Rotosound 77: Neck relief and action

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Eli Brockway, Jun 20, 2020.

  1. Running for take number two on a set of flats that I like the sound of but can never quite manage to get to where I like the playability across the strings; always seems like something's too high, something's too low, too much relief, not enough, and any sort of problems in between. Can never get each string to agree with the next on how the set is supposed to feel to play on.

    Running them on a Chinese Squier CV70s P with a Hipshot Kickass bridge right now. Just for reference, I normally play on a set of super slinky cobalt flats, and like to keep them relatively low to the board; I have a tendency to dig in pretty hard (on this and the upright both) despite liking everything set fairly low, and the only time I could get a clean enough tone running rounds was to have them set way high above anything considered normal.

    So, if anybody who plays these strings (the standard ones, although one of these days I want to get a set of the Steve Harris signatures) wants to take some measurements (preferably for each individual string) and drop them in here to give me some better ideas on where to start from, it'd be appreciated.
  2. The ability to get low action is in direct proportion to the levelness of your frets combined with the stiffness of the strings and your playing style. I'm not sure others' measurements will necessarily translate to anything meaningful for you.

    I have an average right hand attack and my PJ bass with 77's, which has a 9.5" radius and has had a recent fret-leveling, sets up pretty low: .075" on the E (about 4.8/64") and the G is .070" (4.5/64") measured at the 12th fret with about .012" relief.

    I'm not a huge fan of 77's once they mellow out but I like how distinctive they sound when they are new-ish. I don't see them as a set of "lifetime strings" that stay on for decades like a set of La Bella or Thomastik flats. YMMV.
    Eli Brockway likes this.
  3. Frets are all good and level, I've seen to that myself. And yeah, like I said, I dig in hard, there's nothing average about my attack (I'm the only person I know who has broken as many strings on either upright or bass guitar as I have just from playing, when everything else about the instruments, how they're strung up, etc. is perfectly as they should be); just looking for data points that can (hopefully) more easily help me find a point to start from and fine tune things to get them feeling even from E to G. Thanks for the measurements!

    As for the break in, I did like them the last time I had them on, even after they were broken in (albeit, that was a matter of months, not a multiple-year-old set). They just felt uneven and it bothered me so much I took them off and tried other things for a while.