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> Action; Too High Or Medium High?
sammetal92
post Jun 23 2013, 09:35 AM
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I know I've been posting a lot of forum topics to ask questions and get help, but please bear with me smile.gif

This time, I wanted to talk about the action. I know you need to turn the pivot stud clockwise or counter-clockwise to decrease or increase the string height above the 12th fret respectively.

The thing is, whoever I've talked to told me never ever to turn the screws with the strings in tune, no matter if you have an OFR or a licensed one. The studs grind against the knife edges which is not the kind on movement they have been designed for, they're only designed to act as a pivot for the bride to tilt either up or down.

The truss rod; I doubt it needs adjustment, the neck is pretty straight. And even if it did, it mostly affects the frets below 12.

Question is: is there a "proper" way to adjust the action? Because so far, to me, the process of detuning the strings and then lowering or raising the bridge seems the only "proper" way, because taking the bridge off, and then adjusting the studs is more of a guessing game, because if you don't get it right, you need to pop it off again and get it where you want it and also keep it balanced.

So what do I need to do to get this action as good and even along the neck as possible? Also, do tell if you know of a way to not go through the hassle of balancing the spring and string tension to get the bridge straight after adjusting the action. Would blocking the bridge would work in this case? (Pictures below)









EDIT: Sorry about that, my tuning was off when I took that picture, had to adjust the fine tuners. The action is NOT uneven on the different strings as it looks in the pictures. But you get my point.

This post has been edited by sammetal92: Jun 23 2013, 09:43 AM


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jstcrsn
post Jun 23 2013, 11:33 AM
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never heard of anyone loosening strings to adjust action , ( if you loosened strings you would still have resistance from the tremolo springs), How ever if you are ocd and constantly tweaking things some damage ( very little) might occur.As wellas the truss rod, the rod was made to have tension, how can you adjust it without the tension that will be against it forever.
is something wrong or are you just wanting to learn how to ?,I have this strange feeling that you are going to take this to a pro in a bit because you jacked it up
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sammetal92
post Jun 23 2013, 12:19 PM
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No I'm learning, I'm making a list of things to do if I ever mess up anything on a guitar, whether its mine or someone else's. If I had messed up anything on a guitar, I'd be *saying* that I've messed this on the guitar and I'd like help to fix it. I'm asking around because IF I ever do mess something up, I wouldn't panic and try everything to get it fixed and not try anything wrong.

Also, most people here know I'm relatively new to floyd rose bridges, and I search around, collect information and opinions and make the most logical explanations my own opinions.

This post has been edited by sammetal92: Jun 23 2013, 12:24 PM


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jstcrsn
post Jun 23 2013, 01:13 PM
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QUOTE (sammetal92 @ Jun 23 2013, 12:19 PM) *
No I'm learning, I'm making a list of things to do if I ever mess up anything on a guitar, whether its mine or someone else's. If I had messed up anything on a guitar, I'd be *saying* that I've messed this on the guitar and I'd like help to fix it. I'm asking around because IF I ever do mess something up, I wouldn't panic and try everything to get it fixed and not try anything wrong.

Also, most people here know I'm relatively new to floyd rose bridges, and I search around, collect information and opinions and make the most logical explanations my own opinions.

thats good to know. I know my floyd and how to set it up , and a peice of wood warps with age , humidity and other factors and I have found as I tweak along the way it is also good to get it to a pro about every other year , cause someone that does it day in and day out can usually do it better than myself
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sammetal92
post Jun 23 2013, 02:22 PM
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QUOTE (jstcrsn @ Jun 23 2013, 12:13 PM) *
thats good to know. I know my floyd and how to set it up , and a peice of wood warps with age , humidity and other factors and I have found as I tweak along the way it is also good to get it to a pro about every other year , cause someone that does it day in and day out can usually do it better than myself


Oh. Do you adjust the relief on the neck accordingly in winters and summers? and what would you say about the action, does it look right? Shall I take more photos for you?


