Les Paul String/Action Height and Pickup Height – Factory Settings

Les Paul Setup

Neck Relief

1957 Les Paul Goldtop

To check neck relief: fret the low E at the first and 15th fret (not 12th) reach to the 7th fret and tap string. There should be a small space between string and fret – no thicker than a piece of paper. Do the same with the high E.


Fret low E at first fret and measure the distance from the bottom of the to the top of the 15th fret. It should be 5/64″. Do the same with the high E, measurement should be 3/64″. Now measure the string height at the nut; underside of the string to the top of the fret. Low E and A should measure 2/64″, D and G =1.5/64″ and B and high E = 1/64″. If string height at nut is correct, recheck string height at 12th fret with strings open. Measurement for low and high E’s should be the same as measurement taken at the 15th.

Pickup Height

Fret low E at 22nd fret and measure pickup height from underside of string to point on pickup closest to string. Bridge pickup should be 3/64″ (I think the 3/64″ is a typo, it should be 3/32″) , neck pickup should be 4/32″. Fret high E at 22nd fret, distance for both pickups should be 3/32″.

Play Test

Play every string at every fret checking for buzzes. Bend High E string 1 and 1/2 steps, beginning at the sixth fret and ending at 22nd, checking for “choking” and to make sure string stays in nut notch.

About the Author: Neil Frost

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