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epiphone john lennon - help with the action please


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I am doing a set up on this guitar ej160 e, it comes with a very high action, so I want to lower it.

I am thinking of putting on a bone saddle. I wonder if anyone on here has experience of lowering the action on this guitar, and has any advice, or tips on what worked well for them.


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I always do the saddle last.


1. make sure the neck is straight. fret the first fret and the fret above the body join on one string and see how much relief is in the neck. I usually do this on low and high E to make sure there is no twist. with level frets you can run the neck pretty straight without buzz. ajust the truss rod no more than 1/4 turn a day to get a minimal amount of relief


2. once the neck is straight then you want to focus on the nut. fret all strings, one at a time at the 3rd fret position, and see how much clearance you have above the first fret. it should not be very much, but not enough to cause buzz when the string is open. this all depends on how hard you strum or pick or pluck. minimize the clearance over the first fret for easy chording.


these two things will have more effect than you realize on the action along the WHOLE neck. once these are done then you can decide what to do with the saddle.


my advice is to upgrade first to a COMPENSATED BONE saddle, then to Bone or Ebony bridge pins, then to a bone nut. that way you get more for your money earlier.





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I just did my new dove.

I was surprised to discover that the tusq nut made a bigger more audible difference in tone than changing from

a plastic to a bone saddle!


I had an old bone saddle, so I put it in, it was a little too low, however, so instead of shimming it, I put the plastic back in


Surprise! The tone barely changed at all.

I'm sold on tusq for nuts and saddles from now on.

No more messing with hard to work with bone for me.


jwalin makes good points.

press any string 3rd fret.. distance between that string and top of first fret should be a hiar. or a piece of copy paper.

less is possible, but more is not good.

all strings can be checked the same way. with string fretted at third fret.


relief is a matter of taste, and the individual guitar.

A little will do a lot.

I'd go with getting the nut swapped to tusq.. then slot depth corrected..

set neck straight.. then do the saddle..

then set the relief.


all you have to do with the saddle is make sure the bottom stays flat if you change the height.. and curve the top so the strings

pass easily.

compensated, for sure. just copy your bridge.


I also used rosewood bridge pins, dumping the plastic, but I have to say I only noticed a negligible difference, could have been my imagination.


hint.. with wood pins.. check them in the holes.. sometimes they vary a bit, the hole and the pin, in size.. so you can sand or file a bit off

some of the pins so they sit at the same level in the bridge.. you don't need to tune up to do that.

I keep a box of old ball ends.. about three inches long.. from old strings.. for that kinda stuff.



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I have a EJ160E/VC that I bought used on Ebay, with a "repaired" lifting bridge. After a few months the bridge began to lift again. I took it to a locally owned guitar store and had it repaired for $47, which included sanding off the old glue and sanding the underside of the bridge down a little more which lowered the action. Based on other posts here this bridge seems to be glued to the finish instead of the wood.

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