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Unread 01-11-2013, 06:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Les Paul string height

can anyone tell me a reasonable string height for a Les Paul?
I found a guide that says the strings at the 12th fret should be 1.2mm on the high E and 2mm on the low E, currently my strings are 3.5mm on the high E and 3mm on the low E.
I know there is no such thing as a correct string height, but mine does feel a little on the high side.
would it be a good idea to lower the strings according to the guide I have found, or is there a better guide for string height?
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Unread 01-11-2013, 07:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Les Paul string height

I set my LP and every other guitar 1/16" gap at the 12th fret.
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Unread 01-11-2013, 09:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Les Paul string height

I believe the 1.2mm high and 2.0mm low is typical specification for Les Pauls.

I do not even have 3.5mm on the low side of my acoustic.

Last edited by mickeydg5; 01-12-2013 at 03:47 AM.
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Unread 01-11-2013, 10:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Les Paul string height

Straight from Gibson:

Hi I'm David the final inspector at Gibson Memphis. I can give you the factory spec info. on our setups. You will need a mechanics rule to do this properly.
To check neck relief: fret the low E at the first and 15th fret (not 12th) reach to the 7th fret and tap string. There should be a small space between string and fret - no thicker than a piece of paper. Do the same with the high E. ACTION: fret low E at first fret and measure the distance from the bottom of the to the top of the 15th fret. It should be 5/64". Do the same with the high E, measurement should be 3/64". Now measure the string height at the nut; underside of the string to the top of the fret. Low E and A should measure 2/64", D and G =1.5/64" and B and high E = 1/64". If string height at nut is correct, recheck string height at 12th fret with strings open. Measurement for low and high E's should be the same as measurement taken at the 15th.
Pickups: Fret low E at 22nd fret and measure pickup height from underside of string to point on pickup closest to string. Bridge pickup should be 3/64" (I think the 3/64" is a typo, it should be 3/32") , neck pickup should be 4/32". Fret high E at 22nd fret, distance for both pickups should be 3/32".
Play test: Play every string at every fret checking for buzzes. Bend High E string 1 and 1/2 steps, beginning at the sixth fret and ending at 22nd, checking for "choking" and to make sure string stays in nut notch.
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Unread 01-12-2013, 03:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Les Paul string height

I do think it's about time companies like Gibson would start using the metric system....


Birma, Liberia and the U.S. are the only countries in the world who still use empiric
wtf is an inch???


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Unread 01-12-2013, 03:46 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Les Paul string height

An inch is 25.4mm.
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Unread 01-12-2013, 04:05 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Les Paul string height

my SG's set at .6mm to .4 but it needs a slight adjustment. i keep mine LOW generaly .4mm low e (fret board to bottom of the string without fretting anything) but they have to have perfect frets for it. all of mine are in the .4-.6mm territory though depending on when i set them up. the SG is due.
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Unread 01-12-2013, 05:03 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Les Paul string height

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Unread 01-12-2013, 07:16 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Les Paul string height

Quote:
Originally Posted by GuitarBuilder View Post
Straight from Gibson:

Hi I'm David the final inspector at Gibson Memphis. I can give you the factory spec info. on our setups. You will need a mechanics rule to do this properly.
To check neck relief: fret the low E at the first and 15th fret (not 12th) reach to the 7th fret and tap string. There should be a small space between string and fret - no thicker than a piece of paper. Do the same with the high E. ACTION: fret low E at first fret and measure the distance from the bottom of the to the top of the 15th fret. It should be 5/64". Do the same with the high E, measurement should be 3/64". Now measure the string height at the nut; underside of the string to the top of the fret. Low E and A should measure 2/64", D and G =1.5/64" and B and high E = 1/64". If string height at nut is correct, recheck string height at 12th fret with strings open. Measurement for low and high E's should be the same as measurement taken at the 15th.
Pickups: Fret low E at 22nd fret and measure pickup height from underside of string to point on pickup closest to string. Bridge pickup should be 3/64" (I think the 3/64" is a typo, it should be 3/32") , neck pickup should be 4/32". Fret high E at 22nd fret, distance for both pickups should be 3/32".
Play test: Play every string at every fret checking for buzzes. Bend High E string 1 and 1/2 steps, beginning at the sixth fret and ending at 22nd, checking for "choking" and to make sure string stays in nut notch.
Thanks for that David. I will use this as a starting point. I've found over the years (especially with older guitars) that a bit of adjustment from factory settings is possible. I like the action as low as possible without any nasty chokes or buzzes. I've just bought a new Les Paul so it will be interesting how much is "left on the bone" from factory settings.
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Unread 01-12-2013, 08:47 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Les Paul string height

I've found that my Lp's also need some relief in the neck to get a good low, buzz free action.
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Unread 01-12-2013, 10:03 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Les Paul string height

Thanks for the help guys. I have thought for a while that something doesn't quite feel right. it wasn't until I replaced my strings the other day when I noticed how high the strings were.
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Unread 01-12-2013, 10:09 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Les Paul string height

Plus, if you REALLY want to play around with it, a lot of the Buzz you can hear with it unplugged cannot be heard with it plugged in. The check for TOO Low is bending a string up past the 12th fret. If it doesn't choke out, even though you may hear buzz, with it unplugged, you are good to go.

Lower away.

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Unread 01-12-2013, 10:12 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Les Paul string height

Quote:
Originally Posted by mickeydg5 View Post
An inch is 25.4mm.
So I'm taking it is if your action is 25.4mm, then you are set a Tad high?

