck the neck curvature.

Once that gets done and I get the recommended neck curve I will check the string action and make any adjustment if needed through the stud bolts and finally reinstall the (ESP arming) adjuster.

The reason I wanted to share this is to get your thoughts and Ideas, or you might recommend any other methods to make the measurements before I adjust the truss rod, or you might even correct me if I have any misunderstandings.

I’m also thinking of posting this on one of the Ibanez fanatic sites, like Ibanezrules or Jemsite.. but I need to get your opinion about this first, you could also recommend a reliable online resource where I might get a some help.

Thanks

This post has been edited by Anese: Jun 23 2019, 01:23 PM
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Mertay
post Jun 23 2019, 03:56 PM
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Truss adjustment is for buzzings till around first to around 7th fret, the lower frets are about the trem. height.

Unless upper fret buzzing has importance to you (not much to me cause of always using distortion), from your message seems you don't need to adjust the truss-rod.

Keep in mind, when lowering the tremolo it can be advised to loosen the strings so that the trem. blades don't get dull while adjusting. Seem you can decrease the trem more, no need to be super accurate about measurements. If clean is important it can be higher or if always distortion is used can be very slightly lower...micro adjustments can be a personal preference thing.

After setting the trem. angle and your trem. stopper, then check intonation again as it must be the last thing to check.


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klasaine
post Jun 27 2019, 10:15 AM
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As long as it's comfortable for you to play, plays in tune and doesn't buzz to the point where it bothers you, it doesn't matter if it's lower or higher than the factory recommended specifications.

#The truss rod on modern guitars affect primarily frets 3 through 12 ... at least on all my instruments.

This post has been edited by klasaine: Jun 27 2019, 10:16 AM
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Anese
post Jun 27 2019, 06:34 PM
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QUOTE (Mertay @ Jun 23 2019, 04:56 PM) *
Truss adjustment is for buzzings till around first to around 7th fret, the lower frets are about the trem. height.

Unless upper fret buzzing has importance to you (not much to me cause of always using distortion), from your message seems you don't need to adjust the truss-rod.

Keep in mind, when lowering the tremolo it can be advised to loosen the strings so that the trem. blades don't get dull while adjusting. Seem you can decrease the trem more, no need to be super accurate about measurements. If clean is important it can be higher or if always distortion is used can be very slightly lower...micro adjustments can be a personal preference thing.

After setting the trem. angle and your trem. stopper, then check intonation again as it must be the last thing to check.


Thanks for your advice Mertay

QUOTE (Mertay @ Jun 23 2019, 04:56 PM) *
the lower frets are about the trem. height.


by Lower frets you mean the frets from 12 to 24 ?

and if I lower the trem isn't that going to affect the string action of the 1st to 3rd frets which already has low action and that might cause fret buzz on those frets.

unless if lowering the trem isn't going to affect the string action on the first 5 frets.

Thanks again



QUOTE (klasaine @ Jun 27 2019, 11:15 AM) *
As long as it's comfortable for you to play, plays in tune and doesn't buzz to the point where it bothers you, it doesn't matter if it's lower or higher than the factory recommended specifications.

#The truss rod on modern guitars affect primarily frets 3 through 12 ... at least on all my instruments.


Yes Klasaine it plays nice right till about the 14th fret, but right after that I feel the strings are pretty high, I dont have that much experience with different guitars, so i don't know if that hight is actually ok, or I have a high action on upper frets.

QUOTE (klasaine @ Jun 27 2019, 11:15 AM) *
#The truss rod on modern guitars affect primarily frets 3 through 12 ... at least on all my instruments


If that so, then what about the trem hight ? does that affect the string hight through all the fret board or just the frets which are closer to the bridge ?

Thanks for your help

This post has been edited by Anese: Jun 27 2019, 06:32 PM
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klasaine
post Jun 27 2019, 06:36 PM
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Bridge and saddle height will affect the action over the entire fretboard.
When playing clean or not amplified, does the guitar buzz at the first and second frets? If so, the nut may be cut a little too low.
It's all a compromise really. Neck relief and angle, bridge height, nut height as well as string gauge. Keep messing with it. You'll get it.
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Anese
post Jun 27 2019, 06:57 PM
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QUOTE (klasaine @ Jun 27 2019, 07:36 PM) *
Bridge and saddle height will affect the action over the entire fretboard.
When playing clean or not amplified, does the guitar buzz at the first and second frets? If so, the nut may be cut a little too low.
get it.


