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Old 12-13-2011, 05:45 AM   #1
Tearitup
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Default Adjusting String Height

I just received a Epiphone Special II GT today as an early Christmas gift. All of the risers on the bridge are pretty much at max height and the strings are way too high. What size tool do I need to have to adjust this?

Is there something I can temporarily use that I may have lying around the house? The guitar plays fine, I would just like better action. I adjusted the truss rod slightly because I was getting string rattle near the start of the fret board, but it came with the tool to adjust that.

Thanks for the help!
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Old 12-13-2011, 10:21 AM   #2
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Looks like you need an allen wrench, Id tell you what size but I have no idea if it's metric or sae.

Beware for fret buzz when you lower it you may need to do a complete setup to get it in proper order.
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Old 12-13-2011, 10:47 AM   #3
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Well your best bet for the size is to go get a cheap set of metric and sae Allen wrenches, should be less then $10, then adjust the action. Keep in mind the when you adjust the action your truss rod adjustment might be off now.

Your best bet is to get it professionally set up.

Also, unless you know what you are doing DO NOT adjust the truss rod, if done wrong this can ruin your guitar

Good luck!
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Old 12-13-2011, 12:11 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by genesaika View Post
Well your best bet for the size is to go get a cheap set of metric and sae Allen wrenches, should be less then $10, then adjust the action. Keep in mind the when you adjust the action your truss rod adjustment might be off now.

Your best bet is to get it professionally set up.

Also, unless you know what you are doing DO NOT adjust the truss rod, if done wrong this can ruin your guitar

Good luck!
I will have to pick some up then the next time I am out.

Well the guitar came with a little pamphlet on how to adjust the truss rod, so I figured I could do it no problem. The reason I adjusted it is because I was getting string rattle near the first couple of frets. I believe if I adjust the bridge risers now I can get the strings to level out almost perfectly.

I would much rather learn how to set this up myself than to pay someone to do it, so any tips are appreciated.
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Old 12-13-2011, 02:35 PM   #5
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I don't know the guitar well enough to know what to tell you. The saddles will adjust with a tiny screwdriver or a tiny allen wrench. And if you want to do setups by yourself, you will have to accumulate a set of both of these tools.

If it's a tone pro type bridge, you should be able to change the height with a large screwdriver. But you probably wouldn't be asking if it was tone pro, because that would be pretty obvious.

Just know that if you are doing your own setup, you won't save money this time because you will have to buy all the tools. Also, you won't get a pro setup, and you may not get a pro setup until you've set up a couple dozen guitars, which probably won't happen anytime soon. So, hence the advice for a pro setup. It's going to save money unless you plan on working on a whole buttload of guitars.

But I understand. You are like me. I'd just rather do it myself and cause myself pain and just learn to understand what I'm doing. But as a result, none of my guitars have pro setups, and I am totally taking two guitars in for new nuts and pro setups, understanding well how much the tech will help me. Could turn to 'playable' guitars set up by me, into monster axes.
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Old 12-13-2011, 02:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tearitup View Post
I

I would much rather learn how to set this up myself than to pay someone to do it, so any tips are appreciated.
Don't be to eager to make any adjustments to the truss unless you have a good grounding about how to do it.

People sometimes freak out when talking about it,but taking things slowly and looking up on the subject first can make a difference.

Check out this,

Trussrod Adjustment

Its just one of many on the subject.

Just take your time,and make very small turns with the key.A quarter turn sometimes be all you need.

Once you make an adjustment let the guitar settle for a day or two,and apply more adjustments if you have to.
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Old 12-13-2011, 03:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jase View Post
Don't be to eager to make any adjustments to the truss unless you have a good grounding about how to do it.

People sometimes freak out when talking about it,but taking things slowly and looking up on the subject first can make a difference.

Check out this,



Its just one of many on the subject.

Just take your time,and make very small turns with the key.A quarter turn sometimes be all you need.

Once you make an adjustment let the guitar settle for a day or two,and apply more adjustments if you have to.
Well I certainly hope I did not go overboard with it. I do know that I got rid of the string rattling and that it stays in tune like a champion now that the strings have stretched a bit. I just need to adjust the risers to give the strings a more consistent distance across the pickups to the beginning of the fret board. That is what I want to aim for right?
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Old 12-13-2011, 04:02 PM   #8
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OK adjusting the strings will lower them across the whole fretboard.

What you want is to have the action low enough to be comfortable to play without causing fret buzz. Your adjustment to the truss rod might not have even been needed.

What you want with a truss rod is to have the neck right. If you look down the neck the neck should bend towards the strings slightly.

If the pickups aren't close enough you can adjust their height.

I might be off here, I'm no expert, but it's at least a good guideline.
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Old 12-13-2011, 05:33 PM   #9
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Action, intonation then truss rod, in that order.

Always in that order or you risk screwing up everything.

If you Have to do the truss rod adjustment, make sure that you turn 1/8th at a time, give the neck a good 15 minutes to settle in, and re-check and re-adjust. Some people will tell you 1/4 turn, but it's always best to make very small adjustments to not go over, and yes, letting the neck settle is very important.

I just did 5 guitars this week with the same problems. People without knowing what they are doing shoving an Allen Key in there and going nuts.

If I'm right, the riser key's are 1.5 mm's (Or at least should be).

When it comes to pickups, once the action is lowered to where everything is stable, raising and lowering of the pickups is next. Don't try to raise/lower the action to the pups. Lower/raise the pups to the action.

Too close to the strings, and the magnets will pull the strings downward and rob you of not only tone, but gain as well.

Too far away, and your magnetic field in relation to the strings will be weak, and make the volume of the pickup less, tone will be not as bright, as well as not as gainy.

For me, strings over pickups are 3/16ths to 1/4 over the polls, and this varies between guitars and pups that are used in them.

Active pups, I have the strings more away from the strings (1/4- 5/16ths-3/8ths)

Passive pups with Res. of 12k-15k I keep around 3/16ths. But that's personal preference.

Always, always, always do a fresh setup with NEW strings and the gauge of choice and once everything is done, when you change old to new and stick with the same gauge, you won't have to worry anymore.
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Old 12-13-2011, 06:38 PM   #10
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See, I've got the neck pup in my Ibanez at like 5/8". This is the kind of thing that is making me want to gradually take my guitars in for pro setups. I've had my fun with them. At this point, I just want to get them all right.
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