I routinely do my own setups on my electric guitars, but never did a full acoustic setup. I’ve adjusted the neck, and did fret leveling on an acoustic before, but never did the full setup (saddle)…until last week.
After absolutely loving my new PRS Lifeson acoustic, I came to realize that the action could definitely be lowered. I changed the strings from the stock 12s to Cleartone 10s. I did the neck adjustment, which made it much better, but the action still was a little high.
I put a capo on the first fret, and measured the distance from the strings to the 13th fret. I slackened all the strings, put a capo on the 12th fret and pilled the pins. Slid the saddle out. I then taped some 150 grit sandpaper and 320 sandpaper to my glass table. I figured I would need to sand that saddle down 1/2 the height of the difference between the actual string height, and the optimal, because we were measuring at 1/2 the distance to the bridge. I marked the bottom with a pencil to make sure I was sanding evenly, and marked the “goal” line on the bridge.
After a couple of very light passes on the 150 grit, I realized that it would need a little extra pressure. Always pushing away from me, I went 8 times, turned the bridge around and sanded the other way 8 times (to counter any possible unevenness in my sanding technique. I then moved it over to the 320 to smooth it out.
I realized that, in my haste, the “goal” line was no longer there. I might have sanded too much
The next step was to put the bridge in, and see if I needed to use the other bridge (the guitar came with 2). Thankfully, I got lucky, and the setup was now perfect. :rocks: :superhappy: It was lower than the original specs for a “guaranteed saddle height without buzzing.” Now this guitar plays better than ever. The action is perfect, without ANY buzzing at all.
Plugged it in, and the piezo works perfectly. I was worried about any imperfections in the bottom changing the volumes of any strings. Thankfully the bottom was sanded perfectly smooth.
Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. I got the job done, and learned to be extremely patient the next time.
I hope somebody learns from my experience. Take your time. I just got lucky, because of my haste.