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What action do you suggest for a flamenco?   You are logged in as Guest
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LBrandt

 

Posts: 46
Joined: Jun. 7 2011
 

What action do you suggest for a fla... 

Hello,

I know that most of you may say that action height is a personal preference, and that it depends on the particular guitar, etc., but nevertheless, I'd like to know what action (in mm) most of you have on your flamenco guitars (6th string, 12th fret).

Thanks,
Louis
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 29 2012 22:23:58
 
itoprover

Posts: 339
Joined: Jan. 3 2006
From: Ottawa, ON

RE: What action do you suggest for a... (in reply to LBrandt

anywhere from 2.8 mm to 3.2 mm between the bottom of the 6th string and top of the 12th fret - higher or lower than that would be kinda extreme for flamenco to my personal taste

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Ilia
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 29 2012 23:21:15
 
kudo

Posts: 2064
Joined: Sep. 3 2009
 

RE: What action do you suggest for a... (in reply to LBrandt

I agree with itoprover
but at the end its come down to personal comfort and preference, I have a friend who tried Diego del Morao's conde guitar during a workshop a few months ago. he said it was a high action, high tension strings.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 1 2012 0:01:54

ToddK

 

Posts: 2960
Joined: Dec. 6 2004
 

RE: What action do you suggest for a... (in reply to LBrandt

yeah, low action may not work well for a very heavy handed player.

I think it needs to be low enough so that when you play your hardest
strumming, it should buzz a bit in the basses.

If you're not buzzing, you're playing classical!! LOL

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 1 2012 2:14:13
Guest

[Deleted] (in reply to LBrandt

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 1 2012 4:05:56
 
JuanDaBomb

Posts: 189
Joined: May 18 2011
 

RE: What action do you suggest for a... (in reply to LBrandt

I feel my preference is between 2.6-2.8mm 12 fret 6th string, with 3.0mm max. I also feel buzzing is more a function of the quality of the fret leveling and fretboard relief, and really not so much a function of the action as a number. This is what I've noticed on my guitars, from the more meticulous builders versus the less meticulous ones. But yea, 2.6-2.8 for me.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 1 2012 4:41:58
 
Sean

Posts: 672
Joined: Jan. 20 2011
From: Canada

RE: What action do you suggest for a... (in reply to LBrandt

A guitar with a soft pulsation won't tolerate as low an action as a stiffer guitar will no matter how good the fret work is

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 1 2012 16:01:30
 
Anders Eliasson

Posts: 5780
Joined: Oct. 18 2006
 

RE: What action do you suggest for a... (in reply to LBrandt

quote:

I have a friend who tried Diego del Morao's conde guitar during a workshop a few months ago. he said it was a high action, high tension strings.


A lot of pro flamenco players use high tension and a setup with slightly more than 3mm.
They play hard and often in noisy situations, so if the setup is lower, to much noise and rattle when they enter top gear.
I personally prefer a bit below 3mm. But I´m also an amateur with an amateur pulsation

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 1 2012 16:26:37
 
Florian

Posts: 9240
Joined: Jul. 14 2003
From: Adelaide/Australia

RE: What action do you suggest for a... (in reply to LBrandt

i tend to become a little more heavy handed playing in front of people for gigs due to nerves so i like between medium and hard tension, ive no idea of the measurements

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Rest In Peace Ron, I will never ever forget you my friend.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 1 2012 16:36:46
 
at_leo_87

Posts: 3055
Joined: Aug. 30 2008
From: Boston, MA, U.S.A

RE: What action do you suggest for a... (in reply to ToddK

quote:

If you're not buzzing, you're playing classical!! LOL


ole!

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 2 2012 4:38:17
 
Ricardo

Posts: 13399
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: What action do you suggest for a... (in reply to LBrandt

I prefer a lower action easy feel guitar for strictly accompanying....and a stiffer higher action for playing solo concerts. Strumming chords requires more snap....and controlling dynamics with delicate melodies requires more resitance especially in the trebles. When strong players use easy action guitars to play arps and scales, the snapping can be so bad it sounds like a banjo....but for just strumming it always sounds good. A stiff guitar might be too muddy for rasgueados too. But the ideal set up is somewhere between these two worlds.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 2 2012 17:19:12
 
Anders Eliasson

Posts: 5780
Joined: Oct. 18 2006
 

RE: What action do you suggest for a... (in reply to LBrandt

Ricardo. The very low setups are sometimes callled Arreglo pa´l baile. Simply because as you said, the snap of the rasgueados sound better with a low setup.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 2 2012 18:59:55
 
britguy

Posts: 712
Joined: Dec. 26 2010
From: Ontario, Canada

RE: What action do you suggest for a... (in reply to JuanDaBomb

quote:

I also feel buzzing is more a function of the quality of the fret leveling and fretboard relief, and really not so much a function of the action


Wouldn't the string tension also be an important factor here? (L/T = more buzz, etc. ) Or is that too simplistic. . .


"guitar with a soft pulsation won't tolerate as low an action as a stiffer guitar"

What exactly is a "stiff" guitar???

Always curious. . . .

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Fruit farmer, Ontario, Canada
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 3 2012 13:45:06
 
El Polaco

Posts: 155
Joined: Sep. 29 2005
From: Singer Island - Florida

RE: What action do you suggest for a... (in reply to britguy

PDL also says that he doesn't really like playing his "stage" guitar off stage because it is too stiff to play when he is relaxed.
Like Florian said, the bit of nerves/anxiety that comes with getting on a stage causes one to play stronger. Even for Paco after all these years! He likes those old responsive Faustino "Blancas" which he has a bunch of when composing etc...
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 3 2012 15:30:15

lohan

 

Posts: 56
Joined: Nov. 29 2020
 

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 27 2021 20:33:32
 
ernandez R

Posts: 553
Joined: Mar. 25 2019
From: Alaska USA

RE: What action do you suggest for a... (in reply to ToddK

quote:

ORIGINAL: ToddK


If you're not buzzing, you're playing classical!! LOL



Good thing I didn't have any coffee or wine while I read this would have been all over my iDevice.

