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Thread: Luke II Adjustments as standard VS comfortable playing

  1. #1

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    Question Luke II Adjustments as standard VS comfortable playing

    Hello everyone,

    I need your advices as you will know more than me for sure :-)
    I'm trying to set up my luke II following the standard specs (truss rod, string height) but I find it very hard to play it now. I've got now a perfect neck relief but as I said (on the 8th fret I've got 1mm), i find it hard in playing and the string tension is higher now.

    What I ask now is, what If I set the guitar as I prefer (more comfortable for me, my hands - as other guitars I have) and not as the standard specs say? Do I risk to ruin my loved luke?

    What I wish is to have a smooth and easy play with a warm sound. I would achieve it giving some extra neck relief and setting up all again (saddles , bridge...). Or, what else should I do for getting the same smooth and soft feel respecting the standard specs? (standard specs used in general for all electric guitar - I don't personally know the Luke standard specs :-( )

    Sorry for my "ignorance" I'm sure all of you pros, know what to suggest :-) Thank you in advance
    Last edited by bebop80; 05-24-2018 at 05:09 AM.

  2. #2

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    There is no "perfect" setup, each individual player may prefer a different setup. The factory specifications are not a goal, the are only a guideline, a useful place to begin. Set the guitar as you need for your playing style and preferences.

    On the 8th fret you've got 1mm? 1mm of what? 1 mm neck relief would be far too much. If you have a capo and feeler gauges and can measure your neck relief, 0.2 mm to 0.3 mm works well for most players. No manufacturer that I have ever been aware of recommends more than 0.5 mm. With a capo on the first fret, with one hand hold down the low E string at the 17th fret. With the other hand can you slide the corner of a standard business card (0.35 mm) between the string and the top of the 8th fret without touching the string? If yes, you may have too much neck relief.

    Height of the open strings over the 12th fret in the 1.75 mm to 2 mm range is a good starting place, but again some players prefer lower or higher, depending on what what they like to feel under their fingers and how much fret buzz they can tolerate.

    The Fender strat setup guide is an excellent resource to learn doing your own setups.
    Last edited by DrKev; 05-24-2018 at 06:33 AM.
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  3. #3

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    Thank you so much, i made a mix of settings you gave me and I found in the faq on the ernie ball musicman website.
    I share it if someone wants to have a look at the ernie ball advices.

    How do I set up my Music Man guitar with Vintage Tremolo?

    Music Man Vintage Style Tremolo

    1. String the guitar
    2. Set the bridge plate
    a. Tune up the inner 4 strings (A,D,G,B) until some amount of string tension is placed on the trem system.
    i. Having both spring and string tension will help keep the bridge from “jumping” on the pivot screws and closer to its natural resting place while performing the setup.
    ii. Full string tension, tuned to exact pitch, is not necessary.
    iii. Tension is only placed on the inner 4 strings as to not permanently nick the outer strings while adjusting the pivot screws.
    b. Adjust the bass side of the bridge plate using the bass side pivot screw (4mm hex drive) until there is a small gap between the bridge plate and body at the front of the plate (front is nearest the pivot screw).
    i. You should be able to slide a Post-It note between the plate (near the pivot screw) and body without it pinching.
    c. Repeat step b on the treble side.
    d. Adjust the pivot screws to allow both back corners (nearest the intonation screws) of the bridge plate to rest on the body.
    i. Continue adjusting the treble side pivot screw and observe the corners of the plate.
    ii. When the treble side screw is tightened into the body, it will reach a point where it levers the bass side corner upward. When the screw is raised out of the body, it will lift the treble side corner.
    iii. Adjust the treble screw to where both corners of the plate rest firmly on the body.
    iv. Re-check the bass side screw to ensure there is still a gap between the plate and body, and re-adjust if necessary.
    e. Move the trem through its full range of motion. If the front edge of the plate contacts the face of the body near the pivot screws, raise the bridge slightly until it moves unimpeded.
    3. Ensure the tremolo springs have enough tension so that when tuned to pitch, the bridge plate doesn't lift off the body.
    a. If the plate lifts, tighten the tremolo claw screws too add appropriate spring tension.
    4. Follow the instructions for a hardtail guitar setup.
    First, check relief in the neck by holding the lowest (bass) string down on the second fret with your fretting hand, then hold it down on the 12th fret with your right thumb and tap on the string in the middle to show how straight the string is. It should be no more than the thickness of a thick business card. If there is no relief in the neck, applying a little pressure in the middle of the neck (downward) after adjusting the truss rod wheel should take care of it. If not, please contact us as it may be necessary to send the instrument to the factory.
    Factory string setting for standard tuning starts at the bass side 2/32" (1.59 mm) to 5/64" (1.98 mm) and the treble side is 3/64" (1.19 mm) to 2/32" (1.59 mm) measured from the 12th fret to the bottom of the strings. The top of the strings should have the radius of the fretboard when you are looking at the strings in the playing position and by rotating the instrument while at the same time bringing strings into view one at a time. Remember, string height is ultimately determined by your preference and playing style.

    Now, you are ready to play your guitar. If a string buzzes on an open string to the 5th fret and no higher, more relief is needed. If there is more buzz from the 5th to the 12th fret, the neck needs to be straighter. You should check the string height after every adjustment. If the buzzing happens throughout the neck, the string height needs to be increased.

    Experiment a little to get the exact action you want.

    5. Set the tremolo spring claw
    a. From the factory, the tremolo is set to remain flat on the body if a note is bent a full step or less.
    b. Bend the G note at the 12th fret to an A, and check if the bridge is lifting.
    c. Adjust the spring claw so the bridge begins to lift when this note is bent beyond an A.
    6. Double check the setup and enjoy!!
    a. If experiencing fret buzz on the first few frets (1~4), the truss rod needs to be loosened. If experiencing buzz in the middle of the neck (frets 6~10) the truss rod needs to be tightened.
    b. If experiencing fret buzz across the entire neck, the bridge saddles need to be raised.

    As I said I made a mix of it, now I'm happier in playing it, the only thing is that at the point 5, I can't get a balance point of the bridge: my bridge lifts up before reaching the A with the bending (nearly at the Ab); Have you got an advice for that?

    Thank you all for all the help I always receive in this forum!

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