Setup Tips

 
 

Guitar Setup Tips


Guitar Neck Relief


Use the Stew Mac Neck Relief Gauge (item #2004). With the feet resting on frets 3 and 16, and the indicator tip on the 9th fret, adjust the truss rod to achieve .095-.097” relief.

If you do not have a neck relief gauge, you can check your relief by pressing on the first and last fret of your guitar and noting the distance between the bottom of the string (we recommend doing this on the A string) and the top of the 9th fret.* Then, using a string action gauge (Stew Mac item #0670, or similar action gauge), adjust your relief to reflect a .030" distance between the bottom of the string and the top of the 9th fret.

Climate, humidity, travel, and change in string gauge can all necessitate adjustment of the truss rod.

*A capo on the 1st fret can be extremely helpful for freeing up a hand while doing this.


Guitar Action
 

High E and B String:
At the 15th fret, you should be able to bend the string up one whole note without “fretting out” (buzzing/not getting a clean clear note). You want it to fret out just past one clean whole note bend. If you cannot, then you need to raise the action of that string. This technique applies to both the high E and B strings.

Low E and A String:
At the 15th fret, bend the string two whole notes without “fretting out”. You want the string to fret out just past two whole notes. If you cannot, then you need to raise the action of that string. This technique applies to both the low E and A strings.

G and D Strings:
Set saddle height a hair above the B and A saddles. If the height is correct, there should not be any buzzing of the G and D strings. If the G and D strings are buzzing, raise the saddle height.

The radius of your bridge saddles should be slightly flatter than the radius of the neck.


Guitar Intonation
 

  1. Select the neck pickup (if available), and roll the tone all the way off.
  2. Tune string.
  3. Press down with normal playing pressure at the 12th fret (octave).
  4. If the octave is sharp, adjust the saddle away from the neck. If the octave is flat, adjust the saddle toward the neck.
  5. Repeat steps 2-4 until the octave reflects an accurate tuner reading.

On T Model bridges apply this technique to the high E, G and A strings.

On S Model bridges apply this technique to all strings.

 

Bass Setup Tips


Bass Neck Relief


Use the Stew Mac Neck Relief Gauge (item #2004). With the feet resting on frets 5 and 15, and the indicator tip on the 10th fret, adjust the truss rod to achieve .097” relief.

If you do not have a neck relief gauge, you can check your relief by pressing on the first and last fret of your guitar and noting the distance between the bottom of the string (we recommend doing this on the D string) and the top of the 9th fret.* Then, using a string action gauge (Stew Mac item #0670, or similar action gauge), adjust your relief to reflect a .030" distance between the bottom of the string and the top of the 9th fret.

Climate, humidity, travel, and change in string gauge can all necessitate adjustment of the truss rod.

*A capo on the 1st fret can be extremely helpful for freeing up a hand while doing this.


Bass Action
 

G String:
At the 15th fret, bend the string up one whole note without “fretting out” (buzzing/not getting a clean clear note). You want it to “fret out” just past one clean whole note bend.

Low E:
At 15th fret, bend the string two whole notes without “fretting out”. You want the string to “fret out” just past two whole notes.

A and D Strings:
Set saddles a hair above the E and G saddles so that at the 15th Fret, a whole note bend on either string is attainable without fretting out.

The radius of your bridge saddles should be slightly flatter than the radius of the neck.


Bass Intonation
 

  1. Select the neck pickup (if available), and roll the tone all the way off.
  2. Tune string.
  3. Press down with normal playing pressure at the 12th fret (octave).
  4. If the octave is sharp, adjust the saddle away from the neck. If the octave is flat, adjust the saddle toward the neck.
  5. Repeat steps 2-4 until the octave reflects an accurate tuner reading.

On Bass bridges, apply this technique to all strings.