action issues

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by brien_4, Dec 9, 2003.

  1. so i just picked up a new ibanez srx400 and am generally happy with the bass. the only thing is, the action was great when i got it, but it was also tuned a full step down when i got it... hmmm, so i tuned it back up to standard but now the action is obviously a little stiffer. would i have to play with the tension rod or just the bridge to get the action back down to where it was with the lower tuning? if someone could help me out, that'd be great. thanks.
  2. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    brien_4...are you referring to the string height, etc....what we call action or the string tension?

    If you're after lower sting tension, so the strings feel loose like when the bass was detuned, you'll need to go to lighter gauge strings, or perhaps a different brand.
  3. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    Brien; If the only thing that you have changed is that you have raised the tuning one step, it's a dead certainty that the only adjustment that you have changed is the relief in the neck.

    When you increase the string tension you must increase the truss rod tension since they directly affect one another.

    You may need to touch up the bridge and intonation very slightly but if everything was in proper adjustment to start with, it's unlikely.

    A good set up should always start with a check of the neck relief. I don't mean to check it by cranking on the truss rod just to see what will happen.

    The only way to get a truss rod in proper adjustment is to alternate between bridge adjustments and truss rod adjustments untill the lowest action with the minimum amount of buzz in the first five or six frets is realized. If the action is too low to suit you(very unlikely), simply increase the string heigth with the bridge adjustments. Intonation is the last adjustment that should be made.

    Keep in mind that the tension on the strings counterbalances the tension created by the truss rod. Whatever affects one affects the other.

    A Perfectly adjusted neck will have the strings parallel to the plane of the neck from about the fifth fret to the bridge. Any deviation will probably show up as an intonation problem.

    Sorry about the long winded post but most set up questions require more than a passing sentence or two.

    Hope this helps. If not feel free to ask more questions. There is a wealth of info to be had here from hambone, Merl, Chasarms and too many more to mention.
  4. Robert B

    Robert B Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2000
    Hampton, Va USA
    Pkr2 you are right on the money. I would also add, although such advice is a little late at this point, that this is why I always carry a tuner with me when shopping for an instrument. Don't know if it's because of neglect or deliberate to make an instrument seem easier to play, but I've seen this time and time again. I'm talking about instruments on sale that are tuned below true pitch.