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What are the factory set up specs for my 2004 Artist CW? I purchased this used from a jazz player and the action is very high. Also, I think he changed the saddle but I have ordered a new one.
Thanks for your help. I am a beginner and want a low action etc...


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Make sure you read up on "how to do it" if you want to try setting up your own action.

A few gauges and a magnifiying lens will help you also.  It is not hard to do (and do right), but one should resarch what "makes it tick".

I know enough about it to take it to a professional...I used to do my own until I found out how wrong I was.


Take a look at this article from a back issue of Acoustic Guitar Magazine ...

How high is high, and how low is low? If the action at the 12th fret is about .095 and the neck relief is around .005, those are good settings for the beginning player.

The first thing you need to do is check the neck relief. This is done by capoing the first fret, holding the low E string down at the 14th fret, and measuring the height of the string at the 8th fret. Depending on your style of play (if you're a true beginner, you don't have one yet) the relief should be .003-.005 (according to the Stuart MacDonald site). Other sources say up to .010-.015 if you're a fingerstyle player or aggressive flatpicker. If you're not in that ballpark, do a truss rod adjustment.

Now remove the capo and check the action at the 12th fret. The low E should be around .095 to the bottom of the string. If it's too high, you can shave down the saddle to lower it. If you're .010 too high in action, take .020 off the saddle. The whole process is covered in great detail in a book by John LeVan called FAQ: Acoustic Guitar Care and Setup by Mel Bay Publications.


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