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waynedcoville
post Jun 23 2013, 03:00 PM
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QUOTE (sammetal92 @ Jun 23 2013, 08:35 AM) *
I know I've been posting a lot of forum topics to ask questions and get help, but please bear with me smile.gif

This time, I wanted to talk about the action. I know you need to turn the pivot stud clockwise or counter-clockwise to decrease or increase the string height above the 12th fret respectively.

The thing is, whoever I've talked to told me never ever to turn the screws with the strings in tune, no matter if you have an OFR or a licensed one. The studs grind against the knife edges which is not the kind on movement they have been designed for, they're only designed to act as a pivot for the bride to tilt either up or down.

The truss rod; I doubt it needs adjustment, the neck is pretty straight. And even if it did, it mostly affects the frets below 12.

Question is: is there a "proper" way to adjust the action? Because so far, to me, the process of detuning the strings and then lowering or raising the bridge seems the only "proper" way, because taking the bridge off, and then adjusting the studs is more of a guessing game, because if you don't get it right, you need to pop it off again and get it where you want it and also keep it balanced.

So what do I need to do to get this action as good and even along the neck as possible? Also, do tell if you know of a way to not go through the hassle of balancing the spring and string tension to get the bridge straight after adjusting the action. Would blocking the bridge would work in this case? (Pictures below)









EDIT: Sorry about that, my tuning was off when I took that picture, had to adjust the fine tuners. The action is NOT uneven on the different strings as it looks in the pictures. But you get my point.


Well there a few factors determining string action.
The truss rod controls the necks relief. Most players refer to this as the amount of bow that is in the neck. The straightness of the neck can be limited by several factors. Relief is calculated with the instrument tuned to pitch. We can measure relief using a straightedge, or simply by using one of the strings as our straightedge. With the string touching the first and last fret on the neck when can compare the straightness of the string (or straightedge) with the curvature of the neck. Measuring the distance between the bottom of our string and the top of the 7th fret we can determine how much bow (relief) is in the neck. When too much neck relief is present tightening the truss rod will help to counteract the pull of the strings and straighten the neck. When the neck is too flat to play cleanly, or has begun to backbow, loosening the truss rod will reduce the backwards tension on the neck and enable the strings to pull the neck forward, creating more relief. The amount will vary according to the amount of adjustment needed, the necks density and the type of rod. Regardless, adjustments should always be made in very small increments, 1/4 of a turn would be allot of adjustment for many instruments. Start small! And yes seasonal changes affect your instrument, since its made form wood that reacts to temperature and moisture changes.
The height of the bridge and it's saddles greatly affect the distance between the strings and the frets. Electric guitars are equipped with several different styles of bridges and tremolos.
Often overlooked is string height at the nut. While moderately high action at the nut may be tolerable to many players it's effect on intonation should not be overlooked. Each string, from nut to saddle, most be of the correct length to produce accurate notes when playing up the neck. If the guitar's bridge (or saddle) sits too close to the nut it will cause sharp intonation. To check the height of your pickups fret the neck on the very last fret (this is as close as a string is likely to come to the pickup). Then measure from the top of the pickup to the bottom of the string on both the bass and treble side.
Pickups that are sitting too close to the strings can cause havoc with intonation. If you are having an unexplainable issue trying to intonate your guitar, lower the pickup and try again. Rule out magnetic pull before proceeding. Strong magnets such as those found on most single coil pickups generally require about 3/32" gap between string and pole. Active pickups can be set closer. I normally leave at least 1/16" so the pickup does not interfere with picking.
I play bass so I had to do some research on the Floyd Rose floating tremolo which seems to have lovers and haters. While it may the right tool for the job, it doesn't come without it's fair share of headaches. For those not using their floating tremolo, it is a simple matter to block the tremolo and essentially make it a hardtail. On the top of the bridge are 6 small thumbwheels which serve as fine tuners. Because most instruments equipped with these tremolo's also incorporate locking nuts, tuning must be done at the bridge. To the rear are allen head screws which press against a small block inside the bridge's saddle which acts as a vice for holding the end of the string securely. When replacing a string, the screw is loosened and a new string (minus it's ball end) is inserted into the space in front of the small block. The string lock down screw can then be tightened. Loosen one of these and your saddle may go flying forward, wreaking havoc on the intonation. These screws clamp down on the saddle and keep it in place. They are loosened when intonating the instrument requires the saddle's position be moved forward or backward. Most bridges have two holes in the plate beneath the saddle to permit greater flexibility of positioning. If intonating the saddle requires it be moved considerably, changing holes may be required to allow the saddle mounting screw to contact the saddle firmly.
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sammetal92
post Jun 23 2013, 05:34 PM
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Thanks for that detailed reply smile.gif I thought 1/4 of a turn for the truss rod would be neither too less nor too much, but I guess I was wrong. I'll go with 1/8 turns, they seem pretty good for minute changes.


