I have noticed a lot of threads starting up about basic set up issues/questions so I thought I would try and go into detail about how I set up mine, it works for me so it should for you too but feel free to correct me if I am wrong or missing something. If youre unsure on something here ASK here before trying it or take it to someone that knows what there doing. PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS IS JUST A GUIDE ON HOW I SET UP MY GUITARS! IF YOU DONT HAVE THE CONFIDENCE OF USING YOUR OWN DISCRESSION AND JUDGEMENT TO PERFORM ANY OF THE FOLLOWING TASKS, TAKE IT TO A GOOD TECH OR LUTHIER! I TAKE NO RESPOSSABILITY FOR ANY DAMAGES CAUSED BY FOLLOWING MY GUIDE TO SETING UP GUITARS! 1. Always start with a fresh new set of strings. Restring your guitar with a new pack/set of strings and use the brand and size you will likely use with this guitar for a long time as changing string sizes, brands, tunings and changes in climate will affect the setup so either slight tweaking or another full setup may need to be done if any of these variables change. There will also be slight differences in strings from pack to pack of the same brand and size but 99% of the time you wont notice it. String tensions and string lengths for each tuning will affect the setup of the guitar. 2. Stretch the strings and tune your guitar. Tune the guitar to the key you want to play it in. With your bare hands, hold the guitar neck and strings around the first fret with one hand and grab each string (singly) around the 12th fret with the other hand and carefully pull up away from the fret board, stretching it as much as you can without cutting yourself, breaking the string or damaging the guitar, use YOUR JUDGEMENT for how hard to pull. NO GLOVES AS YOULL BREAK STRINGS AND MORE THAN POSSIBLY DAMAGE YOUR GUITAR. Youll notice that the strings will go flat after doing this so retune and repeat the process a few times. You will get to a point where the tuning doesnt get affected so much by pulling the strings meaning the strings have stretched. This is a definite must for guitars equipped with floating tremolos but I do it with all my guitars as Ive found they hold the tune better for longer. 3. Check the neck/fret board for straight or relief and adjust the truss rod. With your guitar fully in tune, hold the guitar up and look down the high E (treble) side of the fingerboard along the edge. You may see a slight bow from the nut to the last fret. If the neck bows towards the strings I call it up bow, if it bows towards the back of the neck I call it back bow. Depending on the bow it has affects which way you want to turn the truss rod. I like a dead straight neck/fret board on the treble side as the string tensions are usually less on the treble side than they are on the bass side with most packs unless I use even tension strings, this usually leaves me with a dead straight treble side and around 0.4mm-0.5mm relief on the bass side. Set the relief how you like it, everyone is different, this is what I like. If I notice it has up bow I have to tighten (clockwise) the truss rod, if it has back bow I have to loosen (anti clockwise) it. Only adjust it no more than a max ¼ turn at a time, retune the guitar, let it settle for at least 15 minutes, then retune it again. If it needs more after it has settled then do another ¼ turn etc It may only need a tiny adjustment and not a full ¼ turn so use your discression. IF THE TRUSS ROD WONT TURN, DONT FORCE IT!!! TAKE IT TO A GOOD TECH OR LUTHIER!!! YOU MAY BREAK IT!!! I keep repeating this process until I can see that the frets are straight on the treble side of the neck. You can also check by holding down the high E string on the top of the 1st fret and on top of the last fret. If there is a gap between the string and the top of the 12th fret (up bow) I need to tighten the truss rod (clockwise), if I hold it down on the 1st fret and it frets out (hits the top of the 12th fret) before I reach the top of the last fret (back bow) I need to loosen the truss rod (anti clockwise). Youll see what I mean when you do it. Simples 4. Adjust the bridge/action. Again everyone differs with this so again use your own discression and what you prefer. On a fixed bridge guitar I like around a 0.8mm gap low to high off the last fret, its a nice, fast height for me and also leaves me enough room to grip for bends without fretting out too early. On a floating tremolo equipped guitar I like 1.5mm at the last fret for a little extra up pull on the tremolo before it frets out. Some people like for eg. A 1mm gap under the treble and 1.5mm under the bass so like I said you may want it different so its up to you and what feels best for you. a. Strat style bridges (non tremolo): On these you can adjust each strings height by the 2 little allan key grub screws on each saddle, be sure adjust both grub screws on each saddle so they are both touching the plate (use common sense ) and make sure that you follow the radius of the fret board by measuring the distance from the top of the last fret to the bottom of each string which will give you your action height also. b. Tune-O-Matic style bridges: Tune-o-Matic style