In my mind, it's two things... Besides the obvious "unobstructed string oscillation" on any picked string at any fret.TI4-1009 wrote: I'm still unclear about the bottom line on what creates the "better tone". Is it just that you can vibrate the string harder/more without the risk of buzzing on the frets? Other than that there doesn't seem to be any magic in having the string located farther from the fretboard. Am I missing something??
One, All my life I've heard that Jerry played with really high action (Guitar Player and other magazine articles I've read since the 70's, etc...), and that it was part of the recipe for "clear" tone (Jerry Tone, if you will...). I call it, "The Guru Factor".
And two, in addition to being a DeadHead, I was also an Allman Bros Head from very early on, and my first coupla guitars were Les Pauls. I myself play slide guitar, and have always just eyeballed a very high action based on being able to play aggressive slide guitar without having a bunch of slide-hittin-the-frets sound coming out of the amp as I play. In a nutshell, my own practicle expierience is similar with regard to high action. If you've ever played slide on a low-action guitar you know what I mean.
Which reminds me???... What was Bobby's string height? I actually don't ever want anyone to tell me my slide playing sounds like Bobby's, but, 'stands to wonder I guess (...'seems like he play's slide at some point on most gigs).
Anyway... now that we're all having so much fun with our Jerry Rigs and Jerry Guitars, and in recent years we're getting some insider info on the actual Set-up measurments from Jerry guitars, it just fun to try this stuff our on our own guitars.
Hence... "I can't Intonate my Strat with the string height at 7/64ths at the 12th fret... the Saddles don't go back far enough".
OK so now it's 1/8th at the 24th (or 22nd), and 3/32 at the 12th.