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Thread: Neck Relief

  1. #1
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    Neck Relief

    HI, New to the forum here. I have a questions about neck relief on the Strat. I see how to videos on checking neck relief but not everryone is doing it in the same manner.

    First, When I place the capo on the first fret should it be on top of the fret wire or behind it?
    Second, Should I place my finger on the 17th fret where the neck meets the body or at the 22nd fret?
    Also should my finger be behind the fret or placed on the fret wire?

    I have been playing this guitar for a long time and have never liked the wait it felt. Hard to play so I decided to delve into it.
    As of today, after spending all day yesterday and this morning messing with it, I am happy to say that now the guitar is very comfortable and easy to play.
    I ordered a few tools to verify string height along the radius and check neck relief. They will arrive on Tuesday.
    I learned how to set pickup height as well. The strings were eyeballed but I will confirm the individual saddle heights with the radius tool when it arrives.
    The relief I believe is good but I would like to properly check it out.
    Thanks for any information you can offer on neck relief.
    Regards,
    Rich
    Last edited by Zion; 09-09-2020 at 06:58 AM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Neck Relief

    apo just a little behind the first fret. Hold down string around the 18th fret. Check heighth of string from fret around the 8th fret. turn truss rod right to increase distance or left to decrease distance. this is how it is done.

  3. #3
    Forum Member DanTheBluesMan's Avatar
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    Re: Neck Relief

    I just adjusted a guitar last night. 2014 CV50 strat I got back in May(?). It's been very humid here and the action felt a little choked/buzzy. I could almost get a .010" feeler gauge under the string at the 8th fret, with capo on 1st and fretting the 17th (neck/body joint). That told me it was probably .009"-ish.

    Gave the truss rod about 1/4 of a turn to the right (towards the treble strings). .012" feeler gauge fit fine. The guitar played much better and sounded great

    adjusting a guitar is a game of thousandths of an inch (or hundredths of a millimeter). It doesn't take a whole lot to make a difference.
    "Live and learn and flip the burns"

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    Re: Neck Relief

    Quote Originally Posted by jaxjaxon View Post
    apo just a little behind the first fret. Hold down string around the 18th fret. Check heighth of string from fret around the 8th fret. turn truss rod right to increase distance or left to decrease distance. this is how it is done.

    When I place my finger on the 18th fret I assume it will not be placed on top of the fret wire but behind it?

  5. #5
    Forum Member OldStrummer's Avatar
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    Re: Neck Relief

    Will a standard ruler/straightedge do to measure string height, or do you use a gauge of some sort?
    Last edited by OldStrummer; 09-12-2020 at 03:03 PM.
    Striving to be ordinary

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    Forum Member ch willie's Avatar
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    Re: Neck Relief

    I used a set of auto feeler gauges for years. I lost it in a move and need to get another.
    If we'd known we were going to be the Beatles, we'd have tried harder.--George Harrison

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    Re: Neck Relief

    I use a guitar pick to measure relief they come in different thickness. I also have used feeler gage's.

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    Re: Neck Relief

    I just purchased a set of gauges and an understring radius tool. Finished setup yesterday. Feels and sounds great but I still have a question. I checked the neck relief which was good at .0010 but when I checked the string radius to the fret board both e string were not making contact with the tool. I lowered both strings, now they are below the suggested string height. The high e was fine. The low e buzzed between the 9th and 12th fret. I now rechecked the neck relief and found I needed to re adjust it relaxing the neck just a bit. It helped but did not eliminate the buzz completely so I raised the low e string just a bit and now it seems perfect. This leads me to my question.

    How can you set neck relief before you have your string height where you need it? Every where I read stated set neck relief first. I readjusted the neck relief after I reset my string height on the outer strings.

    Note I placed the capo on the first fret and placed my finger on the 18th fret. Then I checked the neck relief at the 9th fret.

  9. #9
    Forum Member Don's Avatar
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    Re: Neck Relief

    You can use a piece of guitar string as a gauge to measure neck relief. To be honest, it doesn't need to be measured, just set it to where you like how the guitar plays.

  10. #10
    Forum Member DanTheBluesMan's Avatar
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    Re: Neck Relief

    rather than lower the E strings, raise the other four strings until they all touch the radius gauge is the way I would have adjusted that.
    "Live and learn and flip the burns"

  11. #11
    Forum Member Don's Avatar
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    Re: Neck Relief

    Quote Originally Posted by Zion View Post
    How can you set neck relief before you have your string height where you need it? Every where I read stated set neck relief first. I readjusted the neck relief after I reset my string height on the outer strings.
    Neck relief is set independent of string height and it affects string height. As you stated, when setting relief, the string is fretted at the first fret and another fret higher up- usually where the neck joins the body or the 17th or 18th fret. When that is done, the string height is taken out of the equation.

  12. #12
    Forum Member Offshore Angler's Avatar
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    Re: Neck Relief

    Don't get too hung upon dimensions. Set things to where they feel right to you and sound right.

    Don't mistake string slap for a buzz, especially on Strat. They are notorious for it and that's part of the "sizzle" you need to cut through. If you don't hear the buzz through the amp don't worry about it. A Strat played unplugged can make all kinds of noises that don't mean diddly in "the real world". There's a lot of moving parts on a Stratocaster and they all contribute to the extraneous noises.

    Heck, my Tele sounds like a clothes dryer full of gravel unplugged but it's a beast onstage.

    If you have a modern 2-point bridge setup is a breeze. Set the saddles where you like and then raise or lower the bridge to get the string height. On a traditional bridge if the saddles are too high or so low the screws are impaling you then you need to shim the neck.

    Take your time, don't worry and we'll help you get your Stratocaster just how you love it.

    On the other hand, if you want a clear, bell-like tone unplugged sell it and buy a Les Paul.
    "No harmonic knowledge, no sense of time, a ghastly tone, unskilled vibrato, and so on. Chuck is one of the worst guitar players I know" -Gravity Jim

  13. #13
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    Re: Neck Relief

    Quote Originally Posted by Offshore Angler View Post
    Don't get too hung upon dimensions. Set things to where they feel right to you and sound right.

    Don't mistake string slap for a buzz, especially on Strat. They are notorious for it and that's part of the "sizzle" you need to cut through. If you don't hear the buzz through the amp don't worry about it. A Strat played unplugged can make all kinds of noises that don't mean diddly in "the real world". There's a lot of moving parts on a Stratocaster and they all contribute to the extraneous noises.

    Heck, my Tele sounds like a clothes dryer full of gravel unplugged but it's a beast onstage.

    If you have a modern 2-point bridge setup is a breeze. Set the saddles where you like and then raise or lower the bridge to get the string height. On a traditional bridge if the saddles are too high or so low the screws are impaling you then you need to shim the neck.

    Take your time, don't worry and we'll help you get your Stratocaster just how you love it.

    On the other hand, if you want a clear, bell-like tone unplugged sell it and buy a Les Paul.
    The low e string buzz was coming from the amp. Now it is not. I know what you mean about what you hear unplugged. My G string always sounds like it is buzzing unplugged.

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