We're often asked for low action but no buzzing. That's understandable. Who wants strings vibrating on frets or, alternately, set so high the guitar is almost unplayable?
But every player has their own style of play and a different idea of low. As Jerry, our luthier says: If you're wailing away like Keith Richards you want space between the strings and the fretboard. But if you're a light fingerpicker, especially one who plays well up the neck, you want them close to the fingerboard.
In the process of setting up thousands of guitars, we've developed standards and measurements for string height.
We begin with a quality control inspection, assuring frets are level, the neck is straight and the angle where it meets the body is correct.
Using the truss rod, we set a very marginal amount of bow to the neck.
Next, the saddle is adjusted (either lowered or replaced with a higher one) so the bass E string is 2.3mm (.09") above the 12th fret and other strings conform to our standards at both the 12th fret and the nut.
Finally, Jerry players the guitar, listening for any string/fret contact where it shouldn't be and making adjustments accordingly. The result is a very playable guitar, one that pleases the vast majority of our customers.
Occasionally someone will ask for an even lower set-up. We can accommodate the request, but we're reluctant to do so for two reasons:
- If a guitar is set to an action below our standards and then returned by the customer within the 7 day trial period we have no choice but to charge the customer for the setup to return it to our standard.
- It's incredibly easy to lower the action of a guitar - something any customer can do - but not so easy to raise it. We'd rather walk you through the process than have you running all over town looking for a higher sdddle.