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> Setup Tools
post Jul 22 2007, 01:14 PM
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When I bought my Strat, I had it setup by the luthier at the store. I've since come to the conclusion that everybody associated with that store is interested in one thing only - selling guitars. Customer service doesn't even occur to them. They took three times as long to set my Strat up and the end result just wasn't as good as it should have been (there's a lot more to this story, but I'll save that for another day).

So I didn't buy my next guitar from them, nor my next amp. I feel better now. Still, now I have a problem - my level of trust has dropped and I suspect I'll get better results doing it myself. So here I go trying to find the right tools for setting up my own guitars. I even have an el-cheapo guitar (my first!) to practice on before I risk desecrating the precious (the Maton).

Most of the basic tools were already in the room. Screwdrivers, feeler guages, etc, but one thing eludes me - a notched straightedge.

I occurred to me that in order to assess the neck for straightness, I'd have to remove the Frets. This seems a touch tedious when all you'd actually want is a straightedge with notches cut in it to avoid the frets! Unfortunately, I can't find anyone who actually sells such a thing. Am I going nuts? Is this just plain silly?

Can somebody please set me straight before I pull out my Dremel and butcher a ruler...

Also, any tips on setup process would be helpful. I've found a bunch of great tutorials (the best one can be found here) but more info = goodness!

This post has been edited by Lurgen: Jul 22 2007, 01:15 PM

Guitars: Fender American Vintage 1957 Stratocaster, Fender American Highway One, Maton MS2000 Deluxe
Amps: Fender Hotrod Deluxe, Roland Cube 60, Fender Frontman 25R
Effects: Boss BD-2, OS-2, DD-20, TU-2
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post Jul 24 2007, 08:21 PM
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From: Daytona Beach, Florida, USA
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You can buy a notched straightedge here:
Notched Straightedge -but in my opinion they're overpriced and usually not necessary.

First, what is your need to specifically measure the fingerboard, but ignore the frets? Unless you have reason to believe the frets are out of level or worn excessively, a neck relief measurement can be taken with an un-notched straightedge which has been laid on edge across the frets and your feeler gauges.

Usually, the notched straightedge is used when problems with the fretwork -not the neck itself- are suspected, or have already been confirmed. In preparation for fret repairs or dressing, the truss rod is adjusted until the neck is entirely straight. The notched straightedge is used in this process to confirm that the neck is straight, and thus ready for fretwork. The frets are then leveled or repaired, and the truss rod is again adjusted -this time to return the neck relief to the preference of the guitarist.

I wasn't sure exactly what you were referring to when you said 'assess the neck for straightness'. Did you intend to check the neck for warping or damage? Are you simply trying to measure the neck relief? -Or are you preparing to perform fretwork? Even though I'm not completely sure what your case is, I think your standard straightedge will do just fine if this is just a standard setup job.
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