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Mertay
post Jun 23 2013, 06:15 PM
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The reason shred guitars has a flatter radious is to get the action as low as possible. The detail to this is the radious is flatter so when you bend it doesn't buzz wink.gif

Although there are reference values, a guitars setup in detail is totally personal.

You'll notice if you pick softer there is a lesser chance to hear string buzzing, so techniqe, style you play has a lot to do with this height (comfort) issue.

Once you setup the guitar to your ideal, tweaks will be very minimal (a little on the truss and little on the floyd height, if you don't change string brans and thickness).

So when you find that ideal setup, then later on you don't need to loosen strings when adjusting the floyd. Actually those knife edges aren't easy to dull but its really a matter how much you tweak it. Then can be sharpened though proper tools are needed.


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sammetal92
post Jun 23 2013, 06:23 PM
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Thanks again Mertay smile.gif Once again you've put me at ease tongue.gif biggrin.gif I'm working on a guide for complete beginners with the FR, so that they won't have to go through the enormous amount of information and opinions on the internet and just get it done in the least amount of time smile.gif You and Todd and Jones have contributed a huge amount of what I'm writing in there, once I finish it I'll make it available for download to show you smile.gif


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Mertay
post Jun 23 2013, 07:36 PM
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Awesome smile.gif


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Todd Simpson
post Jun 24 2013, 04:09 AM
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It's best for the floyd to take the tension off the strings before you screw down the posts to lower the action, HOWEVER, in the real world of busy folks working on their own guitars, it's usually more like loosen the strings at best and give it a turn and tighten them back up, if that. The posts can tolerate being screwed down/up with full tension but if you do it over and over and over and over you will cause the knife edge to eat in to the posts which can cause issues.

It's it's a new guitar, your probably fine smile.gif If it's a older guitar with lots of time on the floyd, the gentler you treat it the better. smile.gif

The radius fret board issue is one I"m glad got brought up! I tend to play guitars with pretty flat necks (e.g. shredder guitars) so radius necks feel a bit odd for me at first til my hands get used to it. My minarik les paul was radiused and it took me a few minutes to switch from the ibanez to it for full comfyness. The STRICTLY 7 cobra ( 8string) that I"m testing is the flattest neck I"ve ever played and it's so wide it's really tough to reach everything. My ibanez 7 string is pretty flat and it's easy to play as a six string. That one extra string from 7 to 8 seems to make it a different animal.

Todd


QUOTE (sammetal92 @ Jun 23 2013, 01:23 PM) *
Thanks again Mertay smile.gif Once again you've put me at ease tongue.gif biggrin.gif I'm working on a guide for complete beginners with the FR, so that they won't have to go through the enormous amount of information and opinions on the internet and just get it done in the least amount of time smile.gif You and Todd and Jones have contributed a huge amount of what I'm writing in there, once I finish it I'll make it available for download to show you smile.gif


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dcz702
post Jun 24 2013, 04:33 AM
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Hey again. The set up guide I posted in your last post works great on all my guitars. They way I learned to do a set up was by taking it to a pro I paid him 40 bucks and asked if I could watch and he was cool enough to let me and explained the process to me. Maybe you should give that a shot and get a hands on lesson because having the guitar in front of you while its being explained can make it really clear. smile.gif
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sammetal92
post Jun 24 2013, 06:34 AM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Jun 24 2013, 03:09 AM) *
It's best for the floyd to take the tension off the strings before you screw down the posts to lower the action, HOWEVER, in the real world of busy folks working on their own guitars, it's usually more like loosen the strings at best and give it a turn and tighten them back up, if that. The posts can tolerate being screwed down/up with full tension but if you do it over and over and over and over you will cause the knife edge to eat in to the posts which can cause issues.

