Sting height 7.25 radius

MichaelD

Squier-Meister
Nov 6, 2022
176
Indianapolis
Rookie here so please use kid gloves. This is my second DIY setup. First was 12 inch radius so height was 4/64 across the board (simple enough!).

Can anyone clarify what this means for 7.25 radius:
9BC9163C-08DA-42A0-AF07-DEEF19DF0917.jpeg
Does this mean the bottom 3 strings are 5/64 and the top 3 are 4/64 thanks!

Also if anyone wants to chime in about saddles: Do you all stagger yours like stairs (perfectly horizontal) or more curved at an angle w the radius of the board?

Thanks !!
 

DougMen

Dr. Squier
Jun 8, 2017
9,741
Honolulu, HI
Rookie here so please use kid gloves. This is my second DIY setup. First was 12 inch radius so height was 4/64 across the board (simple enough!).

Can anyone clarify what this means for 7.25 radius:
View attachment 246694
Does this mean the bottom 3 strings are 5/64 and the top 3 are 4/64 thanks!

Also if anyone wants to chime in about saddles: Do you all stagger yours like stairs (perfectly horizontal) or more curved at an angle w the radius of the board?

Thanks !!
The accepted method is to follow the radius of the fretboard. Places like Stewmac even sell gauges to help with that. I never use anything like that, or measure anything. After tweaking the truss rod to my liking (I like the neck very flat, with very little to no relief), I then just lower each string until it just starts to buzz a little, and then just raise it a smidgeon, and then check to make sure it doesn't fret out anywhere when doing whole step bends (on the three top strings, as I don't bend the wound ones). It may not be the most technical or scientific method, but it works for me. For me, a little buzz on the upper frets is acceptable, if I don't hear it through my amp, and if it's required to play as comfortably as possible for me. _DSC3785_02.jpg a4dacc3d-9b18-45c7-ad0c-1c6f651fd55f.jpg 51+GxKRQiXL._AC_SL1000_.jpg
 

DougMen

Dr. Squier
Jun 8, 2017
9,741
Honolulu, HI
The saddles themselves should always be straight across, the saddle heights should be in line with the radius of the board.
It's physically impossible for both of those to be true at the same time. The D and G saddles will always be the highest, with the other four lower than them, with the B and high E being the lowest, unless the fretboard is perfectly flat with little or no radius. Their height will vary less with a 12" or flatter radius, than with a 7.25" or 9.5" one.
 

Naked Strat Brat

Squier-holic
Gold Supporting Member
Mar 27, 2022
1,790
North, Snow, UFO Ville!
I do about the same now for setups and those radius gauge tools are all over amazon for less price then stewmac. I have to say stewmac is high quality but they have a higher price on some things that there is no justification for it. I spent maybe $250.00 for every tool imagined for fret and neck work, had I purchased all the same from stewmac, it would have been about a grand.

Like you, if something works set up wise, to have to use gauges and over technical on a setup just might not be worth the time to do. My opinion is from following good advice, much can be done just by truss rod, eyeballing things and seeing what does or does not buzz when you play the guitar. My Firebird had frets buzz in and out of the climate of the house, and so eventually I learned it may be to get all technical on things might be a wasted worry time. I spend a couple of dozen hours "correcting" what a simple truss rod adjustment might have been all that was needed to begin with. But now I also have a perfect neck/fretboard setup exactly what I prefer nice and low and zero buzz.
 

Naked Strat Brat

Squier-holic
Gold Supporting Member
Mar 27, 2022
1,790
North, Snow, UFO Ville!
The saddles themselves should always be straight across, the saddle heights should be in line with the radius of the board.
Well now the saddles are already staggered on most guitars from the factory and if you do intonation it is going to change it up maybe one way or another. But the saddle height itself should match the neck radius no matter what. in my opinion.
 

MichaelD

Squier-Meister
Nov 6, 2022
176
Indianapolis
Yes we can all agree they should match the radius!

Can anyone else (except ace38) vouch that the saddle should be straight across ?

Both my setups from 2 local luithiers have set up with a curve to them-worked fine just trying to get the proper technique!

I know setups are semi subjective and by “feel” but can anyone answer the original question:


9BC9163C-08DA-42A0-AF07-DEEF19DF0917.jpeg

Does this mean the bottom 3 strings are 5/64 and the top 3 are 4/64 ?
 

DougMen

Dr. Squier
Jun 8, 2017
9,741
Honolulu, HI
Yes we can all agree they should match the radius!

Can anyone else (except ace38) vouch that the saddle should be straight across ?

Both my setups from 2 local luithiers have set up with a curve to them-worked fine just trying to get the proper technique!

I know setups are semi subjective and by “feel” but can anyone answer the original question:


9BC9163C-08DA-42A0-AF07-DEEF19DF0917.jpeg

Does this mean the bottom 3 strings are 5/64 and the top 3 are 4/64 ?
I didn't know what he meant by "straight across". The guitar won't intonate if they are straight across in that regard. Everything may play ok in open position but as soon as you move up the neck things will not be in tune. This photo shows the usual stagger needed for proper intonation, with the low E and G being the longest (saddle closest to the back of the bridge) and the D and high E the shortest (saddle closest to the neck) The wound strings slant up, from E to D, and the high ones also slant up, from G to E.
887862035b94aef8297776f1efcf6e31.jpg
 

Diavolo

Squier-Nut
Jan 3, 2022
885
USA
Does this mean the bottom 3 strings are 5/64 and the top 3 are 4/64 thanks!

