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Measuring string height and string height preference?


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  • Measuring string height and string height preference?

    I've never been much into measuring string height on my guitars...I normally just get set the height wherever it feels good to me...but I was doodling around with my Tokai ES 120 and I decided to measure the height at the last fret closest to the body...I'm using a little metal straight ruler that I got at Home Depot...it has 1/64' increments...the ruler rests comfortably on the last tow frets so I know it's square to the frets...both my high and low E measure 3/64" unfretted...this is from the top of the fret to the bottom of the string. There's no fret buzz anywhere on the neck...is this considered 'low', 'average', or 'high' action? I've been playing for over 40 years and I just never paid attention to this stuff...and how do you guys like your string height?
    Roll Tide!!!!!

  • #2
    I used to like 9's and the action as low as possible. Now I love 10's and the action much higher. Better tone and is much better to play.

    You live and learn.


    • #3
      That's very low action on the bass E string, a tad less so on the high E.

      By way of comparison, standard Fender factory action on most of their guitars falls between 5/64" to 4/64" on the low E, and 4/64" on the high E. I like fairly low action, and consider 4/64" on the bass E as my idea of low, with the high E at 4/64" or 3/64". I've heard that Satch has really low action 3/64" on the low E, and 2/64" on the high E. To me, a guitar would need a Plek job to play that low without buzzing, unless it had a lot of relief (his guitar supposedly has only .005", which is at the extreme low end).
      "Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy; it's inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery."


      • #4
        I just lower the action till it buzzes, then raise it little by little till the buzz is gone. Very technical and scientific!
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        • #5
          Depending on how your relief is set, that would be pretty low action. I always measure at the 12th fret and set mine at 4/64", but if you have a lot of relief your strings could actually be higher there than at the last fret.

          To measure the action at the first fret (when I'm cutting a nut) I use a medium guitar pick. If it slides snuggly under the string without lifting the string it's about right fo me.
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          • #6
            I just lower the action till it buzzes, then raise it little by little till the buzz is gone. Very technical and scientific!

            that works for me also.companies set em different and its hard to keep up with everything.... beside factory specs never work for me.

            My carvin was so low last week compared to my strat that it felt uncomfortable and I had to raise it a bit. However my mim tele will go as low as my carvin without buzzing but the strat won't. I try to keep all my guitars string heights the same because that is one thing that really throws off my playing.