"Different" action on vintage instruments?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by CaptainWally, Sep 9, 2005.

  1. CaptainWally

    CaptainWally Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2000
    Sandy Eggo, CA
    I'm very fortunate to have owned a nice assortment of basses, and I've had a chance to use a bunch more on loan or otherwise.

    One thing I've noticed that I was curious about is that I find vintage-style instruments to have "different" action than some of the more modern instruments I've used. All of these instruments are really nice, and I can't say that any of them play badly at all, but I generally have preferred the action of "modern" instruments - by that I mean I was able to get lower action without buzz and it's is easier for me to play.

    Obviously setup, etc. have a lot to do with, so I'm limiting my comments only to basses I've actually owned and adjusted (or had professionally adjusted).

    To illustrate my point, here are instruments that I found to have action that I liked:

    * Pedulla Rapture J2
    * Modulus VJ and Flea
    * Zon Sonus

    And here are some instruments on which I couldn't ever really get action I was really happy with.

    * Fender Deluxe J, FMT
    * Mike Lull VJ4
    * Sadowsky VJ4 :bag:

    Interestingly, I've always been happy with the action on Stingrays (is that vintage?) Is it vintage J's I have trouble with?

    Any comments? Any similar experiences or insights?
  2. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    I had a 71 Fender jazz that was setup real low and played not too far off from my R bass. It was awesome.

    And i have played Sadowskys that get right up on the frets. So I beleive its more of an issue of setup than anything else. I notice the vintage instruments usually have a more bulky body, but that is about it.