Hey all.

I'm having an issue where despite having a perfect neck angle on the guitar, the saddle height is fairly low in order to get just average action (about 2.5mm low E and 2mm high E on an acoustic). Any idea why this would happen?

Thank you.

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Raised top/bridge.


But it's definitely not that. All angles are perfect. Would not back-filing the saddle cause this?

I made a new saddle and didn't back file it.

Not sure what you mean by 'back-filing'?

If you adjust the neck straight and lay a long straight edge on the fretboard, where does it then hit the bridge?

The straightedge clears the bridge just slightly. It looks like perfect clearance.

By back filing I mean shaving the back side of the saddle down (like you would on a nut). I didn't do this. I'm wondering if the strings are getting a bit of a "lift" on the back side of the saddle.

Read the answer from Glen. It sums it up.

What is back filing? You can’t have a perfect neck angle and a saddle that is too low. At least it can’t be perfect for the action and saddle height you are looking for.

I took a few photos. In image one, would you agree that saddle is too low? I'm not sure what the exact measurement should be (I'm learning all this as I go), but eyeballing it it looks low. I worked on one of these exact guitars in the past that had a bad neck angle and yet I could put a higher saddle on it.

The second photo shows the straight edge just clearing the bridge when laid on the frets. It is a perfect angle.

I'm just puzzled. Since I didn't back file the saddle, you can see the strings hitting the back of the saddle before the front. Intonation is perfect, so that's not a problem, but I wonder if it's causing the strings to "lift".


It is not too low. Can be lowered just fine. What about your string height at the nut?

Adjudt the neck relief, lower the saddle and lower the strings in the nut. Then I am sure it will be fine :-)

Ah really? Maybe that's the problem then is it simply isn't too low (is there an ideal height it should be?). I worked on this exact model guitar for a friend, and on that one I was able to get the saddle much higher, and he had a neck angle where the straight edge hit slightly into the wood on the bridge. I was shocked on this one I had to keep lowering the saddle height despite a perfect angle. Just trying to learn, so I don't  understand why this happened.

The nut is good. I will attach a photo in case you see any issues. When making the nut I did the trick of pushing down the 3rd fret until there was just the smallest clearance. The guitar is short scale, and it feels a bit "tight" to play, so I do wonder if the nut has some binding. I'll have to look at the slots again.


Difficult to see on the photo, but the strings in the nut looks waaay to high. Measure the clearence between strings and first fret. It should not be more than 0.16"

And, check your neck relief.

Hey thanks. I didn't think I had a tool to do this, but I think the end of the calipers will work. I attached a photo of how I measured. It's from the first fret to the top of the string (not the bottom so that would be lower). I attached photos. Does this look okay?

I also took measurements using this same tool and technique on the saddle. The height near the low E is .13" and the high E around .10". Is there an ideal?

Thank you.


You have to measure from the top of the actual metal fret to the bottom of the string. It should not be more than 0.016"

You can't really use calipers. Feeler gauges are best.


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