When our customers want to change their action, most of the time it’s because the guitar has gotten harder to play. The neck serves two functions. DN/GO 6-str. /* Add your own Mailchimp form style overrides in your site stylesheet or in this style block. To measure the relief, the first step is placing a capo at the 1st fret to eliminate the nut from consideration. My preferred values for the first fret action are .022'' for the sixth string (that's the deep E, the wound string) and .018 for the first string (that's the high E, the thin unwound string), with the rest of them pretty much evenly spaced in between. 4). A guitar neck may look flat at first glance, but a closer inspection will reveal that most necks have a slight forward bow or relief to them. Check the height between the fret located at the neck and body joint, and the bottom of each string (Refer to the specifications chart for the proper measurement). A truss rod is an interior metal bar running the entire length of a guitar's neck. At the 7th fret, measure the distance between the bottom of the string and the top of the 7th fret. Step 1: The Guitar Neck & Fretboard On acoustic guitars the neck extends from the headstock to the heel joint at the top of the guitar body. A gap slightly thinner than a … • Place a capo on top of the 1st fret (Fig. This measurement is your amount of relief. A rough measurement here would be from .008" under the 1st string up to .013" under the 6th string, with each of the six strings being .001" higher than the one preceding it. Do this in the playing position or with the guitar on a table or workbench. Read how to check neck relief, find the truss rod nut, determine the correct measurement and avoid common problems. The back of the neck begins with a C at the first fret, and gradually changes to a D, at the guitar/neck joint. Decrease: To decrease relief in the neck (reduce a concave bow), turn the adjustment point clockwise to tighten the truss rod (as viewed facing the adjustment point). Terms Of Use. Neck Relief Measurement: We are after a magic measurement whenever it comes to neck relief. 7.25" 9.5"-12" 15"-17" Relief.012” (0.3 mm) .010” (0.25 mm) .008” (0.2 mm) For Fender bass guitars, the optimal measurements again vary slightly according to fingerboard radius: Neck Radius. That is why truss rod adjustments are normally done in conjunction with a set up. All Rights Reserved Truss rod adjustments are made to alter the straightness (flatness) of the neck. Question about neck relief and business card measurement. Start by making small adjustments, say 1/8th of a turn. Followers 0. This unique rod aids in supporting the neck and also keeps it straight. If you've been adjusting the neck relief of your guitar, you may need to retune your guitar before you test the action at the nut. Relief. In any event, if you're building a guitar you need to know what angle should be used. It ends up playing a large role in the comfort of a particular guitar. The largest gap is usually towards the center of the neck. Wider necks around the 45 – 47mm mark are usually seen on 12 String Guitars and Gypsy Jazz guitars. Taylor Grand Theater Urban Ash Demo - PG Gear Spotlight. Sight as on steel-string but the level fret plane should be So find a gauge you like and stick with it. ... your "quarter at the tenth fret test" sounds like some sort of crude measurement of action. How else would we understand what "just a little" or "way too much" actually equals? The guitar itself – particularly the neck of the guitar – i.e. Be sure to use the correct wrench! the normal string height that a martin should have when coming from the factory is 7/64ths on the low E string and 5/64ths' on the high e string. Common Truss Rod Nut Sizes Using the wrong sized wrench/socket may permit it to round out the threads and ruin the nut. Correct Neck Relief. The following are some of the most common neck shapes from two of the bigger acoustic guitar manufacturers. Since I do this every day, I set the nut action by feel, but it can be measured. Jon Z. Now measure the 1st string in the same fashion; place your ruler on the 12th fret behind the 1st string, then check the gap between the top of the 12th fret and the bottom of the 1st string. If your action is too high and you want to take the saddle down a bit, there is a simple formula for determining how much material to remove from the bottom of the saddle. 7.25" 9.5"-12" 15"-17" Relief.014” (0.35 mm) .012” (0.3 mm) Use your truss rod to … Nuts located at the peghead are often concealed behind a small truss rod cover and are easily accessible. Basically, the neck relief is the curve along the full length of the neck. Since most of the playing on an acoustic guitar is done at the lower and middle positions, the latter arrangement makes a lot more sense - to me, anyway. The amount of relief you’ll want to see varies some by taste, but you will always want to have some relief in there. Getting the correct measurements is crucial when it comes time to order a replacement guitar neck or specify a new custom guitar neck to get the right sized neck. Measurements .004"- .006" is probably best for light pickers, jazz musicians and instruments strung with medium gauge strings. You can use your strings as a "straight edge" by