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What is the height of your action? (Acoustic)

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(@dylanbarrett)
Prominent Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 628
Topic starter  

Hi all.

I'm interested to know what actions some of you have on your acoustic six-strings, just to compare to mine.

I've read a bit about it and apparently you measure the height from the fretboard to the string at the 12th fret. I also have read that it's personal preference about the height of the action and goes hand-in-hand with what tension strings you prefer.... :roll: ...never simple is it...

Anyways, mine is a nice and cheap beginners Stagg outfit and it measure 5mm and i'm using extra light Stagg and Dadi strings.

Thanks

Rock on!

D 8)

I'm nowhere near Chicago. I've got six string, 8 fingers, two thumbs, it's dark 'cos I'm wearing sunglasses - Hit it!


   
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 Nuno
(@nuno)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 3995
 

If the action is high, it is harder to play it but there aren't buzz. I think 5 mm is good for an acoustic. You play mainly in the first frets and the action is lower there.

Anyway, mine is around 2 mm.


   
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(@slejhamer)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 3221
 

apparently you measure the height from the fretboard to the string at the 12th fret.

I think the typical way to do it is to measure from the top of the 12th fret, not the fretboard, to the bottom of the string.

Anyway, mine is approx. 5/64", or just about 2mm, on the low E side.

"Everybody got to elevate from the norm."


   
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(@dylanbarrett)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 628
Topic starter  

I think the typical way to do it is to measure from the top of the 12th fret, not the fretboard, to the bottom of the string.

Ahhh, yes, that would make sense, wouldn't it... :oops: that would make mine about 3mm then.

D 8)

I'm nowhere near Chicago. I've got six string, 8 fingers, two thumbs, it's dark 'cos I'm wearing sunglasses - Hit it!


   
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(@nicktorres)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 5381
 

The height of my action was about 1983. It was the parachute pants, or jordache jeans and the long hair I think. Of course I was playing electric then so that may not count.


   
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(@rahul)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 2736
 

The height of my action was about 1983. It was the parachute pants, or jordache jeans and the long hair I think. Of course I was playing electric then so that may not count.

:lol:

Height of my action is still yet to come...


   
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(@urbancowgirl)
Reputable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 428
 

Lol @ Nick.
Well, those Jordache jeans are hard to resist. 8)

I am going to go home and measure my action. My acoustic is really high and makes my fingers sore to the point of not playing for several days afterwards. The acoustic/electric is almost too low. I had a real bad buzz on the low E string until I put heavier strings on it. I believe Ric or someone else explained how to lower the action in another thread but I haven't had the time to try it yet.

All my life I wanted to be somebody. Now I see I should have been more specific.


   
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(@ricochet)
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Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 7833
 

To lower acoustic action, carefully sand or file the bottom of the saddle. Make sure to keep it absolutely flat. Sandpaper has to be on a firm, flat backing surface. Even though the action height at the 12th fret will be lowered by 1/2 the amount you take off the saddle, work carefully, taking off just a little at a time and frequently stringing it back up and tuning to remeasure the height. You can't put it back on once you remove it, but you can shim under the saddle to raise it, and new saddles aren't hard to come by.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
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(@nicktorres)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 5381
 

take a pencil and angle it so the lead is almost flat against the table. run the saddle along it until you get a line going from side to side on the saddle. That'll give you an idea of when you've got it level when sanding. Also I use a block of wood and hold the saddle against it, moving the whole thing, as little of the wood block as possible really, over the sand paper. That will keep you level front to back. Also, try the Jordache jeans thing while sanding, it really helps.


   
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(@dylanbarrett)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 628
Topic starter  

The height of my action was about 1983. It was the parachute pants, or jordache jeans and the long hair I think. Of course I was playing electric then so that may not count.

I like, I like, I like... I reckon you guys and gals on the guitarnoise.com forums are the best - you can always expect a reasonable amount of useful information before - and after - it lapses into pure fantasy. Thank you all.

I reckon the height of my action was in the 80s, but nothing to do with guitar playing... :roll:

Rock on!

D 8)

I'm nowhere near Chicago. I've got six string, 8 fingers, two thumbs, it's dark 'cos I'm wearing sunglasses - Hit it!


   
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(@ballybiker)
Honorable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 493
 

hi Dylan.....3mm is not bad....I started with the same stagg you have..its since been passed on..personally though I'd leave the saddle sanding alone for now...chances are you will be upgrading soon anyway 8)

what did the drummer get on his I.Q. test?....

Drool

http://www.myspace.com/ballybiker


   
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(@dogbite)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 6348
 

at the twelfth fret I can slide two quarters (25 cent coins) perfectly.
that is 1/8 of an inch .125
no buzzing, nice close action.
Martin GT 16. with medium/light gauge bronze/phosphor strings.

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


   
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(@ricochet)
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Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 7833
 

I think 1/8" is perfect. (That's a hair less than 3mm, close enough for government work. A lot closer than Perkin-Elmer got the Hubble Space Telescope's mirrors to specs for government work, anyway.)

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
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(@daverod)
Active Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 15
 

I was dismayed to find that I much prefer the action on my daughter's $100 Yamaha to my own guitar. It's a little disheartening when I end up practicing with her guitar just to make myself feel better as to the sounds I can produce. Mine isn't expensive or anything, but I did pick it up in Portugal so it's got plenty of sentimental value.

Anyway, I did measure but I forget what they were exactly. I do remember hers was about 1mm lower than mine. I was amazed at the difference 1mm makes!

I asked at Guitar Center and they say that to lower the action requires a full "workup", whatever that means, to the tune of $60. I may end up having them do it because I'm afraid to screw something up.


   
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(@ricochet)
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Joined: 21 years ago
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Aw, c'mon. No guts, no glory. It's not brain surgery.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
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