Brand New Standard 61 Action question

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by BigT, Sep 11, 2020.

  1. BigT

    BigT New Member

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    Hey guys,

    I've been wanting a Gibgon SG since I was in HS, and I finally got one!!! The action out of the box was a bit higher than my epiphone G400 (2004ish?), and when I went to look at adjusting it, it looks like the bridge has very little adjustment left.

    I tried to measure the action using pics, and it looks like I'm 3mm at the 12th and just a smidge less than 1 Fender Medium (.75ish?) at the 1st.. that's obviously from the top of the fret.

    So question is... Is this abnormal? Might it be a relief issue? I'm probably going to take it to the local guitar shop and ask them about it also.. they aren't a Gibson dealer, though, and if the owner isn't there they'll probably just tell me to send it back and buy a PRS (which they do sell). Thought I'd get some opinions from some SG guys first.

    I took a picture of the bridge. SGbridge.png

    The guitar looks amazing! It's the Srandard 61.

    For the record, I don't need a ridiculously low action. If i could match the Epiphone, I would be happy.. but the action by the time you get to #20 is 4 mm (based on my D'Addario 1mm pics), and my pinky goes under the strings when I'm doing a full bend on the E.
     
  2. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    I've never seen a bridge with that degree of tilt on it. As for action, if you can get it where you like it then all is fine. But I would say that it should be possible to lower the bridge to the point where the strings touch the frets.
    Now - that stop bar. You are in danger of bridge collapse the way that is set. Bring it up quite a long way to reduce the strain the strings are placing on the bridge.
     
  3. BigT

    BigT New Member

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    Yeah, looking at the epiphone, the 12th fret is only 2mm and the 1st is 1 Fender pick.. And the 20th isn't much over the 2mm. I'm feeling that probably insinuates the a truss-rod adjustment is needed.. which may affect the settings of all the rest. I have 45 days to send it back, but I can't imagine Gibson shipped out a messed up SG Standard.
     
  4. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    Failure of imagination.... Gibson set actions ridiculously high so that when they change in a different temperature and humidity, there is no danger of fret buzz. The guitar needs upwards of a month to settle fully into a new location and there is not a lot of point setting it up before that. It's a really useful skill to learn, but in the meantime a trip to a local luthier or guitar tech would seem a good idea. He can either set it up properly, or let you know that it needs to be returned. It won't be the first, I promise.
     
  5. Robert Morris

    Robert Morris Member

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    Start imagining. It’s hit and miss with Gibson. My 2019 Standard 61 had a couple high frets which required a light fret leveling. That was the only issue. There’s a lot of simple easy set up videos on YT. You can do basic set ups. Usually neck relief is the first thing you adjust- super easy - just do a YTube search.
     
  6. Dave

    Dave Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like the neck angle is too shallow.
     
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  7. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    Try something ... you have a capo ? Set it below the first fret. Then press on the last fret up the neck. How much space have you got at 10th fret under both E strings ?

    You don't have a capo ? Press on first fret with one of your left hand finger.
     
  8. BigT

    BigT New Member

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    Hrmm.. Very little, if any. maybe 2-3 post-it notes?
     
  9. Robert Morris

    Robert Morris Member

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    Try starting at .008” relief. Then adjust string height. Then intonation.
     
  10. kongssund

    kongssund Member

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    If the relief is "in range" and the height is "in range" at the nut, the last place is the bridge. Seems like its all the way down, so adjustments then need to be made there.
    Thinner wheels, griding down the bridge and/or saddles. But i guess it will be hard due to the neck angle.

    Depending on playstyle, action is up to each player. I have mine at .050 inches / 1.3cm ish at the last fret.
     
  11. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    If the bridge is all the way down and you still can't get a good action, the guitar needs to go back. This will not improve as the guitar ages. This seems to be an increasing problem for Gibson - the inability to set the neck at the correct angle
     
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  12. BigT

    BigT New Member

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    Yeah, the guy at the guitar shop said he might be able to make it a little better, but for a guitar at that price he would definitely send it back. Said he didn't understand how they even got it to Gibson spec to pass inspection, because the high strings were way too high and the bridge has nowhere to go. Super bummed. MF seemed pretty understanding... they are sending me another brand new one. Hopefully this one was a rare screw-up.
     
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  13. SMWRG

    SMWRG New Member

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    I recently bought the Custom version of this guitar and it came with no neck relief. I just did a basic setup by setting the relief then lowering the bridge until I liked the action (super low) and then set the intonation. It now plays like the 61 LP SG Custom I had owned for over 35 years. You'll love it.
     
  14. sadmoodyfrazier

    sadmoodyfrazier Member

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    Raise that tailpiece as much as you can or your bridge will bow.
     
  15. BigT

    BigT New Member

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    So I got the NEW SG in the mail today, and the action is worlds different. The biggest difference is that the action is not as dramatically different between the 12th and the 20th frets. I checked the relief, and this one actually had more of a gap than the first one (which was basically flat).

    From previous advice on here, I did watch some videos, and I ordered a few tools to check the action and relief with. I think I'm just over 1.5mm at the 12th on the low E, and 1.25mm on the high E. I was able to adjust the action down some, but once I get below 1.5mm on the low E my E and A strings pick up a small buzz. I actually think it playes really well where it's at, though.

    I'll have to post some pics once I get some! Loving this thing!!! Glad I sent the other one back. Thanks for all the help, guys!
     
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  16. papagayo

    papagayo Well-Known Member

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    At fret 12, 6 string= 2mm and 1st strings= 1,5mm.
     
  17. Les537

    Les537 Member

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    I guess it's gone now, but the first thing to check would be neck bow. Different climate and strings at home can change set up. Hold the first and 15th fret (not the last) and then check the gap in the middle. High bridge can mean too much bow. Tightening the rod moves the head back and brings all the strings closer to wood. You can see a lot just using your eyes on the board.

    I've got a '61 stop bar myself. I had to tightening the the truss rod to get lower action. My bridge looks a lot lower than the one you show. It's true Gibson are hit and miss - they can't even put the logo in the centre of the head on my SG special, but i'm not sure that that guitar is out of adjustment range at the bridge. The thumb screws on this new style ABR-1 go right down as you can see below. My high E still has range until that screw hits wood.

    I've owned a lot of guitars and this '61 is probably the best. Have fun with yours and don't be afraid to turn some screws. You have to take time with a gibson. Each is unique.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  18. papagayo

    papagayo Well-Known Member

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    You can' t lower the vridge ?... First time I see this :wow:
     

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