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Author Topic: Neck relief for an OM50?  (Read 870 times)
Daveyboy56
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« on: May 21, 2016, 04:55:07 PM »

Good day, I am new to the forum, and was wondering if anyone out there knows the recommended string height neck relief for an OM50? The overall action is good, and I'm just looking for a reference point from which to start my adjustments. Any input would be appreciated, or direct me to a oust that's already been made.

Cheers, Dave
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Dave from Cowtown

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« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2016, 06:18:34 PM »

I don't know the numbers but as a tech I've always set the relief for as little as possible without buzzing.Don't look down the neck to see the best way is to press down with one hand at the first fret then with the other hand press down at the end of the finger board.Looking at the neck from the low "E" side extend your thumb as see how much bunch or movement if its a lot tighten the rod until you have minimum of bunch.Take your time and don't turn the rod too much just enough to feel it snug up.



 
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« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2016, 09:17:03 PM »

I think most setup guidelines say .01", but I find that to be pretty heavy.  I capo at the 2nd and hold the string down at the 15th and go as low as possible.  If it buzzes, I back off 1/8 turn, and repeat until it no longer buzzes with heavy playing.

Ed
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Daveyboy56
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« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2016, 10:25:55 PM »

Thanks for the responses, guys. The common thread was 'go slow' and make minor adjustments. My OM50 seemed just a bit too low so I loosened the truss rod about an 1/8 of a turn and it seems to ring much better now.
Much obliged!
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Dave from Cowtown

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« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2016, 06:54:04 AM »

I'm a measurement guy, so I tend to use accurate measuring tools and actual measurements when doing setups.  Assuming that's what your are looking for, here is my two cents:

On most good guitars with correct geometry, and straight necks:

- I adjust the height at the saddle so there is 5 to 5.5 64ths inch between the bottom of the bass E string and the top of the 12th fret, and about 4 to 4.5 64ths between the treble e string and the 12th fret.  Each string from bass E to treble e is ever-so-slightly lower.  I use a ruler graduated in 64ths to measure this.

- I adjust the nut slots so there is about .018" of space between the bottom of the bass E string and the 1st fret, lowering that height, string-to-string, to end up at around .010" between the treble e string and the first fret.  I use feeler gauges for this procedure.  This is not exact.  The goal is to graduate down by about 2 thousands from one string to the next, and not have any string buzz when played hard open.

- Finally, I loosen the truss rod to the point of some slight buzzing, then tighten it until the buzzing goes away.  Something very important to remember is that the ideal truss rod adjustment will vary with the chosen string gauge.  In most cases, regardless of string gauge, I've found that .004" is the lowest relief measurement I could achieve, given my method of doing things.  More often, .006" to .008" is the final result.

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« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2016, 12:12:32 PM »

I'm a measurement guy, so I tend to use accurate measuring tools and actual measurements when doing setups.  Assuming that's what your are looking for, here is my two cents:

On most good guitars with correct geometry, and straight necks:

- I adjust the height at the saddle so there is 5 to 5.5 64ths inch between the bottom of the bass E string and the top of the 12th fret, and about 4 to 4.5 64ths between the treble e string and the 12th fret.  Each string from bass E to treble e is ever-so-slightly lower.  I use a ruler graduated in 64ths to measure this.

- I adjust the nut slots so there is about .018" of space between the bottom of the bass E string and the 1st fret, lowering that height, string-to-string, to end up at around .010" between the treble e string and the first fret.  I use feeler gauges for this procedure.  This is not exact.  The goal is to graduate down by about 2 thousands from one string to the next, and not have any string buzz when played hard open.

- Finally, I loosen the truss rod to the point of some slight buzzing, then tighten it until the buzzing goes away.  Something very important to remember is that the ideal truss rod adjustment will vary with the chosen string gauge.  In most cases, regardless of string gauge, I've found that .004" is the lowest relief measurement I could achieve, given my method of doing things.  More often, .006" to .008" is the final result.



I agree wih Kurt, measure everything as accurately as you can.  I use gauges that measure in thousandths of an inch for everything.  I also have a slotted relief rule that helps check relief with the strings open.  I use a flashlight to see the gap under the strings at the fretboard.  .004-.008 or so is what I consider to be the minimum neck relief.  Sometimes the bridge and nut heights will dictate what you have to do, especially if they are lower than they need to be.  Be careful with string changes, some guitar necks will back bow if you lighten the string gauge too much.  My two cents...
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« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2016, 01:53:16 PM »

This is great input, and much appreciated, Kurt and George. I too prefer to take measurements and have been acquiring some gauges and tools from Stewmac as I build my workbench kit and body of knowledge of guitar set up and repair. I'm also very tactile in my assessment of how a given instrument is supposed to 'feel' and I've noticed that good measurement correlates with good feel! I've been using a feeler gauge and for this OM50, and a relief height of .25 mm. at the 8th fret is just about perfect. (Measured with the low E string depressed at the 1st and 15th frets) I played some tunes for friends that came for dinner last night and the guitar sounded and felt great after the truss adjustment; no buzz and very comfortable action. I will take a few minutes to measure the string height and will post those findings later today.

I use Elixir lights (.012) on my 2 Larrivees; the next test will be to experiment with my new D28 Custom Shop. It has been set up for mediums. While I do like the bigger, full bodied Martin sound (vs the balanced Larrivee sound) it will be interesting to try out some lights as I do find that my 59 year old hands get a wee bit tired after an hour session especially when playing finger style. Stay tuned, and thanks again for the feedback!
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Dave from Cowtown

2001 L09
2012 OM50E
1953 Martin O-15 (My Dad's original guitar)
2014 Martin D-28 Custom Shop Cocobolo
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