Set up - Is this a regular thing?

Discussion in 'Epiphone SG' started by DaveySpeedstar, Nov 29, 2020.

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  1. DaveySpeedstar

    DaveySpeedstar New Member

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    I’ve been playing my 2009 Epiphone G400 for a little over 2 years. I had the set up looked ar for the first time about a year ago, by a local tech who came recommended. When I collected I was told the action was fine, but the intonation needed adjusting.
    My question (as the title alludes to) is the set up something that needs looking at periodically? If so how often should I look to having it done?
     
  2. chilipeppermaniac

    chilipeppermaniac Well-Known Member

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    Likely will depend on the climate you live in and play in as the biggest factor.
    Humidity, Dry vs high humidity. Also heat vs cold.

    As for intonation, that is likely to be a subject some other more tech savvy members can post about.
    MY guess is basically it is geometry. One intonates by adjusting the saddles on the bridge to get the notes to be in tune at the 12th fret the same as open tuning. If the neck is flat the length will be greater than if the neck pulls into a slight bow. So, basically the neck needs to be where you want it straight wise, then string heights set, intonation set, pickup heights set and so on.

    I'd say it is up to the player and his environment and his needs that will dictate how often a set up is needed.
     
  3. chilipeppermaniac

    chilipeppermaniac Well-Known Member

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  4. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    This for me means twice a year, when I turn heating in the house on, then off. r I could choose to play certain guitars only in winter and others only summers. Nahhh .. I make neccessary adjustments, mostly a tiny truss rod tweak.
     
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  5. chilipeppermaniac

    chilipeppermaniac Well-Known Member

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  6. chilipeppermaniac

    chilipeppermaniac Well-Known Member

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    Sometimes it is good to go to a good qualified tech and get it done to the T the first time. Then he can explain all the guitar needed and the player can take it from there on later tune ups on his own.

    My tech who put a bone nut in for me on my Epi LP said he also secured down some frets as he says Epi is known for them not using glue and them lifting on the ends some. I can also see where a neck can be checked for high frets, and any other anomalies that take a good supply of tools to check and tweak out of a guitar like frtet rockers, levelers etc.

    I will say this guitar plays incredibly now.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2020
  7. chilipeppermaniac

    chilipeppermaniac Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Nov 29, 2020
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  8. chilipeppermaniac

    chilipeppermaniac Well-Known Member

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  9. Go Nigel Go

    Go Nigel Go Active Member

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    If the neck and string height didn't need adjustment, then most likely someone fiddled with it and just didn't get the intonation set completely right before you got it, possibly even from new. As noted above, neck geometry, string gauge, weather, etc. will effect intonation, but if the geometry is correct and stable, then intonation should be as well.

    In my experience, intonation that is "off" will present itself in the normal course of playing to most players with a reasonably good ear. If it sounds good it is good. I check mine periodically with a tuner as well, but honestly, I hardly ever have to do anything to it once my original set up is done with the gauge strings I plan to use going forward. Check it any time you feel the need, but adjustments only need to be done if something is actually out of adjustment.
     
  10. DaveySpeedstar

    DaveySpeedstar New Member

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    Great info! Thanks guys
     
  11. chilipeppermaniac

    chilipeppermaniac Well-Known Member

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    Glad to help and glad you joined us. If you ever want to bend the ear of a few fellas I know on here who either have played professionally for decades, and/or did their fair share of guitar maintaining either for personal reasons or for pay, look up Biddlin, or Col Mustard. 2 very helpful guys.
     
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  12. plankton

    plankton Well-Known Member

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    I make adjustments when needed. Often it's just a change of season thing, but sometimes it needs a tweak outside of that. IMO every guitarist should learn how to make these basic adjustments to their instrument, but there's nothing wrong with taking it to a tech either. Most of what I know I learned from Dan Erlewine books.
     
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  13. chilipeppermaniac

    chilipeppermaniac Well-Known Member

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    Plankton, Thanks for mentioning Dan Erlewine and the books. I was going to mention this too. He is a true Master in all things guitar building/maintaining.
     
  14. Norton

    Norton Well-Known Member

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    Intonation is generally super stable... Unless your bridge or saddles are loose.

    If you change string gauges, you will need to check intonation.

    If you change Brands of strings but keep the same gauge, you'll likely need to make some changes too.

    Dan's all over youtube too. He's fun to read fun to watch and is always worth paying attention to. That guy LOVES guitars. what's bad about that??:cheers:
     
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  15. jjudas

    jjudas Well-Known Member

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    Set up Is a continuous thing. Strings stretch over time as they get used which affects intonation. I can hear when a string is not intonated perfectly. Also temperature affects neck relief which affects intonation. I am always tweaking my guitars settings. Setups are not a one time thing.
     
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  16. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    With a new set of the strings of your choice, restring and tune your guitar. Starting with the low E at fret 15,check each note on every string from fret 15 to 22(24) , raising the bridge to get out the buzz or lowering it until the string buzzes and raising it to get minimum clearance, slacking the strings and retuning between adjustments. Repeat on the high E. Now you need to adjust the trussrod, in 1/8 turn increments, retuning between adjustments. If your strings buzz on the frets 1-14, you need to increase the neck relief by turning the adjuster counterclockwise.. If the strings are buzz free, but seem too high, you want to decrease relief by turning clockwise until you hear buzzing, then increase relief by a tiny bit until the buzzing stops. Once it feels and plays good, set your intonation- Pick the open string and verify it's in tune. Fret at the 12th fret and pick this note. If the 12th fret note is flat, move the saddle forward a little by turning the adjustment screw. If the 12th fret note is sharp, move the saddle back a little by turning the screw.,again slacking and retuning each string, between adjustments.
    Now you've done a custom setup, without measuring tolerances and saved yourself a few bucks! Measurements are just numbers. The geometry of your particular instrument and the force of your attack and fretting will determine the "correct" tolerances.
    (Secondary lesson here: Your ears are your most important gauge!)
    Welcome and come back soon.
     
  17. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    Listen closely and you'll hear, "Change me, please?"
     
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  18. chilipeppermaniac

    chilipeppermaniac Well-Known Member

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    Bro Bid. I read your advice above and got to the part about buzzing. But I saw no mention of checks for high fret(s) in the equation. Shouldn't a guitar neck be set straight, then check for high frets and address this before the new strings and tweaks?
     
  19. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I usually add a caveat about proud frets and twisted necks. I haven't seen a big three (Gibson, Fender, PRS) with bad frets or a bum neck in so many years, I forgot.
     
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  20. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    I've only had one bum neck, on a 2006 Explorer.

    After 6 years of playing it, truss rod adjustment nut kept burrowing its way into the wood. Tried to stop it from getting worse, but any attempt was futile. Ended up sending it back to the factory under warranty and they sent me a new guitar.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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