Author Topic: Setup. A DIY guide  (Read 30822 times)

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Aluch

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Re: Setup. A DIY guide
« Reply #45 on: May 03, 2010, 03:26:14 am »

  • Pickups: Hold down the highest fret, the pole pieces of the front pickup should be roughly the thickness of one pick from the bottom of the string. the back pickup roughly two picks. closer and the pickups may sound muddy and affect sustain (and rattle against the strings). lower and the pickup may sound thin and tinny

for which string it is the thickness of one pick? all of them? I know that the bass strings should be higher than the treble ones above the pickups, or across the fretboard!!! I am referring to the front pickup as an example


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Re: Setup. A DIY guide
« Reply #46 on: May 03, 2010, 08:15:09 am »
If it's a single coil with staggered pole pieces use the highest piece as your point of reference.
If it's a humbucker treat it as an overall ceiling, Every pickup reacts differently so experiment a little to get the best balance (if the treble is overpowering try lowering the treble side, if the bass is overwhelming try lowering the bass side)
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Aluch

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Re: Setup. A DIY guide
« Reply #47 on: May 03, 2010, 02:24:37 pm »
so to make it more clear,
I start for example with low E string and fret at 12 fret, then I measure the gap of pole piece, that correspond to the E for front pickup, to the bottom of the E string.  It should not be less than a 1 mm pick thickness? and for all other strings and the front pickup pole piece, 1 mm too or higher?

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Re: Setup. A DIY guide
« Reply #48 on: May 03, 2010, 02:41:24 pm »
not the 12th fret, the highest fret. rest looks fine, all you're aiming to do is keep the string far enough away from the polepiece that it doesn't rattle against it or cause undue magnetic drag. from there it's all about finding what works best for you.. There's a fair bit of tonal variety you can get from tweaking pickup height.
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Offline SJP

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Re: Setup. A DIY guide
« Reply #49 on: September 06, 2010, 06:18:59 pm »
I'm aware that this thread has been dormant over the summer but rather than start a new one I suppose I should post here in the interest of tidiness...

I'd like to lower the action on an acoustic and I've started by adjusting the truss rod.

I've seen an instructional video (below) showing how to file the top of the saddle - the bloke says the radius/shape of the saddle should mirror the frets (although I'd understood that the thick E should be slightly higher than the thin E so i don't know if there's a contradiction at work here).

Does anyone have an informed opinion either way on this ?

http://www.ehow.com/video_4943185_acoustic-guitar-setup-file-saddle.html

NB : the man has a beard so i'm instinctively distrustful.

Offline Tourniquet

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Re: Setup. A DIY guide
« Reply #50 on: September 06, 2010, 07:15:51 pm »
Rather depends what your saddle's like before hand and how involved you want to get.

If your saddle is already compensated for intonation and has a curve to match the fretboard it's quicker and easier to file the underside to adjust height.

if it's not compensated, doesn't match the fretboard radius or you want the absolute best out of your guitar, filing from the top could be a benefit.

As with any saddle work, if you mess up either method you might need a new saddle.... but you learn by trying
Do any work in small increments
if you're going to file in situ protect your guitar surface.

There's no contradiction. The saddle should ideally match the curve of the fretboard to give consistent string height but the thicker strings tend to need a little more room to vibrate than the thinner strings as they have a wider amplitude.
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Offline SJP

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Re: Setup. A DIY guide
« Reply #51 on: September 06, 2010, 07:27:32 pm »
I'm afraid it doesn't fit either of your scenarios.

It's the factory saddle which is 'compensated' but looking at it it appears not to match the frets i.e it's higher for the E, A and D strings, which is where i'm considering filing.

What do you reckon ?

But if the saddle matchs the frets how do the thicker strings get more room ?

Offline Tourniquet

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Re: Setup. A DIY guide
« Reply #52 on: September 06, 2010, 07:52:03 pm »
The thicker strings get more room by being higher than the thinner strings (as your saddle is).

