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Issues after first attempt at setup

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Joined: 8 years ago
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Hi All,

I have a cheap strat I bought as my first guitar and I tried to level the frets and give it a proper setup over teh last few days.

I checked the neck with a notched straight-edge and adjusted the rod until it was flat. Masked it up, filed and crowned followed by polishing from 320 to 1500 grit. Then I took off the tape and cleaned the fretboard with lemon oil.

Today I restrung the guitar and then adjusted to give .25mm relief at the 8th fret. Once relief was set I placed a capo on the first fret and adjusted the height of the strings at the saddle until I could hit them fairly hard without any buzzing on the open string. This worked out at about 1.5mm at the 12th fret (without the capo )

After this I took off the capo at the first fret and filed the nut slots down until each string was ~.25mm over the first fret.

This done I adjusted the intonation so that the open string and 12th fret were an octave apart.

The guitar seems to play well up to the 12th fret at these heights but after that there's buzzing and choking. The action also feels higher than I'd like but I'm not sure what I missed. Maybe less relief is needed or I missed an important step?

I tried to re-level the frets thinking I did it incorrectly but with the same result. I'm running a bit low on metal and patience so I'm hoping someone with more experience will slap me and tell me why I'm being stupid :)