Ron Rodger's Guitar Setup Info

Initial Nut Action E: 15 | A: 21 | D: 30 | G: 32 | B: 21 | E: 28 Current Nut Action E: 20 | A: 18 | D: 16 | G: 12 | B: 10 | E: 8 Initial Relief 5 4 Current Relief E: 1.6 | A: 1.75 | D: 1.85 | G: 2.1 | B: 2 | E: 2.1 Initial 12th Fret Action E: 1.75 | A: 1.6 | D: 1.6 | G: 1.6 | B: 1.5 | E: 1.5 Current 12th Fret Action

Setup Information

Click your mouse on the labels on the left to show explanations here.

Nut Action

The nut is the piece of plastic, bone, metal or other synthetic material which spaces the strings out at the top of the neck near the tuners. Nut action indicates the depth of the slots in this material and therefore the height of the strings above the 1st fret. The lower this number is the closer the strings are to the frets. A general guide for good action at the nut would be:

E: 20 | A: 18 | D: 16 | G: 14 | B: 12 | E: 10

but I may make this higher or lower based on the player and other considerations for the guitar.


This indicates how straight the guitar's neck is.

0 : indicates a flat neck; this is good for even action all the way along the neck but may introduce buzzing if the strings are strummed particularly hard.

-n : any number which is negative indicates the neck is "back-bowed" pulling back against the strings this should be corrected as it will cause buzzing in the middle of the neck.

+n : any positive number shows that there is a dip in the middle of the neck caused by the strings pulling against the neck this is usually a good thing if the number stays low as it allows the strings to vibrate without hitting the frets in the middle of the neck.

Generally around +5 is a good amount of relief but lower numbers right down to zero can be used to give very low action (good for very fast players).

12th Fret Action

This indicates the height of the strings above the 12th fret and gives an idea of the feel of the upper register of the fretboard; as with the nut action the lower the number the closer the strings are to the frets. This measurement is in millimetres as the tool I have for measuring action here is in millimetres.

Electric guitars usually are best with around 1.5mm across all strings although for those who drop tune I may raise the bass strings to around 2mm.

Acoustic guitars may have a range a little higher than electrics to accomodate heavier strumming:

E: 2.5 | A: 2.25 | D: 2.25 | G: 2.0 | B:1.75 | E: 1.75 would be a good number.

Other Information

Here I'll indicate all other information I think is pertinent and also give a breakdown of all the work that has been carried out during the setup. I may also note down things which haven't been done as they aren't necessary but could be carried out in the future if the customer wanted it.

Initial Other Information

An interesting guitar that has had a nasty break at some stage. Generally the guitar plays fine the nut should be replaced as it isn't fitted properly and is slightly undersized for the neck. Either the guitar hasn't been played much since the 90's (when they were made)or its had a refret as the frets look pretty new. The edges of the frets need crowned as they're flat on the edges. Electrics are dirty and scratchy and the rhtythm pickup cuts out due to the volume pot corrosion. Treble pickup tone pot does the same to it. Jack socket is loose. The finish around the repair is not good and further inspection of the repair shows a strange piece of box aluminium in the truss rod cavity which impedes access. After investigating further I found the scale length wasn't correct the overall scale length is 24.75 inches (628.65mm) so the 12th fret should be 314.33mm but as can be seen from the picture it's 315mm at the moment; this means you can't intonate the guitar properly so it can never be in tune! The cause can be seen on the nut where there is a gap around the low E string.

Current Other Information

Removed old nut. Created cavity for truss rod access. Removed old glue from nut recess and levelled wall an floor of recess. Roughed in nut blank. Cleaned electrics and tightened when replacing. Slotted nut. Adjusted bridge height. Intonated bridge and reversed treble saddles to allow proper intonation. Filed sharp fret edges to make playing more comfortable. Cleaned guitar. Cleaned and oiled fretboard. Fitted new strings. Final check.