No the guitar actually doesn't buzz when played clean, i hear very little buzz that almost never bother me when i play the guitar unplugged as if it was an acoustic.

QUOTE (klasaine @ Jun 27 2019, 07:36 PM) *
It's all a compromise really. Neck relief and angle, bridge height, nut height as well as string gauge. Keep messing with it. You'll get it.


Yea, that's all what i'm preparing to do, just gathering some knowledge at first, then will do the tweaking bit by bit,

Thanks man
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Mertay
post Jun 27 2019, 07:03 PM
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QUOTE (Anese @ Jun 27 2019, 05:34 PM) *
by Lower frets you mean the frets from 12 to 24 ?

and if I lower the trem isn't that going to affect the string action of the 1st to 3rd frets which already has low action and that might cause fret buzz on those frets.

unless if lowering the trem isn't going to affect the string action on the first 5 frets.

Thanks again


Yes, low than 12.th fret.

Frets near the nut (till around 7, but Klasaine mentioned can be as low as 12 so I'd take that into account) won't affected when trem. height is decreased, cause they get their height-tension from the nut at that distance.


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Todd Simpson
post Jun 28 2019, 02:53 AM
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Some great advice here smile.gif I usually am willing to take a bit of buzz to get the action as low as humanly possible, then again I play Yngwie 8 gauge strings as well. Some folks wanna dig in and have zero buzz and pay 12 gauge strings. To each his own smile.gif

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Anese
post Jun 30 2019, 09:42 PM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Jun 28 2019, 03:53 AM) *
Some great advice here smile.gif I usually am willing to take a bit of buzz to get the action as low as humanly possible, then again I play Yngwie 8 gauge strings as well. Some folks wanna dig in and have zero buzz and pay 12 gauge strings. To each his own smile.gif


Actually i was hoping an ibby guy would hop in the post haha, Todd can you take one of your superwizard necks and measure the action on the 14th fret ?

I'd also be thankful if you can measure the gab for neck relief on the 8th fret while you capo the 1st fret and press on the string on the 18th fret.

Thanks

This post has been edited by Anese: Jun 30 2019, 10:08 PM
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jstcrsn
post Jun 30 2019, 10:29 PM
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QUOTE (Anese @ Jun 30 2019, 09:42 PM) *
Actually i was hoping an ibby guy would hop in the post haha, Todd can you take one of your superwizard necks and measure the action on the 14th fret ?

I'd also be thankful if you can measure the gab for neck relief on the 8th fret while you capo the 1st fret and press on the string on the 18th fret.

Thanks
to do this right you need the right tools which would cost you more than going to a professional . You can do everything right but in the wrong order and be in a worse place than when you started. I would recommend having it set up professionally and then start trying to understand what , how and why it was done that way. But...


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Todd Simpson
post Jul 1 2019, 12:26 AM
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ok smile.gif I do measure from the wood, not from the fretwire though.

Heres the first one you asked forAttached Image
and the secondAttached Image
Hope that helps smile.gif Generally, I try to wiggle the truss a quarter turn or so back and forth til the neck feels comfy then drop the trem posts just before notes start to fret out. That's about it.
It does look like your ibby may have just a pinch taller action that I would normally like to see on an ibby that nice. Finding the right spot for truss takes some trial and error, then dropping the trem in to the cavity takes some more trial and error, and then you have to make sure you have not wrecked your intonation. It's a lot of playing around with it until it finally feels right. An MIJ Ibby with a Wizard/Super Wizard neck, should have shockingly low action IMHO as that's what they are built for smile.gif

Todd

It sounds like you are
QUOTE (Anese @ Jun 30 2019, 04:42 PM) *
Actually i was hoping an ibby guy would hop in the post haha, Todd can you take one of your superwizard necks and measure the action on the 14th fret ?

