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Old 01-25-2021, 11:01 AM
John Arnold John Arnold is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 3,369

I don't have any experience with archies yet but the same could be said for flat top instruments too. In fact part of the reason I went to a bolt on neck is so that I could make very fine adjustments to the neck angle not for action and playability but for tone. It doesn't have so much to do with the break angle though. And if Alan Carruth comes in he can explain some of the research he did that shows that string break angle is not very important if at all on a flat top guitar in terms of tone, but what is, is bridge rotation. So if the bridge is rotated too far forward it can choke the tone. By lowering the neck angle the bridge rotates less and the guitar tone opens up. From many different experiments and measurements that rotation is accepted to be about 2deg.

So that's why this 1/2in string height at the bridge is not really a golden rule but an average. If a guitar I just built had a perfect 1/2in at the bridge but with 2.5deg rotation then I would adjust the neck angle to get back to 2deg rotation which would lower the string height at the bridge a bit. But I would rather have proper rotation which is actually meaningful than the 1/2in height which is not.
That is the best analysis I have seen posted on the subject. It needs to be a sticky.....required reading for those obsessed with the 1/2" rule.

The goal should always center around how a guitar plays and sounds, not adherence to a geometric 'norm'.
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