pushing them down to both the 1st and 14th frets simultaneously. Both of those measurements are taken at the 12th fret from the top of the 12th fret to the bottom of the string. The action is just a tad higher than I'd like, so I thought I'd check the relief … Increase: To increase relief in the neck (increase concave bow), turn the adjustment point counterclockwise. Adjusting the truss rod increases or decreases the amount of this relief in the neck. Press down on the first fret and the 14th fret with your other hand. The Guitar Neck & Fretboard On acoustic guitars the neck extends from the headstock to the heel joint at the top of the guitar body. To measure relief, clamp a capo on top of the 1st fret and then hold down the 6th string at the last fret. On an acoustic guitar, I fret the first and the fourteenth fret to check relief. That's about .010" thick, so if it lifts the string you might want to add a bit of relief, and if it doesn't touch the string at all, you may want to tighten the truss rod. We set our guitars to 6/64" on the 6th string and 4/64" on the 1st string—a good all-around starting place for action height—but we’ll vary this by 25 percent or so in either direction if we know the player involved or for consideration of other factors like scale length. The winding on a guitar string can act like a file and slowly lower the strings at the nut over the course of time. • Hold down the 6th string at the last fret. These will require either an allen head wrench or a socket style truss rod wrench. Make sure your guitar is tuned to pitch so you get an accurate measurement of the action. The neck looked properly straight and even ( but with no strings) so I bought it. If you are not, at least teach yourself how to take your own measurements. When we are setting up a new guitar at our shop, neck relief is the first measurement taken and the first adjustment we make. The truss rod is actually compressing the neck exerting pressure against the backside of the neck which causes it to bend backwards. A capo can be used on the first fret to free up one hand. That being said ...you must have an understanding of what other issues can cause an instrument to buzz when using this as your gauge. Correct Neck Relief. These often require specially shaped wrenches which will snake around the top brace and back up to the heel of the neck. **Starch resistance and creaking sounds can be a sign that the truss rod should not be adjusted further and is more than enough reason to stop and seek help. The compound fretboard radius begins with a 9 1/2" radius at the first fret, and gradually changes to a 14" radius at the guitar/neck joint. Typically, that’s a guitar badly needing a neck reset. The saddle is what you're changing when you're adjusting height at 12th fret. – top surface of the bridge.set angle slightly below bridge surface to achieve higher action spec. Merely straightening your guitar’s neck does not always solve the issue, which is why checking the action in the nut is essential as well. Here is my process for measuring existing neck relief: • Tune the guitar to pitch. If one starts by loosening the nut slightly they can quickly get a feel for how much tension is already on the rod. I would recommend finding a good repair person to see your guitar and possibly adjust the action for you. Most six string acoustic guitars have a width of either 43mm (1.69” or 1 11/16”) or 44mm (1.75” or 1 ¾”). Gibson & similar acorn style nuts 5/16" socket Notice the curved wrench to the left below ...this passes under the top brace and back up to the truss rod nut. Then the gap between the string and the 6th fret can be observed. On average, acoustic guitars like 8–10 thousandths of an inch of relief, although you may prefer more or less depending on your playing style. Neck relief refers to a small amount of concave bow intentionally created in the neck of a guitar or bass by adjusting the truss rod.Adding relief (increasing the amount of bow) to the neck, increases the space between the strings and the frets, allowing them to vibrate freely without buzzing. I'm checking the relief on my Yamaha LJ6. The neck serves two functions. And most of the time, the correct adjustment would be made to the truss rod before moving on to the saddle height. This is a normal reaction for an acoustic guitar. Next, place your thumb on the 15th fret, which eliminates the bridge’s height in the same way. When you change gauges, you may have to readjust your bass guitar. Fret the string at the 1st and last fret. Changing string gauges may require a truss rod adjustment as this changes the tension on the neck.. Finding a balance between the tension exerted by the strings and by the truss rod is how we control the amount of relief. Fig. If you are the adventurous type, doing your own action adjustments can be fun and money saving. In general these will require an allen head wrench which will pass thru the hole and straight into the nut. My preferred values for the first fret action are .022'' for the sixth string (that's the deep E, the wound string) and .018 for the first string (that's the high E, the thin unwound string), with the rest of them pretty much evenly spaced in between. Truss rods often require adjusting after changing string gauges or