do I need higher action?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by apparatus, Jul 31, 2003.

  1. I recently bought a Peavey Cirrus 4 and I'm not really accustomed to its great playability as compared to my Cort Action 4 (which had ridiculously high action).

    I encountered a problem: when I play on the E and A strings (especially when I'm not using a pick), the strings snap against the fretboard. I know that I'm too accustomed to playing harder than necessary (as my old bass required it), but it seems like I need to barely touch the strings if I want to avoid this effect.

    Is this a problem? It adds a slightly percussive sound and I can't really decide whether it's bad or not. Maybe I need to adjust my action a bit?
  2. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Raise the action if there's too much fret buzz for your tastes. Refine your right hand technique to pluck more perpendicular to the string if fretboard spanking is the problem (sounds like this is the case). Raising your action will help, but improving technique is a better solution in the latter case.

    FWIW, most people love the way Cirri are set up at the factory, but I raised the action and added some neck relief to suit my tastes.

    Others may post differently - this advice reflects my personal experience...

  3. Ben Mishler

    Ben Mishler

    Jan 22, 2003
    San Jose
    I would have to agree with SecretDonkey, I think just trying to improve your technique may be what is needed here.
  4. thanks for the responses.

    yeah, in fact I'm already getting better at playing without "fretboard spanking", or at least it's not as brutal anymore ;).

    when it comes to fretbuzz, is it always a bad thing? it doesn't annoy me particularly as it doesn't come through the preamp (or so it seems, with my EQ settings), but I will perhaps consider adjusting the string height later on..

    and by the way, do I always need to adjust the truss rod if I want to adjust the string height?

  5. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    Fretbuzz is not a problem. It can be a valuable part of your tone palette.

    "Unwanted" fretbuzz OTOH can be a problem.
  6. I don't know how to measure relief.. however, the neck seems to be a bit bent backwards compared to the body, so it isn't perfectly flat.
  7. alright, thanks for the guidance.

    you mean the 24-25:th fret? that's where my neck meets the body :).

    it seems like I've got it almost flat too, there's some millimeter between the string and the 9:th fret. and yeah, I'm a bit accustomed to "digging in" as my old bass had very high action.. I like the way the Cirrus is set up, but I could do with a little higher action. I would prefer to leave the neck as it is, if possible.. maybe I could just adjust the string height at the bridge?
  8. I have the same issue with my GSR bass...I lowered the action yester,and I really like's really comfortable...but I try to not play near my P pick-up because the strings are too floppy and hit the frets. So , I play near the jazz pick-up...the string has more tension there.

    Is this ok?

    Should I make the action higher?

    I like low,I see some basses are lower then mine(action wise) alot! And they don't complain about buzzing or anything...


  9. Alright, thanks.. I will try it sooner or later :). Does it take a long time before the wood gets 'accustomed' to the new tension? that is, if I want to undo an adjustment..

    thanks a lot for the help!