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SG Action How low can you go?


Sin
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what is the action on your SG? please measure at the 12th fret and give both Low and High E readings, string gauge would be nice to know too, I just want to know if mine is set to high.

 

0.10 strings

 

1.9mm high E

2.9mm low E

Thanks

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Currently

 

Low E 2 mm

high E 1.5 mm

 

.10 strings

 

I have tested with my action as low as

1.5 mm low E

1 mm high E

but it is allot easier to get fret buzz and I feel the tone suffers. Didn't like it.

 

I also had it set as high as yours and loved the tone but it was harder to play.

 

What I currently have it at works best for me. Good tone and playability. This is close to what Gibson recommends and I agree with them.

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Sin, how are you measuring your action ? If you are measuring from the top of the frets to the underside of the strings, you have a high action. The figures you quote are way above Gibson specs. If buzzing occurs with lower string height, I would recommend that you have it checked over.

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BigKahune and 80LPC let me put this way... I live in the a** end of nowhere, there is no trusted pro , tech or something of the sort to fix her up, its me with stuff I learned along the way, Neck relief is 1mm ,nut is a bone one, cut as a copy of the original nut. a loooott of fretwear eheheheh does seem a little high for me at times, but I think I just got used to her. I wish I could set her lower to see how she feels,but too much fret buzz. what made me start the topic was the gibson standards. thanks everyone

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So I got her to gibs. standard

bass 5/64 1.984 mm

treble 3/64 1.190 mm

 

and she buzzes, but the buzzing does show thru the amp (guitar player magazine said this exactly in her review), the hight is much easier on my fingers for sure. I would like to keep her this way havent tested her thru the big amp just my practice one. Any considerations?

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Fret buzz drives me crazy, even a small amount will make me go insane, I would prefer slightly higher action and have a nice clean sound when I pluck a note. (within reason of course, obviously if I am pounding away some power chords I expect there to be some fret buzz.)

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Sin, I don't mean to be rude but I do wonder what you have learned if you have set your neck to 1mm of relief !

 

A relief of 0.2 - 0.3mm (near enough 8 to 12 thou) will cover low to medium action. 0.4mm will be plenty for a high action. These measurements are taken using the Gibson method of capo at the first fret, and press the string at the 12th. Measure relief at the 7th fret. There is no relief beyond the 12th fret.

 

I have set many guitars up with a 1mm action on 1st and 6th strings. There is no buzz during fingerpicking unless you go looking for it. To do it, you need to level the frets to a high degree of accuracy. If you are interested, I'll tell you how to do it.

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Sin' date=' I don't mean to be rude but I do wonder what you have learned if you have set your neck to 1mm of relief !

 

A relief of 0.2 - 0.3mm (near enough 8 to 12 thou) will cover low to medium action. 0.4mm will be plenty for a high action. These measurements are taken using the Gibson method of capo at the first fret, and press the string at the 12th. Measure relief at the 7th fret. There is no relief beyond the 12th fret.

 

I have set many guitars up with a 1mm action on 1st and 6th strings. There is no buzz during fingerpicking unless you go looking for it. To do it, you need to level the frets to a high degree of accuracy. If you are interested, I'll tell you how to do it. [/quote']

 

so I have 0.1mm at the 7th and no fret relief from the 12th to the 22nd , should I make this 0.2mm?

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so I have 0.1mm at the 7th and no fret relief from the 12th to the 22nd ' date=' should I make this 0.2mm? [/quote']

 

If you have 0.1mm clearance at the 7th with capo at the 1st and string pressed at the 12th, your neck will only need a small adjustment. I like to measure the relief across all the strings to check for consistency, but be aware of variations in the measurement caused by heavy fret wear.

 

Since the strings vibrate in an elliptical shape, it helps to avoid string buzz if the fretboard matches this shape. To give your neck more relief, turn the truss rod nut anticlockwise. But first, I would say that it is easier to turn the truss rod nut with the strings slackened a little. Undo the nut one eighth of a turn (45 degrees) then retune, and recheck the relief. It places less stress on the truss rod to make a small adjustment, and allow the neck to settle into a new position.

 

And yes, set the relief to 0.2mm. Hopefully there will be less buzz if you want to lower the action slightly.

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The last time I set my action low my top E string would ring so loud that I couldn't even decipher the notes I was playing. This only happened when I played speed metal riffs. All the other strings sounded perfect though. I tried to use the Rhythm tone, but I couldn't get it to sound the way I wanted after several amp tweaks.

 

I raised the action and the stopbar a little and now it sounds awesome. I'm glad I did because the sustain sounds great, and my bends are easier to pull off.

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Sin - I forgot to mention be sure to measure the relief with the guitar in the normal playing position. If the guitar is placed on a surface, the neck will curve slightly more.

 

Kruliosis - Guitars can vary so much. Frets can be uneven, necks, nuts and bridges often need adjustment. Sometimes lowering the action starts to reveal a problem. If you play with a harder attacking style, a higher action is a benefit. It's all about finding what works for you.

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Thanks 80LPC. You're right on the money about that. I just got an SG Standard. I was thinking that the problem was because the bridge pickup is a lot higher than the neck pickup, so it was very sensitive with that treble tone. I'm glad that raising the action solved that issue.

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Your neck relief should be between .10 (very little) to .15.

I believe gibson sets theirs right in the middle at .13.

