Author Topic: Taylor set up for string height  (Read 6195 times)

mgap

  • Global Moderator
  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2209
Taylor set up for string height
« on: March 21, 2012, 12:41:35 PM »
Last night I pulled out my 514ce and the strings were buzzing, so I checked the neck and sure enough it needed a truss rod adjustment.  I got it done and the neck is nice and straight, but now I have all kinds of buzzing all up and down the neck on all strings.  I can tell the strings are way to low compared to my other guitars.

Did I change the neck improperly, I have not changed the bridge on this guitar, but do I need to raise the bridge with a new bridge or shim it?

Next thing, what is the standard string height(Taylor settings)?  Where is that measured from the top of the fret wire or and the fingerboard?
As you slide down the banister of life, may the splinters never point the wrong way.

S MS Picker

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 412
Re: Taylor set up for string height
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2012, 05:46:04 PM »
Sounds like that old demon "lack of humidity" may have visited you. I also suspect that you may have gone the wrong way w/the truss rod.   Rightey-tighty   lefty-loosey  If you're buzzing like crazy, loosen about 1/4 turn to put a little relief(bow) in the neck.
When is the last time you had it out? Changes rarely occur overnight.Check out the tech sheets on neck adjustment if you have them. If not check out the website or google truss rod adjustment.
According to my Taylor rep, factory specs is 5/64"-3/32" from the bottom of the big E string to the top of the 12th fret. I've rarely seen a factory set-up this low on a new instrument. Most I've seen lately are are about 7/64".
I wouldn't shim or replace the saddle unless absolutely necessary.
Hope this helps.
Steve
"99 414
2000 410Ce
"05 214
"06 410CE (short scale)
"10 814CE-LTD(fall)
"11 414CE-LTD(fall)
"11 412CE
"12 Custom GS  Adi/Hog

 -other-
"12 Eastman E20D
"? Silvertone (Sears) 2 lipstick tube PU electric

michaelw

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3016
  • with more frivolous trivia than most infomercials
    • i agree with Fred
Re: Taylor set up for string height
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2012, 06:57:49 PM »
hi Mike,
i was wondering which 514ce this was on (the 03, with fretboard cracks or the 07),
which strings were buzzing & where (which frets) before you adjusted the truss rod,
how long you've had those strings on the guitar (about how many hours of play time) &
the height of the saddle (it is around 7-8/64 at the E & 5-6/64 at the e, or is it much lower)

sighting the neck before you made the truss rod adjustment, did it seem to have
excessive relief with an exaggerated forward bow & since the truss rod adjustment
has the neck relief been rechecked to verify that there is still adequate relief ???

also, how is the overall condition of the frets, as if the guitar in
question is the 03, i would think it has been played quite a bit

the NT neck is designed to where the neck angle can be set to maintain adequate
saddle height for good string break angle, so if someone either unfamiliar with the
NT neck or lacking the correct shims & understanding of how the neck should be set
they may  have merely taken the height of the saddle down in order to bring the action
within the desired range & in doing so change in humidity & improper neck relief
may  have compounded the problem, especially if the fretboard has dried out &
shrunk to the point where cracks have developed, along with sharp fret ends

a little more info would help & pics & measurements even moreso, as it is very difficult
to try to 'diagnose' a concern such as this & make suggestions through text in a post
it's not about what you play,
it's all about why you play ...

Edward

  • Global Moderator
  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1449
Re: Taylor set up for string height
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2012, 11:28:05 PM »
As you say, the neck is straight ...well I would certainly hope so! ;)
Seriously, you don't mention how much relief you've left in the neck.  That relief (i.e. neck bow, or lack thereof), in combo with the string height, determines how much space there is for the strings to vibrate in their arc.  Given that you have not altered the saddle height and only changed relief by tweaking the truss rod, I'd say you've got the neck with too little relief if you've got buzzing all over the place; i.e. neck is too straight.  Fret at the first and 14th, then check the distance at around the 6-7th fret.  That's your gauge.  Try 1/4 turn looser (add bow; more relief), and see if that gets you there.  BTW, Taylor offers their factory setup, but action is a highly personal setting that accomodates one's style, so what you like is what's right.

