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I am planning to buy an Epiphone Ultra II, in part because if the very nice nanomag pickup on it.


A friend I talked to mentioned to me that if changing guage on your strings from say 010 to 009 you also need to set up the guitar (not just retune, but set up).


If so, which strings are the Ultra II set up for from the factory? I would presume 010. I had thought of putting 009 strings on but perhaps I should just stay with 010’s.

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Well ... I don't know that I would go as far as Musikron did, but the fact is I haven't seen a guitar yet that couldn't be improved or at the very least "taylored" to your style and comfort level with a few judicious truns of the old screwdriver ... regardless of the manufacturer or the cost of the instrument.


Electric guitars are highly adjustable to begin with and, over time, will need minor tweaks here and there to keep it true. Just be careful when adjusting the neck ... in fact, if you are new to this, I would recommend watching a "pro" do it the first time out. Part of being a musician (and one of the joys IMHO) is learning how to care for and customize your instrument. There is a great deal of expertise right here in this forum ... and I'm glad you decided to stop by!


By the way, Epiphone does ship just about all of their electric guitars with "10's" ... try living with them for a while before switching to a lighter guage of string. The improved tone will be worth the little extra effort it takes to bend them!


Have fun, and welcome to the forum!



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If you change the string gauge you WILL need a setup, especially if you go from 10s to 9s.


The factory "setup" is only a starting point, and is meant to make the guitar somewhat playable to a multitude of different styles. But after changing the string gauge, ALL of the various parts of the guitar that come in contact with them will have to be adjusted to compensate for the diameter/tension difference, because it might not sound like a lot, but even the VERY slight difference in the gauge of the strings can make a HUGE difference in playability and sound.


I made that mistake when I first purchased my LP. After I had it setup and playing perfectly, I decided to put 9s on it thinking it wouldn't make much of a difference, but i was WRONG! It buzzed like CRAZY and MOST of the notes on the higher frets got chocked off due to the trus rod not being adjusted to the lighter tention.


Hope this helps![confused]

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My Epi Ultra 2 was hanging in the store when I spotted it.

I pulled it down and tried to play it; it was horrible.

I pointed out to the guy in the store how bad it was, asked him to have it setup

so I could tell if I wanted to buy it. He didn't want to but I said if you don't, too bad; I'll go

somewhere else. (I had seen the video on the Epi website and really wanted the guitar.)

Long story short, when it came back after setup a few days later, it was a different guitar.

Bought it immediately.

After playing it for a while I did my own setup, and now it is a beautiful playing guitar.

A lot of shops set them up to factory specs. I've found that the factory specs are really generic,

and can be improved upon greatly.

But to answer your question; yes a setup will be necessary if you change string guages.

But you should get it set up anyway; you'll enjoy it more.

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Every Epiphone I have bought has came with set-up issues - this isn't a problem for me as I do my own set-ups anyway, however any good retailer should do the set-up for you if asked. If they won't or can't do they deserve your business?

Common problems with out-of-box set up I have noticed is intonation - way off, bridge height - to high especially on the bass strings, pick-up height - too low (even when bridge adjusted) and the factory strings are fairly soul-less sounding fencing wires.

None of these issues would ever put me off getting another Epiphone but for non-tinkerers it is not good enough. I am not asking Epiphone or their retailers to go an extra mile just to complete the mile they started.

Thanks for listening.


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If it's been set up right' date=' a change from 9s to 10s or back should only require a very minor tweak to the truss rod. May not even need that. [/quote']




I used to compensate for a simple change of seasons, with the humidity/temperature and all. But tweaks are so small I don't even bother anymore.

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Guitar setups are like driver's seats in cars; everyone wants it a little different. I just tweaked mine again the other night to an almost flat fingerboard from about .010 relief. It took about 1/4 turn tightened on the truss rod. I was getting a little buzz on the low strings and got lower action and no buzz afterwards. Temperature, humidity, and string gauge make slight differences in action and require some changes from time to time.


Theoretically, the best setup is .000 to .015 relief on most guitars, measured by fretting the 1st fret and the 15th or whichever fret meets the body of the guitar. While doing that, press at the 8th fret and check for slight clearance. If you have a neck that will go perfectly flat, you can go to .000 . If it still has a little rise on the high end, you have to compensate further. The idea is that the neck has a slight downward angle measured by placing a straightedge between the nut and the bridge. As you fret up the fingerboard the string always has clearance on the next and all higher frets.


9s are easy to play, but tend to buzz if you are a heavy player. 10s sound better due to a more controlled vibration of heavier strings. If you are used to 10s, 9s will feel squirmy under your fingers. OTOH, if you are used to 9s, the 10s will feel too tight. After a few hours of play, the 10s will feel better and better, especially on a Les Paul, as your finger strength begins to build to the task. Some like 11s or even heavier, especially if they tune down a step or two. Personally, I like 10s and standard tuning.

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Guitar setups are like driver's seats in cars; everyone wants it a little different. I just tweaked mine again the other night...



Yeah I just tweaked mine too. Where I live humidity is not the problem.

It is too dry here and we have to constantly have a humidifier running in the house.

It's kinda nice though because the guitars stay fairly well adjusted.

Acoustics have to have an in case humidifier though. I've seen them crack

from being too dry.

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