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  #1  
Old 10-15-2018, 02:31 PM
Frankieabbott Frankieabbott is offline
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Default Archtop set up specs

Hello everyone. I understand that different types and makes of guitar have their own specs that are given for optimum playing.....and that these are a guideline and that some players alter these specs to their own personal playing requirements.
What I'm asking is do archtop guitars need any particular set up requirements specific to archtops only? Like differences in neck relief or string height action.

I have my string heights set lower than the makers specs.....with no buzzing on any strings.....and I'm still getting some fretted notes not sounding when I play some chords and the strings are hard to press down. Ive even tuned down a tone to lower string tension but that seems to make things worse!

Suggestions/help will be gratefully accepted.
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Old 10-15-2018, 03:43 PM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is offline
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Hi Frankie,

Short answer - no, I don't think so.

Longer answer - if you are talking about electric guitars ( those that look like archtops but actually have a fence post inside with pick-ups screwed on top), then perhaps they have electric gauge strings and the proximity to the poles is significant ... dunno.

If we are talking about true archtops, then FWIW I have mine set up exactly as my flattop guitars i.e about .110" bass and about .080" treble with a relief of about .008" with medium gauge strings.

The advantage of archtops with floating bridges is that you can (usually) adjust the action height with those little wheelie things (might need some pliers).

The great Freddie Green (Count Basie orchestra) played with an exceptionally high action.

Too low an action may reduce the guitar's tone and projection.

I'd suggest start with a similar action to your flat tops, ensuring that the wheel adjusters allow you to adjust up or down.

Hope that helps
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  #3  
Old 10-15-2018, 05:07 PM
Frankieabbott Frankieabbott is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silly Moustache View Post
Hi Frankie,

Short answer - no, I don't think so.

Longer answer - if you are talking about electric guitars ( those that look like archtops but actually have a fence post inside with pick-ups screwed on top), then perhaps they have electric gauge strings and the proximity to the poles is significant ... dunno.

If we are talking about true archtops, then FWIW I have mine set up exactly as my flattop guitars i.e about .110" bass and about .080" treble with a relief of about .008" with medium gauge strings.

The advantage of archtops with floating bridges is that you can (usually) adjust the action height with those little wheelie things (might need some pliers).

The great Freddie Green (Count Basie orchestra) played with an exceptionally high action.

Too low an action may reduce the guitar's tone and projection.

I'd suggest start with a similar action to your flat tops, ensuring that the wheel adjusters allow you to adjust up or down.

Hope that helps
Thanks for posting. Similar specs to what my make of guitar should be. However i've got my action at 14th fret really low...... possibly too low which is maybe affecting the guitars sound adversely. 1.5 mm on low E string and just under 1mm on high e string.

I'll try playing the guitar with the manufacturers suggested action specs of 2.3mm on low E string and 1.7mm on high e string.

(BTW......I enjoyed watching your video of your 3 archtop comparisons).
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Old 10-16-2018, 07:35 AM
MC5C MC5C is offline
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Action is normally quoted at the 12th fret, just because it's half way between nut and bridge. Your action is currently exceptionally low, and would only work with quite heavy strings and a very light touch, because the string just needs more room to vibrate. If you are having issues with comfort, then paying attention to the action at the nut is worthwhile. At the end of the day, high E at .065 (1.7mm) and low E at .090" (2.3mm) is considered "normal" for any steel string guitar, acoustic or electric. You can go up from there if you play with a heavier hand, or strum hard, or go down if you play with a very light touch.

I personally set up at those specs, very low relief, and play quite lightly, and I tune down two semi-tones to D-D. I use light gauge acoustic strings, .012 - .054 normally. My guitars are acoustic, no pickup.
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Old 10-16-2018, 04:12 PM
Frankieabbott Frankieabbott is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MC5C View Post
Action is normally quoted at the 12th fret, just because it's half way between nut and bridge. Your action is currently exceptionally low, and would only work with quite heavy strings and a very light touch, because the string just needs more room to vibrate. If you are having issues with comfort, then paying attention to the action at the nut is worthwhile. At the end of the day, high E at .065 (1.7mm) and low E at .090" (2.3mm) is considered "normal" for any steel string guitar, acoustic or electric. You can go up from there if you play with a heavier hand, or strum hard, or go down if you play with a very light touch.

I personally set up at those specs, very low relief, and play quite lightly, and I tune down two semi-tones to D-D. I use light gauge acoustic strings, .012 - .054 normally. My guitars are acoustic, no pickup.

Thanks for posting with your preferred specs and setup. I've rehashed my guitar today.

Set the relief to approx 0.25mm and action raised to approx 2mm on low E and 1.5mm on high e string. Playing guitar acoustically and noticeably more projection with clearer sounding chords. I'm contemplating swapping the wood and metal floating bridge that came with the guitar with an all wooden bridge......I've read reports that an all wooden bridge could give even more volume/projection and a more mellow tone.
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Old 10-16-2018, 05:33 PM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is offline
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Well, first of all, what's the guitar? I'd set up an Acoustic L5 a heck of a lot differently than a ES-175.
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Old 10-16-2018, 05:51 PM
Frankieabbott Frankieabbott is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
Well, first of all, what's the guitar? I'd set up an Acoustic L5 a heck of a lot differently than a ES-175.

Ibanez AF71.
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Old 10-17-2018, 12:02 PM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is offline
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Ok, so an electric guitar, really. What gauge string, and flatwounds or roundwounds?
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Old 10-17-2018, 03:05 PM
Frankieabbott Frankieabbott is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
Ok, so an electric guitar, really. What gauge string, and flatwounds or roundwounds?

Yeah.......it looks a bit like one of the guitars that you are playing on YouTube.....but with a floating pickup. I'm playing it unplugged at present.


BTW........great playing on your video.
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