Also if anyone wants to chime in about saddles: Do you all stagger yours like stairs (perfectly horizontal) or more curved at an angle w the radius of the board?

Thanks !!
yes that string height recommendation means the bottom (thinner three) strings are 1.6mm and the top (thicker three) are 2mm.

the saddles should be like stairs, parallel with the bridge plate, not curved like an arch.



For set up; adjust truss rod first, then string height, then intonation.
I do it pretty much how @DougMen said; lower it until it buzzes, and then raise it until it doesn't, and then play every note to make sure they don't buzz.

I use a tool that looks like a notched ruler (notches fit over the fret wire) and a feeler gauge to set the relief at .009 at the 9th fret (personal preference)
If you have fret buzz around the first 5 frets you need to loosen the truss rod, if you have buzz above the 12th fret you need to tighten it. if it buzzes all over then your string height is too low.

Then i lower each string to 1.25mm for the treble side, and 1.5mm for the bass side, and then go up from there if it buzzes.
If not then thats where i like my action.
finally I set intonation by tuning the guitar to pitch and then checking that the open string note is the same (not sharp or flat) at the 12th fret. if its sharp move the saddle back (tighten the screw) if its flat move the saddle forward (loosen the screw).
after that set the pickup height. if you have adjustable poles on the pickups then adjust those last.
 
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dbrian66

Squier-Axpert
Jul 14, 2017
10,408
Maryland, USA
Yes we can all agree they should match the radius!

Can anyone else (except ace38) vouch that the saddle should be straight across ?

Both my setups from 2 local luithiers have set up with a curve to them-worked fine just trying to get the proper technique!

I know setups are semi subjective and by “feel” but can anyone answer the original question:


9BC9163C-08DA-42A0-AF07-DEEF19DF0917.jpeg

Does this mean the bottom 3 strings are 5/64 and the top 3 are 4/64 ?
I will adjust the high e to the treble side measurement and the low E to the bass side measurement. Then the other four to follow the radius. But that’s just the initial setting. After that I just play the guitar and make small adjustments as necessary to make it feel right to me. Sometimes I will continue to make adjustments for a couple of day before I get it right.
 

MichaelD

Squier-Meister
Nov 6, 2022
176
Indianapolis
yes that string height recommendation means the bottom (thinner three) strings are 1.6mm and the top (thicker three) are 2mm.

the saddles should be like stairs, parallel with the bridge plate, not curved like an arch.



For set up; adjust truss rod first, then string height, then intonation.
I do it pretty much how @DougMen said; lower it until it buzzes, and then raise it until it doesn't, and then play every note to make sure they don't buzz.

I use a tool that looks like a notched ruler (notches fit over the fret wire) and a feeler gauge to set the relief at .09 at the 9th fret (personal preference)
If you have fret buzz around the first 5 frets you need to loosen the truss rod, if you have buzz above the 12th fret you need to tighten it. if it buzzes all over then your string height is too low.

Then i lower each string to 1.25mm for the treble side, and 1.5mm for the bass side, and then go up from there if it buzzes.
If not then thats where i like my action.
finally I set intonation by tuning the guitar to pitch and then checking that the open string note is the same (not sharp or flat) at the 12th fret. if its sharp move the saddle back (tighten the screw) if its flat move the saddle forward (loosen the screw).
after that set the pickup height. if you have adjustable poles on the pickups then adjust those last.
Thank you !!!
 

MichaelD

Squier-Meister
Nov 6, 2022
176
Indianapolis
I didn't know what he meant by "straight across". The guitar won't intonate if they are straight across in that regard. Everything may play ok in open position but as soon as you move up the neck things will not be in tune. This photo shows the usual stagger needed for proper intonation, with the low E and G being the longest (saddle closest to the back of the bridge) and the D and high E the shortest (saddle closest to the neck) The wound strings slant up, from E to D, and the high ones also slant up, from G to E.
View attachment 246706
Sorry should have included this pic to start. This is what I meant !
3FB5AA16-323F-47CF-986A-59F52817411D.jpeg
 

Diavolo

Squier-Nut
Jan 3, 2022
885
USA
@MichaelD
I knew what you meant, and thats an incorrect way to do it.
They should not look like a rainbow.

I attached a pic of a guitar I recently set up to show how the saddles should look (flat), and another pic with the tools i use on a guitar that still needs to be set up.
 

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MichaelD

Squier-Meister
Nov 6, 2022
176
Indianapolis
@MichaelD
I knew what you meant, and thats an incorrect way to do it.
They should not look like a rainbow.

I attached a pic of a guitar I recently set up to show how the saddles should look (flat), and another pic with the tools i use on a guitar that still needs to be set up.
Wow !! Glad I paid $60 for my “pro setup” on that strat. That’s why I want to learn myself!
 

Diavolo

Squier-Nut
Jan 3, 2022
885
USA
Wow !! Glad I paid $60 for my “pro setup” on that strat. That’s why I want to learn myself!
Don't feel bad, years ago I did that once before too.
I was trying to support a small business, the guy was always friendly when I would pop in and talk shop with him for a few minutes when I was grabbing lunch in the area. More so I wanted his opinion on the guitar so I took it to him for a set up. When I asked him if he adjusted the truss rod he said "no" and we both kind of laughed.
All he did was restring it.
I think I also paid $60 plus the cost of strings for the set up (so nearly $70 total), and left his store with a guitar that was still fretting out on the higher frets.

we can chalk those ones up as a learning experience. :)
Good news is you can probably buy all the tools you need for less than $60!
 
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