String Action Gauge How to determine string action with the String Action Gauge. That’s too bad, because when a 12-string’s action is too high or it’s not set up correctly, it feels twice as hard to play. Clearance between top of fret and bottom of string. A handful of musicians have built their careers around the 12-string guitar—Lead Belly, Leo Kottke, and Roger McGuinn come to mind—but for most guitarists, an electric or acoustic 12-string is a specialty instrument to be hauled out when a song needs a little extra jangle. We recommend moving this block and the preceding CSS link to the HEAD of your HTML file. The playability part of setup is personal, but, for the most part, tuning is more absolute. Again String Gauge comes into play as well and if you change String Gauges, you should have your Saddle relooked. At the very least, understanding the setup process will help you identify a good tech. The string height markings are at increments of .010" (ten thousandths of an inch). At the 1st fret, the 1st string was 1/64" and the 11th string was just over 2/64" above the … When I play my high E string, it's in tune, but if I play the 12th fret, it's flat. Note: Set SB/T3 action by adjusting the neck angle up or down, not by adjusting bridge or saddle height. /* Add your own Mailchimp form style overrides in your site stylesheet or in this style block. Guitar Action at the 12th fret of a Fender Stratocaster A guitar’s action is defined principally in terms of the height at which the strings sit above a given fret. Terms Of Use. Place a ruler on top of the 12th fret and measure the distance between the top of the fret and the bottom of the outer E strings. For example, if your action at the 12th fret measures 7/64" and you want to lower it to 6/64", you should remove 1/32" from the bottom of the saddle (1/32" being twice as much as 1/64"). Is something wrong with the guitar's set up? Measurements were taken from bottom if the string to top of 12th fret, capo at 1st fret. On, "Sponsored Content" refers to articles, videos, or audio recordings that are produced or curated by an advertiser but that, NAMM '13 - Veillette Guitars Grand 16" Baritone 12-String, Merlin, Flyer, & Gryphon 12-String Demos, SNAMM '18 - Guild Starfire IV 12-ST 12-String & F-512, Veillette Guitars Unveils the AeroElectric True-Twelve 12-String, NAMM '13 - Breedlove Guitars Oregon Series Models & Passport Series 12-String, Bass, & Travel Models, 1. Most factories set action at 3/32" to 7/64" on the bass E string at the 12th fret and 2/32" to 5/64" on the treble E. Measure Distance Between. Design, CMS, Hosting & Web Development :: ePublishing. At Glaser Instruments we typically tell people that for good tone and a wide dynamic range, your setup should be as high as you can manage to play comfortably, yet as low as necessary to keep you wanting to play that instrument. If you have one, or are considering acquiring one, you’ll benefit from understanding some of the factors that contribute to this instrument’s sonic mojo. Bass E (sixth): 0.156” at 12th fret (very slightly below 5/32”); 0.030” at first fret. Also—and this is important—if you’re shopping for a used 12-string, knowing how to recognize and identify potential setup issues will help you make an informed buying decision, and potentially save you a lot of money. Hooked: Kenny Wayne Shepherd on Jimi Hendrix's "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)", 4. The Martin guitar factory considers a low ‘E’ bass string to be within specification if the distance from the 12th fret to the bottom of the low E string is between 2.38 mm (3/32″) minimum, to 2.78 mm (7/64″) maximum. First Look: Hughes & Kettner Spirit Nano Series. E - 5/64 A - 4/64 D - 4/64 G - 3/64 Neck relief set so when fretted at first and last frets, a bank card can just barely be held in place at the 8th fret. Because there’s no one “correct” way to set up a guitar, we’re simply going to share a few things we’ve learned in the last 35 years—proven techniques that work for us and our clients. Place the ruler on the 12th fret, making sure the ruler ticks are parallel to the string. All Rights Reserved Raise, lower, or leave the action. As such, 12-string guitars get a smaller part of a player’s setup budget and are rarely checked, despite the fact that they may suffer more from string tension issues than their 6-string siblings. String Action on my Guitars The 12th Fret is the focus for Saddle adjustments. I've never used digital calipers I have no idea what those numbers mean. With a good setup, a 12-string can sound magical. The high ‘e’ treble string should measure between 1.59 mm (1/16″) and 1.98 mm (5/64″) at the maximum. */, Copyright ©2020. However, armed with a little knowledge, the proper tools, and a bit of patience, you can achieve excellent results doing your own basic setup and maintenance. if you stick a dime on the 12th fret and the string touches it, it's low if you stick a nickel on the 12th fret and the string touches it, it's medium 2 nickels or more and it's high 6 nickels and your neck's bowed. Some setup issues are common to both 6- and 12-string instruments and have been already covered in Premier Guitar, so instead of rehashing them here, we’ll link you to them. Just as with a 6-string guitar, bass, banjo, or mandolin, 12-string setup can be divided into playability and intonation. (Some session players have their own intonation formulas, but that’s a subject for another day.). 12th fret because it's 1/2 way to the saddle, so an action of adjustment of .010" will require .020" at the saddle. Privacy Policy | Also available in a 12-fret model. Treble E (first): 0.125” at 12th fret (exactly 1/8”); 0.024” at first fret. On the playability side, there is no one-size-fits-all approach, and through experience, guitarists need to discover their personal comfort zones. Each guitar needed some work to play and sound its best, so we’ll take you through what we did and describe how we approached those procedures and why. High E (treble) DN, GO, GS:.060 - .070 GA, GC:.050 - .060 .045 - .055 .080 - .090 .045 - .055 SB, T3: .045 - .055 3. So many vintage guitars have so little saddle left I have always been hesitant to shave the saddle much at all. To illustrate these concepts, we’ve chosen two guitars: a 1965 Rickenbacker 360/12 and a ’65 Guild F-212. Here’s how the D-12-20 measured up: The action at the 12th fret was 6/64" for the 1st string and 7/64" for the 11th string. #mc_embed_signup{background:#fff; clear:left; font:14px Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; width:100%;} Action measurements are typically taken using a ruler with its end sitting on top of the 12 th fret. The latter belongs to producer Bob Ezrin, whose credits include Peter Gabriel, Alice Cooper, Pink Floyd, Kiss, Lou Reed, and Phish. When it comes to deciding on how to space the strings at the nut, 12-string guitars require extra thought: You have to deal with the space between the two strings within each pair, and, of course, the spacing of the pairs themselves across the fretboard. The ability to lower that action of a 12 string guitar is entirely dependent on the build of the guitar. Now you’ll need to make the decision to raise, lower or leave the action alone. Classical Guitars. Height of string above 12th fret: Note: Adjust saddle height to raise bass by 1/64 compared to standard acoustic models. No fretting. Released for 2020, the National NRP Raw Steel 14 Fret sports a new lightly ‘distressed’ finish and still delivers the warm, rich unmistakable National sound. Measure from the top of the fret to the bottom of the string. The Action at the 12th Fret should typically be about .090 at the Bass E and .080 at the High E with the other Strings in between progressively similar. Top of 12th Fret and Bottom of String. The relief was .012"—perfect for my client’s playing style. The following tables show typical action for guitars and bass guitars at the lowest and highest strings. Do this so that you’re getting an accurate measurement of the gap from the top of the fret to the bottom of the low E- string.