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Discussion in 'Squier Offset Guitars' started by Charvel Guy, Apr 9, 2021.
That's a new approach to me. Odd, but interesting!
How do you calculate in neck relief?
Can't offer measurements on my Squiers I've had, but no matter what make of instrument, I've learned that proper action at the nut is crucial for both optimal action and optimal intonation on any given example.
Anyhow, I share Phil X's thoughts on low vs high action.
Higher action offers better tone as well ime. Up to a point. You don't want it so high that it pulls the notes sharp when you fret them.
I use Fenders measurement for that as an inital guide and adjust where necessary, I think that is the basis to why no two guitars feel the same tbh.
Soooooo what exactly do you mean when you say straight neck with no relief...like straight feeling? Or are we talking about literally no relief? Like if you fret the first fret and the fret at the heel pocket and the string is resting on the frets type of no relief? Because that’s just silly nonsense, lol. Without relief, if you are playing on a neck that is so flat you can lay a straight edge and touch all the frets at once, you would most likely buzz at just about every fret all the way up to the 15th or so...relief is absolutely necessary for just about every stringed instrument with frets. It’s just the amount of relief one should set to match the action set to the player’s liking. IMHO the best way of measuring relief, I learned a while back, is to fret the first fret normally, and with the pinky of your strumming hand, fret the fret about where the neck joins the body. That’s where the end of the bow in the neck is. Then take your thumb of your strumming hand and stretch out to the middle of the fretboard, ideally to the fret nearest the bottom point of the relief (normally the 8th or 9th fret), and see how much the string bounces on top of that fret. Visually the low E should look like you can fit a D string in the gap and the high E should look like you can fit a high E string in the gap. That’s about a neutral setting and one would adjust up or down slightly from there. I always like to adjust, tune, play for a few minutes, and repeat, until I’ve landed right in the sweet spot that lets the notes really resonate through the neck.
So, let me repeat my question, are we talking figuratively or literally no relief?
I got mine down to about 2 inches once...
I got the action down to 4/64ths on the bass side after a level / recrown. It only buzzes minimally if I detune a full step using 10 gauge strings. This thing plays like a beast now and is one of the best feeling guitars I have owned. Definitely a keeper!
I check relief "visually", more eyeballing everything, adjusting action to feel ......I have 8 guitars, and could tell you no measurements on everything.....as long as it feels good and plays good, I'm good. All are totally different from one another, so, it's cool, like Fonzie
I'm going to try that. I don't have a credit card, can I borrow yours please?
I've been doing the regular, periodic, setup on several of my most played guitars, and this thread came to mind. That emphasis on "low" action.
Why haven't I for so many years echoed that? Have I been missing something? And if not, why not?
The answers actually were pretty straight forward. See, heard and felt by me, and in fact, on any number of my videos. And, yes, it comes down to personal playing style.
I a, not a 'shredder.' Myriad fast notes are not and never have been a part of my style.
No. Instead it is to milk each note. And left hand finger motion is central to this. (although in truth the same style focus was mine even in the mid `60s , before blues styling became important to me, and when left hand finger motion was thus far less a part of my style.)
Bending. Warbling. Slides. And not just with the first and second fingers, but with all of them -- including very often the 'pinky.'
Lowering the strings -- and I did try this methodically on each of the guitars I set up this past week -- absolutely works against this. In fact it makes it nearly impossible.
Even the vid I shared this past week -- the one of me doin' some original blues on my Affinity Strat -- demonstrates this. Especially during the center guitar break
I suppose that shredding rewards a different set up. One that allows greater quickness. That benefits from allowing many quick notes with little down-pressure and where individual note flexibility an articulation remain secondary.
Now the question goes out -- do we individually study our own styles to find the set up that works for them (with the recognition that new players always think they are better off with ease of fingering) -- or do we just accept the commonly accepted meme without consideration for our musical likes, dislikes and tonal goals?
PS - I just viewed the Phil-X vid that @Hugh posted and YES! He appreciates this. (and he's a danged good teacher/explainer to boot.) Thanks Hugh!
Hahaha you've got more neck than my last wife hahaha
And my current one
I like relatively low action but I use a heavy pick, and although I vary how strongly I use that pick, the strings need room to vibrate. I use 10's on all my guitars as well.
In practice if I get a relief measurement 0f ~.010 to ~.015 I consider that to be optimum. Then I measure the action at the 12th fret with a capo on the first fret. I strive to have no higher than 2 mm (5/64") on the high E and have let it be as high as 2.5 mm on the low E.
This of course will vary from guitar to guitar. My new Fender neck seems to give me lower action in general than any of my other guitars but I'm not 100% done setting that up and the neck is still getting used to having string and truss rod tension so I'm letting the guitar tell me how it wants to be. But it's a very well made neck and most likely will still end up the lowest action of the bunch.
One thing I found out when I was first visiting Squier-Talk and learning how to set up and optimize all my guitars was that in general I was using much higher action than was strictly necessary. Basically every guitar I own the saddles got dropped or the Floyd was set up to be parallel to the body. At first I set my guitars to the Fender recommended specs of 4/64" (1.6mm or so) but in general I need most of the strings to be higher than that for my playing style, picking style and string gauge. So the numbers above that I settled on are based on a mix of what is most comfortable, allowing for the greatest range of expression and also to give a little bit of consistency between my guitars.
I remember reading a setup spec sheet for Squier vs. Fender guitars a while back. If memory serves right, the stock Squier was set up with strings at 5/64ths and Fender at 4/64ths. With a little fretwork, I was thrilled to get the action down to 4/64ths. I am strictly a rhythm player but I really like the lower action which helps with the arthritis starting to creep into my fingers. It's no fun getting old!
never measured a neck.
Set it as low as it will go with no buzz and put a little relief in it . Set my saddles with the radius.
I got mine down okay.. I did change the nut first, I wish i would have leveled the frets first, coz i spent alot of time chasing down playability issues that changed after I leveled the frets.. I had the gamut of issues and kind of bumbled about going through everything else first..
Something that i noticed on String height. The block saddles are different heights I think. Meaning the two Es are smaller on the outside, and may be sightly stairstepped to the middle.. I had to adjust string height several times and caused some pinging and other issues.. i Finally went back and leveled the frets, then reset to the saddles with the same height.. I also replaced the "grub screws" Mine were rusted and kind of wonky.. One other thing to check, it is not a deal breaker but the hard plate under the trem is subject to divit wear.. I cant say this is a noticeable issue for your question but it might affect your intonation.
Mine are unusual things, the instructions on first fret and relief better place to start.
You would think that radius gauges would be easier to find local, but it confused me that setting the equal would get it right.. If you think about the saddles being different heights it might make more sense.. Lol
Something ive wondered about.. The vintage trems with the bent steel, do they sit lower? Curious question..Dont hate meh!
Best I've done is 3/64s with a 0.7 relief if I am stating it correctly . This was done on a strat with Maple neck It played like butter with 9 gauge strings so yeah a mostly straight neck can be a good thing depending on your playing style . If you do a full fret level you could get it even lower with out buzz . This was as well as I could do without any buzz anywhere .
3/64 at the 17th fret while depressing at fret 1