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How should a string action sit?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by IbbyMonster, Jun 24, 2013.


  1. IbbyMonster

    IbbyMonster Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2013
    Location:
    Long Beach, California
    Should the strings sit above the freboard alliging to the fretboard's radius curve like a very slight C Shape facing down or should all strings sit at the same height flat?
     
  2. schecter5string

    schecter5string

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    Location:
    Morton IL USA
    Following the curve of the FB.
     
  3. billgwx

    billgwx Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    Location:
    Centereach NY
    If you adjust string action according to distance between the top of the frets and the bottom of the strings, they'll naturally align to the fretboard radius curve. If you set them flat the outer strings will have higher action, which I can't imagine being desirable.
     
  4. jasper383

    jasper383 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2004
    Location:
    Durham NC
    +1

    Plus, you can set the lighter strings a little lower to the board because they don't travel as far as the big strings.

    I generally set my E string, fretted at the first fret, at about 3mm at the 12th fret. A string, a little less, D a little less, and the G at about 2.5mm.
     
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  6. jasper383

    jasper383 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2004
    Location:
    Durham NC
  7. billgwx

    billgwx Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    Location:
    Centereach NY
    One thing in that Sadowsky setup guide above that I don't understand is why he sets the action by capo'ing at the first fret to take nut slot height out of the equation? I tried that just for laughs, using his recommended setup for low action on my J-bass, and the only real difference compared to Fender specs was that it gave me slightly lower action on the lighter strings.
     
  8. Frumius

    Frumius

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2013
    I set up my strings at the lowest level that gives me no buzz on each string. Can't think of a reason to go higher than that.
     
  9. liveburning274

    liveburning274

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2008
    Location:
    Kansas City, MO
    You would get more "ring" out of your strings when popping or slap/plucking your strings if it's higher. It just depends on your style, some people never slap and hence don't need to hear the extra ring out from the strings.
     
  10. IbbyMonster

    IbbyMonster Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2013
    Location:
    Long Beach, California
    You guys are awesome! I was able to set up my action perfectly :)
     
  11. darkstorm

    darkstorm

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2009
    Mostly its a case of adjust acton to personal preference. This doesnt need measurements. Just paying attention to feel and sound. Usually the middle two strings will be slightly higher then the two outside strings due to fretboard curve. But its still down to set action by feel and playing preference between strings etc. No measurements needed. Theres been times after setting action I'll go back and tweak one strings height a half or qurter turn of adjustment screws on saddle either higher or lower. Based on playhing back and forth between that string and adjacent. This has absolutely nothing to do with looking to see where string is height wise in relation to neighbor strings really. And all to do with actual playing responce. .
     

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