Edward

mgap

  • Global Moderator
  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2209
Re: Taylor set up for string height
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2012, 09:53:21 AM »
Quote
i was wondering which 514ce this was on (the 03, with fretboard cracks or the 07),
which strings were buzzing & where (which frets) before you adjusted the truss rod,
how long you've had those strings on the guitar (about how many hours of play time) &
the height of the saddle (it is around 7-8/64 at the E & 5-6/64 at the e, or is it much lower)

sighting the neck before you made the truss rod adjustment, did it seem to have
excessive relief with an exaggerated forward bow & since the truss rod adjustment
has the neck relief been rechecked to verify that there is still adequate relief ???

also, how is the overall condition of the frets, as if the guitar in
question is the 03, i would think it has been played quite a bit

the NT neck is designed to where the neck angle can be set to maintain adequate
saddle height for good string break angle, so if someone either unfamiliar with the
NT neck or lacking the correct shims & understanding of how the neck should be set
they may  have merely taken the height of the saddle down in order to bring the action
within the desired range & in doing so change in humidity & improper neck relief
may  have compounded the problem, especially if the fretboard has dried out &
shrunk to the point where cracks have developed, along with sharp fret ends

a little more info would help & pics & measurements even moreso, as it is very difficult
to try to 'diagnose' a concern such as this & make suggestions through text in a post

I am working on the 2007 514.  The strings have about 5 hours of play time on them.  The E string has 3/64 at the saddle and the e has 2/64. These will not be 100% accurate measurements, but close.

The neck relief before adjustment had a downward bow to it, I did not measure it.  I relieved some of that.  I loosened the truss nut moving the nut towards the E string 1/4 turn.  This left a slight bow to the neck as I have re-checked it this morning.  The Taylor tech sheet sez:"Notice that if you sight down the neck to the top of the bridge, the top of the frets and the bride are on the same plane". To me this means there should be no relief(downward bow)on the neck, but this is why I am asking you all.

Checking the condition of the frets: overall very good only slight indentations on 1-3 frets at the e and B string.  It will be a long time before I need the frets worked on.

Overall I feel from the information you(Michael and Edward) have given me the string height is to low,  I don't feel I have adequate saddle height.  What are your thoughts?

Quote
Sounds like that old demon "lack of humidity" may have visited you.

I don't think I have a humidity problem because I have checked the arch on the top and bottom of the body and have a slight arch side to side, it looks similar to the tech sheet examples. 
 
As you slide down the banister of life, may the splinters never point the wrong way.

dangrunloh

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 136
Re: Taylor set up for string height
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2012, 10:58:06 AM »
The Taylor tech sheet sez:"Notice that if you sight down the neck to the top of the bridge, the top of the frets and the bride are on the same plane". To me this means there should be no relief(downward bow)on the neck, but this is why I am asking you all.


If the neck is straight (no relief).  If it has relief then sight only the lower portion of the neck.

relief is to be .004-.007 measured in the middle of the neck with a capo at the first fret and the string fretted at 14.

michaelw

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3016
  • with more frivolous trivia than most infomercials
    • i agree with Fred
Re: Taylor set up for string height
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2012, 12:19:25 PM »
hi Mike,
from what it sound like, initially the neck had negative relief (a 'back' bow) &
by adjusting the truss rod, the neck now has some relief (or 'forward' bow)

the saddle height is extremely low at 3/64" E & 2/64" e & twice that height
is what i would consider much more desirable, in terms of string break angle

as dangrunloh stated, it is possible to set the neck with very little relief, although
depending on the gauges of string used, pick (if any) & aggressiveness of attack,
the relief may need to be set to one's personal preference to eliminate buzzing

my take on it is that your 07 514ce should be looked at by an authorized Taylor
tech or one that is familiar with the NT neck/reset process & has the proper shims -
this will require a replacement saddle as well, as using a 3/64" ebony shim i would
not recommend, as that combination would not be stable in restoring saddle height

given the guitar is properly humidified, the frets are in good condition/correctly seated &
there are no other concerns (loose hardware, etc) a neck reset & new saddle should
be able to take care of it - i had this done to an 814ceLTD yesterday & it's 'perfect' now :)

« Last Edit: March 22, 2012, 09:47:50 PM by michaelw »
it's not about what you play,
it's all about why you play ...

mgap

  • Global Moderator
  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2209
Re: Taylor set up for string height
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2012, 12:52:48 PM »
Thanks everyone.  I will take your advice and take it to a dealer and have it looked at.  after adjusting the truss a couple of times now with no perfect fix, I think I have done all I should try.
As you slide down the banister of life, may the splinters never point the wrong way.

egkor

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 195
Re: Taylor set up for string height
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2012, 10:46:16 AM »
Taking to a Taylor authorized Tech. is the best idea.  In the past I called Taylor CS, they asked for my postal zip code, and recommended 2 Techs. in my area, one of which I used with good results.

I'm going to take my 315ce in to my Taylor Tech.  I think it has too much string height in general.  If I adjust the neck (TR) to a slightly lower string height I get buzz.

I bought it used, and its probably not (except for the factory) had a trained pair of eyes evalute the neck.

