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String Off Center?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by MrRubi04, Dec 11, 2013.

  1. MrRubi04

    MrRubi04 Supporting Member

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    How much does it matter if the strings on a 4 string Jazz bass are not perfectly centered between the poles on the pickup? The G string is perfectly centered; D string a little off (towards the g) and the E is directly over one of the poles on the A string side. I also notice that the spacing of the strings on the neck seems to be off as well; shifted to the bottom of the neck - more space from the edge of the neck to the E string than from the edge to the G string.

    So I guess this is really two questions, then. Does the centering over the magnet poles matter? And, what could be the reason for the offset on the neck?

    My first thought is the nut is off, but it doesn't look that way.
    Any help is appreciated.:meh:
  2. 96tbird

    96tbird Supporter Supporting Member

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    It's the bridge saddles. The common fix is vintage threaded saddles so you can put the string where you want or an high mass bridge. And no, it's not a critical issue sound wise.
  3. SactoBass

    SactoBass There are some who call me.......Sactobass Supporting Member

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    It's not the nut.

    Try slightly loosening the screws that hold the neck to the body, and slightly pivoting the neck/body alignment until the strings are centered over the neck.
  4. landau roof

    landau roof Reupholstered User Supporting Member

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    Sounds to me like your neck is shifted towards the treble side.
  5. SactoBass

    SactoBass There are some who call me.......Sactobass Supporting Member

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    Yep, which is why I recommended per above.
  6. MrRubi04

    MrRubi04 Supporting Member

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    It is a '72 RI Jazz body with a jazz neck, although not the original mated pair, they fit together very snug, so there is no room for any adjustment. I put a Babicz bridge on (as I have done to my P-Bass) and the mounting holes are in perfect position. Played it last night for the first time, and other than having to lower the neck pickup al little (and I think a little more as well) it played and sounds fine. So, facing the prospect of having to plug and re-drill the bridge mounting holes to the E string side by a millimeter, I think I'll leave well enough alone! Just pisses me off that there is always something unforseen that can happen with such a simple thing! Thanks for the help!
  7. mongo2

    mongo2

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    It only effects looks since the bi-pole design makes the magnetic field contiguous where the string intersects the mag field at normal string-pickup distances (checked with EMG magnetic field viewing tape), performance won't be effected.
  8. JLS

    JLS Supporting Member

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    Disclosures:
    I setup & repair guitars & basses
    How does the bass sound?
  9. Jay2U

    Jay2U Not as bad as he looks Supporting Member

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    You might have to sand a bit off in order to move the neck with respect to the body. Don't remove too much! The small slit which will appear on the other side may be filled with a slice of wood.

    A second possibility is moving the bridge a bit.

    Thirdly, saddles are available which offer the possibility of moving the strings with respect to each other.

    Regarding the position of the strings over the poles, if the output signal of the strings is of about the same level, there's no reason to worry.
  10. Lownote38

    Lownote38

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    Sounds like the bridge is placed off center. The nut might be as well. On a Jazz Bass, each string should fall between two of the pole pieces on the pick ups.
  11. 96tbird

    96tbird Supporter Supporting Member

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    That neck will shift even if it looks like it won't. A tiny shift at the pocket translates into a big shift at the ends. The result is that the strings shift over a huge amount for a minuscule pocket shift.

    Loosen the neck bolts a half turn, strings at tension. Don't worry, the bolts will hold. Shift the neck as desired. You may not get all the way there but you will get movement and you'll be happy. You may need a second set of hands to hold it in place while you tighten.

    I have seen this many times and fixed guitars for sixers. Their Strings were almost falling off the neck and a tiny shift centered up nicely. They didn't believe me either.
  12. landau roof

    landau roof Reupholstered User Supporting Member

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    Even the tightest of neck pockets has some play. This is wood you're talking about. If nothing else, it's an attempt at a free fix.
  13. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member

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    this.

    loosen the screws, give it a tug until the outside strings are equidistant from the edges of the neck, re-tighten.

    (don't loosen the strings, the tension helps pull the loosened neck down hard into the body pocket, often improving the tone and sustain a little.)

    the babicz bridge is "too narrow" for jazz pickups, even perfectly centered the outer strings will miss the magnet gaps a little.

    it's not a big thing, but i swear i hear a difference in the attack when the string is right between each magnet pair like leo designed them to be, especially with the higher pickups and harder attack that i use.

    inside the gap there's this ever so slight compression, which was the actual point of the design.
  14. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

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    Seriously, if the string-to-string volume is balanced and the strings, themselves, are centered are the fingerboard, I wouldn't mess with it. If the pole-to-pole spacing is off a bit and the bass doesn't care, I don't care.

    Riis
  15. JLS

    JLS Supporting Member

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    Yep! That's why I asked the OP how his instrument sounded.
  16. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

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    Exactly. Shift the neck and all will be well.

    ^^ Wisdom.

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