Artisan Guitars String Height Gauge
Understanding the setup of your instrument is valuable to help appreciate how it can make playing more enjoyable. We meet allot of players who might have kept a great instrument in their collection, if they had only known how well it played with a proper setup.
Even if you are not brave enough to adjust a truss rod or lower a saddle, just like taking your car in for service, you should be knowledgeable enough to know what your guitar or mandolin needs if someone else is doing the work.
When a new instrument arrives in our shop, it is a matter of weeks until the wood settles in under the string tension, and will need a small adjustment to the truss rod to maintain factory string height. Of course there is a need for seasonal adjustments as well, brought on by weather changes (usually in the fall and spring). So - Neck movement under tension is normal, expect it!
Searching for the right tool to measure string height quickly and easily was a challenge. We wanted something that was accurate, yet not intimidating for the average player. It needed to be simple to understand and convenient to use. Our string height gauge is stamped from aluminum, about the size of a business card, and has all the common measurements used for setting up guitars and mandolins. This can demystify truss rod adjustments!
Our String Action Gauge fits in your case compartment, and makes it quick and easy to measure your string height. By resting the bottom edge of the card next to the Low and High strings at the 12th fret, you can read the action (string height) by viewing which measurement is aligned with the bottom of the string.
Most of our acoustic guitar builders use the same standard 3/32" on the Low E and High E, across the radius of the fingerboard (some use 3/32" on the Low E and 2/32" on the High E). Our resonator guitars are setup initially at 4/32" for playing slide, and our mandolins and most electric guitars at 2/32" - All measured at the 12th fret!