Ibanez TAM10 Setup

Discussion in 'Luthiery, Modifications & Customizations' started by Chris Bowsman, Apr 24, 2019.

  1. Chris Bowsman

    Chris Bowsman SS.org Regular

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    I've been setting up my 6s for a long time, but I'm about to tackle my first 27" 8 string. I do the 6s by feel, and honestly have no idea what any of the measurements are. However, I'd like some input as to how you guys like setting up your 8s.

    With a 6, I typically go for medium-highish action and NO buzzing. I'm not sure that's possible with a 27" scale and 10-80 strings (standard tuning), and I'd like to go for lower action since I don't intend to play any slide on the 8.

    Primarily, I'm interested to know how much relief you all like. Thanks!
     
  2. cardinal

    cardinal F# Dive Bomber

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    I think it's really personal preference.

    I prefer just the slightest amount of relief and set my action from there. I've gotten to the point where I don't measure relief. I just fret one of the middle strings at the first fret and at whatever fret the neck joins the body. Then look under the string around the 7th fret and want to just barely see space between the string and the fret. I lightly tap that string with a free finger on my left hand. I want to just barely hear/feel a click from the string moving and touching the fret. If the string doesn't move at all, that's not good (backbow), but I don't want any meaningful movement either.

    But I've been criticized for using absurdly low action and too little relief, so some folks apparently hate how I set up my guitars.
     
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  3. Chris Bowsman

    Chris Bowsman SS.org Regular

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    I keep wanting to go to lower action, but my right hand doesn’t seem to agree :)

    Thanks for the info. I’m currently a little under 2mm on the F# and 1 on the high E. Basically the same I’ve used on 6s, but maybe a little higher on the B and F#.
     
  4. guitaardvark

    guitaardvark SS.org Regular

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    I do a similar thing as Cardinal when I set my relief, but instead of tapping the string, I just eyeball it and make sure there's about enough room to fit a credit card between the string and fret. That seems to produce consistently buzz-free setups. From there, I set saddle height by slamming it, then raising it until I get a clear note without too much buzzing. I personally don't even measure and just go as low as possible on any given guitar.
     
  5. Deegatron

    Deegatron SS.org Regular

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    I start with a bit too much relief and action set too low (so the strings buzz a fair bit.)
    Then tighten the trussrod until the lowest string buzzes equally across all the frets (this will be VERY NEARLY flat on most guitars)
    Then raise the action on each string until the buzzing goes away.
    The quality of the fretwork really comes into play here. it's easy to see how a high/low fret would cause your action to be much higher than needed.
     
  6. failsafe

    failsafe SS.org Regular

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    That’s a lot of relief!
     
  7. guitaardvark

    guitaardvark SS.org Regular

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    It's about 3 inches, isn't that normal?
    Realistically I go with business card thickness, or basically as low as I can go without buzzing. CC thickness is just a starting reference.
     
  8. failsafe

    failsafe SS.org Regular

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    I go more like .008-.010 relief.
     
  9. Chris Bowsman

    Chris Bowsman SS.org Regular

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    I wound up around 10, there’s a little buzz, think I have a high fret somewhere higher on the neck.

    Raised the action back to where I’m comfortable (around 1.5mm on the high E, a little over 2mm on the B) and it feels pretty good.
     
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  10. Chris Bowsman

    Chris Bowsman SS.org Regular

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    Just realized I started this thread about the TAM10, but the above post was referring to my RG 7. Oops.

    Messed with the TAM10 this evening, started by adding a small shim to the neck pocket. I've been into this lately, and feel like both the RG and the TAM10 benefited from it. Increased break angle over the saddle maybe?

    It was definitely F'ed up before. The E, B, and F# ring out much more clearly, the F# and B sound very deep and piano-like. Can't wait to plug it in tomorrow.
     

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