To my Fellow Beginners: action height matters!

Talk about things that are not necessarily related to music or the guitar.
BellyDoc
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Re: To my Fellow Beginners: action height matters!

Post by BellyDoc » Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:33 pm

So, if I straight edge would touch all the frets at the same time, that's zero "neck relief", but if it rests on the first fret and the 12th, but there's air under the straight edge over some of the middle frets, that's some amount of "neck relief"? Am I using that term correctly?

I'm looking down the neck of my guitar from the headstock, and the edge of the fretboard looks dead straight to me. I think from this angle I would be able to pick up even a very subtle bow-curve.
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Michael.N.
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Re: To my Fellow Beginners: action height matters!

Post by Michael.N. » Mon Feb 19, 2018 11:50 pm

You understand it correctly. My approach is to give the slightest relief to the treble strings - in the order of 0.1 mm over the range of 1st fret to the 12th. If anything that's more to prevent the dreaded back bow. Bass gets slightly more. It's true that some makers don't factor in any relief at all
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SteveL123
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Re: To my Fellow Beginners: action height matters!

Post by SteveL123 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:57 am

petermc61 wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 4:53 am
Steve

I like that way too! You could probably use Balsa for that to keep it VERY light.

Regards
Peter
Balsa is lighter than Cedar but more work plus I do not have any Balsa. The Cedar sliver is so light already that it will not register on my digital postage scale. The Cedar comes already tapered (pack of 20 Cedar shims from Home depot is $4.00). I just cut a sliver from it 1/8" wide with a knife and smooth it with sand paper.... done in 5 minutes. I also made a 3/4" long sliver (tapered to a knife edge) for checking string height at the 1st fret and neck relief. Some pics of the 2 slivers and the Cedar shim they were made from.
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rojarosguitar
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Re: To my Fellow Beginners: action height matters!

Post by rojarosguitar » Tue Feb 20, 2018 5:52 am

So, yes, there are several well functioning methods to measure the action and relief.
The main point here is that you will just numbers, and these numbers are not necessarily closely related with 1. how well the guitar will play for you and 2. how well it will sound.

These things depend not only on the action, but also on several other parameters that can influence how a guitar actually plays and sounds with a given action: mainly top stiffness, neck stiffness, maybe height of the strings over the top (no pun intended!) etc.

So in the end you will need some experimentation with action and string tension and brand to arrive at an optimal solution (and what optimal means will also change with time). The research must be centered around the instrument you play and your own playing, and not eg. around a given string set that you badly want to use ...
Music is a big continent with different landscapes and corners. Some of them I do visit frequently, some from time to time and some I know from hearsay only ...

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lifewithasong
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Re: To my Fellow Beginners: action height matters!

Post by lifewithasong » Tue Feb 20, 2018 2:52 pm

I'm a firm believe that once you are able to dial in the optimal action per your particular guitar and technique, that is when the magic can begin to happen with your playing. Glad you've worked it out with your guitar.
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SteveL123
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Re: To my Fellow Beginners: action height matters!

Post by SteveL123 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:03 pm

Here's a pic of the wood wedge sliver used on 12th fret. Measure the pencil marks that's it. It's repeatable which tells me it is accurate enough.

BTW that low E is 3.8 mm per the digital vernier
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rwe
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Re: To my Fellow Beginners: action height matters!

Post by rwe » Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:47 pm

joachim33 wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 7:22 pm
Is it normal for Hanika instruments in that price range to have an action that is to high? I assumed that for factory guitars keeping the action height under control would be easy. The Hanika 56 models are not really marketed towards beginners.
It's normal for most company built guitars, because they are selling not to a known customer but for an anonymous market. And it's easier to abrade the saddle than to add material to it...

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