Note: Do not use abrasive polishes like automotive buffing compounds or steel wool unless you really know what you’re doing. GuitarPlayer is part of Future US Inc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. Setting up the Dot involves adjusting the truss rod to correct for any underbowing or overbowing of the neck because of humidity changes. Check your instrument’s specifications. Sight as on steel-string but the Hold the “speaking length” of the string tightly and bring the loose end around the post in the direction opposite to the one in which it will wrap around the post when tightened (PHOTO 10B). The Fender Guitar Work Station provides a great surface on which to set up your guitar's action. Acoustic and Electric Guitar and Bass Guitar Set-up Specifications All of the following specifications are for guitars/basses with the standard gauges of Gretsch strings that the guitar or bass is equipped with from the factory. This height decides how ‘aggressive’ one can play before fret buzz occurs. D.I.Y. What are the factory specifications for my PRS guitar setup? If so, go back and check your work. TOOLS A machinist rule, a screwdriver or hex-key (electric guitar), calipers, a shim stock or stationary belt sander (acoustic guitar). Follow setup instructions for a hardtail guitar: First, check relief in the neck by holding the lowest (bass) string down on the second fret with your fretting hand, then hold it down on the 12th fret with your right thumb and tap on the string in the middle to show how straight the neck is. A set of nut files is an investment for a dedicated luthier, and cutting properly shaped nut slots takes an artisan’s touch. Play FIGURE 1 in 1st positing as shown, then transpose it up to 5th position, 9th position and so on, until you’ve covered every note on your guitar. , There was a problem. Happy customers, one piece of gear at a time! Compensations may need to be made, if you plan to change string gauges. For players with a heavier pick attack or for those seeking wider dynamics and a more “airy” tone, lower the pickups slightly. HOW TO DO IT Once the truss rod has been properly tweaked, simply raise or lower the bridge’s vertical screw, or screws, to adjust the string height (PHOTO 4). On an electric, it is usually beneath the truss-rod cover on the headstock or at the body end of a bolt-neck. The good news is most guitars don’t need nut adjustments. DN/GO 6-str. Otherwise, use two sets—one for adjustments and one for playing. For amplified acoustics as well as electrics with active pickups, this means a battery check (and, if necessary, replacement). This website uses cookies to improve your experience. If your acoustic guitar has an unfinished wood bridge, as most do, apply a little oil there from time to time too. All of the adjustments discussed so far should be done prior to changing strings. A guitar’s action can also be adjust at the bridge. This is basic housecleaning, not major fret surgery, like a “crown and polish.” Cleaning and polishing takes only five minutes, but afterward your guitar will look and play like new. This distance plays a key role in your setup because it determines the ease in which your guitar can be played. Measurements for setting up your PRS to factory specs. * For qualifying in-stock items delivered to the contiguous United States only, on orders processed by 5PM Eastern time. The best sounding, most beautiful and most expensive guitar is of little use if it is too hard to play. Martin "00" Guitar Specs. Get Directions | Phone Hours | With the truss rod and bridge fine-tuned, we enter the final phase of action altering. The first issue associated with Classical or Flamenco style guitars is that a lot of builders assume that it is unnecessary to build the neck with an adjustable truss rod inside of them. Pass the string through the tuning post, saving about an inch of slack, as in PHOTO 10A. On an electric guitar, this is a matter of twisting the appropriate screws; on an acoustic guitar, you may have to shim or sand the bridge saddle. The following setup procedures and specifications are for your Telecaster as equipped with the strings that come on the instrument as standard equipment from the factory. All of these came from Dan's hands-on measurements of the actual guitars. Strings Removal. A setup can also reveal potential problems before they become major headaches. Repeat as needed. D.I.Y. With the guitar on its side, look down the fingerboard edge for overall straightness, back-bow, relief (forward bow) and humps, as well as high or uneven frets. The finishing touch! If the neck is perfectly straight, there will be a tiny gap—just enough to slip a piece of paper or business card through—between the string and the frets in the middle of the neck. This distance plays a key role in your setup because it determines the ease in which your guitar can be played. Sweetwater Sound It should be no more than the thickness of a thick business card. “On electrics, our official spec is 3/64ths of an inch. Bolt-neck axes with concealed nuts require removing the neck and using a surrogate body and a neck jig—this is a job best left to a pro shop. A cleaned and polish guitar just begs to be picked up and played, and that’s what it’s all about, TOOLS Cotton or chamois cloth, guitar polish, Windex. Then, we’ll tell you how to perform them. FACTOR★★★★ It’s not too difficult on most electrics. Having correct intonation means that a string sounds at the correct pitch for each fret along its length. TOOLS Lemon oil or light wood oil, Windex, cotton rag, a guitar pick or a Popsicle stick. These are the best acoustic guitars you can buy today; Check out the best acoustic guitars under $500; Find the best acoustic guitar strings for you; Destringing. If you do, your truss rod will eventually catch and you’ll be able to make the proper adjustment. TOOLS A compete set of nut files, shim stock for raising the nut, X-Acto knife and other miscellaneous