I buzz here and there playing anything, classical, blues, country, and Flamenco ;)

Might have to steal this line for my signature.

HR

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I prefer my flamenco guitar spicy,
doesn't have to be fast,
should have some meat on the bones,
can be raw or well done,
as long as it doesn't sound like it's turning green on an elevator floor.

www.instagram.com/threeriversguitars
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 28 2021 8:13:34

lohan

Posts: 56
Joined: Nov. 29 2020
 

RE: What action do you suggest for a... (in reply to LBrandt

Hi..
A Guitar with
String height 12th fret
3.1 mm

Saddle height
8.6 mm

is good for Flamenco? and its structure is balanced enough?

Is it a bad idea if I buy this guitar, then I myself lower its action? or usually its action should be low before buying the guitar?

Thanks
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 28 2021 8:54:01
 
agujetas

 

Posts: 60
Joined: Mar. 9 2021
 

RE: What action do you suggest for a... (in reply to lohan

For me it would be within the acceptable range but if you like a very low action it may be a bit high. Whether it can be lowered depends on the guitar. Is it a new guitar?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 28 2021 12:36:53

lohan

Posts: 56
Joined: Nov. 29 2020
 

RE: What action do you suggest for a... (in reply to agujetas

Hi. Thank You so much for your reply..
It is a used guitar built on 5 years ago. But I guess it is not used and even its action is original without changing.. it is a used guitar but with excellent conditions, it is like a new one.
I can lower its action to reach to
String height 12th fret
2.5 mm

Saddle height
8.0 mm

and it is very ideal..

But my question is that: Does Luthiers build flamenco guitar with relatively high tension and then the customer should lower the action?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 28 2021 13:03:54
 
Echi

 

Posts: 975
Joined: Jan. 11 2013
 

RE: What action do you suggest for a... (in reply to LBrandt

It’s just perfect.
3.1 mm is perfectly acceptable as I doubt you could distinguish it from 3 mm action.
Anyway, a lower saddle, let say 8 mm will bring your action down to 2.8 mm if desired.
If you would bring your saddle down to 7.5 mm you will get an action of 2.6 mm.
The moral is that your neck angle is perfect for a flamenco guitar and you don’t have to worry about it but just to find your preferred action- strings combination.
Re: the set up, you can notice here above that Anders wrote that many pro-players in Spain are accustomed to action a hair above to 3 mm, while other people prefer a hair under 3 mm, so it’s just a matter of taste.
Also consider than too low an action is often just a matter of marketing.
Btw a famous internet shop claimed the action of a certain guitar was 2.6 mm and instead it was 2.9 mm. When I asked the reason they told me they have not a precise micrometer but just a normal ruler....
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 28 2021 14:31:13
 
Ricardo

Posts: 13399
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: What action do you suggest for a... (in reply to lohan

It sometimes the case that a dealer, not builder, will use harder tension or higher action because it makes the guitar louder to the customers ear. There is always a danger that lower tension or action will make a guitar sound dead and buzzy after purchase. The measurements you gave sound fine. What is bad set up threshold is 2.5 mm or less at 12, and 10mm at bridge. That is too classical of a neck angle. On the other end, 4mm at 12 and 6.5mm or less at the bridge is a problem often occurring to flamenco set ups where the original was good but over time the neck bent forward more or the top sunk in near the soundhole. So I accept guitars to be within those parameters to be ok. Goldilocks is 3mm at 12 and 7mm at bridge.

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www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 28 2021 14:31:39
 
zendalex

Posts: 123
Joined: Sep. 4 2010
From: New York area

RE: What action do you suggest for a... (in reply to LBrandt

I have 3 guitars and experimented with medium action on all of them. This way or another all were eventually buzzing for me, either due to winter humidity or b/c I play too hard, I dont know. At this point only hard tensions for me. Also yes you have to use more force going through the string but then it bounces you back easier. I think at some point Grisha also made this point - playing on low tension strings is like running on sand. That is exactly how I feel too.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 28 2021 14:50:25

lohan

Posts: 56
Joined: Nov. 29 2020
 

RE: What action do you suggest for a... (in reply to LBrandt

Thanks alot
agujetas
zendalex
Ricardo
Echi
Thanks for your great replies..

we usually talk about String height 12th fret
BUT what about String height 1st fret? what is the ideal distance for String height 1st fret in a flamenco guitar?
Thanks alot
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 28 2021 16:14:46
 
Ricardo

Posts: 13399
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: What action do you suggest for a... (in reply to lohan

quote:

BUT what about String height 1st fret? what is the ideal distance for String height 1st fret in a flamenco guitar?


Experimentation taught me what I later read in Ramirez book things about the guitar. Basically the nut only affects the first fret action and you need to keep it like 1mm. THe reason is if you lower it thinking it will make the guitar easier, you end up with the open strings buzzing really badly at the first fret. It needs to stay up above 1mm. I made the mistake myself long ago and learned this lesson, but it is an easy fix by shimming the nut back up to 1mm or so to clear the open strings over the first fret. So action over the fingerboard measured at 12 or where ever you want, is only changed by the bridge saddle.

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CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 29 2021 15:24:04

lohan

Posts: 56
Joined: Nov. 29 2020
 

RE: What action do you suggest for a... (in reply to Ricardo

Thank You so much Ricrado.. Your replies are always precious lessons for me..
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 29 2021 19:38:41
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