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Action height? Prec v Jazz

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by bobwhite, Apr 12, 2010.

  1. bobwhite


    Mar 11, 2010
    Just got a 2010 Am Std Jazz bass. I have had it for a few days and went through the entire set-up process. I was still getting some fret buzz, so I have raised the action a bit, as well as the other set up steps (truss, intonation, etc.). Then, as the bass still sounded buzzy primarily when using a pick, I have raised the action more to the same height as my 1995 Precision. (FYI--Both bases have rosewood fretboards and both are US made.) I am letting the new bass settle and will play it more tonight.

    The questions are:

    1) Do you guys who play with picks generally set up your action on the high side so you can hit the strings with authority and not get any untoward sounds? Now I play with my fingers, my thumb, and with a pick, depending on the sound I want, but the harder pop with the pick seems to be the determining factor on action height/set up.

    2) Also, for you guys who have both a P and a Jazz, do you generally run with a higher action on one than the other? Explain. Do you think one bass is better suited for higher action, or is it a toss-up? I am looking to set them so I can use them interchangably if needed rather than save one for softer, finger stroked songs and changing over to the other for loud rockers with heavy down- and up-stroke picking.

    I will play it more and get a better feel for whether I like the current set up, but as I have never owned a Jazz before, I wanted to get thoughts from the group.

    Thanks for the assistance.
  2. You say:

    "I have raised the action more to the same height as my 1995 Precision"...

    Which (sort of) answers your own question ... :)

    IME, the height of the action you need to set to get rid of any extraneous noises is purely related to the way YOU play the (any) Bass. It depends on the angle you hit the strings (do you "dig in" or do you pluck across them) and how hard you hit them. The bass you are playing (assuming the neck has no warps, twists, high/low frets etc..) doesn't come into it!!.
  3. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    well, better fretwork and (possibly) longer scale lengths will allow for lower action, but there's no mechanical difference between a J and a P as far as action is concerned.
  4. SlingBass4


    Feb 28, 2009
    Kansas City
    Just because it's new, and you've done some adjustment...it may be that a trip to a good tech is in order. Getting a second opinion on the leveling of frets and other adjustments (i.e. slight shimming of the neck) is nothing to be ashamed of. I've been ripping Fender basses apart for nigh on 40 years, and when I've reached a point - I have a couple outstanding tech friends that make magic with the beasts ;)
  5. bobwhite


    Mar 11, 2010
    Thanks for the observations.

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