I'd also be thankful if you can measure the gab for neck relief on the 8th fret while you capo the 1st fret and press on the string on the 18th fret.

Thanks


This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Jul 1 2019, 12:36 AM
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klasaine
post Jul 1 2019, 11:53 AM
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QUOTE (jstcrsn @ Jun 30 2019, 02:29 PM) *
to do this right you need the right tools which would cost you more than going to a professional . You can do everything right but in the wrong order and be in a worse place than when you started. I would recommend having it set up professionally and then start trying to understand what , how and why it was done that way. But...


As mentioned, he lives in Libya. 3000 kms from any guitar tech throughout the foreseeable future.

A few tools and few tries should get it. In the grand scheme of things, a set up is pretty basic.
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jstcrsn
post Jul 1 2019, 01:26 PM
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QUOTE (klasaine @ Jul 1 2019, 11:53 AM) *
As mentioned, he lives in Libya. 3000 kms from any guitar tech throughout the foreseeable future.

A few tools and few tries should get it. In the grand scheme of things, a set up is pretty basic.

ya I saw that after I responded so thats why i put in that video , cheap tools ,simple set ups,

Measuring from the fret board is not good because fret wire have different thickness which will leave different heights between fret and string
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Todd Simpson
post Jul 2 2019, 05:45 AM
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With my action set as it is, there is barely enough distance to actually measure between fret and string and have it show up on the camera. The good news is the height of the wire can we seen against the tool.

I hope the measurements gave some idea as to where I generally keep things and hopefully the OP can get his neck sorted. Give us an update when you can !
Todd

QUOTE (jstcrsn @ Jul 1 2019, 08:26 AM) *
ya I saw that after I responded so thats why i put in that video , cheap tools ,simple set ups,

Measuring from the fret board is not good because fret wire have different thickness which will leave different heights between fret and string
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Anese
post Jul 6 2019, 12:29 AM
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Yes, I can see that your action setup is very low, i dont think i need it to get as low as that, but from your set up i get a more understanding of the concept which says "guitar action and neck relief" is more of personal preference.

So in my case should I start with tweaking the neck relief or try to lower the bridge first, since my main concern is lowering the action for the frets from 14 - 24

Thank for your advice all of you i really appreciate it.

QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Jul 2 2019, 06:45 AM) *
With my action set as it is, there is barely enough distance to actually measure between fret and string and have it show up on the camera. The good news is the height of the wire can we seen against the tool.

I hope the measurements gave some idea as to where I generally keep things and hopefully the OP can get his neck sorted. Give us an update when you can !
Todd


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Todd Simpson
post Jul 6 2019, 07:15 AM
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Yes smile.gif it really does boil down to personal preference in the end, like many things. I do tend to like my action as low as I can get it. So I push it to the deck on every guitar I play. I really like it better that way. I also like very light gauge strings. This too is all personal taste, some folks hate light strings.

In your case, I'd say get your neck relief sorted out first, then start on the floyd rose. However, adjusting one can often mean needing to adjust the other. I usually get the neck feeling comfy first then start dropping the bridge in to the cavity.

Todd

QUOTE (Anese @ Jul 5 2019, 07:29 PM) *
Yes, I can see that your action setup is very low, i dont think i need it to get as low as that, but from your set up i get a more understanding of the concept which says "guitar action and neck relief" is more of personal preference.

So in my case should I start with tweaking the neck relief or try to lower the bridge first, since my main concern is lowering the action for the frets from 14 - 24

Thank for your advice all of you i really appreciate it.
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Anese
post Jul 7 2019, 01:55 AM
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Alright that’s what I was thinking to do as well, but I have few things I need to understand about the Edge trem studs hight before I start adjusting it.
And hopefully you can assist me with that.
However, if this seem complicated just don’t bother your self with it.

