Higher action more gooder?

I wanted to put this in the right spot but not sure where it falls.

I have been struggling with a specific drill forever, it is very hit or miss.
I also set my action super low but had to raise it to stop buzzing last night.

Coincidentally? that drill feels great comparatively speaking.
Could the action have this big of an effect?

1 Like

I personally like at least medium action. Super low doesn’t sound good to my ears even if you’re “not getting buzz” – because buzz is not binary! So I’d say that makes sense. The tone you’re getting might just be better.

1 Like

There is such a thing as action that’s too low.

The feel goes away. Especially if your using light strings.


Yeah, my approach is to crank up the action until the tone is acceptable to me. Generally this makes for action that bedroom shredders would cry at, because I hate the sound and feel of fret rattle.


I used to have mid-high action but with my hand issues, I have it just about as low as it can be and still be able to bend now. It makes me play very light, which is helpful. If I dig in at all with either hand, I know it immediately.

1 Like

I like my action higher than factory spec because I want notes to ring clear and I don’t like the string slipping under my fingers while bending. Eventually there’s a point where the law of diminishing returns sets in and it feels like you’re walking through 3 feet of snow . . .


My action isn’t particularly low, but, if I try wide vibrato on the high E string, I end up hitting off the G string and even though it’s muted, it’s very audible. I assume slightly higher action would solve this…?


I play a lot of slide, so I have no choice but to raise my action higher than I probably otherwise would, but I wouldn’t say it’s so high that it keeps me from play as fast as I’d like. If I had to choose between the slide and overall playability of the instrument, I’d chuck the slide.

1 Like

Just an update, when working on new tech I tend to switch picks back and forth until the tech is pretty decent. Eventually any pick will work more or less.

It appears action might be like this also for me.

I can take a little bit of fret buzz as long as it doesn’t really carry through the amp. But, for tone, there’s a definite sweet spot. For me it’s in the way notes “bloom” - below a certain level decay tends to be a little more compressed whereas when it comes up just past that, notes swell a little as they sustain.

For me I try to find the sweet spot between where that compressed response isn’t happening, but legato still feels pretty smooth and I don’t feel like I’m really fighting. In practice, that string height is “always a quarter turn of the stud from where I am right now,” so I basically just go slowly insane. :rofl:

1 Like

I used to run into this when my fretting fingers were more parallel with the frets, one string would touch the next and it was audible. Now my fingers are more perpendicular and the fingertip mutes the adjacent strings.

1 Like

Lately I find having a proper radius more critical, though I’ve been on stupid high action for a while now, I prefer the feel, I guess I’m just used to it by now, on my LP type I have high action without scallops with 11-48, it feels great.

1 Like

There’s a luthier on Youtube named FuduaTV and his work is amazing, and his tutorials on all things strat are mind-blowing.

He explains that playing comfort does not come from string height rather than the pairing of a properly adjusted truss rod with a properly installed nut, and as long as those two elements are sorted, the string action becomes just a matter of taste and tone with minimal impact on the “feel” of the guitar.

I decided to give this approach a try and am inclined to think FruduaTV is spot on. For instance, I’ve always struggled with heavier strings, damn, I even struggled with 9s :rofl:, but since I’ve setup my guitars FuduaTV style, I’ve even switched to 10 gauge on all my guitars because the 9’s started feeling like spaghetti and I don’t like that.


That sentence though :smiley:

I recently started swapping out my nuts for roller nuts and none fit correctly and there is limited shim area.

I think I can feel what you and dude mean.

I need to get a little more specific with the nut

Now see…I’m the opposite. That’s the least critical for me.

For the most part, I don’t care what the radius is. The back of the neck and transition to the front can turn me off instantly. Neck width is also something I notice. When Gibson added width to their 100th anniversary guitars, it seems subtle but that extra 16th or whatever ruined them for me. I could tolerate the other nonsense. The neck width killed those guitars for me.

But I can go from a 7.25" to a 9.5" to whatever else. I never seem to notice.

I see what you mean, I’m ok with any radius, but what I was alluding to was that the height must be set correctly on each saddle, I noticed after a long break from playing one or more of my saddles on my YJM strat were out of alignment along the radius arch, that was throwing my picking off.

And I agree with you about neck widths, I my case I don’t like excessive space beyond the E strings, one of the reasons I love the YJM, hardly has any, though a lot of folk find that to be extreme. I have short stubby fingers and the neck over thumb business needs to be accessible, scallops really such shenanigans, including improved reach on the higher E string over more frets.

How has this worked out for you? I have my two old strats in the shop for refret work, and both are getting LSR nuts, I’m really curious to hear how they helped you after the swap. From what you say about the shims is that due to the way they are installed, you have the option to use the shims to adjust the heights if needed? Also did you find they provide better tuning stability?

I have vintage tuners on both those guitars and I only use two wraps around the post so I’m hoping it works out well, I somehow don’t like the mass of locking tuners, unless they’re that vintage looking kluson type I had on a grosh, I have no good reason to say that though.

The shims come with the kit but not enough for my situation. I only shimmed in the middle and They definitely don’t look stock with the big gaps on the end. If you have a pro doing the work you should be happy. I love my last fender, it stays tuned pretty much better than expected.

It is super thick and heavy compared to my other guitars and that helps keep temperatures from moving the wood as rapidly I think.

On the thin guitars it literally seems that once I warm the neck and body I start chasing the tuning.

But roller nut and the locking tuners I love.
They are just simple and they work.

One thing to watch for is they have little metal prongs that hold the balls in place. Let’s say you smash the guitar across your ole lady’s head for talking while you tune up or whatever. Those prongs could get snagged in her hair and bend

Next time you are changing the string, the ball will fall out and probably the cops will be bothering you at the same time. Keep an eye on that.

1 Like

As a stratist myself, that’s super interesting, will have to check out. Thanks for the tip!

1 Like