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New Bass Setup Question

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Supertanker, Dec 24, 2012.


  1. Supertanker

    Supertanker Watch the dog! He is trained to bite!

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2005
    Location:
    CinCinNati
    I have a setup question.
    I have a new Fender 50's Series P.
    [​IMG]

    I replaced the bridge with a Gotoh 201.
    The 201 caused the strings to rise.
    I thought a shim would get the neck high enough to make the strings lower, but that didn't work.

    I would think I should be able to strings low enough for my taste with the new bridge, but it's not happening.

    Any ideas?
     
  2. ubnomnar

    ubnomnar Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Location:
    So Cal
    Did you use a full pocket shim?

    A narrow shim in the body end of the pocket should allow you to lay the strings on the fret board if you wanted.

    I'm a huge fan of the light and functional stock Fender bridge, so I personally would use it.

    Also, is your neck relief set how you like it?
     
  3. Supertanker

    Supertanker Watch the dog! He is trained to bite!

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2005
    Location:
    CinCinNati
    Thanks for your help!

    I used a business card cut to fit inside the 4 neck screws.
    I generally use Gotoh bridges, but I'm more interested in a low action.

    If I have to change back to the original bridge, I will.
    The neck is good, just a tad before flat...
     
  4. JLS

    JLS Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2008
    Location:
    Emeryville, Ca
    Disclosures:
    I setup & repair guitars & basses
    What you did, did almost nothing; you need to change the angle of the neck. Try a piece of business card in the area between the 2 neck screws closest to the body, and the end of the neck pocket.
     
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  6. Rockin Mike

    Rockin Mike Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2011
    A paper business card will compress somewhat over time.
    A plastic playing card will stay tighter, I believe.

    Not sure whether that makes an actual difference or just superstition, but just something to think about.
     
  7. 96tbird

    96tbird This Indian movie is really boring man.

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    Location:
    Manitoba, Canada
    Yeah, what they said. What I gotta say is that's one pretty bass!! Jealous GAS!! Merry Christmas to you!
     
  8. hdracer

    hdracer Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Elk River, MN.
    What was wrong with the stock bridge?
    Any defects should be covered under the warranty.
     
  9. 96tbird

    96tbird This Indian movie is really boring man.

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    Location:
    Manitoba, Canada
    Superstition! ;p
     
  10. Supertanker

    Supertanker Watch the dog! He is trained to bite!

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2005
    Location:
    CinCinNati
    Got it! Thanks!

    I'll use a playing card if I can spare one.
    Thanks!

    Thank You! Loving the bass. I'm a Lakland dude, but these new MIM's are smoking!!!

    No problem with the original. I believe the Gotoh sounds better.

    Thanks everyone! I'm not an expert at setting up a bass.
    Once I get 'em where I like 'em I can keep 'em there.

    As soon as I get the new shim in I'll report back!
     
  11. Supertanker

    Supertanker Watch the dog! He is trained to bite!

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2005
    Location:
    CinCinNati
    Got a good shim in the proper location.

    A business card covered in plastic.

    You were right Ubnomnar, it laid the strings on the neck.

    Got a great setup on bass and it plays like butter.

    These are really, really nice basses.
    Fender should be proud of the product they are turning out.
    I've had about 20 basses and this bass is among the best!

    Thanks to everyone for your assistance!!!
     
  12. ubnomnar

    ubnomnar Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Location:
    So Cal
    Congrats on the success of your first shim :bassist:

    You will likely install many more in different basses over the years.

    Welcome to the world of performing your own full setups. Wait until you do your first fret level and crown :D
     
  13. Rockin Mike

    Rockin Mike Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2011
    Are you saying it's superstition that a paper business card will compress and a plastic playing card won't ... because I'm sure that's true ...

    or are you saying that the tightness of the neck joint doesn't matter in the sound of the bass ... which would be a minority opinion ...

    or are you saying you have done double-blind testing comparing business card vs. playing card shims and you have evidence that it doesn't make a difference.

    I didn't say I had proof. I said I believe it will make a difference, and that belief is based on facts (i.e. compressibility of paper vs. plastic, and tightness of neck joints affecting playability)

    Just calling "superstition" doesn't make it so.
    I call "superstition" on your so-called "superstition".
     
  14. 96tbird

    96tbird This Indian movie is really boring man.

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    Location:
    Manitoba, Canada
    Learn your smilies! "Stick tongue out" enough said. Superstition is a strange word to use in this situation so I played a bit. Relax. However, people have been shimming with paper card for a half a century by now. Yes it's only anecdotal evidence but it works fine. Go ahead and use plastic if you want. :p
     
  15. Rockin Mike

    Rockin Mike Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2011
  16. musicman666

    musicman666 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2011
    Location:
    ca
    Congrats on the new bass! I own the same one, and it is amazing! I did the same bridge swap as you with the same results. I ended up staying with the stock bridge, didn't want to shim the neck, but thinking I might give it a try.
     
  17. Supertanker

    Supertanker Watch the dog! He is trained to bite!

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2005
    Location:
    CinCinNati
    A few minutes work for a great result.
    Thanks for your help!

    I'm grinding on that thing every day. 10 years ago I could have never imagined a MIM this good.

    I'm looking for a black one to "black out". All black hardware, flat black pickguard, black knobs,
    Delano pickup, maybe a pre-amp, just a nasty bass with a bad attitude!
     
  18. ubnomnar

    ubnomnar Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Location:
    So Cal
    The MIM Roger Waters Precision is very nice and gets you most of the way to "black out."... just need black tuners.
     
  19. Supertanker

    Supertanker Watch the dog! He is trained to bite!

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2005
    Location:
    CinCinNati
    [​IMG]

    That's exactly what I had in mind.

    Again, Thanks!
     
  20. NCD

    NCD

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2011
    I just shimmed my Rondo SX earlier tonight and logged in to make sure I was doing the right thing by trying to get the neck parallel to the body, before any relief.

    With the number of people singing the praises of neck shimming, I feel good about doing it even though I think mine needs more. It was a lot worse.

    Before the shim the action was so high that it was throwing the intonation all out of whack. After the shim, with the 16th fret string height clearance set to stock, the 9th is unplayable because the strings are dragging on the lower frets. However even after I jacked up the action to get rid of the buzz the top 9 frets are an absolute dream to play on, despite the action being far too high down around the 16th.

    And the intonation is now perfect.

    Yes, it's leaning. As I said, it was leaning a lot worse before the shim. It's tricky to get the shim in just the right spot to change the angle to what I need, but I can see that it's going to be more than worth the effort to get the neck angle and height just right.

    Question: How do you make a $120 bass feel better in your hands than a $2000 bass?

    Answer: A proper neck shim and good setup :D (Yes that's a joke... It'd be nice if we could compare the two side by side after shims and setups, but sadly music stores don't do that kind of fine tuning before they put basses out on the walls.)
     

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