In the manual is it’s the stud hight adjustment is described pretty simple;
1- loosing the 1.5 mm stud lock screws
2- adjust the 4mm studs height
3- tighten the stud lock screws. (And thats it)
But upon reading about it in some Ibanez tech forums they talk about that the studs need to be backed off a little bit before loosing the stud lock screws.
Also I read that after adjusting the studs hight and tighten the stud lock screws, you have to tighten the studs down again slightly to actually lock the studs.
Do you know anything about that?.
Also I’m thinking how far I can go to loose the stud lock screws, is it just a couple of turns ? or do I need to turn them till they are completely loose?
And finally how far can the studs go down? Or In other words How should I know that I have reached the limit to the point where I can no longer bring the studs down?

Thanks again
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Todd Simpson
post Jul 7 2019, 02:41 AM
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ALWAYS just take the little lock nuts off before making these adjustments. That way you can be sure that they are not putting any tension on the strings. Put them back on dead last once you are pretty much done. At least that's how I do it smile.gif

So it's pretty simple.
1.)take off your lock nuts and put them in your guitar case or what not just so they don't get lost.Attached Image


2.)Get your neck relief set the way you like it.

3.)Loosen all the strings quite a bit. You may need to block the trem so that the angle of the trem stays roughly the same even though you are removing string tension.

4.)Grab your alan wrench or screw driver depending on which trem posts are installed and start making 1/4 turns on each side of the trem. Even with the strings loose you should be able to see if the change is enough. If not, keep doing 1/4 turns til it looks low enough.

5.)Tune your strings and give it a try to make sure that no frets are "fretting out"

6.)Rinse / Repeat until you are happy with it.

7.)Put your lock nuts back on the guitar.
And Bam, done smile.gif
Todd

QUOTE (Anese @ Jul 6 2019, 08:55 PM) *
Alright that’s what I was thinking to do as well, but I have few things I need to understand about the Edge trem studs hight before I start adjusting it.
And hopefully you can assist me with that.
However, if this seem complicated just don’t bother your self with it.

In the manual is it’s the stud hight adjustment is described pretty simple;
1- loosing the 1.5 mm stud lock screws
2- adjust the 4mm studs height
3- tighten the stud lock screws. (And thats it)
But upon reading about it in some Ibanez tech forums they talk about that the studs need to be backed off a little bit before loosing the stud lock screws.
Also I read that after adjusting the studs hight and tighten the stud lock screws, you have to tighten the studs down again slightly to actually lock the studs.
Do you know anything about that?.
Also I’m thinking how far I can go to loose the stud lock screws, is it just a couple of turns ? or do I need to turn them till they are completely loose?
And finally how far can the studs go down? Or In other words How should I know that I have reached the limit to the point where I can no longer bring the studs down?

Thanks again
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Anese
post Jul 7 2019, 09:28 AM
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Thanks for the explanation Todd
But i was not talking about the term locking pads at the nut.
I was talking about the locking bolts inside the trem (studs/posts) bolts.
As you know that Ibanez Edge and Lo-Pro Edge trems use a locking mechanism for (studs/posts)
I hope you got what I mean.

Here it’s shown the 1.5 Allen wrench inside the post to unlock the screw

Attached Image

Thanks again I really appreciate your help biggrin.gif

QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Jul 7 2019, 03:41 AM) *
ALWAYS just take the little lock nuts off before making these adjustments. That way you can be sure that they are not putting any tension on the strings. Put them back on dead last once you are pretty much done. At least that's how I do it smile.gif


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Todd Simpson
post Jul 8 2019, 03:28 AM
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Ahh yes smile.gif Both of my RG are decades old so the trem doesn't have this part. I read your list of instructions and it sounds correct. I think you are ready! I used to have this guitar with the zero point trem which was cool. This is a great vid about the entireprocess.


QUOTE (Anese @ Jul 7 2019, 04:28 AM) *
Thanks for the explanation Todd
But i was not talking about the term locking pads at the nut.
I was talking about the locking bolts inside the trem (studs/posts) bolts.
As you know that Ibanez Edge and Lo-Pro Edge trems use a locking mechanism for (studs/posts)
I hope you got what I mean.

Here it’s shown the 1.5 Allen wrench inside the post to unlock the screw

Attached Image

Thanks again I really appreciate your help biggrin.gif


This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Jul 8 2019, 03:44 AM
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