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FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Stratocasters / Setting up your Strats...

Foggy1
Contributing Member
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SC

So, so you think you can tell?
Aug 5th, 2018 06:29 AM   Edit   Profile  

Do you guys that do your own setups, use the fender specs for neck relief, pup height, ect. Or just use them as a starting point and adjust to taste? Reason why I'm asking is, I have my neck relief set on my MIM Strats at .030 instead if .010. Anything lower than that, I get fret buzz on the bass side.

I don't use the bar on them, so i decked them this morning and adjusted them from there. It worked great on the 6 point standard tremolo on my standard, but not so great on the classic player with the 2 point tremolo. I may put that one back the way it was, with 3 springs, they now both have all 5 now.

budg
Contributing Member
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ohio

Home of the Goodyear blimp
Aug 5th, 2018 07:50 AM   Edit   Profile  

I usually set it at .008 to .010. My action is mostly factory spec. My pickups to taste really . Too low and they sound muddy, too high and the magnets start to pull. .030 sounds like a ton of relief. Are you sure there isn’t something else going on lik a high fret or something of that nature ?

Pinetree
Moderator Emeritus
(with many stars)

NW Pennsylvania

Aug 5th, 2018 08:07 AM   Edit   Profile  

Ten Grand at the 7th fret is plenty.

Something ain't right there.




ultra80096

USA

Aug 5th, 2018 08:11 AM   Edit   Profile  

I shoot for .010 also, thereabout.

Foggy1
Contributing Member
*****

SC

So, so you think you can tell?
Aug 5th, 2018 08:15 AM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks bud, you got me thinking about how i checked it. I was checking it wrong. Didn't even have a capo on the first fret. And was checking at the wrong place. Looks more like a .010 at the 8th now.

Foggy1
Contributing Member
*****

SC

So, so you think you can tell?
Aug 5th, 2018 08:17 AM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks guys, I really must have been thinking about something else this morning.

Stupid mistake.

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Ooo that sandwich

is gonna get et
Aug 5th, 2018 08:50 AM   Edit   Profile  

We've all done it :0)

Fret buzz can be caused by all kinds of issues. Here's a partial list.

Bad string
High fret
Worn fret
Poor neck relief
Improper neck angle
Worn nut
Worn saddle
Cracked nut
Dropping saddle
Deformed bridge
Rising tongue (neck heel area)
Neck twist
etc.

A pal of mine complained about his favorite Tele that developed a fret buzz on the low E string at the 8th fret in a matter of two days. I advised him to change the string and see if that helped. He said the strings were new.

He brought it over for an evaluation and it had a bad buzz at that one spot. The fret rocker showed no high frets. I looked at the string and the wrapping was dented right over the 7th fret.

.001" is all it takes.

This is common. The guitar neck took a bump right there and the fret pressed a ding in the wire. That little ding was enough to close the gap over the 8th fret and cause the buzz.

This can happen to plain strings, but with them, it's due to a small kink in the wire.

Always start with the simple stuff when troubleshooting, and work toward the complex.

(This message was last edited by Peegoo at 10:52 AM, Aug 5th, 2018)

Foggy1
Contributing Member
*****

SC

So, so you think you can tell?
Aug 5th, 2018 09:05 AM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks peegoo, all is well now and everything is set up to my liking. No issues at all right now. Guess i need to get me a fret rocker though. I tried to use my stew mac string action gauge, then figured out why the fret rocker is a different shape lol!

budg
Contributing Member
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ohio

Home of the Goodyear blimp
Aug 5th, 2018 09:17 AM   Edit   Profile  

Foggy , I used to pay someone do my setups until I figured it was best to do them myself too. There are a a few books that I found helpful. One is The Stratocaster Handbook and the other is by Dan Erliwine called How to Make Your Electric Guitar Play Great. I like both books , but I really like the Strat book because it deals specifically with the Strat.

Foggy1
Contributing Member
*****

SC

So, so you think you can tell?
Aug 5th, 2018 09:26 AM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks bud, I'll check it out.

(This message was last edited by Foggy1 at 11:28 AM, Aug 5th, 2018)

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Ooo that sandwich

is gonna get et
Aug 5th, 2018 09:39 AM   Edit   Profile  

A fret rocker is a great tool because even if the disparity in height is not enough to make an audible clicking sound, you can feel it.

But even without a fret rocker, you can evaluate frets and see if you have a high or low one.

A string action gauge (small steel card with graduations) works great for this. Rest the card, parallel with the strings, on the fret tops. Have a light behind it, and look closely at the bottom edge of the card. If there's any gaps between a fret top and the bottom edge of the card, it means that fret is lower in relation to its neighbor(s), or one of the neighboring frets is high. A little back-and-forth checking will help you determine exactly what the issue is.

You can do the same thing with a credit card that's not too ratted up. They are die cut and their edges are pretty darn straight for how cheaply they're made. Don't press hard; just rest it on the frets' tops.

A magnifying visor (see link) is a huge help here. These are inexpensive. They are handy for so many tasks beyond guitar setups even if you already have excellent close vision.

If you've never used one before, you will kick yourself for not getting one sooner.

Shop around for best price. A good one can be had for ~$30 or less.

(This message was last edited by Peegoo at 11:41 AM, Aug 5th, 2018)

Foggy1
Contributing Member
*****

SC

So, so you think you can tell?
Aug 5th, 2018 11:13 AM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks Peegoo. I'm trying to get a few tools to add to what i need. Dare i say a soldering iron will be needed, sooner rather than later!

5Strats
Contributing Member
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Edmond/OKC

GospelBilly!
Aug 6th, 2018 05:09 AM   Edit   Profile  

I do my own setups and dislike the Fender specs, particularly for string height determined by adjusting the saddles.

RicOkc

Nicoma Park, OK.

"Let the music do the talking"
Aug 24th, 2018 12:53 AM   Edit   Profile  

I've never used Fender's specs to set-up any of my Fender guitars.

I got curious once and actually checked my Strat's & Tele's using Fender's set-up guide and my guitars were actually lower than their recommended settings.

FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Stratocasters / Setting up your Strats...




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