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Thread: Luke 3 HH - Setup problem

  1. #1

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    Unhappy Luke 3 HH - Setup problem

    Hi everyone!

    Ive been having some major issues with the action on my Luke 3.

    I use 10 - 46 strings instead of the factory 9-set, and i have made the necessary adjustments for the bridge to still be floating nicely. However, the action is terribly uneven and is buzzing on the lower frets (1-9) but at the same time is way too high on the remaining frets. I tried to adjust the trussrod but it honestly seems like the neck is fine as it is and It didn't change the "unevenness" of the action.

    My own hypothesis is that maybe some sort of bridge-adjustment is needed but im really clueless on what height to set each string to and I'm frankly to scared to do it without proper guidance.

    There really is no guitar-tech around either, so I'm pretty much bound to do it on my own.

    If anyone has any tips or tricks please share! Thanks!

  2. #2
    Daniel's Avatar
    Daniel is offline Ernie Ball, Inc. Ernie Ball Customer Service

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    Quote Originally Posted by erikberglin View Post
    Hi everyone!

    Ive been having some major issues with the action on my Luke 3.

    I use 10 - 46 strings instead of the factory 9-set, and i have made the necessary adjustments for the bridge to still be floating nicely. However, the action is terribly uneven and is buzzing on the lower frets (1-9) but at the same time is way too high on the remaining frets. I tried to adjust the trussrod but it honestly seems like the neck is fine as it is and It didn't change the "unevenness" of the action.

    My own hypothesis is that maybe some sort of bridge-adjustment is needed but im really clueless on what height to set each string to and I'm frankly to scared to do it without proper guidance.

    There really is no guitar-tech around either, so I'm pretty much bound to do it on my own.

    If anyone has any tips or tricks please share! Thanks!
    Hi Erik,
    I'm sorry to hear that you're having issues with your Ernie Ball Music Man Luke 3. Shoot me an email at customerexperience@ernieball.com and I'll help you out. Also, check out our FAQ on the Music Man website here: FAQ | Ernie Ball Music Man . Look for the section labeled, "How do I set up my Luke or Luke 3 with the floating tremolo?"

  3. #3

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    Unhappy Luke 3 HH - Setup problem

    Hi!

    lately I've been having some major issues with uneven action on my Luke 3.
    On the upper frets (1-9) there is fret buzz, but at the same time on the remaining frets the action is way to high.

    I use 10-46 strings instead of the factory 9-set and I've made the necessary bridge and spring-adjustments for the bridge to float nicely.

    I tried to adjust the trussrod, but honestly the neck sits pretty good already and it didn't really help with the "unevenness" of the action. Ive also tried to temporarily downsize to a Hybrid-set to make it slightly easier to play, but it really didn't do much of a difference.

    My hypothesis is that a bridge-lowering is necessary, but i'm totally clueless on what measurements to aim for and frankly I'm too scared to do it without proper guidence.

    There really isn't any guitar-tech nearby either, so i'm pretty much bound to do it myself.

    If anyone has any tips/tricks, please share! Thanks!

  4. #4

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    Here’s what works for me.
    1. Adjust your neck relief holding the E string down at the first and last fret.
    2. Adjust your action.
    3. Set your trem claw for preferred up-pull.
    4. Repeat until you like it.

  5. #5

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    The truss rod needs to be adjusted correctly, and from what you describe, it definitely sounds like the neck has too much relief.
    2007 Stingray 5 HS Cherry Burst / Maple FB / 3 Band EQ / Ceramic Pickups
    2012 Stingray 5 H Pearl Blue / Rosewood FB / 3 Band EQ/ AlNiCo Pickup
    2012 Steve Morse Morse Blueburst / Rosewood FB
    2012 Luke III SSH Vintage Sunburst / Rosewood Neck

  6. #6

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    Is the neck a bolt on? If so, it sounds like a shim may be your best friend!

    It’s my belief that no two bodies have the same EXACT depth of cut for the neck to fit into, and no two necks have the exact same thickness / height sizes. Your body cut where the neck fits in may be deeper than the norm (even by a small small amount), or your neck may be a tad thinner, which means your overall neck angle could be adjusted to be more accurate if you place a shim in the neck pocket closest to the pickups.

    Is your action low / acceptable around the first few frets near the headstock, but then uncomfortably high up near the 12+ frets? If you can’t adjust the saddles any more, and you feel like the truss rod adjustments aren’t helping, consider a shim! I just had to do it on my brand new HSS Cutlass RS and it made an immediate and noticeable difference.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lbushwhack View Post
    Is the neck a bolt on? If so, it sounds like a shim may be your best friend!

    It’s my belief that no two bodies have the same EXACT depth of cut for the neck to fit into, and no two necks have the exact same thickness / height sizes. Your body cut where the neck fits in may be deeper than the norm (even by a small small amount), or your neck may be a tad thinner, which means your overall neck angle could be adjusted to be more accurate if you place a shim in the neck pocket closest to the pickups.
    Also, bolt on necks put pressure on the wood. Wood is a bunch of cellulose with air inside, so it squishes. Until you put the neck on, there's no real telling what is going to happen. This is why music man has color coded shims. This is also why Fender has the Micro-Tilt adjustment, and while Stew Mac sells high end shims.
    2007 Stingray 5 HS Cherry Burst / Maple FB / 3 Band EQ / Ceramic Pickups
    2012 Stingray 5 H Pearl Blue / Rosewood FB / 3 Band EQ/ AlNiCo Pickup
    2012 Steve Morse Morse Blueburst / Rosewood FB
    2012 Luke III SSH Vintage Sunburst / Rosewood Neck

  8. #8

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    If it was well set up before the string change, it shouldn't require major surgery.

    To counteract the increased string pull, you'll need to adjust the trem claw or springs until the bridge angle is where you want it again. (Sounds like you've done that.) Factory setup is a minor third (three semitones) on the G string.

    You'll need to decrease the tension on the truss rod a bit, as there's now more tension on the neck. That also lines up with what you're experiencing- buzzing on the lower frets.

    Easy way to do this is to fret the low/high E string at the 1st and 15th frets. Use the string as a ruler, and look at the gap between the 7th fret and the bottom of the string- you should have just a bit of space there. If not, back off the truss rod some more, pull the headstock forward to encourage the neck to move, and repeat.

    Once you get the relief right you won't have buzzing on the lower frets, and you can tackle the saddles. But if you hadn't changed them to start with, you shouldn't have to touch them now. All you're really doing is accounting for the extra string tension with the heavier set. I wouldn't touch shims if you didn't need them before.

    If you're still having trouble after this, I'd suggest finding a local tech to help with the setup.

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