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Action problems.

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by CPA935, Jan 9, 2012.


  1. CPA935

    CPA935

    Dec 5, 2011
    I decided I would switch from my old normal bass strings to Flat Wounds, I put them on today but I ran into a problem, my action is now ridiculously high towards the bridge end of the neck and it goes further down at an angle towards the nut. I have no idea what I have done wrong and I hope that this is any easy fix. My action used to be excellent, but now it's up so high I can see the shadows of the strings. :rollno: Any help would be really appreciated.
     
  2. John Wentzien

    John Wentzien

    Jun 25, 2007
    Elberta, AL
    Artist:TC Electronic RH450 bass system (original test-pilot)
    Truss rod adjustment..
     
  3. testing1two

    testing1two Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2009
    Southern California
    Pics of the bridge would be very helpful. However, it's likely that the flatwounds are a different gauge and tension than the roundwounds they replaced. Therefore, a few adjustments need to be made to the neck relief (by adjusting the truss rod), action, and intonation (by adjusting the bridge saddles).

    Check out these videos on basic setup practices and see if you can make the adjustments yourself. If you don't have any tools or lack mechanical inclination then your best bet is to visit your local tech and have your bass set up.

    There are 4 setup videos. Here is #1: Setting Up Your Bass Guitar: Adjusting The Truss Rod (Step 1 of 4) - YouTube
     
  4. Most likely you also need to intonate the bridge.
     
  5. CPA935

    CPA935

    Dec 5, 2011
    I am new to this stuff. All know how to do is change strings. I feel like an idiot.
     
  6. Johnny Crab

    Johnny Crab ACME,QSC,Fame/Hondo/Greco/HELIX user & BOSE Abuser Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2004
    South Texas
    Not to worry.
    None of us knew how to do this before we tried a few times and learned how. Do so. It really is useful being able to setup your own bass.
     
  7. CPA935

    CPA935

    Dec 5, 2011
    I am gonna take it to my local tech tomorrow. Will leaving these strings on until tomorrow damage the bass?
     
  8. Skitch it!

    Skitch it!

    Sep 6, 2010
    If they have been on a little while, try setting the witness point (the angle of the string across/in the saddle). Tune the strings up and press down on each a couple of times about an inch in front of the bridge with your thumb, about a centimeter or so down. They will sit lower.
     
  9. Skitch it!

    Skitch it!

    Sep 6, 2010
    Setting that angle is often forgotten in string changes, the action should drop to a little higher (due to flatwounds) action as previous. Unless you have changed string gauges drastically. The tension will be a little different so it may/may not need a tweek on the truss rod and intonation moreso. But I'll bet it's because the strings are curving over the saddles, not sitting in them (even more pronounced with rigid flats compared to rounds)..
     
  10. CPA935

    CPA935

    Dec 5, 2011
    Yes, it does seem that the strings are curving more so than sitting.
     
  11. Skitch it!

    Skitch it!

    Sep 6, 2010
    Tune them and give them that push down in front of the saddles to set them, don't worry about it, standard stuff, many times.
    They should sit in the slots at an angle, not curve over, that will cause the action to be a lot higher.
     
  12. CPA935

    CPA935

    Dec 5, 2011
    Alright gonna try that. Still gonna take it to the tech tomorrow. I knew something was up as soon I put the strings on, the strings weren't falling nicely into the nut.
     
  13. Skitch it!

    Skitch it!

    Sep 6, 2010
    You don't need lots of pressure, thumb pressed down 5mm+ or so a couple of times should get the sitting angle.
     
  14. CPA935

    CPA935

    Dec 5, 2011
    Another question though, what about up by the nut ? The strings get really low around the first fret.
     
  15. Skitch it!

    Skitch it!

    Sep 6, 2010
    Have you changed gauges from the last set?
    If it isn't a problem I wouldn't worry about it, the clearance on my first fret is around 1mm, maybe a little less.

    Check the neck relief too, fret the first fret E string with your left hand and the last fret E string with a finger on your right hand. Sight the middle of the string/neck, how much gap have you got between the bottom surface of the string to the top surface of the fret/s? A gap around the width of a credit card (+ a little) is pretty good. Anyway, it will show you the amount of bow one way or another.
     
  16. CPA935

    CPA935

    Dec 5, 2011
    Took it to my tech, just a truss rod issue, it's all good now, and it sounds awesome !
     

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