Getting the lowest action possible?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by AzzaTheBassist, Apr 11, 2014.


  1. AzzaTheBassist

    AzzaTheBassist

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2013
    Location:
    London, UK
    Hey,

    I recently bought a Spector Legend 5 Custom bass, and I've been trying to set it up properly over the last few days. Due to the styles I play (Extreme metal, jazz and funk) I've come to the conclusion that trying to get the action as low as I can, while still having all the notes able to ring, is my best bet. I don't mind the clanky sound you get from having the strings hit the frets, but I'd like to avoid buzzing if at all possible. Any ideas on how I would go about this? Thanks!
  2. staindbass

    staindbass Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    hi. i play the same bass as you do. for low action, the neck has to be pretty flat. on the b string, put your left hand finger on the first fret, not between, as if you are playing, directly on the fret. (we are going to use the string as a straightedge) then, take the thumb of your right hand, and put it on the fret where the neck joins the body and hold both there. now take your index finger of the right hand and reach toward the 12fret, still holding that string down with the thumb, and tap the string down towards the fret with the index finger, sensing how much space is between the string and the fret. for a flat neck, you want very little space, maybe the thickness of a guitar pick. if its too close (flat) it will buzz too much. once you have the neck truss rod adjusted, lower your bridge saddles a half turn at a time and tune up and see if it buzzes. once it starts buzzing, go back up a 1/2 turn and thats about as low as it will go.
    Awesome Sauce likes this.
  3. ddnidd1

    ddnidd1 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2003
    Location:
    Southern California
  4. BobaFret

    BobaFret Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    something more rigid like DR Low-Riders (hex core) can be helpful getting super low action.
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  6. AzzaTheBassist

    AzzaTheBassist

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2013
    Location:
    London, UK
    Alright

    I adjusted the truss rod, bridge saddles and set the intonation to where I'm happy with it.
    Everything's good, except when I play my B string , I get a weird sort of piano-y chorus-y harmonic type sound.

    Any ideas?
  7. Bobster

    Bobster

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2006
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Set a witness point on the bridge side of the nut. In other words, press down hard on each string on the first fret, as close to the nut as possible.

    Then re-tune/re-intonate as needed.

    That will but a better bend in the string.

    All the best,

    Bob
  8. fjbass78

    fjbass78

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2007
    Location:
    Indiana
    Alright

    I adjusted the truss rod, bridge saddles and set the intonation to where I'm happy with it.
    Everything's good, except when I play my B string , I get a weird sort of piano-y chorus-y harmonic type sound.

    Any ideas?

    maybe you need to lower the Pickup on the B string side.
  9. AzzaTheBassist

    AzzaTheBassist

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2013
    Location:
    London, UK
    I'm probably not doing it right, but that didn't work.

    I don't think so, because I hear it unplugged too.
  10. OldDirtyBassist

    OldDirtyBassist

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2014
    I like how Billy Sheehan does fret leveling. He's got a vid about it online.
  11. Turnaround

    Turnaround

    Joined:
    May 6, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto Canada
    Disclosures:
    Bass Technician, Club Bass - Toronto
    If the pickups are too close you can get a chorus effect. You will hear it unplugged too - it's the magnets affecting the vibration of the string.
  12. Rockin Mike

    Rockin Mike Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2011
    It's possible the string is twisted.
    Loosen it at the tuning key until it's loose enough for the ball end to rotate freely (i.e. untwist) at the tailpiece.
    Retune and see if it's not better.
  13. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Location:
    santa maria,california
    listen to turnaround

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