Bridge all the way down, strings still high?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Elkoki, Oct 3, 2017.

  1. Elkoki

    Elkoki Senior Member

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    Mar 4, 2015
    Hey guys I need some advice. I have a set neck Les Paul style guitar, when I lower the treble side of the bridge all the way to it's lowest the strings are still about 2mm off the fret board measuring the distance from the 12th fret.

    Is this normal in some guitars or is it likely a neck problem? or can it also be that the nut is too high?
  2. SGeoff

    SGeoff Senior Member

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    Apr 17, 2013
    first check the amount of relief your neck has, this would be adjusted by the truss rod, too much relief can equal high action, in this case you can flatten the neck and bring the strings closer to the fretboard by turning the truss rod tighter
  3. mux164

    mux164 Senior Member

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    Sep 1, 2012
    If it's still high you could grind/file the bottom of the bridge, but that would be a last resort, I've done that recently, or recess the bridge but that's probably not possible
  4. Kenni

    Kenni Senior Member

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    Jul 5, 2016
    Elkoki, hey! :)

    Well, by the looks of it, this could simply be a truss rod adjustment that's needed.
    I would try and measure the relief of the guitar, and see where it's at.
    You can take a capo, place it right on the 1st fret, then press down the low e-string, where the neck meets the body, and then insert a feeler gauge, to see where the relief is at. If you have a notched straight edge, then you can use that as well :)

    I believe you'll find that the neck has a little too much relief. I've recently worked on a bass guitar, where I encountered the same problem. I went back and adjusted the neck, and the strings then came down to where I needed them, lovely!

    If you know a little about setting up instruments, then you should always start with the truss rod, getting it to where you find the relief is good. Then move on to setting the string action at the bridge, then match the string action to the radius of the fretboard and go back an re-check the truss rod, etc.
    From there it's a good idea to take a look at the nut, to see if it's cut properly, and eventually take them down, of the strings are sitting too high at the nut.
    Lastly you can set the height for the pickup(s) and then you should basically be done. :)

    Give it a try, and see what happens!
    Let us know how it goes!

    Cheers :)

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