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Suhr Guitars "Guide To Setup"??
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Fireball



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 9:58 am    Post subject: Suhr Guitars "Guide To Setup"?? Reply with quote

I'm wondering if someone (John or Ed) can provide a detailed "Complete Guide To Setup" for your guitars? Things like neck relief, string height, pickup height, etc.. Not only the measurement specs... but details as to "where and how" you take these measurements as well?

Just a suggestion, but I think this kind of info would be great to see in the "Support" area of your website. Thanks!
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Ed Yoon
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, that section needs content! Embarassed We're working on it.

As for the basic set-up procedure, it's essentially the same at most companies. As you know, John and I have an extensive background at Fender and our set-up criteria would be very similar.

First off, the guitar should be tuned to pitch so the neck has the proper amount of tension.

Next thing to check is the neck relief. John and our master builders are experienced enough to eyeball the relief, but to be sure, you can capo the first fret, press down on the low-E at the last fret and use a mechanics feeler gauge to measure the gap between the bottom of the low-E string and the top of the 7th fret. Fender's factory spec is .010" with a tolerance of +/- .002". John tends to set it at around .006". I tend to set it almost perfectly straight on my personal guitar since I play with a light touch. If you hit chords hard on the lower register, you may want to increase the relief to .010 or even higher. There is no hard rule to these settings - it's about what works best for your style of playing.

The action is set at 1/16" (4/64") at the last fret (bottom of the strings to the top of the fret). Again, depending on your style and touch, you may want to lower or raise the saddles. I set it at 3/64", which is pretty low, but because I use a fairly light touch, I don't have any fret buzz problems. In general, I think most people would be fine with 4~5/64" at the last fret. Some companies measure the action at the 12th fret (Ibanez) and some at the 17th fret (the neck-body joint). Ultimately, it's whatever feels most comfortable to you. Some players raise the action as high as 7/64" at the last fret.

The nut height is set at around .005". This work is best left to techs and luthiers if you're not sure about cutting nut slots. If you press down on the 3rd fret you need to see something between the first fret and the string. If you cut the slot too deep, you'll have no choice but to replace the whole nut. Filling in the slots with crazy glue and plastic dust is okay on $200 import guitars, but you wouldn't want to do that on a Suhr or other nice guitars!

The single-coil pickup height is roughly set at 1/8" from the bottom of the low-E string to the top of pole piece on the bass side and 3/32" on the high-E for the treble side. This is with the strings depressed at the last fret. This is a good starting point to move the pickups further away from the strings to balance the output of the different position pickups. You wouldn't want to get it any closer since the single-coil polepiece magnets can drag on the string vibration and cause lose of sustain and weird double-notes to sound.

For the humbuckers, you have much more leeway as they have much less magnetic pull than the single-coil pickups. A good starting point is 5/64" on the bass side and 3/64" on the treble side. Some players raise the pickups as close as possible to the strings and some lower them to the point that they're level with the body. Once again, the adjustability is there so you can set these things to suit your taste. Don't be afraid to experiment! Our factory setup is a good starting point and most people seem quite happy with it but it's not for everyone. I like my action even lower than John would normally set it and some are going to want it higher. Find what works the best for you.
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Fireball



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Ed for the detailed response! While I agree that setup specs are best left up to player preference... it's nice to know what each builder considers his "ideal setup" as well as how to setup one's own guitar to factory specs. Thanks!
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markg5150



Joined: 24 Apr 2006
Posts: 140
Location: Midlands, UK

PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Ed

A really useful post, good to be able to setup back to factory standard and then tweak a little bit for personal taste
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Beta



Joined: 27 Jun 2006
Posts: 160
Location: Melb, Aust (Currently Montreal Canada)

PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow! thank you for such a thorough responce Ed! Its great to have a basis from which you can come back to and tweek from.

I throught it might also be interesting to have some info on suhr artists setups. I'm always curious as to how some of my fav players set up their instruments. Particularly those who play, and have instruments to suite, many different styles (not looking at Guthrie in particular... Very Happy ). I think it would be great to have a look at how they set up different instruments for different styles.

Cheers

Nick
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Ed Yoon
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guthrie sets the action pretty low. He figures, "Well, it still sounds great, doesn't buzz and it doesn't choke during the string bends, so why fight the instrument?" I'd say his action is a tad below 3/64" at the last fret.

Scott's setup is pretty much like our factory setup. The only thing that'd be markedly different is that he's got the bridge leaning way forward for doing pull-ups. He wants to be able to pull the G-string up a major 3rd.

Marcello's setup is pretty much factory standard. I thought he'd set the action as low as possible, but I checked his guitars and they're factory specs.

Reb Beach seems fine with the factory setup although I'm not sure what his tech does with the setups once Reb receives the guitars from us. He sends them in for servicing every several months before a tour and we just set 'em up to our specs.

Landau likes his action pretty high. It's at least 5/64" at the last, probably a little higher. Mike also likes that pretty round vintage fingerboard radius.

Another guy who likes the action fairly high is Al Estrada. He sets his at least 5/64" at the last fret, probably higher. He likes the nut to be set pretty high as well.
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markg5150



Joined: 24 Apr 2006
Posts: 140
Location: Midlands, UK

PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

With the hot weather we've been having in the UK recently (35 C- that's really hot for use!!!!!!) I thought I'd give my Standard a quick once over setup wise.

With a tweak of the truss rod and little adjustment of the action to get rid of a few buzzes she now plays better than ever.

Thanks again for your help Ed
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paul p



Joined: 06 Apr 2005
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2006 5:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ed Yoon wrote:
As for the basic set-up procedure, ...First off...


