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Thread: Cutlass string height

  1. #1

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    Cutlass string height

    Hello everyone, Iíve got a Cutlass HSS.
    Iíd like to learn how to lower the action a little bit on my own. Iím new to this, so any information on how to do that (tools, measurements, etc) would be much appreciated. Thanks.

  2. #2

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    For setup on my guitars, I do a combination of things.

    1) I always set the neck perfectly straight with the truss rod.

    2) I often put a little shim under the neck, about the depth of a business card. (NY metrocards are my fav). This is depending on how high the action is.

    3) lastly, I set the individual saddles and maybe the two tremolo posts that set the height of the entire tremolo.

    Doing the three things can get your setup to just about anywhere you want it to be. You will probably need to make adjustments to the springs as you go. I almost always take out one spring and tighten the claw. It makes the strings “springier” and bends are effortless.

    I have never bee worried about factory settings or string height recommendations. It’s all about feel/sound 1000%. Part of it is just learned experimenting ... through an amp. Don’t be afraid to try things because you will learn what works and doesn’t work for YOUR playing.

    I hope some of this helps.
    A S T R O F R E Q . C O M

    Axis Hardtail TransPurple #89749 (3/28/97)
    Reflex Classic White #G71108 (7/14/14)
    Cutlass
    StarryNight #G79870 (12/14/16)

  3. #3

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    Thank you very much. I’ll give it a shot today. Getting tired of spending $ with simple setups!

  4. #4

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    Astrofreq's got you covered.

    If you are interested in the official specs, you can also look here:

    FAQ | Ernie Ball Music Man
    "The more of our stuff you have the more awesomely freaky you become." -- BP

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Astrofreq View Post
    For setup on my guitars, I do a combination of things.

    1) I always set the neck perfectly straight with the truss rod.

    2) I often put a little shim under the neck, about the depth of a business card. (NY metrocards are my fav). This is depending on how high the action is.

    3) lastly, I set the individual saddles and maybe the two tremolo posts that set the height of the entire tremolo.

    Doing the three things can get your setup to just about anywhere you want it to be. You will probably need to make adjustments to the springs as you go. I almost always take out one spring and tighten the claw. It makes the strings “springier” and bends are effortless.

    I have never bee worried about factory settings or string height recommendations. It’s all about feel/sound 1000%. Part of it is just learned experimenting ... through an amp. Don’t be afraid to try things because you will learn what works and doesn’t work for YOUR playing.

    I hope some of this helps.
    I too would like to learn this stuff. Is there a a good video that shows these steps specifically for EBMMs? Sorry for the basic questions, but how do you tell when the neck is straight when adjusting the truss rod? What do you mean by a "shim" under the neck? What's the purpose of this? How do you adjust saddle and trem post heights (I have trem JP6 and a Cutlass)?

  6. #6

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    I made quick little video answering some questions. Hopefully this helps some. It isn’t extensive by any means.

    NOTE: It IS taking a few hours for the 4K to finish processing.

    Please comment and subscribe if you feel inclined.

    QUICK TALK : Setting up an electric guitar, demoed on a Music Man Cutlass - YouTube
    Last edited by Astrofreq; 02-06-2021 at 12:40 AM.
    A S T R O F R E Q . C O M

    Axis Hardtail TransPurple #89749 (3/28/97)
    Reflex Classic White #G71108 (7/14/14)
    Cutlass
    StarryNight #G79870 (12/14/16)

  7. #7

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    liked and subscribed
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  8. #8

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    Thanks for making this video - oozes confidence borne out of experience! Seriously, I found this very helpful. If it is a good idea to put a shim in the neck socket, why isn’t that built in by Ernie Ball? Thanks again.

  9. #9

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    A shim is only really required if there is not enough adjustment in the saddles to set the required action. For guitars like the Axis, the saddles on the floyd rose-style bridge do not adjust, a shim is the usual way to go.

    I recommend the Strat setup article on the Fender website as great resource for learning. All guitars are pretty much the same and you can use any set of numbers as a starting point, and then adjust to your own preferences. But the right tools are important too.

    Also, the investment in the tools required is very little. I really like the Ernie Ball toolkit (though there are oplenty others to choose from) and I just added feeler gauges and a capo for measuring relief.
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  10. #10

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    I’m so glad it helped. Thanks for the comments. Like DrKev said, all of of these tweaks are as needed.

    It takes time and small adjustments here and there, but you’ll learn steps that you can apply toward all your guitars. Just have fun and make noise.
    Last edited by Astrofreq; 02-07-2021 at 07:53 AM.
    A S T R O F R E Q . C O M

    Axis Hardtail TransPurple #89749 (3/28/97)
    Reflex Classic White #G71108 (7/14/14)
    Cutlass
    StarryNight #G79870 (12/14/16)

  11. #11

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    Very nice indeed. Thank you all for replying and helping out.

  12. #12

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    The first thing I always do if I notice action is out is check the relief. With most guitars, if it has been set up properly before, that should be all you need, unless the bridge or saddle height was changed.
    2007 Stingray 5 HS Cherry Burst / Maple FB / Ceramic Pickups
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    2012 Luke III SSH Vintage Sunburst / Rosewood Neck
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