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String Height

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by WillBuckingham, Jun 21, 2005.

  1. WillBuckingham


    Mar 30, 2005
    Hey guys, sorry about the newbie question, but I read all the links on this and none of them really answered my question.

    Anyway I recently started playing upright again (I had played in high school but gave it up for a few years). I play exclusively jazz and told my luthier (Constantin Popescu) to set it up as such, specifying that I would like the action very low.

    After having him set it up, each string is exactly 1/2 inch from the end of the fingerboard. This feels very high to me and if possible I would like them lower. I realize that you go too low and the strings click on the fingerboard. I have an adjustable bridge that is adjusted as low as it will go.

    Anyway, do you guys think that the strings can be any lower? Is it worth calling the shop and asking?
  2. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur GollihurMusic.com

    Mar 22, 2000
    Cape of New Jersey
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music (retired)
    I personally would want it to have the ability to go lower than that, especially since you have an adjustable bridge that enables you to go higher as needed. Unless you're playing pizz and loudly, acoustically only, and need the space for maximum string bloom, 1/2" is too high IMHO.
  3. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    I use 3/16" (G) to 1/4" (E) for Orchestra playing on both my Italian and English. I like it lower for Jazz and Solo playing. This is measuring from the fingerboard to the underside of the string at the end. Also, at the NUT, I like the strings almost touching the fingerboard so the lower positions are not to hige to press doen for faster passages. I want only enough scoop (relief) in the fingerboard to avoid Buzzing with lower action. At higher action, it can be flatter but I play both Jazz and Classical.
  4. WillBuckingham


    Mar 30, 2005
    Thanks a lot for the input.
  5. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Dang, how do you guys manage to slap with your action that low??

  6. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    With the back of the right hand to the recipient's right cheek.
  7. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Pants down, of course.
  8. Nivaca


    Jan 8, 2005
    Only if you play arco, there's a need for high bridge.
    If you pizz mainly, check up your string tension: a higher tension will ask for a lower bridge. I you play with med or low tension, the need for a low bridge disappears or reduces -- sometimes even the strings may begin to buzz agains the fingerboard.
  9. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    :D :D :D :D

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