Need help with Fender Jazz setup

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Knavery, Nov 15, 2012.


  1. Knavery

    Knavery Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2004
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    Hey guys,
    I think I need some help. I took the advice of the guys here and am learning how to do my own setup. I bought a Fender Jazz off eBay and had it setup via my luthier. However, I thought the action could be better.

    So, I used a .014 (.35mm) gauge on the eighth fret with a capo on the first fret and me holding down the last fret. I've got plenty of wiggle room left. I tried tightening the truss rod a couple times and waiting about 20 minutes between each adjustment. Well, it looks like I'm at the end of the line here because it doesn't look to be tightening anymore.

    Am I screwed? Thanks!
  2. phangtonpower

    phangtonpower

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2008
    Location:
    Fukui Japan from San Diego
    Do a search about adding washers at the truss rod. Adding washers will give you a little more room for adjustment.
  3. soulman969

    soulman969

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2011
    Location:
    Colorado
    Which way are you turning the adjustment screw? You should be turning clockwise to reduce the excess relief and lower the action. Get the neck as flat as you can without string buzz anywhere on the neck.

    Measured as you did the space between the fret and the underside of the string should be about the thickness of a normal business card. You should be able to slide one in there then turn he bass into playing position and the card should remain in place and not fall out.

    Fine tune the action with the bridge saddles. What height are they set at right now? How much more can you lower them without getting string buzz. If you adjust them make certain you adjust each one the same amount of turns so that you keep the shape of fret board radius.

    Last of all if all of this won't do it take a look at the neck angle itself. Sometimes, although more rarely the neck will need to be shimmed to get the action where you like it.
  4. Knavery

    Knavery Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2004
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    I tried tightening the truss rod (clockwise) to take more of the relief out, but the truss rod really won't move any more. As far as a business card, I'm not sure the thickness of that. I'm using a .014 inch gauge and that slides under the 8th fret pretty easily. And I guarantee you it wouldn't stay in that position if I picked up the bass in playing position.

    I've tried adjusting the saddles but get too much buzz, so I moved them right back (roughly) to where my luthier had them.

    What concerns me is that there may still be too much relief in the neck. I can live with the action right now (but I do like it a smidge lower). It's approximately 1/8 of an inch between the bottom of the string and the wood at the 12th fret, which means less if you measure to the top of the fret itself. All the strings are roughly the same.
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  6. Steveaux

    Steveaux

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Location:
    The Wilds of NW Pa.
  7. JLS

    JLS Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2008
    Location:
    Emeryville, Ca
    Disclosures:
    I setup & repair guitars & basses
    Which is how it's done.
  8. PazzoBasso

    PazzoBasso

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2011
    Location:
    Great White North
    Did you loosen the strings before tightening the rod? Might help a bit...

    You might need to add some washers - if the rod is maxed out... you could also try some lighter gauge strings...

    Good Luck.
  9. JLS

    JLS Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2008
    Location:
    Emeryville, Ca
    Disclosures:
    I setup & repair guitars & basses
    You *could* ask whomever set it up, to get the action lower, if possible. I applaud the fact that you're attempting this yourself, though.

    It's not necessary to loosen strings in order to make trussrod adjustments, in fact it's counterproductive; bending the neck backwards to relieve some of the strings' tension while you're adjusting may give you a little bit more room.
  10. Knavery

    Knavery Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2004
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    Thanks for the replies all. I may go the washer route, but not sure how comfortable I am having just learned how to do my own setup. And even then I don't really know what I'm doing.

    I could take it back to my luthier, but he's a ways away. It might be easier to just take it to GC god forbid.
  11. JLS

    JLS Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2008
    Location:
    Emeryville, Ca
    Disclosures:
    I setup & repair guitars & basses
    Or just let the kid down the street work on it, what could possibly go wrong?
  12. Knavery

    Knavery Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2004
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    Good point.
  13. 72LML

    72LML

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2009
    Location:
    Burnsville, MN
    Knavery,

    I could give you a hand with the bass and I have some spacers you could use. I'm located just south of you in Burnsville and could swing by one day on may way home from work to help you out. PM me if you're interested.
  14. Knavery

    Knavery Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2004
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    I might just take you up on that after the Thanksgiving holiday holiday. It'd be cool to meet another TB'r. Thanks for the offer.
  15. 72LML

    72LML

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2009
    Location:
    Burnsville, MN
    Sounds good. Just let me know. I should be around.

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