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Bass shim size

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Adam York, Dec 5, 2018.


  1. Adam York

    Adam York

    Nov 24, 2017
    Kansas City, MO
    Hey guys,

    I'm trying to adjust the neck on my bass cause the action is way too high. I've got the neck straightened out but the action is still really high at the 12th frets and up. It's got a stationary rosewood bridge so I can't adjust it there so I plan on shimming it. My question is, how do I know what size shim to get? StewMac offers a few different sizes but if I can avoid finding out by trial and error I'd prefer it. Any suggestions?
     
  2. Paulabass

    Paulabass

    Sep 18, 2017
    Just use a piece of business card, 1/2 inch wide. Try, and add another if it needs more. If you take you bass to an expensive shop, they will use business card as well, it's pretty much standard among repair folks.
     
  3. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    This
     
    96tbird likes this.
  4. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    That. Having agreed with “this” and “that”, yo want a shim about .01” thick at the fat end.

    Stewmac shims are pretty steep but it’s your money.

    You could use the business card method first and measure the angles and order the right shim if you really want to use one.
     
  5. Adam York

    Adam York

    Nov 24, 2017
    Kansas City, MO
    Thanks everyone!
     
  6. JLS

    JLS

    Sep 12, 2008
    Emeryville, Ca
    I setup & repair guitars & basses
    Stationary rosewood bridge? More info/pics.
     
  7. Rallypoint_1

    Rallypoint_1 Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2010
    Pasadena, California
    Like the others have said, use a small cut piece of business card in the pocket against the wall. If you consider the stew-Mac shim they will scare you in buying their product. Don’t fall for the “ski jump” thing. ;)
     
  8. Adam York

    Adam York

    Nov 24, 2017
    Kansas City, MO
    So i tried the business card trick and it didn't seem to work. I used three and the action seems unchanged. Not sure what I did wrong :/
     
  9. 4sight

    4sight Supporting Member

    Can you take a picture of where you're placing the shim? It should be right at the back of the neck pocket, under the end of the neck closest to the body.
     
  10. RSBBass

    RSBBass

    Jun 11, 2011
    NYC
    The idea of a shim is to change the neck angle. You want to move the head of the bass back relative to the plane of the body. So you shim the part of the pocket furthest into the body, If you shim the entire pocket you just change the height of the neck.
     
  11. Adam York

    Adam York

    Nov 24, 2017
    Kansas City, MO
    Ahh, that's what I did. Thank you!
     
    RSBBass likes this.
  12. Adam York

    Adam York

    Nov 24, 2017
    Kansas City, MO
    Ok so now I have one shim in there and the action is much better. However now there’s terrible fret buzz when I play above the 10th fret
     
  13. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    Generally that will indicate uneven frets. Or a ski jump at the heel. Don’t try to fix it with relief adjustment: won’t work that high. You can self diagnose with a credit card and span 3 fets looking for any rocking over a high fret. Temporarily you will have to raise your action. Long term fix is fret level and dressing.
     
    JLS likes this.
  14. Adam York

    Adam York

    Nov 24, 2017
    Kansas City, MO
    It definitely needs fret adjustment as it’s a really old bass. Not sure I’ll be able to do that now. And I can’t adjust the action cause it’s a stationary bridge.i may just have to take the shin back out
     
  15. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    The shim isn’t causing it. You can’t put a shim under the saddle to raise action? The saddle is glued in place?
     
  16. Adam York

    Adam York

    Nov 24, 2017
    Kansas City, MO
    It’s not! Good idea I’ll give that a try
     
  17. We never have seen any pictures of this. What are you working on, specifically, and could you post some pictures? Curiosity is killing me. So far, it’s a bolt on neck and a completely unadjustable bridge...
     
    96tbird likes this.
  18. Adam York

    Adam York

    Nov 24, 2017
    Kansas City, MO
  19. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    Hmm. $4.81. Free shipping. Maybe you should press the buy it now button.
     
    Adam York likes this.

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