Action

Discussions of every Fly in every variation including Deluxe, Classic, Mojo, Artist, Supreme, Stealth, Concert/Bronze, and custom Flys
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rsdio
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Action

Post by rsdio »

The Handbook says .070" for the Low E and .050" for the High E, so I purchased a gauge and did a little reading. Wikipedia says .090" to .060" while this Dunlop String Action Gauge suggest .060" and .040" for electric guitar. I started out as a teenager adjusting action by instinct, then just had Mike Lull set up any new guitar while he was still around. Now I'm wondering whether there's any reason for the Parker Fly action to be higher or lower than the average electric ... or is this primarily up to personal taste?

Sorry that this is more of a general guitar setup question, but I am interested to learn whether the Parker Fly design prefers slightly different action. I suppose I could just trust the handbook, but thought I'd ask here for opinions.
Fly Deluxe '97, Fly Supreme '98
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vjmanzo
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Re: Action

Post by vjmanzo »

I have a very light attack while playing, and I like my action super-low; if I could somehow have the strings inside of the frets, I’d have them there!! :lol:

You can set the action quite low on a Fly, and I have most of mine set with D’Addario 10s to a little lower than 4/64” at the 24th fret, neck relief at .012”, and the string height at the nut when pressing the 3rd fret at .010”. At that height, if you have a heavy attack, you may have issues at that action, but the guitar will definitely handle it. I have two Flys setup in low B standard tuning with 13s and the action is about the same.

FWIW—I work with two techs in the northeast: Eddie Hulse in NJ (near NYC), and Patrick Cummings in NY.

Hope this helps!
mmmguitar
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Re: Action

Post by mmmguitar »

Some thoughts:

Like VJ, I lean toward setting action lower than what would be considered sensible (I’ve bought, sold, then bought a Vigier Shawn Lane just to keep that itch scratched). So here are some Fly-specific tips, combined with what I’ve found works:

- I’d say the Fly was “intended” to demonstrate a dramatically lower action than what one would have typically found on competing brands’ guitars in the early 1990s. I use “intended” in quotes because, as with any modern guitar, the Fly has a range of adjustment to accommodate any player’s preferences.

Adrian Belew, for example, has that old-school preference for higher action (with a 9-42 set) that is a bit higher than what his signature Flys typically shipped with - And certainly nowhere near as low as could be achieved with just a few turns of the two bolts. He sometimes plays slide with it, if that’s any indication. Of the four Flys I’ve owned, two had flawless factory fretwork - You could lower the strings until they practically sat on the frets, if that was your preference. My two current Flys (having ostensibly been passed around as beaters) required some leveling, and their action is set a hair higher than I could get away with for the sake of improving synth tracking.

- Ken designed the Fly’s conical (10-13”) fret radius and relatively-wide string spacing around replicating the consistent action he believed could only be achieved through fall-away leveling on a typical (constant-radius) guitar. He referred to this in an interview as “the ideal fret job.” I’m of the opinion that the pursuit of this ideal is why the Fly is “intended” to have the string height set with zero relief in the neck. Curiously, I’ve found you can accidentally set a bit of backbow into the neck of a Fly and not get buzzing in the first few frets. This surprised me, because the factory nut height on Flys is lower than the “one size fits better safe than sorry” nuts you still see on even the most expensive factory guitars.

- I have also come to hold the opinion that the Fly is intended to have action a bit higher than the lowest achievable, due to the limited range of pickup height adjustment, sensitivity of the piezo elements, and Fender-into-Gibson radius that causes fret-out if you try to set the strings as low as you would on a 15.75” shredder. Note that fret shape and height specs began to vary on Flys post-USM acquisition; and that this disparity between two Flys will make one seem easier to play than the other, according to the player’s preference.

- My own string height preferences have come around to accepting this fact: Strings move elliptically - they want to strike the top of the fret and rattle or buzz. A way one can minimize the chance of the flailing string coming into contact with a fret-top is to concentrate its range of movement Into a smaller area. Other than controlling our pick attack, we accomplish this by increasing the tension the string is under. This can be achieved by tuning the string to a higher pitch, increasing the scale length, or increasing the diameter of the wrap (gauge). Obviously, using heavier strings is the easier mod.

All things being equal, this means that 10s have a lower achievable action than 9s. This is why the strings on my lowest-action guitar are gauged 10.5-50, and the guitar with the highest action is 8-38 (both tuned to standard). The heavier strings will be tougher to bend, but that’s the concession from one end of the scale to the other: Everything on a guitar is subtractive; and you concede what you’re willing to, to preserve what you’re not. Obviously, there are diminishing returns (I’m not hunting down a 12-spring for the lowest action on a Fly any more than I’m using a .007 high e to be able to bend up a minor 6th with my pinky).
Summary of the current Parker Guitars market: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greater_fool_theory
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vjmanzo
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Re: Action

Post by vjmanzo »

Great thoughts, @mmmguitar! Thanks for the well-articulated post!
Gregsaab
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Re: Action

Post by Gregsaab »

vjmanzo wrote: Mon Jun 01, 2020 12:20 am …than 4/64” at the 24th fret, neck relief at .012”, and the string height…

For the 24th fret measurement, is this on the low E & is that with first fret depressed?

When measuring neck relief - what frets are you using?
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vjmanzo
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Re: Action

Post by vjmanzo »

Yes to low E and, I’d have to double-check with Patrick, my tech, but IIR that’s all holding the 3rd fret.
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Re: Action

Post by Gregsaab »

vjmanzo wrote: Sat Apr 23, 2022 10:46 am Yes to low E and, I’d have to double-check with Patrick, my tech, but IIR that’s all holding the 3rd fret.
Holding the 3rd fret - what is the higher fret being pushed? And what fret is being used to take measurement?
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vjmanzo
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Re: Action

Post by vjmanzo »

I misspoke in my previous post. Here’s the summary of my preferred setup laid out a little clearer:

With D’Addario 010’s:
-the action* is set to a little lower than 4/64” at the 24th fret
-the neck relief** at .012”
-the string height at the nut is .010” when pressing the 3rd fret

*The 4/64” action height is the open string height.

**Neck relief is measured with a straight edge or by pressing the first and last fret and the relief is the middle point between the first and last fret

#Setup
Gregsaab
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Re: Action

Post by Gregsaab »

vjmanzo wrote: Sat Apr 23, 2022 11:10 am **Neck relief is measured with a straight edge or by pressing the first and last fret and the relief is the middle point between the first and last fret
So 1 & 24 held and measure @ 12?
.012mm is exactly twice what the standard recommended ‘electric guitar’ relief. Where did you get that measurement? Is that what Patrick recommended?
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vjmanzo
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Re: Action

Post by vjmanzo »

Yes, that’s an exact quote from an email Patrick sent me a few years back—give him a shout if you’d like and mention that you know V.J. Manzo: sales@iguitarworkshop.com +1 (845) 809-5347

Patrick LOVES to talk about his work, and I’m sure he’d be happy to chat with you about a proper Fly setup.

.012” not mm.
Gregsaab
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Re: Action

Post by Gregsaab »

Thank you, I will reach out to him!
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