What do you consider low action? - Page 3
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Thread: What do you consider low action?

  1. #17


    Join Date: Feb 2010
    Location: Laramie, Wyoming
    ME: Jackson AT Pro
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    Not that picky about it anymore. I used to have the automotive feeler gauges, but haven't used them in forever. I just use a Jazz III XL as a gauge. Anything between a Jazz III and 2mm is fine.

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  3. #18


    Join Date: Oct 2008
    Location: Manhattan
    ME: Forshage, EBMM
    MA: Blueridge BR-40
    MB: Dingwall Afterburner
    Rig: Soldano HR25, Mark V:25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drew View Post
    For bending control? I tend to do the same.
    Yeah, if the strings are too close to the board I lose vibrato/bending control.

    Both my Warmoth and my EBMM have pretty small frets; as does my Dingwall (where I keep the action as low as I can!)
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  4. #19


    Join Date: Aug 2009
    Location: South Jersey
    ME: Fender Telecasters
    MA: Emerald X20 Artisan
    MB: STR LS-648
    Rig: Mk IVa / Hartke HyDrive 2

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    I can't describe it in mm, but i know it when I has it
    "Oh, those jazz guys are just making that stuff up!" - Homer J. Simpson

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  6. #20


    Join Date: Oct 2008
    Location: Daytona, FL
    ME: Charvel Strathead
    Rig: Laney Ironheart

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg McCoy View Post
    Not that picky about it anymore. I used to have the automotive feeler gauges, but haven't used them in forever. I just use a Jazz III XL as a gauge. Anything between a Jazz III and 2mm is fine.
    Same. I put a Jazz III on the 12th fret, then get the action almost touching it.

  7. #21


    Join Date: Nov 2008
    Location: Washington
    ME: 1 of 2
    MA: "Smokey"
    Rig: Peavey XXX

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    Not really sure about the MMs, but I like mine higher rather than lower. But this begs a follow-up question in another thread...

  8. #22


    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Toronto On Canada
    ME: Bowes Nightbringer 7

    iTrader: 2 (100%)

    I go as low to get paper stuck and then back up about 1mm.

  9. #23


    Join Date: Oct 2008
    Location: Cambridgeshire, UK
    ME: Charvel So Cal
    Rig: Triple Rec

    iTrader: 3 (100%)

    Since I do a lot of tech work I find it interesting where people like their action. It's so different from person to person, but in reality it's only ever within the span of about 1mm (i.e. anywhere between 1 to 2mm, never higher, never lower). This is encompassing ALL guitars and guitarists, from shredders to blues guys and everything in between. It's always within that range. That's not to say their guitars are outside of that range when they bring them to me but that's where they always end up, and I always get them to play it for me before they leave it with me so I can assess what sort of player they are and how they attack the instrument. Some people just can't have low action their technique doesn't allow it.

    A big thing to consider is neck relief. The straighter your neck, the lower you can get your action without buzzes/chokes, but the flipside of that is the straighter your neck the more problems you run into on the first 5-8 frets (or even open string buzz) so it's a delicate balance. You're going to have to make a trade-off somewere. I find a dead-straight neck with the tiniest bit of relief is the best playing (and sounding, seriously, there's a difference) overall.

    It also comes down to tone. Just because your guitar can go that low, doesn't mean it should. My green Charvel is quite capable of having 1mm action on the treble side, 1.2mm on the bass, and still do a completely clean wholestep bend on every note. But if I jack that up on both sides by about 0.2mm, the guitar becomes about twice as loud. I've barely sacrificed any playability to have gained a much louder and more vibrant tone, so it's worth considering at least trying a slightly higher action sometimes.
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