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Target neck relief

renderit

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 19, 2009
Messages
10,505
The first one I'd shoot for on a modern Gibson would be zero.

Many of mine came up perfect there.

I think they may Plek them with that.
 

renderit

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 19, 2009
Messages
10,505
Remember, a perfect setup requires many things.

(I am assuming the frets are in good shape and new and the nut is cut properly)

1) set neck relief

2) set bridge height

3) set pickups to start height

4) if necessary set stop height

5) check for buzzes

6) set intonation on bridge

7) check for buzzes again

8) dial in the pickups for overall height and pole height (many good threads on setting for "bloom")


Added hint: On mine after the above actions I play it for no less than a week. Sometimes I change my mind (hmmm, TOO close). Sometimes after a time you find buzzes you missed or after things settle in they appear. Just take your time.

I kind of "rock it down" when doing action lowering. A little tightening, a small move on the bridge. Rinse, lather, repeat.
 
Last edited:

xxedgexx

New member
Joined
Mar 9, 2022
Messages
6
So just for example, this is my 355.


This is not the stewmac gauge. This one extends from the first fret to the 17th fret and the measurement happens at the 7th fret.

Thanks!
 

bursty

Active member
Joined
Dec 25, 2012
Messages
145
if the action is too low/strings too low then it's difficult to dig in for string bends so, I like my action a tad high.
Sure, you have to fight it a bit more but then your fingers get a nice workout.
Three half step bends is a must IMO which makes a full note bend a piece of cake :D
This typically requires a bit more relief than some folks like.
Also, I don't use 8s like some folks; 10 - 46 for me .........
 

charliechitlins

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 16, 2021
Messages
495
if the action is too low/strings too low then it's difficult to dig in for string bends so, I like my action a tad high.
Sure, you have to fight it a bit more but then your fingers get a nice workout.
Three half step bends is a must IMO which makes a full note bend a piece of cake :D
This typically requires a bit more relief than some folks like.
Also, I don't use 8s like some folks; 10 - 46 for me .........
I think high action and relief are more independent.
If, for some reason, you like a lot of relief, you'd need high action to avoid dead notes and buzzing.
But if you have high action, there is no need for additional relief.
The neck could be dead straight.
 

thin sissy

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 2, 2006
Messages
2,615
Lately, if I have the patience, I set the neck dead straight, then back off a tweak at a time.
Often I find an unexpected sweet spot in terms of tone and playability, and I feel like it's not measurable, but unique to the instrument.
Sometimes it's not even there.
Holy crap, I thought I was going insane. I also "think" there is a sweet spot for relief where the sound is at its best. For my guitars it's with a very straight neck, just a smidge of relief.

Glad to see someone else mention this :)
 

Arnold M.

Active member
Joined
Mar 29, 2018
Messages
272
I use feeler gauges, relief usually changes with time anyways due to seasonal weather variations, I used to measure it with the gauges but the novelty wore off many moons ago ... as long as there is something there it's ok to my eye and preferably under 10 thou. if it's set too low or too high your ears and/or fingers will let you knowvv.. trial and error, you'll get it, I haven't paid for set up for years and years, UTube and tools worked for me. the basics are pretty straight forward.
 
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