Excellent post Ed. Thanks.
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Seitz333



Joined: 18 Dec 2008
Posts: 116
Location: Blacksburg, VA

PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know this post is old but just wanted to give it a bump and say Ed's post should be made into a Sticky at the top of the forum. Excellent detailed info for setting up your Suhr or any other electric guitar!

Chuck
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makeshift



Joined: 18 Jan 2009
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought that Suhr tries to set a dead straight neck as often as possible?
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Ed Yoon
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

makeshift wrote:
I thought that Suhr tries to set a dead straight neck as often as possible?


A little relief (.006" relief is fairly straight) is good for guys with a heavier pick attack and those who mostly play rhythm. If one is into the SRV kind of thing, then he'll probably want a relief of up to .012" or even more. It really depends on one's style and preference.
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Suhr



Joined: 25 Jan 2005
Posts: 2127

PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://gallery.me.com/suhrguitars#100188
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Adji



Joined: 31 Dec 2008
Posts: 196
Location: Sunderland, England.

PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2009 6:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the detailed setup ideas Ed, those definitely help.

One thing about the video link John, its a good little guide, but what is a 'Trustrod' haha. Was it a typo at the beginning of the video or some type of pun?
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Emanuele Capasso



Joined: 06 Feb 2008
Posts: 30

PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 5:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ed Yoon wrote:
Yeah, that section needs content! Embarassed We're working on it.

As for the basic set-up procedure, it's essentially the same at most companies. As you know, John and I have an extensive background at Fender and our set-up criteria would be very similar.

First off, the guitar should be tuned to pitch so the neck has the proper amount of tension.

Next thing to check is the neck relief. John and our master builders are experienced enough to eyeball the relief, but to be sure, you can capo the first fret, press down on the low-E at the last fret and use a mechanics feeler gauge to measure the gap between the bottom of the low-E string and the top of the 7th fret. Fender's factory spec is .010" with a tolerance of +/- .002". John tends to set it at around .006". I tend to set it almost perfectly straight on my personal guitar since I play with a light touch. If you hit chords hard on the lower register, you may want to increase the relief to .010 or even higher. There is no hard rule to these settings - it's about what works best for your style of playing.

The action is set at 1/16" (4/64") at the last fret (bottom of the strings to the top of the fret). Again, depending on your style and touch, you may want to lower or raise the saddles. I set it at 3/64", which is pretty low, but because I use a fairly light touch, I don't have any fret buzz problems. In general, I think most people would be fine with 4~5/64" at the last fret. Some companies measure the action at the 12th fret (Ibanez) and some at the 17th fret (the neck-body joint). Ultimately, it's whatever feels most comfortable to you. Some players raise the action as high as 7/64" at the last fret.

The nut height is set at around .005". This work is best left to techs and luthiers if you're not sure about cutting nut slots. If you press down on the 3rd fret you need to see something between the first fret and the string. If you cut the slot too deep, you'll have no choice but to replace the whole nut. Filling in the slots with crazy glue and plastic dust is okay on $200 import guitars, but you wouldn't want to do that on a Suhr or other nice guitars!

The single-coil pickup height is roughly set at 1/8" from the bottom of the low-E string to the top of pole piece on the bass side and 3/32" on the high-E for the treble side. This is with the strings depressed at the last fret. This is a good starting point to move the pickups further away from the strings to balance the output of the different position pickups. You wouldn't want to get it any closer since the single-coil polepiece magnets can drag on the string vibration and cause lose of sustain and weird double-notes to sound.

For the humbuckers, you have much more leeway as they have much less magnetic pull than the single-coil pickups. A good starting point is 5/64" on the bass side and 3/64" on the treble side. Some players raise the pickups as close as possible to the strings and some lower them to the point that they're level with the body. Once again, the adjustability is there so you can set these things to suit your taste. Don't be afraid to experiment! Our factory setup is a good starting point and most people seem quite happy with it but it's not for everyone. I like my action even lower than John would normally set it and some are going to want it higher. Find what works the best for you.



Hi! Do you recommend this http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Tools/Special_tools_for:_Cleaning,_maintenance/Basic_Setup_Kit.html?tab=Pictures#details or other setup kit?
I'm from Europe and I'm not use with not metrical sistem.
I would follow your suggestions for the setup of my Suhr Guitar, but I need tools.
Thanks
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ZeyerGTR



Joined: 30 Jun 2010
Posts: 283

PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Hi! Do you recommend this http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Tools/Special_tools_for:_Cleaning,_maintenance/Basic_Setup_Kit.html?tab=Pictures#details or other setup kit?
I'm from Europe and I'm not use with not metrical sistem.
I have that same kit and it's been very useful over the years... except I lost my string height gauge somewhere in the last couple months. You can buy replacements, though. Really, the string height gauge is the most useful part. The straightedge you can just use your strings for, and the radius gauges are useful if you have a guitar whose radius you don't know, but that's probably not the case with most Suhrs.

With that in mind, they sell just the string height gauge (also available in metric):
http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Tools/Measuring_tools/String_Action_Gauge.html

I'm wondering if there are any recommendations for setting up the trem claw screws, and the floating trem in general? I forgot to take pics of my modern with a 510 2-post trem before installing a new claw, and now I'm kind of eyeballing it. I'm nervous about continuing to tweak those screws too much, but I haven't quite gotten it where it was...

[edit] sorry to bump an old sticky, I wasn't sure when the last post was made, but I recently realized I lost my string action gauge and noticed this thread which became very relevant, no matter how old. Smile
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