-Gary K
Taylor- 614ce (2012), 315ce (2010)
Martin- DX1 (2009)

Go Navy

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 248
  • Northern California
Re: Taylor set up for string height
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2012, 04:18:21 PM »
hi Mike,
i was wondering which 514ce this was on (the 03, with fretboard cracks or the 07),
which strings were buzzing & where (which frets) before you adjusted the truss rod,
how long you've had those strings on the guitar (about how many hours of play time) &
the height of the saddle (it is around 7-8/64 at the E & 5-6/64 at the e, or is it much lower)



Michael, I'm getting an education reading this thread, so I have to ask a question.  How can one measure the height of a string relative to the saddle, when the saddle is nowhere near the fretboard but is in the bridge?  Where is such a measurement taken?  Confused due to my own ignorance.......
Guild Manhattan X-175 (1976)
Ibanez GB10 George Benson 1980
2012 Taylor 812ce Cedar

michaelw

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3016
  • with more frivolous trivia than most infomercials
    • i agree with Fred
Re: Taylor set up for string height
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2012, 06:58:01 PM »
hi Mike,
i was wondering which 514ce this was on (the 03, with fretboard cracks or the 07),
which strings were buzzing & where (which frets) before you adjusted the truss rod,
how long you've had those strings on the guitar (about how many hours of play time) &
the height of the saddle (it is around 7-8/64 at the E & 5-6/64 at the e, or is it much lower)



Michael, I'm getting an education reading this thread, so I have to ask a question.  How can one measure the height of a string relative to the saddle, when the saddle is nowhere near the fretboard but is in the bridge?  Where is such a measurement taken?  Confused due to my own ignorance.......
hi there,
the measurement i was referring to was the height of the saddle itself, or more specifically the height of the
saddle that is protruding from the bridge saddle slot, rather a measurement in relation to the string height -
the measurement can be taken with the saddle in the bridge slot with the strings on, with a steel rule
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Stainless-steel-6-machinist-ruler-rule-metric-SAE-1-32-1-64th-mm-5mm-/130669030487#ht_640wt_1270

with an exposed saddle height of 3/64" E & 2/64" e, neck relief correctly set & the
action at the 12 fret not being to be set near 6/64" E & 4/64" e tells me that the
neck needs to be reset, because save for any other issues (humidity, warpage,
sinking or swelling of the top, etc) this string height should  easily be attainable
with a saddle that  has over double the exposed height, at around  7/64" E & 5/64" e -
a saddle that's significantly higher that that can  cause undue stress on the bridge &
saddle slot & although the neck may  be able to be shimmed to set the action below
6/64" E & 4/64" (which is a 'base-line') with a full height Tusq saddle, it is not recommended


it's not about what you play,
it's all about why you play ...

S MS Picker

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 412
Re: Taylor set up for string height
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2012, 06:59:09 PM »
Go Navy.. I believe Michael is speaking of the saddle height at the bridge. In other words the distance from the top of the bridge to the bottom of the string.Depending on the angle cut in the saddle top, the strings contact more or less of the saddle as they cross it. With any pre-cut saddles, there is a narrow window for the string to contact the entire top of the saddle. The slant of the saddle in the bridge allows good intonation w/maximum contact.IMHO the more string on the saddle, the more energy transfer = more sound.
When I build a saddle from scratch, I first fit the entire blank to the slot.Then I radius the top of the saddle close to where i believe the action needs to be leaving the string bearing surface flat, but the length of the saddle top radiused to match the fingerboard.(on my personal Taylors, I go 14" instead of 15" as I tend to hammer the D and G strings)
Next, I string the guitar and note any necessary action or radius modifications. I then make these modifications leaving the top of the saddle flat,w/all the strings breaking on the front edge of and contacting the saddle across it's entire width.The strings come off again after noting where intonation adjustments need to be made. After these adjustments, it's restring and fine tune the intonation.Then I angle (relieve) the back side to get a good string angle out of the pin hole w/maximum string contact on the saddle crown.Sometimes with a low saddle, I slot the bridge, as much as possible, so the string is free from the bridge plate to the saddle without stressing the actual saddle. The slot ends up kinda rounded inside the hole.
Then comes final polishing to the desired luster. The last thing I do is "bone" the bearing surface of the saddle. I do this in the vise with a piece of 440 stainless steel rod(the bone) that has been polished glass smooth.(You can use glass). I repeatedly rub the top of the saddle w/the bone until I feel it's as smooth and hard as possible. By doing this the strings don't leave as severe marks on the saddle and those annoying little squeaks and rubs are all but eliminated. Boning is an old wooden baseball bat technique, and another essay entirely. ;)
A good piece of bone or ivory prepared this way will actually last 20+ years without any need to replace it. I've seen old Martins, that w/a neck reset could have retained a 40 year old saddle.
And that's how S MS Picker builds a custom saddle. It's not cheap, but quality never is.
Steve
"99 414
2000 410Ce
"05 214
"06 410CE (short scale)
"10 814CE-LTD(fall)
"11 414CE-LTD(fall)
"11 412CE
"12 Custom GS  Adi/Hog

 -other-
"12 Eastman E20D
"? Silvertone (Sears) 2 lipstick tube PU electric

Go Navy

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 248
  • Northern California
Re: Taylor set up for string height
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2012, 10:00:44 AM »
Go Navy.. I believe Michael is speaking of the saddle height at the bridge. In other words the distance from the top of the bridge to the bottom of the string.Depending on the angle cut in the saddle top, the strings contact more or less of the saddle as they cross it. With any pre-cut saddles, there is a narrow window for the string to contact the entire top of the saddle. The slant of the saddle in the bridge allows good intonation w/maximum contact.IMHO the more string on the saddle, the more energy transfer = more sound.

