Author Topic: How to tell if my guitar needs setup?  (Read 1004 times)

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Offline rjthegreat

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How to tell if my guitar needs setup?
« on: September 16, 2019, 05:24:01 pm »
I got a used electric guitar, it's 20 years old - but it looks in good shape, plays well, stays in tune.  I am not sure at this point if I need to have it set up at a shop?  I'm not very knowledgeable about guitar maintenance - but feels like the 'action' on the fretboard is set to about 'medium'.  Any advice on this?  or any videos?  FWIW the guitar feels fine but if it needs a setup I'll get one.

Offline stitch101

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Re: How to tell if my guitar needs setup?
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2019, 05:46:59 pm »
With an electonic tuner tune your guitar, with the tuner still on play the
harmonic notes at the 12 fret. They should be the same as the open strings.
If they are sharp or flat the intonation needs some tweaking.
If you'd like the action a little lower have it done when the intonation is being
set up.

If everything is to your liking and the intonation is good no need for a set up.

Offline LievenDV

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Re: How to tell if my guitar needs setup?
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2019, 09:13:02 pm »
it is possible the saddle height isn't optimal on some strings.
De height of the strings should be a gentle bow, like the bow of your fretboard.
Check if there are some unusual heights.

Play every fret a between 5 and 14 and try bendign and vibrato on them.
Encounter any rattles or buzzes?

zake a look at the strings sideways: athe distances between the strings and the fretboards
it should be quite slim, with a slightly bigger gap around fret 6 or 7 or something.



check if the bow of the neck is right.

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Offline rjthegreat

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Re: How to tell if my guitar needs setup?
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2019, 10:15:24 pm »
Thank you, I tried it out and looks like the intonation w harmonics the 12 fret may be a little flat.  How big of a deal is this?  What is the effect of intonation being slightly flat?  It won't stay in tune as long?

Offline stitch101

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Re: How to tell if my guitar needs setup?
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2019, 10:40:35 pm »
All it means is if your playing up the neck your notes will be a little flat.
If its only slightly flat you probably won't notice it at all.
If you've got a good ear you won't notice it until you start playing solos and
chord inversions passed the  7th fret.
Your  guitar will still stay in tune blow the 5th fret.

 

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