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Setting the Action on a Strat.

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At the Fender web site they recommend the Action should be 1.6mm on the 17th fret but do you place a capo on the first fret or leave it off to get this measurment?

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This should be in Guitar Tech sub-forum. But to answer your question; you do not put the capo on the 1st fret when checking action. You do that only when checking neck relief.

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searching the net I have found some that say to use a capo and others don't mention it. I wish I knew for sure.

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I already told you, you don't put the capo on it when checking action. Think about it logically for a minute. Why would it matter what the height of the string is at the 17th fret while pressing down the 1st fret? I don't believe anyone has a 16 fret stretch. I can pull off 7, and I don't know anyone who can pull off a longer stretch personally.

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I already told you, you don't put the capo on it when checking action. Think about it logically for a minute. Why would it matter what the height of the string is at the 17th fret while pressing down the 1st fret? I don't believe anyone has a 16 fret stretch. I can pull off 7, and I don't know anyone who can pull off a longer stretch personally.

Someone else told me they say to put it on in the Dan Erlewine book "How To Make Your Electric Guitar Play Great.

It is also mentioned here.

Stratocaster construction

3.4 Action

Action is very much determined by your own preference - more than the other measurements.

It is measured with the capo still at fret 1 and you look at the string height between fret 17 and underside of string. A good start is 1.5 mm for E6 and slightly less for E1. Thicker strings need more space.

Take it from there. Adjust by raising or lowering the saddles using the small Allen hex screws.

I am not saying your wrong because I honestly don't know but the question is why do these people say to put a capo on it?

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You might want to refer to the actual, genuine Fender Stratocaster Setup Guide on Fender's home page.

They recommend using a capo on the first fret when checking neck relief (depressing string at the last fret and checking string gap at the eighth fret.) For measuring the action, they recommend measuring string height at the 17th fret - no capo.

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Think of it this way, The neck is a bow and the strings are where the arrows go. The bridge and nut could be considered artificial extensions attached to each end of the bow. The capo at the first fret negates that added height as does fretting the strings higher up the neck, The gives you a true reading of exactly how high the strings are from the neck. You measure from the middle of the bow since that is the point where the strings will be highest. Make sense!

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Think of it this way, The neck is a bow and the strings are where the arrows go. The bridge and nut could be considered artificial extensions attached to each end of the bow. The capo at the first fret negates that added height as does fretting the strings higher up the neck, The gives you a true reading of exactly how high the strings are from the neck. You measure from the middle of the bow since that is the point where the strings will be highest. Make sense!

Hi Allthumbs,

Are you talking about measuring neck relief or setting string height (Action)? Sounds like you are talking about neck relief to me.

My question is about setting the Action with or without a capo.

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You might want to refer to the actual, genuine Fender Stratocaster Setup Guide on Fender's home page.

They recommend using a capo on the first fret when checking neck relief (depressing string at the last fret and checking string gap at the eighth fret.) For measuring the action, they recommend measuring string height at the 17th fret - no capo.

Yeah I saw and I will do it that way. Thanks

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Luthier technicians will use a capo on the first fret to take the nut height out of the equation. This will make the string slightly lower while measuring. If you decide to use a capo, then you should remember to use a capo every time you decide to check your measurements. 

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