Opinions on Shimming
I have a neck that I really like that, while it fits the width of the neck pocket, does not have the heel thickness to allow me to get the low action I would like on a recent build. Is it a ridiculous idea to shim it a bit between the neck and neck pocket to raise the fretboard height? or has someone done this successfully and would like to share tips? Does it kill resonance/sustain?
Is it a ridiculous idea to shim it a bit between the neck and neck pocket
Not at all. In fact, that is how it's done.
We could probably use a stickie, preferably with some how-to photos, for this, as well.
It seems that shimming is something that is pretty common and is not evil as some people would suggest. Try shimming it...if it works great. If it doesn't, just remove the shim.
To some it's a sham, Shim.:)
I wrote an article about shims because there are so many stupid things said about shim.
In German it's a nice title: "Wie schlimm sind shim?" (how bad are shim?)
Leo Fender "invented" the mass-built E-bass with removable neck.
But Fender also had shims as replacement parts in its part list!!!
There have ever been shims in "the world of Fender" and no one cares as long as nobody knows - because nobody hears!
I even heard ofexcellent sounding Telecasters with metal washers as shim ...
If your bass sound good and feels good without a shim, it will sound good and feels good with a shim! A piece of wood veneer might be best. But Fender used a kind of "paperboard" too! I used real paperboard - and it works well!
There's no need to worry!
If you hear a differnece, it might not be the shim but your worry! Remember that people sometimes hear what they want/intend to hear!
I don't think a piece of wood veneer is a good idea.
Wood feels hard when somebody knocks you over the head with a 4x2, but a piece so small that it fits the pocket and then putting on the high pressure from the neck screws will make it behave more like jelly. It might also not be 100% stable long-term. There's a lot you can squeeze out of wood if you just push hard enough.
Better use something hard (metal) or pre-compressed such as single-layer cardboard. And don't make it small so that you don't compress the hell out of small portion of the neck or body side guitar wood.
Shims work fine, don't worry about it.
Ok. Thanks guys.! Ill give it a shot and report back !
Wow. So a few pieces of cereal box later I have a bass with some really nice action. That was too easy. Thank you all!
I use fine grit drywall sanding screen in the neck pocket of my 78 jazz bass, its abraisive surface on both sides keeps the neck from shifting in the pocket ( big problem on that bass) also a tighter bond than using the micro tilt screw.
If Fender designed the "tilt a neck", how bad could shims be?
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