How Should I Adjust the Action on a: Eko Ranger XII VR Eq

How Should I Adjust the Action on a: Eko Ranger XII VR Eq

See guitar here:

Hi, Many thanks for your detailed online info.

I have the above 12-string which I bought new 3 years ago, and it seems well made.
I've not played it lately, but now notice that the action is high.

This EKO has a: Bolt-On neck and an adjustable aluminum bridge saddle.

The clearance at the 12th fret is to high for me, at: 10/64"
So even higher as you go further down the frets.

The neck seems straight, so I don't think the Truss-Rod needs adjusting.

The height of the bridge is: 1/4" (8/32")
(eg: lower than the 1/2" (16/32") your recommend in your info)

The saddle height is about: 3/32"

So the height of the 6th string at the bridge is: 11/32"
(eg: lower than the 1/2" (16/32") your recommend in your info)

I need to get a 24" straight edge to double check,
but after reading your info, it seems to me that the neck-angle needs adjusting ?

So how would that be done on this guitar that has a Bolt-On-Neck.

The neck is flat where it enters the body, (eg: it has no 'heel') and appears to be held in place with 4 screws that go through a chrome-metal-plate on the back of the body (similar to the neck on a Fender strat)

If it needs shims, what are they made from, and where would I obtain them from?

Many thanks.

Tags: Adjust the Action, Eko Ranger XII VR Eq

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In the usual manner. Tons of info on this site and You can do it!

Scott: Many thanks for your reply.

However, I have checked out the website but couldn't find any details on how to actually do this.

Otherwise, I wouldn't have posted my above post.

Do you have a link?

Most likely you'll want to take the neck off and add appropriate shims in the pocket to change the neck angle before bolting it back on.  For some helpful tips you might look for information about shimming Fender electric guitar necks.

Frank: Many thanks for your reply.

I couldn't find any actual search box on your web, so I followed your info at:

Eg: I tried these search terms on Google:

' shimming Fender electric guitar necks'

' Fender electric guitar'

But I couldn't see anything to do with a Fender (or Fender style) neck joint.

Do you know if there is any such info on your web?

If so, perhaps someone who seen it could help me out with a link.

Many Thanks

This type of bolt on neck, without heel, was discussed recently in this thread about a baby Taylor.  The same method is relevant to your Eko.

It is a repair which you could do yourself, but it is a bit technically demanding.  If you are not confident you should take it to a professional luthier.  It would not be too expensive to get a neck adjustment and set-up done professionally.  

If you are brave enough to DIY the general approach is as follows:

1.  Before you play with the neck angle you need to ensure the neck rellief is appropriate.  Follow the method Frank demonstrates here.

With the guitar at normal concert pitch hold down a string at both the 1st and 14th frets (effectively using the tight string as a straight edge).  Examine how much clearance there is of the string over the 6th or 7th fret.  There should be a tiny gap, about the thickness of a business card.  If it is more than that your neck has a forward bow and you should adjust the truss rod to correct this before you go on to look at the neck angle.  While you are at it - check the action at the nut.

2.  If the neck relief is correct you then look at neck angle.  Again, Mr Ford has a nice demonstration of how to do this here:

If a straight-edge lands below the top of the bridge it indicates that the neck has been pulled forward by the string tension.  If this is the case first you should check if the bolts holding the neck on are tight?  If they have loosened a bit they may be allowing the neck to move in its pocket, and tightening them might fix your problem.  If they are already tight then you can proceed to do some surgery on the neck angle.  

3.  Remove the strings, or if you want to reuse the same strings you can leave them attached at the headstock and hold them in their positions on the neck with a capo applied around the 7th fret- then slacken them right off so that you can remove all of the pins at the bridge and disconnect the strings from the bridge.  Now you can undo the neck bolts and disassemble the neck joint.  There is likely to be a shim in the joint, between the neck and the body.  If so you can adjust the shim to alter the angle.  If you carefully measure the thickness of the shim at each end using Vernier callipers you will probably find that it is a slight wedge (thicker at one end).  Carefully note which end faces toward the bridge and which side faces up and mark these on the shim.  

4.  Basically you want to slightly alter the angle so that the headstock end of the neck moves backwards.  If there is a shim in the pocket you can make it a bit thicker at the end closest to the bridge.  This will tilt the neck in the right direction to lower the action.  If there is no shim there you can add one to achieve the same effect.  A small change in thickness of the shim will have a big effect on the action, so be careful.  The last time I did this in a Taylor I got the desired result by placing two strips of masking tape (stacked) on the bridge end of the existing shim and putting it back together again.  Another suggestion is to tape a strip of sandpaper onto the back of the shim, or the neck itself, at the bridge end of the pocket.  This is easier than trying to remove material from the shim or the neck to change the angle, and is completely reversible.  I guess some thin washers would do the same job.  But whatever you add to change the angle - it is thin, and you need it to stay put at the bridge end of the pocket.  

5.  You won’t really know how much effect you have had on the action until you reattach the neck, and retension the strings.  You are aiming to get a straight-edge to fall just at the top of the bridge.  It might take some trial and error. 

6.  Once the neck relief is good and the neck angle is correct - the final variable determining action is the height of the saddle.  Read all about that here:

If your Eko has one of those screw adjustable systems for the saddle you can use that to set the saddle height so that action is OK, but also make sure that there is enough break angle over the saddle.  In guitars with conventional saddle-in-slot set up you can adjust saddle height upwards using a hardwood shim under the saddle, or a replacement saddle.  

Good luck with your efforts.  I fondly remember my first guitar teacher in 1975 who had one of those Eko Ranger 12s.  I was 13 years old and I though it (and him) was super cool.  He played all the John Denver tunes!  

Hi Mark,

Thank you very much for taking the time to post a detailed reply, it's greatly appreciated.

I'll check out your info and suggestions over the next few day.

Just a query:

Raising the neck at the end nearest to the sound-hole, obviously lifts the neck, albeit minutely, at the same time as tilting back the neck & reducing the action.

So is it ever advisable to remove material from the other end of the neck instead (or its pocket) to obtain a similar result.

Obviously: Once removed, you cant put it back, unless you add a shim.

Many thanks.

I understand what you are asking, but the amount by which the neck is raised within the pocket is absolutely trivial.  In the Taylor system the factory supplies a range of numbered shims of different thickness.  Just unscrew the neck, lift out the old shim, replace it with a slightly thicker one, and screw it back together.  It is literally a 15 minute job.  I don’t know if Eko have that much organization to their method - but you can adopt the same approach.  I think it would be perilous to remove material from the neck or the pocket.  

If you haven't already done do, you could try lowering the bridge saddle using the screws on each side of the bridge......


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