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Adjusting action and setting up self


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Hi Guys


Just after some advice regarding setting up epiphones myself as fed up of paying other people to do it!


I have a new Riviera through and everything is fantastic apart from the action which is a little high. To lower is it just a case of lowering the bridge using the screw point located either side? Do I need to worry about intonation or tuning etc when lowering/changing action?


Many Thanks



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If you have a tun-o-matic bridge you need to loosen the strings before you can move those screws anyway.


Bridge height, neck relief and nut height are all interdependent and will all affect tuning and intonation. My advice is to learn how to make all of these adjustments (and more), properly.


If you're paying for set ups spend about 1/3 of the cost of a set up on Dan Erlewine's book, How to make your electric guitar play great. Worth every penny/cent etc.

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Just posted this in another thread a bit ago...


Doing your own set-up is very easy once you LEARN how to.

Saves $$$$ - no need to take to technician. BUT, you will

have to do some research to learn. Try this link to start you

on your journey, has lots of good info regarding various

aspects of git set-up... If possible, I recommend starting a

3-ring binder of print-outs of the info you collect, will come in VERY

handy for quick reference.



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Here is a step by step set up for any guitar.


Remember, righty tighty, lefty loosy. Tighten the truss rod to take sag out of the neck.

Loosen it to add relief.



Tools required: Proper allen head for truss rod & feeler guage.

You could use a piece of 9 or 10 guitar string as a feeler, but they are not all that accurate, or easy to use.


1. capo 1st fret

2. Fret the bass E string at the 17th fret, with your finger. This is a technique called,

"Using a string as a Straightedge.

3. measure how much distance you have from the bottom of the string, to the top of the 9th fret.

4. should be according to factory specs, about .012 inch.

5. I use a bit less, usually around .006 - .008, depending on the neck.


Set bridge Height.

Tools required: screwdriver for bridge screws. Nut files for bridge saddles.


1. Leave capo on. Measure height under bass E string to top of 12th fret.

Factory spec is: 5/64 in. or .078. This is too high in my opinion.

I usually go to about 1/16 or .062.


2. Set height at treble E string at:

Factory Spec is: 3/64 or .047.

I go to 1/32 or .032


If your nut is too high it will need work also.


Measure the height from the bottom of the string, to the top of the 1st fret.


Bass E string should be .030 according to factory specs. My oinion is that is too high.

I typically end up at about .025 or even .022.

But if you are a heavy picker, or strummer .030 will work better.

The A string will be about .002 lower, and the same all the over to the treble E.

The Treble E should be about .020 factory. I usually end up at about .012, or .014.

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