Lowest Possible Action And Twang : Just Some Humble Ramblings

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by ZackyDog, Sep 30, 2020.

  1. Bertotti

    Bertotti Friend of Fred

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    I hate fret buzz so I go as low as I feel comfortable withouty fret buzz. A little higher doesn’t bother me. I never related height to twang.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2020
  2. emitex

    emitex Synchromatic

    Aug 21, 2014
    I like my action so low that, if possible, I'd run the strings under the frets.
    new6659, TSims1 and ZackyDog like this.
  3. MikeSchindler

    MikeSchindler Synchromatic

    Feb 3, 2014
    When we talk about action there is alot of factors to consider to attain the best playability . For example I bought a replacement gold bar bridge without the base that I bought from Sweetwater on my 6122-62 a couple years ago..due to playability issues with the original bridge and originally I posted that the newer bridge holes didn’t fit right on my original bridge studs causing movement sideways. It got me very frustrated because it caused intonation and tuning issues. I also used 10s on the guitar which is part of the issue in a way. I posted a while back that I got info that the bridge studs on new Gretsch guitars are a bit wider so this I thought was the reason since my bridge base was original and from 2005. The playability was an issue as was the tuning. I always had issues dialing it in.
    I got fed up and tried to purchase another aftermarket and infamous bar bridge but never got a reply so.. I ordered another bar bridge WITH base from Darren Riley.( who is fantastic and I got it delivered in about 4 days .I noticed :
    #1- the bridge has a perfect 12 radius which was measured
    #2 comparing bridge studs on new vs 2005 bridge exactly the same- base is also same. So the original idea of the studs being different is not accurate. But in saying this my 2005 original bar bridge hole diameter is smaller and the bottom of the bridge was honed flatter than the newer ones Much like a tru arc rock steady.. So Gretsch has changed their bar bridge immensely from 2005 including putting a better radius on it. That’s a fact.. my original bar bridge was a flatter radius ( about 16-18) and playability was not good hence the reason for a new bridge purchase later.
    #3. Gretsch really put a poor bar bridge on my guitar in 2oo5 . That should have never happened . It caused many issues of poor playability. The guitar build is wonderful and with a proper bridge on it it plays fantastically now!! Complete happiness

    This new one fits the studs on my older base a fraction better than the one I ordered from Sweetwater and with 11s on the guitar’s playability has DRAMATICALLY changed . I really don’t feel much of a difference in bending from the 10s which surprised me.The guitar is playing better than it ever had even from the factory ( I bought it new) The honed bridge holes on the last bar bridge from Sweetwater were hairs wider .. that was the issue. I should have sent it back but always thought the studs were to blame and I thought I should have bought a new base as well. Bottom line -when you buy parts be careful- many of them may be the same part but over the years changes have been made that could mess with the playability and specs of what your guitar needs to play great.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2020
  4. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Friend of Fred

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    In that video reffered to at the beginning of the thread with your man Setzer, he actually raised the action of the guitar he was trying, not lowered it. I remember seeing it a while back. TVJ has said the BS always raises his bridge after a setup cuz at standard height, the strings are too low for him.

    Anyway, for me it depends on the guitar I’m playing.
    I like both E’s at 1.5mm on my Falcon.
    On my 6120 I keep the bass E at 2mm and treble E at 1.5mm. That feels better on that neck and sounds better with the Ray Butts trons.
    On my Teles I like the bass side between 1.5-2mm and the treble side about 1.5mm. Depends on the guitar.

    nerdy nerd nerd nerd
    moltenmagna and jfassett like this.
  5. ZackyDog

    ZackyDog Friend of Fred

    Feb 6, 2015
    In the USA
    Interesting. If he raised the bridge in that video, maybe because the strings were resting on the fretboard? ;)

    Anyway, the sounds I am getting with the lowest possible action, are the sounds I have craved for years. I am getting more twang and jangle than I ever have before, and the guitar still sounds very much in tune.

    By the way, what have you done to yourself, mate?(!)

  6. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Friend of Fred

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    Haha nope, not me.
    This is a photo of Edward D. Wood Jr. He’s one of my favorite filmmakers.
    ZackyDog likes this.
  7. Robbie

    Robbie Friend of Fred

    Jun 17, 2013
    Sarnia Ontario Canada
    It has to be low for me. The lower the better.
    new6659 and ZackyDog like this.
  8. moltenmagna

    moltenmagna Electromatic

    Mar 5, 2009
    Hong Kong
    and I heard that Setzer may loosen the truss rod as well
    TV the Wired Turtle and ZackyDog like this.
  9. gtttrrr

    gtttrrr Country Gent

    Dec 7, 2011
    United States
    So the e and b exact same diameter strings?
    TV the Wired Turtle likes this.
  10. stiv

    stiv Country Gent

    Sep 12, 2014
    Florence, Italy
    I switched from 0.12 gauge to 0.11 (although I kept the high E as 0.12) and that’s a lot better for my fingers. I could play longer and actually bend some strings at the 2nd fret :). About lowering the action... didn’t do it yet. I got one big doubt... my Rally stays in tune with this Bigsby angle (and this strings height)... by lowering the bridge I would probably mess with the overall angle (decreasing it) and I wouldn’t want the strings to slide out of the roller when I pick them too hard. Also, who knows if the B6 would remain in tune as it does now.
    Big dilemma. :)
    ZackyDog likes this.
  11. Uncle Daddy

    Uncle Daddy Friend of Fred

    Jan 19, 2012
    Maldon UK
    When I only knew barre chords, I used to prefer a low action, to reduce tension I suppose. I never use them now I've learned the Hendrix chord and its variants, and don't mind a higher action. I hate bends that choke out, so higher works better for me, especially on a 9" neck
    ZackyDog likes this.
  12. TV the Wired Turtle

    TV the Wired Turtle Gretschified

    Jul 25, 2009
    so cal
    yes. feels a little diff at first but the response is so much better. I've always felt like my high E string responds more anemic than the rest and raising up pole screws,etc just makes it too bright, when all I want is a more balance attack in harmony w the other strings. I got the idea from a jump blues player that uses only ES-150 w either the CC or P90 pickup
    gtttrrr likes this.
  13. TV the Wired Turtle

    TV the Wired Turtle Gretschified

    Jul 25, 2009
    so cal
    Setzer likes to play bluezy even as an inherent jazzer, and Tom Jones has admitted that he himself loves nice low action. Tom is a classic rock head and there are pics of him in his bands back in the day, its full rock :) As a kid, nobody told me Jimmy Page used two fingers to bend notes, and I learned using one finger. My ring finger. All my dad's guitars had heavy strings so I would adjust the truss and bridge to get more flesh from my finger below the string to push it up. I wonder if that is the case for Setzer? He of course, started with actual articulate talent. I on the other hand have been cave man smashing peanuts w a sledge hammer my whole life :)
    calebaaron666 and KelvinS1965 like this.
  14. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Friend of Fred

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    Chmason85 likes this.
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