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  #1  
Old 03-25-2016, 06:12 PM
bluegrass37721 bluegrass37721 is offline
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Default Adjust which one first. Saddle height or nut height.

NGD and want to adjust setup myself. Dont know if I should start at the saddle first or adjust nut height first. Thanks in advance for any direction. Greg
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Old 03-25-2016, 06:21 PM
Tom West Tom West is offline
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Relief, nut then saddle.
Tom
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Old 03-25-2016, 06:43 PM
Guest 1928
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What Tom said.
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Old 03-25-2016, 07:29 PM
bluegrass37721 bluegrass37721 is offline
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Thanks guys. A wealth of knowledge flows through this forum.
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Old 03-25-2016, 07:30 PM
mirwa mirwa is offline
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I am slightly different

I do nut first as it needs no part of the neck to be setup to cut the strings to the right height.

Then I do my relief

Then I do my saddle

This allows me to uniformly work my way up the neck

Steve
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Old 03-26-2016, 08:03 AM
Guest 1928
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Steve, I couldn't argue much with your order of operations either.

For context, I'm not building guitars, just doing fairly simple setups on my own instruments and occasionally for friends or charity stuff. Most of the time I'm not moving anything enough that it matters whether I do nut or relief first. Either way, both are done before the saddle.
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Old 03-26-2016, 08:35 AM
mirwa mirwa is offline
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All good, we all do things differently, there is no right or wrong way, only what works for you.

Steve
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Old 03-26-2016, 08:58 AM
Guest 1928
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Oh, there are definitely some wrong ways. I've found a few of them myself.
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Old 03-26-2016, 12:54 PM
LouieAtienza LouieAtienza is offline
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Actually before I do anything, I barre or capo the 3rd fret and just check quickly that there is a tiny bit of clearance between string and fret at the first fret. Then I just check the relief quickly by fretting at the 12th or 14th fret, before I start to do any work.

I've repaired or replaced more than a few nuts from guys who taken their nut down without checking the relief, just checking the clearance at the first fret, then lowered the saddle and all the sudden the strings are still too high with buzz on the first fret, causing them to add more relief...
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Old 03-27-2016, 06:37 AM
redir redir is offline
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If you do the nut first then lower the saddle then you may end up with fret buzz on the first fret. In many cases it probably doesn't matter but I can't understand doing the nut first?
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Old 03-27-2016, 07:46 AM
mirwa mirwa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redir View Post
If you do the nut first then lower the saddle then you may end up with fret buzz on the first fret. In many cases it probably doesn't matter but I can't understand doing the nut first?
I'm sorry this makes no sense, if you do the nut first, then the nut is done, if you then Lower the saddle and you get fret buzz on the first fret then you did not do the nut correctly.

Steve
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Old 03-27-2016, 09:33 AM
LouieAtienza LouieAtienza is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mirwa View Post
I'm sorry this makes no sense, if you do the nut first, then the nut is done, if you then Lower the saddle and you get fret buzz on the first fret then you did not do the nut correctly.

Steve

I explained why a novice could do the nut first and get it wrong. It should be looked at in totality.
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Old 03-27-2016, 10:21 AM
dekutree64 dekutree64 is offline
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Relief, saddle, nut. But expect to do at least 2 or 3 rounds of that before finalizing.

Relief can be checked independently of the other two by holding the string against frets, so get it out of the way first.

Then the saddle can be checked by holding strings down at the first fret. Plus it's just not that touchy in terms of adjustment. It takes a lot of saddle change to make a little difference in action, and lowering the nut afterward isn't likely to cause buzzing unless the nut was really high, and if it was then you should have lowered it some before doing the saddle.

Then the nut comes last, because it is extremely touchy if you want to get it as good as possible, and once you've done that, changing the others can cause it to hit the first fret.
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Old 03-27-2016, 10:34 AM
Guest 1928
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One thing is certain, whatever answer you want, you can find it here.
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  #15  
Old 03-27-2016, 11:01 AM
John Arnold John Arnold is offline
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Quote:
Then the nut comes last, because it is extremely touchy if you want to get it as good as possible, and once you've done that, changing the others can cause it to hit the first fret.
That will only happen if you don't set the nut correctly. The correct nut height is the same as the frets. That can be checked by pressing the string down on the second fret and checking for minimal clearance over the first fret. Alternately, place a thin straightedge in the nut slot and rest it on the second fret.

Quote:
I've repaired or replaced more than a few nuts from guys who taken their nut down without checking the relief, just checking the clearance at the first fret, then lowered the saddle and all the sudden the strings are still too high with buzz on the first fret, causing them to add more relief...
That is exactly why checking nut height by measuring the action at the first fret is not recommended...because it will change with relief and saddle height. If you set the nut height the same as the frets, you won't have any problems. Anything higher than that is unnecessarily hard to play, and lower will mean open strings will buzz more than fretted strings.
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