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Help with neck set & saddle height

Jack Allen

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Hi Everyone,


I got a new Dove in June this year and have some questions. I played it when it came in and had to leave town on a project the next day. Sounded very good, should get better with age, action seemed really high, neck w/ too much relief, and the nitro just about burned my eyebrows off it was so new. I put in a humidifier, closed the case after checking for any shipping damage, obvious flaws etc. and left. I got back to town this week and decided to get it back out. I thought I'd start slowing doing some setup on it. Checked the neck relief and got that set nice. Checked the string height (Gibson quality card says it was checked & set to 6/64" on low E) and checked it. I'm presuming, with the numbers on the factory care, that the 6 on the Low & 4 on the High means 64" not 32". It was more like 5/32 - 6/32" (10/64" - 12/64"). I checked the neck angle with a straight edge now that the truss rod was adj. properly. The top of the bridge is 2/32" above the the frets. I always thought, esp. on a new guitar, that the bridge was to be level with the frets. On my Epi Dove, Hummingbird, & EJ-300CE it is and they setup great & the fret are dead level with the bridge.


It looks like I can only take off about 3/32" maybe 4/32" from the saddle before I start to run out of saddle. That will drop my 12th fret height to 8/64". That's just way too high for me!!! My Epi setup to 4/64" really well & plays great. Don't sound nothing like the Gibson however!!! [biggrin]


Anyone with suggestions? I somehow don't think the neck is set correctly if I'm going to run out of saddle before I even get to the height it says it was set at. It looks & plays just like it did when I got it (and that was within about 1 month from date on the inspection card. Just couldn't have been setup to 6/64.


The bridge measures the same height on the Gibson and the Epiphone Doves. That is 12/32" from the soundboard to the top of the bridge.


Thanks in advance for the help. Do I need to get in touch w/ Gibson? [confused]


Also, had anyone found the pickup under the saddle to degrade the sound much from the Doves w/o the nano pickup? Looks kinda thick to me and like having a pretty big buffer from solid contact with bridge to saddle. Don't know, just wondering.


Jack Allen

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Jack, there's no bigger fan of the Dove than me....but you post makes my head hurt.


I just bought a 2011 H'Bird, and will take it to my luthier in a few more months for a "set-up". 'Til then, no big deal.


I don't have electronics on any of my Doves or the new H'Bird, just not my thing. If I need to amplify, I can stick at pickup in my old Dove or the Jubilee, but never the new Dove or H'Bird.


Just enjoy your axe, and post some pics.



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