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  #1  
Old 02-18-2019, 02:07 PM
btaylor btaylor is offline
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Default Fender Telecaster String Height

I like my guitars to play like butter, like most people. That said, what string height and neck relief do you guys have in your Telecaster? I just got an MIM Tele and haven’t had an electric in a long time.
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Old 02-18-2019, 03:08 PM
clintj clintj is offline
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I'd have to measure mine for actual numbers.

My adjustment process is pretty simple:

1. Lower action until fret buzz becomes noticeable.

2. Adjust relief until buzzing is pretty close to equal no matter where I fret.

3. Slowly raise action until majority of buzz is gone, then tweak by feel from there until both chords and bends are easy to play.

4. Set intonation.

All this presumes that the frets are well leveled and the nut slots are properly cut. Uneven frets will thwart trying to get a really low action if that's what you're after.
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Old 02-18-2019, 03:21 PM
Dru Edwards Dru Edwards is offline
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Here's the Fender site that describes the setup for a Tele. It includes relief, string and pickup heights among other things. Basically, it's a starting point and from there you can fine tune.

https://support.fender.com/hc/en-us/...itar-properly-

What's the neck radius of your Tele? That impacts the measurements.

Here's what it lists:

Neck Radius
7.25" - .012" (0.3 mm)
9.5" to 12" - .010" (0.25 mm)
15" to 17" - .008" (0.2 mm)

String Height
Measure the distance between bottom of strings and top of the 17th fret.

Neck Radius -String Height Bass Side -Treble Side
7.25" - 5/64" (2 mm) - 4/64" (1.6 mm)
9.5" to 12" - 4/64" (1.6 mm) - 4/64" (1.6 mm)
15" to 17" - 4/64" (1.6 mm) - 3/64" (1.2 mm)

Sorry that the table is so messy. doesn't like the spaces I put in.
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Old 02-21-2019, 07:44 PM
Jaden Jaden is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dru Edwards View Post
Here's the Fender site that describes the setup for a Tele. It includes relief, string and pickup heights among other things. Basically, it's a starting point and from there you can fine tune.

https://support.fender.com/hc/en-us/...itar-properly-

What's the neck radius of your Tele? That impacts the measurements.

Here's what it lists:

Neck Radius
7.25" - .012" (0.3 mm)
9.5" to 12" - .010" (0.25 mm)
15" to 17" - .008" (0.2 mm)

String Height
Measure the distance between bottom of strings and top of the 17th fret.

Neck Radius -String Height Bass Side -Treble Side
7.25" - 5/64" (2 mm) - 4/64" (1.6 mm)
9.5" to 12" - 4/64" (1.6 mm) - 4/64" (1.6 mm)
15" to 17" - 4/64" (1.6 mm) - 3/64" (1.2 mm)

Sorry that the table is so messy. doesn't like the spaces I put in.
Thanks for posting this link and information, Dru, much appreciated.

Of the two MIM Telecasters I have, both have excellent setups from the factory both at the nut (my tech will tweak them slightly when I take them in), as well as at the bridge (string tree height of the three barrel saddles). Both are vintage spec 7.25 radius/ 5 hole pickguard.
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Old 02-21-2019, 08:13 PM
Otterhound Otterhound is offline
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Only pointing out that many of the gains that you desire involve fine tuning at the nut . Small differences at the nut can yield impressive results .
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Old 02-21-2019, 11:36 PM
Jaden Jaden is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Otterhound View Post
Only pointing out that many of the gains that you desire involve fine tuning at the nut . Small differences at the nut can yield impressive results .
^^^ A key component of a good setup/ almost impossible to overestimate
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Old 02-22-2019, 05:55 AM
jdmulli jdmulli is offline
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Also, don't underestimate the tonal gains from slightly higher action -- especially on a tele.

I use the same guitar for slide and fretted work. Slightly higher action is a must for me, but when I first went down the path of slide, I was amazed at how much better my tele (and strat) sounded.
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Old 02-22-2019, 07:04 AM
paulp1960 paulp1960 is offline
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I've seen those Fender figures published. I think most people with a Tele would struggle to get a buzz-free playing experience with 4/64 (1.6 mm) action on the low E 12th fret.

On my 2 Squier Teles (one has had a fret level setup) I can get to around 1.8 mm at that measuring point, beyond which the guitars buzz too much for my enjoyment.
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  #9  
Old 02-22-2019, 07:36 AM
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rrgguitarman rrgguitarman is offline
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Quote:
All this presumes that the frets are well leveled and the nut slots are properly cut
This has always been my starting point. If the nut is not cut properly, nothing else will matter. Leveling the frets (if needed) next.

Just my .02
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Old 02-22-2019, 08:30 AM
Jaden Jaden is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdmulli View Post
Also, don't underestimate the tonal gains from slightly higher action -- especially on a tele.

I use the same guitar for slide and fretted work. Slightly higher action is a must for me, but when I first went down the path of slide, I was amazed at how much better my tele (and strat) sounded.
I find this true on all my guitars, once the nut slots are fine tuned, more lively action = more sustain, much better performance.
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  #11  
Old 02-25-2019, 04:40 AM
Tuch Tuch is offline
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1]A light fret dress[confirms] the frets are of equal height=level!-Unequal fret height compromises any set up regardless of musical preferences!
Withe neck Left Straight..
2] Lower the string slot depths[Avoiding fret buzz]
3] Lower the saddle to suit preferences.
Play the guitar then..
4]Adjust the Relief to suit your playing style.
Then play to your hearts content!
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