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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
rather then go shopping I did a basic setup on 5 guitars today!
Prompted by getting a string height gage “for Christmas” I did my son’s new to him Norman B20 acoustic, an old Yamaha FG Junior, the Gibson LPJ, Squier Telecaster and a Peavey Raptor. I’ve done setups on all these before, but string height I used to do by feel or just looking, lowering the saddles until I get no string buzz.

For a long time I found the Peavey the easiest to play, which is nuts because it’s a cheap $80 Korean made beginners guitar from the late 90s. Now I know why - the string height was super low! I even ended up raising a few strings to get them consistent. I then got the Tele and LPJ set to the same heights on all the strings and now the each play and feel as similar as three very dissimilar guitars can. I used the recommended heights on the back of the gage as guidance.

The acoustics were not so easy...no thumb screws or Allen wrenches!
The Norman had the low E sitting at 4mm above the 12th fret! I adjusted the truss rod and the nut height first, sanding off the bottom of the nut to get the 2nd fret clearance very low when fitted on the 3rd fret.
I replaced the original saddle with a new Tusq, that I had to sand down about 3mm to get the strings low enough. This all took numerous times to loosen the strings and pull out the pins, remove the saddle and sand, then put it all back together.

The result is a very low saddle so I also ramped the high e and B string saddle holes to get decent string break angle on the very low saddle. I read about all this first, being done on some fairly high end vintage Martins so I figured it’s OK for me to do with this B20. It works, but it could possibly need a neck adjust in the future. BTW I did tightened the neck bolts first.

Then I took the old saddle from the Norman, which was intonated, and put it into the Yamaha FG Junior which came with a plain saddle. I did sand the bottom of it a bit, and it needs to be lowered a bit more, but the results are very promising. Chords on the little FG never really sounded in tune, now chords sound decent up to the 8th fret or so. At least the open chords sound decent now. The saddle needs to come down a bit, and the nut could be lowered a teeny bit, but it’s much better then when it started. Low E is still at about 3mm and high e about 2.5.
 

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Premium Member
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2,507 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Spent 15 minutes more on the Yamaha...got it to 2.75 low E and 2 on the high e.

If you have a good luthier who does this for you for a reasonable fee, it’s worth it! What a pain in the neck this is...satisfying but still a real pain.
 
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