We all want the same action Stevie Ray Vaughan had. I mean guitar action, string height, neck relief, fret level. Im talking the way the action on his guitar is set up.
Why would someone want a guitar setup like Stevie Rays? Well for one thing, he is one of the best blues guitar players that ever lived. A relatively close second to Jimi Hendrix.
Lenny, was one of Stevie Rays favorite guitars. Because I do some setup work and understand the specs Stevie Ray used for this particular guitar, I wanted to share the specifications with you. I reviewed a Lenny guitar, and boy oh boy is it setup nice.
Briefly, I love to do setup work, its very mechanical and precise and I enjoy setting up guitars for people and then hearing them say it never played like this before. I am not a guitar maker though, I am a setup artist.
Stevie Rays Lenny Setup specs:
Scale length 25-1/2 with a compounded 7-1/4 to 12 compound radius.
Frets are huge, .110 x .055 new.
Strings are GHS Nickel Rockers, super large gauge .
013 to .058. Must have had giant super human strength in his hands!
Nut action is .o20 on low E at nut and 3.5/32 at 17th fret.
On the high E the action is .012 at nut and 5/64 at 17th fret.
Simply put, these are the most critical points of adjustment.
Not the only ones, but combine the different adjustments in the proper order and you have a guitar set up like Stevie Ray. Realistically speaking, if you have the specs, than it can be setup up your way or to your favorite guitarists specs.
Personally I like an even lower action, or string height over the frets. As low as I can get it without fretting out. I came up with my own strategy from reading and trying setup adjustments from many players, such as Jeff Beck and Eric Johnson, to name a few.
I also craft a bone nut as a replacement nut for all of my guitars. It adds great tone for cheap.
With that being said, I dont recommend doing your own setup work. It is a job for a real craftsman. Especially if you have never done a setup or dont have the correct tools.
I would like to suggest trying it on a cheap guitar the first time. If not, for a perfect setup find a competent luthier and give him the setup specs that you want.
Hopefully, this article provides some depth to the fact that not all guitar players setup their guitars the same way.
Every person and style has a setup that works the best for them, even if you dont know it yet. Go practice your guitar now and see how much you really like its setup. Enjoy
About the Author (text)Daniel Lehrman former classical guitarist. I have had a passion for the electric guitar for many years now. I spend most of the day creating interesting content.