The best way is to capo the 1st fret and press on the last fret, then

use a feeler guage at the 7th fret. (a spark plug gaper is the best here)

I personally adjust my neck as flat as it can be with the strings tuned to concert pitch,

then I add relief as needed.

Everyone is right in the fact that there are many variables that need to be taken in.

Fret condition, bridge hight and radius, nut condition, and so on.

You need to expect some buzz at certain areas on the neck with low action.

It is unavoidable at times. Especially with changes in picking.

Just another thought. The ab1 bridge types are not meant to give you the lowest possible action on a guitar.

Though you can get the action pretty low.(I play with a pretty low action with .10 of relief on the neck)

If you need to get super low action then you should consider getting a different guitar with a different type of bridge

for that setup.

Also heavier strings will usually give you a better feeling action when low.

If you are not comfortable doing a complete setup take it to a pro and have them set it up to your liking.

Most good techs will not mind doing it until it is perfect for you.

When they get it to your liking, take all of the measurements and keep a log.

Then get a good guitar tech book and learn all about how to care for your instrument.

I have used "Guitar Player Repair Guide" by Dan Erlewine. I have used this book since I did not know anything about repair and setup. This is like the guitar repair/setup bible.

It is written very well and easy to understand.

You will be glad when you are comfortable with adjusting your baby yourself.

Sorry for the length, Hope this helped a little.

Peace, Robmosis

 

2000 Gibson SG limited Edition

Vox AC30 Custom Classic 2

B-52 AT100 head

SoundTech 4 12 cab

Vox wah/ Crybaby wah (Vox is much better)IMO

MXR Custom Electronics Audio Boost Overdrive pedal

Boss Fuzz

Yamaha Compass acoustic/electric

strings= 10's heavy bottom

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Sin, I would just like to add that you really are going to have a hard time trying to get the action you want with worn frets.

I was in the same position a couple years back.

I finally brought it to a trusted tech. I was under the impression that I would have to get some of the frets replace and the others leveled. Some of them looked pretty worn.

Luckily I found a great honest tech that just had to file an relevel them.

Ever since I have been able to get fantastic action with very little fret buzz.

Since then I have been learning to dress frets myself. In your position it sounds like you may be in the same spot.

The best advice is to learn and practice on a guitar that you don't care if you screw it up.

You will make mistakes and some "will" be unrepairable without a lot of work, so you would hate do learn on your baby.

You could also take out an add in your local paper looking for a reputable guitar tech.

That is what I did since I live in a very rural area also.

If got about 5 responses and after some research I found the best one in my area.

Remember a good Tech will be proud to show you examples of their work and will be willing to give you some sort of guarentee, within reason, of their work.

I live in a very rural area as I said and doubted that I would be able to find even 1 tech in my area without having to send my baby away.

Most guitarists with a great gibson know how it feels to have to give your baby up for major surgery but at some point it has to be done.

Just do your research on techs in your area and You should be very happy with the end result.

Peace, Rob

 

2000 Gibson SG limited Edition

Vox AC30 Custom Classic 2

B-52 AT100 head

SoundTech 4 12 cab

Vox wah/ Crybaby wah (Vox is much better)IMO

MXR Custom Electronics Audio Boost Overdrive pedal

Boss Fuzz

Yamaha Compass acoustic/electric

strings= 10's heavy bottom

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The best way is to capo the 1st fret and press on the last fret.

 

The best way is to first level the frets. Then use this method taken from an official Gibson document.

 

Gibsonrelief.jpg

 

Different techs tell you different things. Books tell you different things.

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  • 9 years later...

what is the action on your SG? please measure at the 12th fret and give both Low and High E readings, string gauge would be nice to know too, I just want to know if mine is set to high.

 

0.10 strings

 

1.9mm high E

2.9mm low E

Thanks

 

My neck relief is .004

5/64 low E

3/64 high E

 

No buzzing anywhere, no intonation issues and it remains perfectly in tune each time.

 

I've noticed that many SG users are taught to believe that they have to screw their tailpiece all the way down to the guitars body and if they don't they'll "lose sustain". Then they wonder why the guitar has fret buzz and keeps going out of tune... so they'll loosen its truss rod and raise its action until it ends up feeling, sounding and playing like an Epiphone. Then to add insult to injury, despite all the changes they've made it continues to go out of tune...

 

If you want to achieve an action as low as mine simply set it up according to my specs and then raise your tailpiece until it eliminates the buzzing caused by the added tension caused by the break angle of the bridge. You won't lose any sustain, you'll actually gain more and your guitar will not only sound better but it'll also feel more comfortable and remain in tune (because the strings won't be tugged out of the nut by the stress having the tailpiece lowered all the way down to the body puts on the them. It has adjustable screws for a reason)

 

You'll struggle to achieve 5/64 - 3/64 action if your truss rod is set to 0.12 or 0.13. Gibson SG's are meant to have 5/64 - 3/64 action, otherwise it's an Epiphone or it hasn't been set up the American way. I own several Gibson SG's and they're all set up this way and none of them have any issues.

 

It's because I raise my tailpiece.

 

However, if you like high action and a spongy neck relief of 0.12 and 0.13 and a guitar with tuning and intonation issues, that's fine, to each their own. Carry on using those settings...

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...if you like high action and a spongy neck relief of 0.12 and 0.13 and a guitar with tuning and intonation issues, that's fine, to each their own. Carry on using those settings...

Really nice of you trying to help iamval - honestly - but as the thread died over 9 years ago I suspect the OP might have already found a solution.

 

Pip.

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