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Help me, please, with my new semi-hollow setup

PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2009 12:00 pm
by Mau65
Hi to all,

After a long time surfin' the net searching for a good place about blues guitars, i've found this forum. This is my first post, please be patient with me if the argument has been covered many times, i've done a search but i've not found what i'm looking for...

I need your opinion about my new guitar set-up specs.

After about 25 years of playing, i've decided to buy my first semi-hollow. I was looking for a good guitar with a reasonable price in the "335" replicas range and i've choose this one:

http://www.peerlessguitars.com/e_shop/s ... item_id=45

I've read very good opinions from Harmony Central users about Peerless and the guitar look amazing. I've choosed this one.

So, as you can see, the vocation for this guitar is in the jazz/blues area, so what i'm asking.

I've choose D'Addario 0.11-0.49 strings and the shokeeper (that is also a guitar technician) has done a full set-up for this guitar, including a fret leveling ; the relevant measurements with this setup are as follow:

Neck relief: 0.40 mm (measured with a capo at the first fret and holding the low E string at the last fret, with a feeler gauge, the distance at the 8° fret)

Action measured at the 12° fret for high strings: 1.50 mm

Action measured at the 12° fret for low strings: 1.50 mm

For me, it's a little hard to play, i'm used to play a Telecaster Highway one and a Stratocaster De Luxe (both made in USA) with 0.10-0.46 and a little bit lower action.

My main question is: do you believe it's a properly set-up guitar, in your opinion ?

When i strum chords about 5°/7° fret, if i play them harder, there's a little fret buzzing as i attack strings with the picking; and when i try to play a far bend (over a whole tone) on the high E string, i've a little fretted out note... Do you believe it's normal or not ?

For years i've played hard rock based music, but now i feel too much involved on blues music (with a taste of jazz...)

Please give me your precious opinion !

Thank you so much for your kind attention and scuse me for my not-so-perfect english (i'm italian)

Re: Help me, please, with my new semi-hollow setup

PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2009 2:29 pm
by zhyla
Hey there, your English is not too bad. Well-formed sentences at least :). The first thing I would do is string it up with 10's like you're used to. The scale length is shorter than your tele/strat but going up a string gauge may be a little too stiff for you. You will of course get used to it.

The neck relief seems low to me. If you're buzzing out in places and you don't suspect the frets being unlevel then I would loosen the truss rod a schmidge and see if it gets better.

The last thing to do of course is get your money back for the setup job - if it doesn't play right for you it's not set up correctly.

Re: Help me, please, with my new semi-hollow setup

PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2009 4:26 pm
by Mau65
Hi zhyla, thanks for my english but, especially thanks for the reply!

I've done some minor adjustment, maybe i've tightened the truss rod a little more than necessary, it's my own fault, no the shopkeeper; i like a straight neck, so i used to tight the truss in order to achieve a value from 0.25mm to 0.40mm, measured as mentioned on my previous post; if you belieive my neck is still too straight, i can loose it a bit in order to "clean" barre-like chords in 5° or 7° position if played hard.

For the string gauge: i've tried 00.9-0.42, 0.10-0.46 and 0.11-0.49 and the last option is the best for the tone: i love it too much, with a D'Addario set, i can reach the tone i love on both my amplifiers ('87 Marshall valve JCM 800 and Peavey Vympyr 15 w) and... on my Pocket Pod too ! I know, 0.10 are smoother than 0.11 but i can tell this neck is almost comfortable than my beloved Strat, in proportion, even with higher gauge.
Although, i'm trying to make the most from this guitar...
And consider i'm trying to reach a "bluesy" tone at my best and my style of playing is actually a little slower than both Satriani and Vai :D

But... What about the action ? Do you believe is too high or too low ? Do you think it's normal to have fretted-out notes with wide bends (on higher frets) ?

Again, thanks for your kind help

Re: Help me, please, with my new semi-hollow setup

PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 6:10 am
by leftyguitarman
Mau65 wrote:But... What about the action ? Do you believe is too high or too low ? Do you think it's normal to have fretted-out notes with wide bends (on higher frets) ?


I can't comment on the action being too high or too low because I have never measured the action on any of my guitars. I've always just gotten to a point that feels comfortable then got the strings intonated from there. As for the bends: If you're bending strings, they shouldn't fret out anywhere. I would take the guitar back to the tech and tell him what's going on. If he didn't set it up the way you want it then you deserve either your money back or another set up, free of charge. And your English is very good. What part of the world are you from?

Re: Help me, please, with my new semi-hollow setup

PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 7:38 am
by Mau65
Hi leftyguitarman, i'm italian, thanks !!! I've spent years and years listening to rock/blues records while holding the lyrics sheet in front of me... I've learned a lot about english language in this way !!!

I've made some minor adjustment, i've lower the action a little (on the treble side) in order to play more comfortable; it's my own fault, not the technician.

But i would like to say that the "fretting out" is very subtle and only with very wide bends: if this guitar were very faulty, i know i should take the instrumet to a serious liuther. It's not my case, thankfuly, the guitar is new and almost perfect.

Is this "almost" that i would like to ask to you guys; probably, i'm too meticolous...! i use to measure every guitar i own in order to have some point of reference, i like to do so; in this way, i'm free to set up my guitars every time i need to do it...

Re: Help me, please, with my new semi-hollow setup

PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 3:36 pm
by ricochet
Your action height's about half what I like on mine.