It's it's a new guitar, your probably fine smile.gif If it's a older guitar with lots of time on the floyd, the gentler you treat it the better. smile.gif

The radius fret board issue is one I"m glad got brought up! I tend to play guitars with pretty flat necks (e.g. shredder guitars) so radius necks feel a bit odd for me at first til my hands get used to it. My minarik les paul was radiused and it took me a few minutes to switch from the ibanez to it for full comfyness. The STRICTLY 7 cobra ( 8string) that I"m testing is the flattest neck I"ve ever played and it's so wide it's really tough to reach everything. My ibanez 7 string is pretty flat and it's easy to play as a six string. That one extra string from 7 to 8 seems to make it a different animal.

Todd


It hasn't been in the shop for much, they got the guitar in April, although I tried contacting ESP Tech info with the serial number and all to get a manufacturing year, but they didn't send any reply, its been two weeks now.

Guess I'll try lowering it a wee bit when I decide to change the strings smile.gif thanks again Todd smile.gif

QUOTE (dcz702 @ Jun 24 2013, 03:33 AM) *
Hey again. The set up guide I posted in your last post works great on all my guitars. They way I learned to do a set up was by taking it to a pro I paid him 40 bucks and asked if I could watch and he was cool enough to let me and explained the process to me. Maybe you should give that a shot and get a hands on lesson because having the guitar in front of you while its being explained can make it really clear. smile.gif


I'll have a look at that again, and thanks smile.gif I'll probably do that, watch as the tech works on the guitar smile.gif


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Cosmin Lupu
post Jun 25 2013, 10:44 AM
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QUOTE (sammetal92 @ Jun 23 2013, 08:35 AM) *
Question is: is there a "proper" way to adjust the action? Because so far, to me, the process of detuning the strings and then lowering or raising the bridge seems the only "proper" way, because taking the bridge off, and then adjusting the studs is more of a guessing game, because if you don't get it right, you need to pop it off again and get it where you want it and also keep it balanced.


I will be very blunt about this - smile.gif I am the sort of guy that doesn't like to meddle in stuff that I don't know how to do and thus, I let other people do their jobs, so that I can do mine - when I need a setup, I take the guitar to a luthier that I can trust. In that way, the job is done nicely and I don't have to worry.

My warmest suggestion is to follow these steps and take the guitar to a luthier - do you have one which is close to you? They are usually associated with instrument shops, so the best place to start looking for one, would be the biggest musical instrument shop in your area smile.gif


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sammetal92
post Jun 25 2013, 11:55 AM
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Jun 25 2013, 09:44 AM) *
I will be very blunt about this - smile.gif I am the sort of guy that doesn't like to meddle in stuff that I don't know how to do and thus, I let other people do their jobs, so that I can do mine - when I need a setup, I take the guitar to a luthier that I can trust. In that way, the job is done nicely and I don't have to worry.

My warmest suggestion is to follow these steps and take the guitar to a luthier - do you have one which is close to you? They are usually associated with instrument shops, so the best place to start looking for one, would be the biggest musical instrument shop in your area smile.gif


That's the problem, the "closest" luthier is something like 7 miles away from me. Takes 40 minutes to drive there. There's a music store nearby which has a "guitar tech", but even I've proven myself better than that "tech" laugh.gif


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Jun 25 2013, 03:15 PM
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QUOTE (sammetal92 @ Jun 25 2013, 07:55 AM) *
That's the problem, the "closest" luthier is something like 7 miles away from me. Takes 40 minutes to drive there. There's a music store nearby which has a "guitar tech", but even I've proven myself better than that "tech" laugh.gif


haha I see. I'm like Cosmin regarding this. I use t do simple adjustments but I have never get involved with the most advanced stuff about this. I prefer to take it to a professional and use my time for playing.


