I've been using 0.0013-gauge string for my guitar (Epiphone Dot) and I tune it to standard C, however I noticed that the notes on the first string all sounded the same and kind of flat after the 12th fret. By experimenting, raising the action a little bit solved my problem.

What should the height of the action exactly be for this setup?

  • 1
    You might want to refer to it as "standard tuning" instead of "standard C". "standard tuning" is common usage for E A D G B E... Unless you mean some other tuning...
    – vjones
    Commented Sep 6, 2011 at 3:22
  • Sorry about that. I meant C tuning. I start from E A D G B E and put everything 2 steps down. My strings just become like spaghetti. Commented Sep 6, 2011 at 22:30

3 Answers 3


Your string height isn't important here - as you can tune to whatever tuning you like and have the string height to meet your preference.

What is important is the exact length of the strings, which alters the intonation

Have a look at this question on intonation to check yours and to set it up correctly.


While I am sure there is a point at which the string height (called "action") would be an issue for any guitar, it is probably way higher than most people would find comfortable. Therefore, you set it the way you like it. Whenever I have tested Epiphones and Gibsons in the store, they always seem to have really low action. Not sure if this is a factory thing, or the store.

There does seem to be a consensus that a higher action produces better tone, but a slower response (the string has farther to travel to get to the fretboard), and lower action produces a deader note but can be fretted quickly. Again, this is personal preference.

However, while what you describe can certainly be the case with a really low action, you might also have a bow in the neck. If the action was really low, you are probably all right, but if not, you might examine the fretboard yourself by sighting down the length of the neck. If it looks really curved, you probably should get a professional to look at it for possible tension adjustment. Some people do this themselves, but some people break the neck doing it themselves as well.

  • I was afraid to mess with the truss rod myself! I checked the neck, my guitar is OK. Everything sounds OK now. Commented Sep 6, 2011 at 22:34

In addition to intonation, another issue to look at is relief, which refers to the curvature of the neck. Many acoustic players back-bow it slightly so that the action is good for the first five frets (which are what they're gonna play on) and high above there to get nice ringing notes. Electric players generally play with more straight relief, so the action is usable up the neck, too.

Or, it sounds like you have a high fret. Since you don't play everywhere, you don't get fret wear everywhere, and if you have low enough action, that high fret can play instead of the fret you fret. Raising the action can "fix" it, but fret work is the only real fix. Talk to a local repair shop and get an estimate.

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