Look carefully across your saddle, maybe end put a flat edge along it.
If it's absolutely flat on top from Low E to high E it could benefit from filing.
If it's curved but slightly higher on the bass side it's fine, but might still benefit from being lowered.
Compensated saddles tend to be a one size fits all affair so it might also stand to benefit from fine tuning in that department.

You also need to consider the break angle of the string over the saddle if you do decide to do anything. there's no point lowering it of filing off so much material if it would no longer rest on the saddle. (some guitars give very little leeway on this)
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Offline SJP

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Re: Setup. A DIY guide
« Reply #53 on: September 07, 2010, 07:58:07 am »
The thicker strings get more room by being higher than the thinner strings (as your saddle is).

Yeah, it's slightly higher where the thick strings are, but obviously the frets don't follow suit so therefore the two don't match up. That's what i mean.

Yeah, curved but higher on the bass side.

By 'break angle' you mean the camber of the saddle ? Which affects intonation right ?

Otherwise would it be better removing the saddle and sanding the underside ? At the risk of being called an anorak i'm slightly averse to removing all strings at once although i'm aware there are two schools of thought on the subject.

Offline Tourniquet

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Re: Setup. A DIY guide
« Reply #54 on: September 07, 2010, 08:47:15 am »
Yeah, it's slightly higher where the thick strings are, but obviously the frets don't follow suit so therefore the two don't match up. That's what i mean.

Guitars require compromise.
If the saddle followed the frets with the minimum height the thick E can handle the Thin E would be rather high and rather uncomfortable for soloing higher up the neck.
If the saddle followed the frets with the minimum height the thin E can handle the Thick E would buzz like.... a buzzing thing.
You're just looking that it follows the general curve, not for a mirror image.

By 'break angle' you mean the camber of the saddle ? Which affects intonation right ?

Break angle is the angle the string creates as it passes over the saddle.



if you look at this image you'll notice the thicker strings have a sharper angle than the thinner strings. part of it's due to the saddle angle relative to the pins (it's further forward on the thin side to aid intonation efforts) and part of it is the thick strings being higher than the thin strings.

obviously theres potential to shave some height off the thick side here but if you were to lower the thin side the string may stop contacting the saddle altogether

Otherwise would it be better removing the saddle and sanding the underside ? At the risk of being called an anorak i'm slightly averse to removing all strings at once although i'm aware there are two schools of thought on the subject.

Without seeing it I couldn't advise one way or the other. the topside of your saddle sounds fine so anything to be done would likely be best done on the underside unless you want to try your hand at topside filing.
nothing wrong with removing all the strings. just don't leave it like that for weeks and try not to knock it about.
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Offline SJP

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Re: Setup. A DIY guide
« Reply #55 on: September 10, 2010, 10:33:45 am »
Cheers, that's clearer.

Btw, not for the first time your post wasn't flagged as a 'new replies to your posts' ....and i can't see the image you attached.

Offline Tourniquet

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Re: Setup. A DIY guide
« Reply #56 on: September 10, 2010, 11:49:14 am »
Btw, not for the first time your post wasn't flagged as a 'new replies to your posts' ....and i can't see the image you attached.
I usually find that happens when I'm reading a post while a new response is added.
image not being seen is probably the host. here's an alternative
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Offline SJP

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Re: Setup. A DIY guide
« Reply #57 on: September 10, 2010, 12:12:40 pm »
Okay-dokey, i've got you. Ta.

Offline 15learningLate

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Re: Setup. A DIY guide
« Reply #58 on: August 13, 2018, 06:29:18 pm »
Dear Tourniquet,

I've always had just an acoustic guitar and am now considering buying my first electric guitar.  Thank you so much for providing this information.

Offline hilts17

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Re: Setup. A DIY guide
« Reply #59 on: August 13, 2018, 07:23:28 pm »
Dear Tourniquet,

I've always had just an acoustic guitar and am now considering buying my first electric guitar.  Thank you so much for providing this information.

I fear Tourniquet will never see your post. This thread is 8 years old and Tourniquet has not been on the board for nearly 18 months.
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