How much Relief on the 7th Fret

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by jd_watt, Jan 5, 2014.


  1. jd_watt

    jd_watt

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2013
    Hi everyone, just wondering, how much relief do you recommend measured on the 7th fret? I had .015, but I want to raise my action. I was thinking, as suggested, to bump up to .020. That feels better, but now I'm not sure if I should adjust my saddles at all. So, a couple questions:

    How much relief do you recommend on a P bass at the 7th?
    What's your string clearance in inches at the 12?
    Will a saddle adjustment after a truss adjustment help to balance the string height across the fret board?

    Thank you for having a look, and thank you for the help!
  2. deeptubes

    deeptubes

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2011
    Location:
    Tidewater
  3. phangtonpower

    phangtonpower

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2008
    Location:
    Fukui Japan from San Diego
    Your relief sounds good to me.

    Don't adjust your action by changing relief. Adjust your action by adjusting your saddle heights.
  4. pfox14

    pfox14

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2013
    I second the motion. A truss rod should be used to adjust relief not the height of the strings.
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  6. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2005
    I typically dial in my neck relief by starting out around .010 - .015", get my saddles down pretty low, and play with the neck relief until I get some buzzing on the 1st 5 frets - then I add relief until that goes away... If the neck is straight, and the frets level - I'll usually raise the action at the saddles from there a tiny bit - which dials me in for the best compromise between playability and best sound...


    - georgestrings
  7. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2005

    +1...


    - georgestrings
  8. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Recommended relief is .012-.014, .015 in your case. Dropping more relief into the set-up is not the answer and will cause more problems in the "money note" region of the fingerboard. Personally, I would dial some relief out and raise the string height at the bridge...trust me , it won't take much. Some suggested string heights at the 12th fret:

    G - 3/32
    D - ?
    A - ?
    E - 1/8

    Riis
  9. gerry grable

    gerry grable Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2010
  10. jd_watt

    jd_watt

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2013
    Good insight, everyone. I made the mistake of thinking truss rod adjustments were a quick fix, rather than adjusting bridge saddles. I see that's not the way to adjust action at all. I have heavier strings coming this week, so I'll start from the beginning of the link as suggested.
  11. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Good call. The heavier strings will more-than-likely induce added relief so compensate with the truss rod as necessary. If string "flop" has been an issue, the heavier gauge may help but, if it doesn't, consider going with a hex-core set. They're noticeably stiffer in terms of feel but comparable in terms of tension.

    Riis

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