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Lowering the action on my Strat

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  • Lowering the action on my Strat

    So, I got my new MIM Strat on Friday, and the factory setup is decent, but the action is probably twice as high as it should be. It makes it really hard to play with the fact that I suck.

    I want to try lowering the saddles myself, but I've never done it myself before. I can't imagine it's that hard, but I'm afraid of ****************ing my guitar up and I have no idea how much to lower them anyway. I don't really want to wait till Thursday to have the guitar tech at the store I bought it lower the action - I WANNA PLAY IT NOW!

    So, is there some downer kid-proof tutorial out there on the interweb for something like that? Or am I pretty much SOL until Thursday?
    <div class="signaturecontainer">Member: OFFICIAL Bad Monkey Club<br />
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  • #2
    There is a tutorial on the Fender site under "support" that gives you measurements. But basically, start turning the saddles just a couple of rotations each, then check the action and listen for any fret buzz. If you have buzzing at the saddle, the two support screws for that saddle are uneven. Just level it up a bit.

    ~Blackbelt

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    • #3
      Yeah, I found that one, but I don't even have any idea how to adjust the saddles upwards or downwards. I'm pretty retarded.
      <div class="signaturecontainer">Member: OFFICIAL Bad Monkey Club<br />
      SQUIER ARMY<br />
      <br />
      <font size="1">'05 MIM Satin Strat with GFS Premium Texas pickups<br />
      '06 MIM Tele<br />
      Squier Satin Trans Strat HH<br />
      Squier '51<br />
      Carlo Robelli Acoustic<br />
      Bad Monkey<br />
      Danelectro Fish &amp; Chips<br />
      Digitech RP-250<br />
      Epiphone Valve Jr. Combo</font><br />
      <br />
      <i>They let Sarah Jessica Parker on television, and her face looks like a foot.</i><br />
      <br />
      Great transactions with: Sheik Yerbouti</div>

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      • #4
        Originally posted by thefuryone
        Yeah, I found that one, but I don't even have any idea how to adjust the saddles upwards or downwards. I'm pretty retarded.


        Use the appropriate allen wrench, turn one way or the other. It will either raise the saddle or lower it. If it goes the opposite direction you wish it to go, turn the other way.

        Make sure both allen screws are the same height, that is the saddle is level with the bridge plate.
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        • #5
          As you are staring down at the bridge, turn the little screws counter-clockwise to lower the saddle.

          ~Blackbelt

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          • #6
            If you bought the gutar brand new, you should have gotten 2 allen wrenches. Use the smaller on to adjust the height of your saddles

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            • #7
              Just like they said but be real careful with that stinking itty bitty wrench. I now have a chunk of mine broken off in one of the screw heads on my b string saddle. Fortunately ithe saddle height is where I want it. One of these days, I gotta replace the saddle or maybe the screw if they sell replacements somewhere but then I will probably have to buy 50 of the damned things but then I guess I can sell them on ebay . . .

              back to the adjusting for a minute - it is pretty much a do it and see what happens kind of thing. You can always undo it unless you screw up like I did. Just watch it and twist the wrench and see if it goes up or down. And keep the saddle even. Lower it until you get fret buz on one or more frets and then adjust up until it goes away. Don't forget to retuen/tighten the strings as when you dropped the saddles you added slack. Now here is the exciting part. It may still be waaay too high for you. Now what? It can be a bunch of things and to figure out which one, I would recommend finding a How to do a guitar set up narrative some where, there are many ( do a search on HC on -set up- and see what happens and then try it yourself.

              You could need a truss rod adjustment, you could have a fret or two or many that are out of whack and need re-setting or filing. Nothing too bad but probably way beyond you from your description (and I am certain they are way beyound me). Also a set-up narrative will discuss intonation which is also something you will be finding out about.

              If you screw it up so bad you can't figure out how to get back to anything you can work with, well that is what techs are for right? Unless you really hose something, you probably won't have to pay any more than it would cost if you had not touched it - a tech will probably zero out everything that can move and then start tweaking.

              Just my thoughts - have fun and enjoy your MIM - I love mine.

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