Steve

Fascinating.....thanks to both Michael and Steve.  But doesn't all this depend on the height of the bridge itself?  In other words, are you saying that all bridges are the same height, and the height variable at the bridge is only is the saddle height above the bridge, not the dimension of the bridge itself? Put another way, could guitar A have a tall bridge and a short saddle, and guitar B have a short bridge and a tall saddle?  If so, why is the height of the saddle itself the critical dimension (from the top of the bridge to the bottom of the string)?

I'm 80% there in understanding, I hope......take me to the other 20%!
Guild Manhattan X-175 (1976)
Ibanez GB10 George Benson 1980
2012 Taylor 812ce Cedar

michaelw

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3016
  • with more frivolous trivia than most infomercials
    • i agree with Fred
Re: Taylor set up for string height
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2012, 10:24:42 AM »
Go Navy.. I believe Michael is speaking of the saddle height at the bridge. In other words the distance from the top of the bridge to the bottom of the string.Depending on the angle cut in the saddle top, the strings contact more or less of the saddle as they cross it. With any pre-cut saddles, there is a narrow window for the string to contact the entire top of the saddle. The slant of the saddle in the bridge allows good intonation w/maximum contact.IMHO the more string on the saddle, the more energy transfer = more sound.

Steve

Fascinating.....thanks to both Michael and Steve.  But doesn't all this depend on the height of the bridge itself?  In other words, are you saying that all bridges are the same height, and the height variable at the bridge is only is the saddle height above the bridge, not the dimension of the bridge itself? Put another way, could guitar A have a tall bridge and a short saddle, and guitar B have a short bridge and a tall saddle?  If so, why is the height of the saddle itself the critical dimension (from the top of the bridge to the bottom of the string)?

I'm 80% there in understanding, I hope......take me to the other 20%!
hi Navy,
as far as i know, at least on NT neck Taylors (beginning in 99/later), the actual pin bridges
(whether it be ebony, cocobolo, rosewood or macassar ebony) that are used are the same
height (with different sizes for the mini, baby & big baby) - they don't vary in height or
thickness as may be the case for other builders that use a glued-in 'set' dovetail neck joint -
in the case of some of the dovetail neck guitars, there is an option of low, medium or high
action (if the guitar is ordered from the factory, even if it is a 'stock' model, with no options),
which usually will be a different height saddle (once the bridge selection has been made)

saddle height itself is important because if there is inadequate exposed saddle height
(above the bridge slot) the string break angle is reduced & the vibration from the strings
that drive the saddle, bridge, bridge plate, bracing & top are diminished & sometimes the
difference can be as little as between 1/64" & 1/32" at the saddle (too low & the guitar
seems to lose a significant amount of its 'voice') - i've seen it happen & done it a time or 2

too much saddle height (exposed above the bridge slot) will put an excess amount of undue
tension on the bridge slot & bridge, with a general rule of thumb is roughly half the height
of the saddle should be in the saddle slot & the other half above it & this can vary a bit also,
if an under saddle transducer pick up is used for instance (depending on the pick up used)

« Last Edit: March 25, 2012, 07:32:34 PM by michaelw »
it's not about what you play,
it's all about why you play ...

S MS Picker

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 412
Re: Taylor set up for string height
« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2012, 01:29:51 PM »
Micheal--Navy
Dead on on all counts.
"too much saddle height (exposed above the bridge slot) will put an excess amount of undue
tension on the bridge slot & bridge, with a general rule of thumb is roughly half the height
of the saddle should be in the saddle slot & the other half above it"
Which is why I sometimes get out my pin hole slotting saw and do this
"Sometimes with a low saddle, I slot the bridge pin holes, as much as possible, so the string is free from the bridge plate to the saddle without stressing the actual saddle. The slot ends up kinda rounded inside the hole."
Very tedious and time consuming. :-\
Steve
« Last Edit: March 29, 2012, 07:29:39 PM by S MS Picker »
"99 414
2000 410Ce
"05 214
"06 410CE (short scale)
"10 814CE-LTD(fall)
"11 414CE-LTD(fall)
"11 412CE
"12 Custom GS  Adi/Hog

 -other-
"12 Eastman E20D
"? Silvertone (Sears) 2 lipstick tube PU electric