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Bought a used P-bass with a strange problem...

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by ZoSoIV, Aug 29, 2007.

  1. ZoSoIV


    Mar 28, 2007
    For some reason the nut/strings/bridge dont line up correctly with the neck. The G is too close to the middle and the E is almost off the edge which makes playing it a frustrating endeavor. Theres a repairman coming to town tomorrow, how should I explain this to him, and what will he recommend to fix this??
  2. datsgora

    datsgora Guest

    May 23, 2007
    N. Ca. Martinez
    You don't need a repairman. Just grab your bass by the horn and grab the headstock and push the neck in the direction it would go to make the strings be centered. It will pivot enough to align the strings, then go around back and tighten the screws a little.
  3. BetterBottomEnd

    BetterBottomEnd <- Not me I just like looking at her

    Jan 9, 2007
    Cable Wi
    Yeah don't do that take it to the repairman. That might well fix it but unless you've got a good bit of experience that might well break things too.
  4. deaf pea

    deaf pea

    Mar 24, 2005
    Cuernavaca 1 hr S Mexico City
    Seymour Duncan/Basslines SMB-5A Endorsing Artist
    Yeah, that's a VERY common "problem" with (Fender) 4-screw bolt-on basses . . . and that IS the way to fix the bass . . .

    What's to break? We're talking about a common problem with a simple solution . . . go for it!

    InMyNotSoVeryLimitedExperience . . .

  5. BetterBottomEnd

    BetterBottomEnd <- Not me I just like looking at her

    Jan 9, 2007
    Cable Wi
    Go for it if you want. I'm just figuring from the way he's describing it that he wouldn't be comfortable doing it. Certainly can't hurt to take it in and get it setup while you're at it.
  6. NKUSigEp


    Jun 6, 2006
    Bright, IN
    I'm with the DIY crowd on this one - give yourself some experience fixing something with a small and common problem. Loosen the screws a bit, work it to where you think it's aligned right, tighten the screws. Nothing to worry about.

    Get yourself some allen wrenches and a small head Philips screwdriver and go to town on figuring out the intonation and straightening out the neck. That is invaluable experience for a bass playe!
  7. Scott in Dallas

    Scott in Dallas Commercial User

    Aug 16, 2005
    Dallas, north Texas
    Builder and Owner: DJ Ash Guitars
    It might be a good idea to remove the neck and inspect the holes. If they are opened up too much drilling them out, filling them with hardwood dowels and re-mounting the neck might be in order. It's not a terribly difficult job and will improve the way the bass plays.
  8. allexcosta


    Apr 7, 2004
    Loosen the strings, loosen the neck screws, adjust the neck, put everything back on place, do a basic setup/intonation. You're good.
  9. bass_fish


    Oct 26, 2006
    the Netherlands
    +1 ! this worked for me, 5 minute fix, can't go wrong!
  10. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    It is not an unusual thing to see. However it is not limited to just Fender guitars. It can happen to any bolt on instrument.

    What can break? The most frequent problem see from giving the neck a yank are finish cracks at the small areas of the body on the top near the neck body joint. In extreme cases the crack has been known to continue into the wood itself.

    It is better to take a more gentle approach. As stated above, loosen the strings slightly, loosen the bolts a little bit, and move the neck. It is best to measure the margins at the last fret from the outside of the strings to the edge of the fingerboard to insure that the neck is straight. Drive the bolts home and tune it up.
  11. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    I say go for it. I'm all for DIY. ANd if you break it, so what. It's not like it's a Musicman or something.

  12. datsgora

    datsgora Guest

    May 23, 2007
    N. Ca. Martinez

  13. joelb79


    Mar 22, 2006
    Lansing, Michigan
    I saw this issue with a new fender precision standard.. the MIM version. The bridge saddle had moved from its groove on the G string and the spacing for the bridge was effected. Make sure its not something as simple as the saddle before pointing fingers at the neck.

    If you going to do the neck yank thing that was suggested, LOOSEN THE SCREWS FIRST!!! Then for your problem, apply pressure so that your pushing the neck towards the G string, then tighten the screws up when its in place.
  14. Rodent

    Rodent A Killer Pickup Lineā„¢ Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Honey Badger Pickups & Regenerate Guitar Works
    what Joel just said

    all the best,

  15. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    I completely agree with this approach.

    I have an SX that came with the bridge out of alignment. After careful checking, the neck has not shifted in the pocket because the neck is too tight in the pocket to allow any lateral play at all in the neck.

    After very carefully checking the bridge alignment, I found the bridge to be offset to one side by about 1/8". Had I been a complete newbie, and I used the repair method suggested (grab the neck and jerk it into place), there could very easily have been some serious damage to the pocket.

    I suggest that the screws be slightly loosened and the neck moved to see if there is enough play in the pocket to bring the neck into alignment without forcing anything. If you're lucky, simply tighten the screws and you're good to go.

    If, however, the neck wont go into the proper alignment, as in the case of my SX, then the bridge must be moved into proper alignment.

    There is no 'one size fits all' universal repair, snatching the neck around or otherwise for the problem described.

    For those with enough experience to know when the lateral force on the neck is within the limits of the neck pocket, go ahead and use the 'shift the neck in the pocket' method.

    There are only two possible reasons for the bridge to be out of alignment! One reason is a neck that is laterally skewed in the pocket. The other is a misaligned bridge.

    The repair methods are by no stretch interchangeable.
  16. ZoSoIV


    Mar 28, 2007
    After reading pkr2's post, I think I have a misaligned bridge. How can I fix this??
  17. datsgora

    datsgora Guest

    May 23, 2007
    N. Ca. Martinez

    I didn't see where anybody suggested a neck yank thing. Where did you see that procedure suggested?
  18. BadB


    May 25, 2005
    AZ, USA
    Without removing the bridge and relocating it, you might consider replacing the bridge with one that has multiple string grooves on each saddle. A few of my Fender basses have them so that string spacing can be adjusted. Just a thought.
  19. Perhaps you didn't specifically say to yank the neck, but if I was relatively new to the bass, (read: new enough to not recognize this as a bridge and/or saddle alignment) I would've taken your advice to mean that I should "yank the neck".
  20. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    Yep. That's the same prob that I have, but mines not that far out.

    It's not much of a problem to fix, luckily.

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