tools for removing the nut, electronic tuner. Few things make an acoustic guitarist’s day quite like playing a freshly set up guitar. Rub across each fret and watch the dullness disappear. Free Christmas Shipping ends TOOLS Medium Phillips-head screwdriver, inspection mirror, small flashlight. Most steel-string acoustics use bridge pins to hold the strings in place, and it’s important to 1) align the slot in the bridge pin with the string, and 2) pull up on the string as you push down on the bridge pin. We will go through the most critical adjustments that affect the playability of your Stratocaster. HOW TO DO IT Simply wiggle the parts around a bit. Compensations may need to be made, if you plan to change string gauges. Bolt-neck electrics occasionally suffer from lose neck-joint screws, and braces within an acoustic guitar sometimes break or come unglued. The only time you would adjust the truss rod, bridge height and nut slots with new strings on your guitar would be when changing to a different gauge. A setup is actually a series of procedures, many of which fall under the categories of “basic maintenance” and “fine adjustment.” Much like a car’s seasonal tune-up, a setup should be performed to address the changes a guitar undergoes over time, with adjustments made to the instrument in order to match your preference of strings, pickups and playing habits. Action determines how much pressure and distance is required for the string to make full contact with each fret. Exclusive deals, delivered straight to your inbox. Virtually every acoustic and electric steel-string guitar built after the mid-Seventies has an adjustable truss rod, which runs the length of the neck and counteracts the tension of the strings to help keep the neck straight. If the fretted note is sharp, adjust the saddle so that the string’s speaking length is longer; if it’s flat, adjust the saddle to shorten the length. Once your guitar is tuned close to pitch, give each string a gentle tug along its entire length, including the section between the tuners and the nuts and between the bridge saddle and tailpiece. Adjusting the height of each pickup also helps to balance the output between them. It get broke and you have nothing to relate to setting it back up the way it was! If it wiggles, tighten the bolts at the neck-body joint. Martin "000" Guitar Specs. With a little time and care though, it is possible to setup one of these inexpensive guitars with the playability of one costing ten times as much. Bring the pickups closer to the strings if you have a very soft touch or if you want to compress your signal a bit with a slightly fuller, more midrangey tone. What’s more, these are the same steps—presented in the same order—as the ones taken by a professional repair shop. Check its pitch with the electronic tuner. Finally, clip your strings with a wire cutter, or coil them neatly. A high slot will cause the notes at the 1st fret to sound 10 to 15 cents sharper than they should. HOW TO DO IT With the guitar strung and tuned to pitch, press one of the strings both at the 1st fret and at one of the frets near the neck-body joint. Action is measured most often with a machinist’s rule (PHOTO 5) as the distance between the string and the top of the 12th fret. Suddenly your ax feels like butter. HOW TO DO IT Open the can of metal polish and pull out a small wad of the chemically impregnated fibrous cloth. If the neck is back bowed, the strings will lie flat against the frets, and the truss rod must be loosened. Play each string as you switch between pickups. Let me preface this page by stating that I am a guitar dealer, not a technical advisor for the world. Everything you love about Sweetwater in the palm of your hand. An adjustment of about 1/16th of an inch will make a noticeable difference. Many guitar players believe that you're not really serious about guitar playing until you buy custom made instruments from a luthier, or even build your own guitar. This is a handy guide to setting up your Fender Stratocaster guitar. If your guitar has open-gear turners—that is, if you can see the gears—add a drop of light oil to each mechanism. Guitar Setup: How do I use a radius gauge? Here’s a little-known modification that can really customize the response of your electric guitar. D.I.Y. Of course, most acoustic guitars have nonadjustable saddles. On an electric guitar, this … Today we are going to go through the process of setting up a Les Paul style guitar with a tune-o-matic bridge and tailpiece. © Do your switches snap, crackle or pop? One or two spritzes into a rag will handle each major surface. FACTOR Electric guitar, ★★★★; acoustic guitar, ★. First, sight the neck just to see what condition it's in. In other words, that’s the gap we’re looking for between the 12th fret and the bottom of the high E string. D.I.Y. Evaluation. Piezo Volume Adjustment How to adjust a PRS piezo bridge. Rapidly flick each switch—or twist each knob—back and forth, and then play for a while, listening for persistent noises. A drop down the shaft of a closed-gear tuner won’t hurt either. Happy holidays from your friends at Sweetwater! BACK to NEWS. D.I.Y. Conversely, you can bring one pickup closer to the strings if you want that one to ”jump out.”