Basic Setup Kit Video

youtube rwBKnjAslmA


Dan Erlewine shows what's in the kit and what each tool is for.

Video Transcription

Dan Erlewine: To do a pro setup on an electric guitar or bass, or an acoustic guitar, there's three specialty tools that you need. One of them is an 18-inch straight edge that's ground accurately. Ours has a beveled edge, so it's very accurate and you can see a fine line. You need radius gauges to measure the fretboard radius so that you can match it at the bridge saddles. And you need an action gauge to set the string height at the 12th fret.

Precision Straightedge

The 18 inches is important [on-screen text reads: Created just for guitar work - StewMac Precision Straightedges] because it covers the entire length of a fretboard on a guitar, and the majority of an electric bass, the important part that you need to read.

Radius Gauges

You need radius gauges to check the fretboard radius and compare that to the bridge saddle radius. This is a 20-inch gauge there [on-screen text reads: Built for accurate adjustments - Understring Radius Gauges], and it's rocking. It's too flat. I'm going to guess that ia 12 will be more like it. You have eight different gauges in the set from seven and a quarter to 20. And that's what it is, a 12 right there.

Down at the bridge saddles, the 12 is the proper radius. It should be, because I set this up. And I check that by just pressing on the strings and seeing if it moves the gauge. You have the straight edge to get your frets level. You have the radius gauges to match the fretboard radius at the bridge saddles.

String Action Gauges

Then you need to set up the action with the action gauge. I do that at the 12th fret [on-screen text reads: Fast measurements for setups - StewMac String Action Gauge]. This gauge slides along the frets and it has a scale that goes from 10 thousandths to 140 thousandths, and you'll see the black line when it comes in. These strings are low. That's 50 thousandths at the 12th fret. That's a low action. A little bit higher on the bass side. A good straightedge, a set of radius gauges, and a string action gauge. That's your Basic Setup Kit.



Dan Erlewine

Guitar Repairman and Builder

Related items