Project Guitar Kit SG Style – Part 3: Stringing and Setup

On to the third part of how I built an electric guitar. Now that the assembly is done, the stringing is next to make a playable instrument. Stringing itself is nothing special so far for someone already playing guitars regularly. Nevertheless, with the strings that came with the kit I made a really ambarassing mistake: By setting my tuning device in a wrong pitch somehow, I tried to tune the lower strings that high, that the d-string broke and the e- and a-strings were under pretty high tension.

Happy with the string height and overall playability.

In the end: Happy with the string height and overall playability.

Not spotting my mistake I tried different solutions to shorten the overall string length and tension: minimizing the height difference of bridge saddle and tailpiece and adjusting the neck relief. After killing a second d-string from the string set I bought to replace the kit’s strings and even a third one I still had available I set up one leftover g-string in place of the d one. That was the time I noticed the wrong pitch and thus the over-tensioned strings. I even bought two sets of .008 to .038 strings to give thinner ones a try as a possible solution.

Final setup gives acceptable tension and disables buzzing.

Final setup gives acceptable tension and minimal buzzing.

After having a working tuning with a complete set of strings I continued setting up the guitar. With these really thin strings I increased the tension by setting a bigger difference between saddle and tailpiece. The final setup of neck and saddle height went pretty easy. The intonation was already pretty good with the out-of-the-box setup of the saddle. Only minimal adjustments were neccessary.

With the strings attached, the adjustment of the neck is the first step for a good sound and usability.

With the strings attached, the adjustment of the neck is the first step for a good sound and usability.

The final sound is pretty good. For now I will keep the thin strings that are quite easy to bend. In the next and final part I will report about the sound of the guitar including some sound examples and give you a summary of the result.

Ready to rock.

Ready to rock.

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