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.012 Neck Relief origination


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I know Dan Erlewine has written several books wherein he states the .012 is the Gibson Factory Spec and there are many setup guys on YouTube and other websites that state the same thing. However, I cannot find one instance or document from Gibson themselves that even mention a spec measurement. If you as Gibson they respond that the necks have "Very Little Relief" or instructions on getting the neck as straight as you can and then back of truss rod wrench either 1/4" or 1/8". I find the backing off 1/8" to be ideal and 1/4" too much when setting action at spec of Low E at 12th fret 5/64" and high E at 3/64".


So does anyone have anything documented directly from Gibson that states the factory spec is .012 neck relief. If so please share it.


Below link is the Gibson Custom Shop setup tips that also coincide with backing off 1/8". Not desiring info on anyone's personal preference setups, just Gibson spec one only as I realize they are subjective and a lot set them up their own ways.




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I have a copy of an article in Guitar Player magazine from 1997. In that article it quotes an earlier article from 1994 and says: "When we learned that Dan Erlewine's updated Guitar Player Repair Guide includes the factory specifications used by martin, Gibson and Fender we couldn't resist asking him to write this feature..."


So supposedly sometime around '93/'94 Gibson sent Erlewine their factory specs. In those articles it says that neck relief at the 7th fret on all strings is .012". This is the only time I've seen written reference to that number and also in the article Erlewine does a chart showing the factory spec, and what his personal guitars are set at and his are in each case a lot lower. ie factory spec 7th fret .012" - his guitar .004".


He goes on to say that a factory setup is designed to satisfy many players while remaining in basic adjustment as the guitar is being shipped around the world.


Like you I have generally used the custom shop guidelines that say make the neck straight and then back off 1/8th turn for a little relief.


So no, I have never seen specs directly from Gibson, but I met Dan and went to school for a couple years with his nephew Mark and they are pretty straight up guys so I don't think Dan made up that Gibson sent him their specs. But with all the forgery and stuff I guess I can't blame them for being tight lipped.

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Agree, funny how when something/anything is printed it gets credence.


Sort of like the modern day "if it's on the internet is must be true".


But the way Gibson does things, it wouldn't surprise me if they sent the .012 spec in writing to Dan, but never actually used it at the factory. [flapper]

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