. D.I.Y. Typical is .2-.3mm of neck relief and 1.6mm string height on the low E, and 1.5mm on the high E at the last fret. By doing this, the nut and bridge—the other two arbiters of action (besides the neck)—have been eliminated from the equation. This is usually the typical setup for guitars I ship. Also, spray into the volume and tone pots at their openings, next to the solder lugs and directly onto all switches. Just as string tension can hide loose tuning gears, it can hide loose joints and cracks. HOW TO DO IT For major filth, a little Windex will work wonders. Then on the low E string, we’re looking for a gap of 5/64ths of an inch from the top of the fret to the bottom of the low E string. All of the following specifications are for guitars/basses with the standard gauges of Fender strings that the guitar or bass is equipped with from the factory. Now bring the string up to pitch. FACTOR★★★★ Just don’t spray the cleaner in your eyes. In some cases, it’s better to make adjustments and let the neck settle overnight to ensure you don’t over-adjust. We will cover all the steps needed to make your guitar play better than it ever did from the factory and some tips and tricks along the way. HOW TO DO IT With a fresh set of strings tuned to pitch, play each string at the 12th fret. These small, fine-threaded parts damage easily under excessive wrist or arm pressure torque. → Required Tools. If you find something suspicious, get thee to a luthier. Guitar Setup Part 1: Adjusting the Truss Rod. Buy Now. Use a guitar pick or a sharpened Popsicle stick to dislodge the grime that cakes against the frets and directly beneath each string. The following 12 steps are considered absolutely essential in a basic setup. Wrap it tightly around the tuning post, beneath the speaking length, then wrap the free end over and around the speaking length (PHOTO 10C) and give it a downward tug (PHOTO 10D). To learn more about our cookie policy, please check our Privacy Policy. Setup will vary according to the person setting up the guitar and how the owner prefers the setup. Wipe up any excess with a paper towel or rag. Remove the strings, though, and suddenly you’ll find more loose nuts and screws than a whorehouse on a funny farm. If you plan to change string gauges, you may need to adjust the specs somewhat to compensate for the changes in string sizes. Every string rings like a bell from the first fret up to the neck joint. We’ll also include a rating system to indicate the level of ease: from 4 STARS for easy to 1 STAR for those jobs best left to the most experienced players. Martin "OM" Guitar Specs. Please refresh the page and try again. Martin "M (0000)" Guitar Specs. Then apply a light coat of lemon oil and wipe away any excess with a paper towel. Listen for buzzes as well as false notes—for instance, fretting an E note or bending to what should be an E and hearing an F. Excessive buzzing and widespread false notes mean that you’ve either dropped the bridge too low or excessively counter-bowed the neck. The adjustable end of the truss rod—either a male or female nut—can be found in one of a few places. Sign up here to get product announcements, artist news, and more delivered straight to your inbox. Ask questions, show off your gear, or simply chat with fellow guitar fanatics. Store Hours, If you have any questions, please call us at (800) 222-4700. Today, it's made by Gibson, but it is still prized by jazz and blues musicians looking for a classic sound. Or said in other words – you must ensure that your guitar is nicely set up before you start experimenting and altering its tone with mods and replacement parts. What is 'action' on a guitar? Also, look for a small screw on the crown of the tuning button (not every tuner will have one). Guitar Setup: How do I measure the action on my electric guitar? High action, stiff action, buzzing frets, dead notes, poor tuning or intonation…they are all symptoms of an instrument that needs a setup. HOW TO DO IT If your frets and fretboard are severely filthy, begin with a little Windex to dissolve the worst dirt and grease. As mentioned, adjusting an acoustic guitar’s bridge height requires some surgery to the bridge saddle. HOW TO DO IT If your bridge and truss rod are up to snuff, play each string open, then at the 1st fret (FIGURE 3). Unless you have experience with this modification, leave it to the pros. Feeler Gauges. Martin Guitar Specs: Some people like to know all of the technical details that make up a great Martin guitar. If the neck has too much bow, or relief, the gap will be wider, and so the truss rod must be tightened. Future US, Inc. 11 West 42nd Street, 15th Floor, Will it really make your guitar play better? FACTOR★ You need not only moderately expensive tools but also a specialized skill. New York, ** For qualifying in-stock items delivered to the contiguous United States only, on orders processed by Noon Eastern time on Wednesday 12/23. You’re reminded why you fell in love with your instrument in the first place. Here are the 2020 holiday shipping deadlines to ensure your gifts arrive on time! If your fret wire exhibits major gunk, read ahead to step 8 for tips on removing it. Don’t be shy about reaching into the sound hole and feeling around for loose or squeaky braces. Gently tighten these screws with the appropriate size screwdriver. And even an ordinary guitar can be your best friend if it's easy to play. A guitar’s action can also be adjust at the bridge. For the purposes of this acoustic guitar setup feature, we’ll be giving a new bargain B-stock Ibanez AEG a going-over to make it feel just right. NY 10036. Product Specifications What are factory setup specs? But subtract all four stars if you’ve got a floating tremolo system or if you’re working on an acoustic guitar. Adjust the Bridge Height. Note: Classical guitars, which use nylon strings, don’t have truss rods. On the treble side (top three strings), 3/64ths of an inch would be considered low action, whereas on the bass side 4/64ths or 5/64ths would be low. Steel-string acoustics and electrics will settle to within 20 cents of their correct pitch using this method, and nylon-string guitars will require only one or two more tunings over a two-hour period before settling into pitch. D.I.Y. Just like polishing the frets, this is easy-to-do housecleaning-level work. Length into coils switch—or twist each knob—back and forth, and braces within an acoustic guitar ’ better! Whole-Step bends ( FIGURE 2 ) across the strings properly around the tuning posts, the. – sometimes neglect playability a rag will handle each major surface such as Nevr-Dull, towels... 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