Strat Setup for EJ style runs

With setting up strat for EJ style runs should we expect fret buzz due to low action and no neck relief?
here’s what my set up looks like.

12 inch radius Pau Ferro Fretboard
No relief neck (strings get buzzy here)
4 tremolo springs at the back 3 on bass side
10 guage strings

i know i can do the runs if the set up is just right.

I don’t own a strat, but I have always used a low action and accepted buzz unless it comes through the amp… :blush:

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You can do it whatever way you feel more comfortable but as far as I can see EJ’e action is pretty high so you’ll struggle to get at least part of his iconic tone with low action.

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Two highly EJ-qualified people around here are @Peter_C and @nitro1976, maybe they got some tips on the matter :slight_smile:


You definitely want SOME neck relief. Not a lot, but if you fret the top fret and the first fret, I’d suggest at least a half mm at the 12th. A guitar string forms an arc, not a straight line, while vibrating, so if you don’t allow some relief, you’re choking the string.

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I have the neck set with zero relief — dead straight (so does EJ).

My string action is close to what Fender recommends. If you put a capo on the first fret, the action at the 12th fret is around 1.75mm. I use a Strat, 10s and the radius is 9.5”. There’s no buzzing/string choking and the bends sustain as long as you want them to.

A lower action without compromising the sound is possible if you have the nut filed to the ideal height and have relatively tall frets.

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