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Mertay
post Jun 25 2013, 03:29 PM
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Before I moved to another city for university, I used to go to a store tech. Over short time and communication he understood what I liked (he also liked playing shred).

After I moved, freinds at school (music students) advised me someone who was well known. He did the job and when I tested it I hated the setup. I described him what I wanted but we simply couldn't communicate tongue.gif he wasn't a guitar player by the way.

So I decided to learn this stuff as I hated the idea of constantly depending to someone my whole life, at least for the simple stuff.

I surfed the web, make trial/error on my guitar (never took big risks and always had close attention incase something went wrong) and after a while finally got the idea smile.gif

This site is really good if anyones interested, it helped me a lot during that period;

http://www.ibanezrules.com/tech/setup/index.htm

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sammetal92
post Jun 25 2013, 07:21 PM
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QUOTE (Mertay @ Jun 25 2013, 02:29 PM) *
Before I moved to another city for university, I used to go to a store tech. Over short time and communication he understood what I liked (he also liked playing shred).

After I moved, freinds at school (music students) advised me someone who was well known. He did the job and when I tested it I hated the setup. I described him what I wanted but we simply couldn't communicate tongue.gif he wasn't a guitar player by the way.

So I decided to learn this stuff as I hated the idea of constantly depending to someone my whole life, at least for the simple stuff.

I surfed the web, make trial/error on my guitar (never took big risks and always had close attention incase something went wrong) and after a while finally got the idea smile.gif

This site is really good if anyones interested, it helped me a lot during that period;

http://www.ibanezrules.com/tech/setup/index.htm


Yep I know that website, very informative smile.gif I have it bookmarked and printed the 9 page guide on setting up a used guitar as well smile.gif



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Cosmin Lupu
post Jun 25 2013, 09:00 PM
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To make things easier - I gave up the Floyd biggrin.gif Life is beautiful without it tongue.gif But joking aside, you have to be prepared to face more problems than you would with a fixed bridge and still, driving 7 miles could prove worthwhile wink.gif

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Musicman65
post Jun 26 2013, 01:25 AM
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I'm exactly the opposite. I started out young working on my own gear. Short of replacing frets, I do my own setups. Its not rocket science. Its geometry. If you never try, you'll never learn. I work on my own cars, computers, etc. I do leave matters of life and death to the pros! (Doctors, lawyers)

Feel free to adjust your action...just read a bit first, ask questions, go slowly and measure the changes. Your guitar has a nice measurement system built in....perfectly straight strings! Use 2 hands and lightly fret a single string at frets 1 and 20 at the same time. Observe the distance the string is above the fret at fret 7 (midway between 1 and 20). This is the relief. Tighten the truss rod and this decreases. When it touches the 7 fret, the neck is straight. You probably want some relief to allow the string room to vibrate without buzzing. The string osculates more at the center so relief is needed. How much depends on how hard you pick and your action preference. You can pluck the string while double fretting and listen for buzz in between frets 1 and 20. I like mine to buzz slightly then losen up the truss so it begins to ring freely. Thats my perfect relief. Find yours and you'll have an easy, no tools way to check any time.

The bridge height determines overall string height so adjust it last. Lower it until it buzzes excessively based on your preference. Recheck your neck relief if you change the bridge height much. Large changes affect the amount the neck bows forward under tension. Check relief and action on all strings. Floyds have fixed saddle heights and shims are available to adjust them. Ideally, the bridge saddles are arched the same as your neck. Retrofitted Original Floyds don't match a stock Fender neck which has more radius curve. The middle strings are always lower action due to the mismatch. Shims under strings D & G are usually enough to get low action if desired.

Don't be afraid to learn...but be cautious enough to prevent damage!

bd

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