bridges have fixed radius saddles (You can get some TOM bridges you can replace the saddles to change the radius, though none of mine do ) and have a 2 point height adjustment for the whole bridge. Before adjusting the bridge height, detune the guitar to take some tension off the bridge and loosen any locking screws around the posts. Be it a flat blade screwdriver or a thumb wheel, either raise or lower the height of your bridge till your height off the last fret for the first and last string is the height you want it at when its back in tune (since these bridges have fixed radius saddles you only have to adjust these two 2 points only. (I will say you can file them to suit the radius but I highly recommend that you a sure you know what youre doing before you attempt any mods like that)) . Sometimes with these bridges youll have a metal stop bar where the strings are thread through rather than going through the body, if yours does, at this point I will check to see if the strings are hitting the back of the bridge as they should be on a straight plane from the top of the saddle to the stop bar. If they are, raise the stop bar until there is a ~1mm clear gap above the back of the bridge on all strings from the top of the saddle to the stop bar, I also check this again after intonating. c. Floating tremolos (Floyd rose, Ibanez Edges, Etc ): First I see what angle the tremolo is at in relation to the tremolo studs when its in tune. Different bridges have different angles to set it up properly so check with the manufacture to make sure you set yours up the way it is supposed to be. Eg, Ibanezs Edge and Lo Pro Edge the bridge is set at right angles off the knife edges (you can see them on the sides of the bridge) to the studs, the (official branded) Floyd roses you have the body at right angles to the studs so each is different so its best you check with the manufacture as this will affect tuning stability if its not set up at the correct angle. If the trem is leaning forward too much, undo trem plate on the back of the guitar and tighten the springs by tightening the 2 screws that hold the spring claw and retune until its correct, if its leaning back then loosen the springs in the same manner, taking care to not damage the pickup earth wire that is usually soldered to the spring claw with either adjustments (note, if you reach the maximum for the screws, you may need to add or remove a spring). Once I have it set to the correct angle when Im in tune, Ill adjust the trems height (always detune your guitar before adjusting the height of the trem so you dont damage the trem studs and knife edges). Note on all Ibanez Edge, Lo Pro Edge and some Edge Pros have locking studs! There is a little grub screw inside the stud that you lock or unlock with a 1.5mm allan key. Be sure to loosen the larger part of the stud first then adjust the locking grub to all the way anti clockwise before lowering the trem to height then lock these back down again. You can buy shims for the saddles so the trem will match the radius of the fret board though its not an absolute must you do so, you can have a lot lower action if you do shim the saddles. Another great trick is whilst your adjusting the trems height is to put some lip balm (vaseline, chap stick, etc ) where the knife edges meet the studs, I have found this helps tuning stability after the most knarly dive bombs to the highest of harmonic squeals! Pre stretching you strings also helps this heaps and this is a MUST with these bridges! 5. Intonation: The fun part! nah its not that bad For this you want a high quality tuner and fresh new strings (if you have stung the guitar the same day as doing the rest of the above then its all good). I start on the high E string and work my way back up. First, tune all the strings to tune by continuously plucking the string whilst adjusting the tuning pegs. Fret the 12th fret on the high E with the same amount of force you would use when playing it and pluck it continuously as you do normally when tuning, if it is sharp you want to move the saddle further from the nut lengthening the string, if its flat you want to move it towards the nut shortening the string. When doing this I loosen the string off completely then move the saddle to where I think it should be and then retune (on a trem Ill recheck the tune on all strings). Repeat this process until its perfectly tuned on the 12th fret to the open string, then check the 5th, 7th, 9th frets in the same manner until they all are as close as you can get them (the 12th is the most crucial). Then repeat this with the remaining strings. Remember that its near on impossible to perfectly intonate a guitar so going off those 4 frets as best as possible will give you the best possible outcome that the guitar can achieve. After doing all this Ill go back and check all of the above to see if anything has changed or moved at all then re adjusting what has if any. So thats how I set up my guitars. Take your time, dont force anything (take it to a good tech or luthier if something doesnt move the way it should or you are not 100% confident on doing any of this!) and dont rush it. Happy shredding!!!