Just throw on some 15 Gauge Strings and SRV would be proud....

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Unread 01-12-2013, 10:14 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Les Paul string height

double post

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Unread 01-12-2013, 10:16 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Les Paul string height

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I've found that my Lp's also need some relief in the neck to get a good low, buzz free action.
.010 at the 9th fret holding the string down at the 1st and 14th frets. According to Gibson Manual. Fender says @ 7th and 1st and 15th.

TWIN
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Unread 01-12-2013, 10:43 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Les Paul string height

Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinACStacks View Post
So I'm taking it is if your action is 25.4mm, then you are set a Tad high?

Just throw on some 15 Gauge Strings and SRV would be proud....

TWIN
Nah man, 25.4 action is for when I use wire rope and tune down 18 steps.
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Unread 01-12-2013, 10:45 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Les Paul string height

All this sounds like SHREDDER talk.
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Unread 01-12-2013, 12:04 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Les Paul string height

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.010 at the 9th fret holding the string down at the 1st and 14th frets. According to Gibson Manual. Fender says @ 7th and 1st and 15th.

TWIN
That's a good baseline to go by. Here in the NW I have to check/adjust my necks twice a year. You are also correct about hearing the buzzing unplugged better.
The best gear investment I have done was to get a basic setup kit from Stew-Mac. Big time saver when you have a lot of guitars....
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Unread 01-12-2013, 12:30 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Re: Les Paul string height

That seems like a good thing to buy. I don't think it would be currently worth it for the replica guitars I have though. but when the day comes that I can afford a real les paul and a real fender strat, that will be one of the things on my shopping list.
a friend also suggested I buy a gibson and fender tool kit, which would be nice but I already have all the tools I need to adjust everything on both guitars.
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Unread 01-12-2013, 12:38 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Re: Les Paul string height

If you ever start modding or building guitars it is almost a must. They come in metric too you know.
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Unread 01-12-2013, 12:52 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Re: Les Paul string height

Knowing how to setup a guitar is just as important as knowing how to restring and tune it

Get a capo, feeler gauge and mm ruler and you're good to go.

Start with factory specs, then tweak from there. None of my guitars are setup exactly the same. I go for a trade off between feel, string gauge, buss and intonation.

Go to Stewmac for the tools and you'll never look back Oh, being patient help as it can take DAYS get get the setup you feel is juuuuust right.

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Unread 01-12-2013, 12:55 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Re: Les Paul string height

I have never felt the need to change my guitar from it's factory set up.
most people might think they can make a difference by tweaking string and pick up height, but my guitars have everything set up as they were when they left the factory and that is just fine for me.
I'm not sure I would ever like to modify or build my own guitar. not that I couldn't of course, building it would be fine, but the electrics might be a little beyond me. I'm not very good when it comes to soldering electrics.
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Unread 01-12-2013, 01:52 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Re: Les Paul string height

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vmodder View Post
That's a good baseline to go by. Here in the NW I have to check/adjust my necks twice a year. You are also correct about hearing the buzzing unplugged better.
The best gear investment I have done was to get a basic setup kit from Stew-Mac. Big time saver when you have a lot of guitars....
STEWMAC.COM : Basic Setup Kit
I use an Automotive Feeler Gauge set for checking relief, My Luthier for my Nut heights and Fretwork, and corresponding size NEW DRILL BITS (Shank end) for String and Pickup heights. Works like a champ....

TWIN
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Unread 01-12-2013, 03:01 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Re: Les Paul string height

Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinACStacks View Post
I use an Automotive Feeler Gauge set for checking relief, My Luthier for my Nut heights and Fretwork, and corresponding size DRILL BITS (Shank end) for String and Pickup heights. Works like a champ....

TWIN
you must know your luthier very well if you let him check your nut height.
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Unread 01-12-2013, 04:29 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Re: Les Paul string height

We're this close.

Don't worry. I'm not going to tell you about nutslots....

TWIN
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Unread 01-12-2013, 05:06 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Re: Les Paul string height

these here Stewart MacDonald string height guages are the cats ass for adjusting the actions,... they come in metric and regular ole usa.. Highly Recommend.



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Unread 01-12-2013, 05:41 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Re: Les Paul string height

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Originally Posted by diesect20022000 View Post
my SG's set at .6mm to .4 but it needs a slight adjustment. i keep mine LOW generaly .4mm low e (fret board to bottom of the string without fretting anything) but they have to have perfect frets for it. all of mine are in the .4-.6mm territory though depending on when i set them up. the SG is due.

Are your numbers right? Is that a typo?

That's around 1/64" is real speak (.016" to .024") and when you fret at the first fret...your string height drops even more!
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Unread 01-12-2013, 07:21 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Re: Les Paul string height

*Adjust the truss rod first, then:

E = 5/64 @ 12th fret
e = 4/64 @ 12th fret

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Unread 01-13-2013, 03:30 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Re: Les Paul string height

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wycked Lester View Post
these here Stewart MacDonald string height guages are the cats ass for adjusting the actions,... they come in metric and regular ole usa.. Highly Recommend.

http://i.imgur.com/aLAI1l.jpg

http://www.stewmac.com/product_image...n_Gauge_sm.jpg


Thanks Wycked.

That is a usefull piece of kit. Not just for guitars.
Must get me one, pronto!
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Unread 01-13-2013, 05:58 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Re: Les Paul string height

They are very helpful. I have the standard and metric versions
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