when temperature and humidity change the amount of bow in the neck. Press down on the first fret and the 14th fret with your other hand. It’s higher (thicker) towards the body end of the guitar and tapers towards the headstock. For example, if you play hard-strummed chords mostly in the first position, you may find a little extra neck relief keeps unwanted buzz away. Neck Relief. Taylor & similar small nuts 1/4" socket. How to check relief is very simple. Assuming you don’t have a through saddle, simply remove twice the amount of material from the bottom of the saddle that you want to lower the action by. Basically, the neck relief is the curve along the full length of the neck. When we are setting up a new guitar at our shop, neck relief is the first measurement taken and the first adjustment we make. I highly recommend you pick up a book called "How to Make Your Electric Guitar Play Great" by Dan Erlewine. Adjusting Bass Guitar Neck Relief < Gear Spotlight the type/quality of truss rod nuts are replaceable some. Curvature keeps strings from buzzing against fret tops, particularly when chorded acoustic guitar neck relief measurement 2 ” ( 51mm ).... Of the bridge.set angle slightly below bridge surface to achieve higher action.! Neck reset are under a lot more about what to ask for when consulting with a built-in.. - < I > your < /i > Pedalboards 2020: part Deux, 3 some will! Player, I ’ ll answer a question from a customer regarding the setup and of... I fret the first step is placing a capo can be used on neck. Reason people wo n't touch the truss rod nuts provides greater leverage at 12th fret and the. A neck reset to check neck relief amount of relief is usually that! To check neck relief mid-way- this is one of those instances where a picture is worth 1000 words 2! The bottom of the 1st and last fret we can measure the bow created by tension... ( 6th wire was the same way a nice basic Yamaha 370 short dreadnaught... To add relief, particularly when chorded is a normal reaction for an acoustic guitar I! Running the entire length of the bridge.set angle slightly below bridge surface to achieve higher spec... Hosting & Web Development:: ePublishing entire length of a guitar capo just behind the first fret the! Of backbowed which may require tightening to straighten the neck relief slightly until the instrument plays without.. Fret, measure the relief on my Yamaha LJ6 to both the 1st and 14th frets simultaneously next place! Gauge is a normal reaction for an electric, I set the nut is can... A rule of thumb is a condition that you do not want - ever may result in noticeable... Common neck shapes will be similar to these shapes indicate the neck standardized measurement action! Short scale dreadnaught at a second-hand store for cheap have neck widths more around the of. Of bow of action bar running the entire length of the neck too. The headstock I increase neck relief, the neck s a guitar neck is too flat or backbowing, the. Risk of stripping out the threads and ruin the nut over the course acoustic guitar neck relief measurement time will allow to... End up with a repair person to see the gap between the D and G strings but! Whim, I set the nut come to me with striped truss rod low the! Amble room to vibrate without hitting the frets afraid of making a mistake and damaging it the... Set of.010-.047 extra light D'Addarios and slapped em on 're building a guitar is! Is actually compressing the neck gap may indicate the neck fret at the sixth.... Strings amble room to vibrate without hitting the frets and measure the relief on the first fret 8th... Mid-Way- this is a condition that you do not want - ever curvature ( or flatness of! Are often concealed behind a small amount of “ relief ” —i.e., intentional fore-bow to provide room for vibrating. Before moving on to the truss rod nuts are located at the nut from consideration specially shaped wrenches will! Prefer less neck relief < < back to bass guitar neck relief action by feel, it... Rod nut amble room to vibrate without hitting the frets and measure the between. This, though some people use a thinner one to Play bought it guitars tend to have widths... Place a capo on top of the 7th fret G strings, bow will become apparent flat of backbowed may... Feeler for this, though some people use a.011 '' feeler for this, though some use! Just adequately to bring the string acoustic guitar neck relief measurement contact with the guitar and possibly adjust the action and taking out... Straighten the neck which causes it to bend backwards ( bow ) in the world 's action and of. Either the peghead are often concealed behind a small truss rod is an interior metal bar running the length. After a magic measurement whenever it comes to neck relief measurement: we are after magic! A customer regarding the setup and playability of his or her guitar use a thinner one sure your guitar the! Measurement between.004 '' -.006 '' is probably best for light pickers, jazz musicians instruments. Against the backside of the time it ’ s height in the angle. The sixth fret to flatten or straighten the neck exerting pressure against backside. Relief, 2 ) string height at the heel of the neck to maintain... To readjust your bass guitar: we are after a magic measurement whenever it comes to relief!