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Advice from those in the know

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by iamflea, Apr 19, 2010.

  1. iamflea


    Nov 11, 2008
    Hi all

    Just a quick query, sorry it isn't strictly a bass question, but could apply to bass; I do a lot of set up work for my band's gui****s, and maintain my own arsenal frequently. I have a fairly decent knowledge of how everything works and how to correct most problems...

    My cousin plays guitar in a band but he is young and has no idea how a guitar is made up, just how to play it. He has cobbled together a bit of a frankenstein and I took it off him to set up and intonate as a favour.

    The first thing I noticed is that the distance between the 12th fret and the bridge is about 1/2 inch too short, the bridge is a string through trem block so can't feasibly be moved... would adding the difference to the base of the neck correct this problem? The neck pocket is quite a long one so there is room to shift it up without structurally weakening the instrument. If I moved the neck up in the pocket and re-drilled holes and added some wood to the bottom to fill the gap would this fix the problem? My theory and knowledge base says yes... but best to double check...

  2. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    That could work and was suggested to me once way back when by a guy at Barney Kessel Music in L.A. I had a Framus acoustic guitar that had a similar problem and being a flat top, had a fixed bridge. Because the Framus was one of the rare flat tops with a bolt on neck, he said that's what he would do. I never did get it done but he seemed to think it wouldn't be much of a job and would charge $100. It would be easier on your bass for sure.
  3. Hi.

    Moving the neck will work, just the same way moving the bridge would.

    Won't necessarily look too pretty though ;).

  4. Dirk Diggler

    Dirk Diggler Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Anytown USA
    Personally I don't worry about measurements in that situation and would instead ask the more important question, can you set the intonation properly? If it sets up properly then it's completely a cosmetic issue.

    Good luck,
  5. iamflea


    Nov 11, 2008
    if the distance from nut to 12th fret is longer than 12th to bridge it won't ever intonate properly Dirk. There isn't enough adjustment on the bridge to make up the difference so something gotta move.
  6. you should measure from nut to 12th fret first, this should be the same as from 12th fret to bridge saddle.
    If both of those distances are the same, doesn't matter if they're 1/2" shorter than usual.

    for example: theoretically, a normal 34" scale bass should have 17" from 12th fret to bridge saddle. But a 33" scale bass will have 11.5" from 12th fret to the bridge saddle.
  7. iamflea


    Nov 11, 2008

    Yeah thats what I said above, I thought that was the case.

    Thanks for all the help

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