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Thread: Measuring action: radiused fretboard?

  1. #1

    Default Measuring action: radiused fretboard?

    Hello everyone,

    I just got an Eastman 315 sent from Arizona sent to San Jose, CA.

    It was set up prior to shipping, but after bringing it up to pitch I found that the action is high enough at the nut that I can't get a clean low Ab without over pressing the G string. I eye-balled it and the gap does seem a bit wide.

    I just bought some feeler gauges online and will have them Thursday. I also got and read Rob's free set-up ebook.

    My quandry is: Does the 12" radiused fretboard on the Eastman mean I need to measure the string gaps with a radiused feeler gauge?

    Does such a thing exist?

    Should I move (or remove the G strings) to get an accurate measurement of the D strings?

    Lastly, I plan to let the instrument acclimate to its new environment for at least a week before trying to adjust anything.

    Is that ample time?

    Would traveling from Arizona to San Jose in less than a week cause the action to get too high at the nut?

    Thanks for any insights!
    Aldon Sanders

  2. #2
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: Measuring action: radiused fretboard?

    Quote Originally Posted by daLimuHead View Post
    Does the 12" radiused fretboard on the Eastman mean I need to measure the string gaps with a radiused feeler gauge?
    You don't need a feeler gauge at all. http://www.frets.com/FretsPages/Musi...nutaction.html

    Quote Originally Posted by daLimuHead View Post
    Does such a thing exist?
    Not that I know of.

    Quote Originally Posted by daLimuHead View Post
    Should I move (or remove the G strings) to get an accurate measurement of the D strings?
    No need if you follow the link above.

    Quote Originally Posted by daLimuHead View Post
    Lastly, I plan to let the instrument acclimate to its new environment for at least a week before trying to adjust anything.

    Is that ample time?
    Maybe. It probably doesn't need much because the relative humidity where it is now is likely not that much different from the RH where it came from... but, relative humidity, wood moisture content and wood movement don't really have much to do with string height at the nut.


    Quote Originally Posted by daLimuHead View Post
    Would traveling from Arizona to San Jose in less than a week cause the action to get too high at the nut?
    Almost certainly, no.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Measuring action: radiused fretboard?

    Thank you John!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Measuring action: radiused fretboard?

    Okay, so it's not just me. The cloth I use to wipe under the strings after playing also shows that the action is higher at the nut than my other mandolin (Weber Aspen). On the Aspen the cloth rubs up against the strings at the nut when it's between the fretboard and strings. On the Eastman the cloth hardly touches at all.

    The feeler gauges are supposed to arrive tomorrow and I plan to do some measurements to compare if any changes have happened between then and next Tuesday when I tweak the setup.

    Any advice is openly accepted and greatly appreciated!

    Aldon

  5. #5

    Default Re: Measuring action: radiused fretboard?

    Basically, follow the link in John's post to frets.com and do that. You will be amazed the difference it makes to playability.

    Mass-produced factory instruments tend to have high nut slots, because adjusting them properly takes time (= money). This produces poor intonation at the lower frets, and also makes barre chords harder than they need to be. Beginners on guitar talk of the 'dreaded F chord" because that is barred at the first fret. Hand them a properly adjusted instrument and suddenly they can play it fine!

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