rojarosguitar wrote: ↑Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:51 amSome professional guitarists, when they pick up their instruments from my luthier friends, as a first thing they ask for a higher saddle bone to raise (yes, r a i s e ) the action, not to lower it. They have developed their muscles and they like to dig deep into the strings, if necessary, and feel the resistance. None of them play low tension strings.
For me, after a period of always trying to get the action as low as possible this also reversed, and now I'm perfectly happy with 4mm at 12th E-6 and 3.5mm at e-1. I also start to enjoy to be able to dig into the strings if necessary and feel the resistance. I'm already trying to make a date with Sascha Nowak to raise the action on my Nowak guitar.
Yes, search for "string action gauge". There's even a digital one. For my money it's not necessary to have a really accurate measurement, but I suppose it is worth recording what works best, and keeping tabs on the action might give you an early warning of any work that needs doing.
Aha! It's basically a type of ruler, but it sits flat on several frets and it's designed to be better visually readable at that scale. Thanks!Rasputin wrote: ↑Sat Feb 17, 2018 6:25 pmYes, search for "string action gauge". There's even a digital one. For my money it's not necessary to have a really accurate measurement, but I suppose it is worth recording what works best, and keeping tabs on the action might give you an early warning of any work that needs doing.
That's not a secret!
There is a simple tool you can get from Amazon.BellyDoc wrote: ↑Sat Feb 17, 2018 6:06 pmHow is action height best measured? Is there a specific tool for the job? I have a dial caliper that I’ve used which reads in thousandths of an inch and the backside of the device is for inside measurements. I can run that between the string and the 12th fret but I’m not likely to get the same number to the tenth of a mm three times in a row since the string flexes, the fret is a rounded surface, and I have to estimate perpendicular. For reference, a tenth of a mm is about 4 thousandths and similar to the diameter of a single human hair.
Michael.N. wrote: ↑Sat Feb 17, 2018 3:23 pmThere's always a trade off to these things. If someone states that they play with 3.5 mm bass E action and it's buzz fee take that statement with a huge dose of salt. There's no such thing as a buzz free guitar. It's not that difficult to get a buzz out of a guitar with 5 mm bass action, you just have to give greater energy/displacement to the string. You might be able to get an action that is a touch lower if the soundboard was extremely stiff and rigid (all other things being equal) but it's not going to sound very responsive. Players who are using a very low action are either accepting buzz or they are playing in a somewhat timid manner and limiting dynamics. There's just no two ways about it. No amount of set up and attention to neck relief etc. is going to give you gains of say 0.5 mm.
I've found normal tension basses and low tension trebles to be the best of both worlds - no buzzing, cleaner and sweeter tone in the melody.petermc61 wrote: ↑Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:48 pmIt’s a perfectly rational choice to play with a ‘normal’ action, as is your position. The action you describe is ‘low’. (I would describe ‘high’ action as anything beyond what is reasonably necessary to avoid buzzing. Typical that is more than 4-4.5mm E6 and 3mm e1.
I think ‘generally’ lower tension strings make vibrato easier and sometimes a better/sweeter tone.
I think your guitar works because it is designed with low action and higher tension strings from scratch, and voiced with those design parameters in mind.