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Dead E on MIM jazz, string/pup alignment etc..

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by afroblue, Feb 1, 2014.

  1. afroblue


    Oct 25, 2012
    Hi all,
    having read some threads it appears the mim jazzes have some problems with alignment. The E on my model (99/00) is out tonally quite considerably. The E and A string do not line up between the poles. The E in particular does not seem to run straight from the bridge to the nut. On that side, where the neck meets the body there is a gap in the pocket. How tight should this be? Do u leave a v.small gap to allow for wood expansion?
  2. Rocky McD

    Rocky McD

    Jun 28, 2005
    San Antonio, Texas
    Aligning the neck is a fairly common repair. Depending on how much gap you have in the neck pocket you can move the neck (after loosening the strings and the neck bolts) left or right to align the strings with the edge of the neck. If the neck is aligned, the strings should pass over the pickup poles properly. Sometimes, you may have to put small shims along the side of the neck, if there is a noticeable gap. before re-tightening the strings up to pitch, recheck your alignment.
  3. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    chances are an obviously dead string is actually an obviously dead string.

    the differences from being centered between jazz pickup magnets are pretty subtle at best, and the tonal effects of neck pocket gaps may be entirely imaginary.
  4. Grissle


    May 17, 2009
    Dead E strings are more often than not a twisted string, very easy thing to have happen.
  5. pfox14


    Dec 22, 2013
    Besides trying new strings to make sure you don't have a dud, you can simply compensate by raising the pickup height on the bass side.
  6. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011

    If the only trouble you have is a dead E string, Start your troubleshooting with the simplest, most obvious cause and work from there.
  7. JLS


    Sep 12, 2008
    Emeryville, Ca
    I setup & repair guitars & basses
    I'm in this queue, as well.
  8. JustForSport


    Nov 17, 2011
    Quickest, cheapest way to see if it's a 'dead string' is to try a different string, first. If no extra/spares, move the A string over and see if it still is the same.
  9. TwoRivers


    Aug 26, 2012
    Las Cruces, NM
    In my experience, a twisted string gives off an almost phaser type of effect. I've never had one sound "dead". I have a few other things for you to consider:

    Check your pickup height. Having the pickup too far from the string can create a dull, weak sound. If the pickup is too close, you may be killing your sustain. In the case of my MIM Jazz, I had to raise the neck pickup under the E string quite a bit from where it was initally set.

    Make sure your bridge saddle is making good contact with the base plate. I've had a bass where the saddle height adjustment screws for the E string weren't making good contact with the bass plate. It took a while to figure that out, and I went through several sets of strings before isolating the problem. The good thing is, it's a really easy thing to diagnose. Apply pressure to the saddle as you play a note and see if that changes your tone and sustain. I ultimately ended up replacing the bridge on this particular bass and it fixed the problem.

    **note** if you do replace the bridge, you can get one with adjustable string spacing. I used the Schaller Roller Bridge. That would allow for you to potentially fix this E string problem and your string spacing at the same time, if you determine that a bridge replacement is necessary. I'm certainly not a fan of uneccessarily replacing hardware, but in this case it may be a valid thing to do.
  10. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    One question... Did you buy this bass new? If not, there's the possibility that the neck and body didn't originally go together and are from two different instruments. That can lead to the issues you are describing. Every MIM I've ever played new had everything lined up just fine. When they're used, you may not know exactly what you're getting.
  11. Or you could simply replace the saddles with Fender Vintage threaded saddles to adjust the spacing. Works as well and is much cheaper.
  12. afroblue


    Oct 25, 2012
    this bass belongs to my mate. it's not a dud E string, he said he has always had an issue with it. Looking at it, instead of being straight it actually curves inwards (towards A string). The gap in the neck pocket seems quite large.