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Fender '62 Precision Reissue Question

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by asg618, Feb 21, 2006.


  1. asg618

    asg618

    Jan 9, 2006
    Just received a new Fender '62 reissue from Musician's Friend. Based on the specs, reading every review I could find, and my experience with other basses, I thought it would be perfect for me. I couldn't find one in any of my local music shops, so I took the plunge and ordered it online.

    Here's the thing -- the action is HIGH! I mean really, at times uncomfortably HIGH. I can feel my left-hand fingers rising way off the fingerboard to be able to come down on each string, and it strikes me as it just can't be right. Compared to other P-basses I've played, it's definitely higher and harder to play (the thickness of the neck doesn't phase me at all - it's the height of the strings from the neck).

    I think the neck may be a little bowed, as it seems to be pulling away from the strings too much. But I'm not experienced in this, and thus not really sure. I'm afraid to mess with a truss rod adjustment out of fear that I won't then be able to return to to MF without a problem should something go wrong.

    I did, however, adjust the bridge saddles downward to try to get the strings closer to the neck, but I couldn't do it nearly enough without triggering buzz all along the neck.

    So -- for those who own or have played these puppies, is the action noticeably and intentionally higher on this bass, or do I have a problem bass that I should ask MF to replace?

    Thanks!
     
  2. flatwoundfender

    flatwoundfender

    Feb 24, 2005
    Well it was probably set somewhat high just because that's how basses were set in 62. You should adjust the truss rod also. I think you get a better sound with higher action, and trust me my action is probably higher. Just give it some time to adjust. While none of us are Jamerson his setup on a 62 p was rated unplayable by most who tried his bass. Or play upright for about a week then go back to that. It will seem like a toy.
     
  3. lo-end

    lo-end

    Jun 15, 2001
    PA
    Dude, it just needs a setup. No big deal. I doubt Fender would have set it up with a concave bow deliberately.

    I wouldn't have adjusted the saddles personally. They probably wouldnt have moved from the factory setup. Most likely your problem needs to be fixed by adjusting the neck relief with the truss rod. Also, adjusting the action height can mess up the intonation. Your best bet is to take your bass to a luthier or guitar tech and get it set up. It's a good idea to do that with every new bass.
     
  4. dgce

    dgce

    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    Agreed. You might have a great bass there. Why torture yrself, man? Take it to a good guitar tech and have them set it up properly. Keep in mind where that bass came from. Humongous factory, warehouse, then Musician's Friends, all that shipping...etc. It was once part of a cast of thousands. Now you need to turn it in to an individual with its own identity. Step one, get that puppy set up right. My guess is when it’s set, you will fall in love with that bass. You'll see.

    r
     
  5. remo

    remo

    Jan 15, 2005

    what a great post... props dude. :)
     
  6. asg618

    asg618

    Jan 9, 2006
    Well, it seems unanimous -- thanks for the advice. I'll take it into my local shop today and have a pro guitar tech take a look. Can't wait to get it back and see if you're right. The tone on this thing IS awesome, and with a setup to my tastes, I'm sure I WILL fall in love with this bass.

    Thanks again!
    Alan
     
  7. dgce

    dgce

    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    Good luck to ya, Alan. And say, thanks for the "props" Remo.

    r
     
  8. Dr. PhunkyPants

    Dr. PhunkyPants Guest

    Aug 11, 2002
    USA
    If you're in the greater DC metro area, bring it to me and I'll take care of it for no charge.

    If you're elsewhere (most likely) make sure you tell the guys you would like it set to 3/32" height at the 12th fret--that's about how the Fender factory intends for that bass to play on delivery.

    Then, if you feel like that's too high, you get get it a little lower next time, or vice versa.

    BK
     
  9. asg618

    asg618

    Jan 9, 2006
    Thanks for the offer, but I'm up in NJ. About your 3/32" number -- is that higher than a modern P-Bass? Was the '62 noticeably higher back in the day?

    Alan
     
  10. Dr. PhunkyPants

    Dr. PhunkyPants Guest

    Aug 11, 2002
    USA
    I'd have to check...I think the Fender specs are pretty standard across the board.

    If I'm not mistaken they look for about .014 thousandths relief on the neck and 3/32 at the 12th fret....which is higher than I usually like my action. But I'm really picky about that stuff.
     
  11. flatwoundfender

    flatwoundfender

    Feb 24, 2005
  12. asg618

    asg618

    Jan 9, 2006
    UPDATE: Took the '62 into my local guitar tech pro. He took one look and winced -- said the bow was significant and he didn't think a truss rod adjustment would get 'er done. Nonetheless, he walked me back into his shop, unscrewed the neck, and gave it a try. After a few twists, he said that was as far as he was willing to go -- didn't want to risk snapping the neck. He re-assembled the bass, tuned her up, and gave the neck another look.

    Bottom line: the adjustment didn't do much good. He assured me that, although these are beautiful basses, I just got a bad one. There's just way too much bow in the neck. Fortunately, he didn't charge me anything for this quick look and opinion. Props to Ritchie's Music in Rockaway, NJ. If any of you are within striking distance of this shop, these are good guys and a pleasure to do business with.

    So, thanks all for the feedback. I feel better having taken it to a pro, and I'll be returning it to Musician's Friend for a replacement. I'm very interested to see what this bass is like without a bowed neck, 'cause frankly, although harder to play, it was still pretty sweet.

    Best,
    Alan
     
  13. lowfreqguy

    lowfreqguy

    Oct 18, 2000
    I just bought a used 1995 '62 P Bass Reissue last week and just love it. It makes a nice twin to my 1998 P Bass Deluxe 5 string. They're both sunburst with a Tort guard. Yummy!
     
  14. JPJ

    JPJ

    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    I bought a '62 Reissue about 12-13 years ago, and mine was exactly the same way. I've had it adjusted a few times, but the bottom line is that the rod will only do so much. It's essentially maxed out, but the action is still high (and I tend to like my action a little higher than most). In fact, when it first arrived, the action was so high it was almost like playing an upright!!! :eek: Nevertheless, I've kept it all these years for sentimental reasons, but rarely play it. I never use it to gig, and it rarely sees the light of day. There are so many better options out there when it comes to a quality jazz that I have long since moved on to a better instrument. I'm sure that are are some good one's out there, and I'm also reasonably confident that ALL '62s don't have this problem, but my experience was exactly the same.

    I'll take my Lull any day of the week....perfect neck, perfect frets, perfect nut, and perfect playability....end of story! :)
     
  15. dgce

    dgce

    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    Bummer about yr bass, Alan. It’s good that you took it to a pro and that it didn’t cost you. I had a similar situation with a US made Ibanez Custom Shop bass in the late 80s. Man, what a beautiful bass that was. A two piece ash body with amber finish, birdseye maple neck and board, one monster Bart MM pickup with 3 eq. pre amp. No, this wasn't a highfaluting ATK; it was more like a highfaluting Music Man. It was like a domestic Lakland before there were Laklands. Sigh...but that neck was wacked and it wasn't the sort of neck fit where I could simply order a replacement from Warmouth. It would have been custom job which would have cost me a small fortune and I didn't have the cash back then or a warrantee. Heart breaking. I sold it for nickels and dimes eventually and didn't play for quite a while.

    Well Alan, hope bass #2 works out.

    r
     
  16. tplyons

    tplyons

    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Where in NJ are you? I used Ritchies for about four years before they finally screwed me over on a pair of setups and haven't been back. They were excellent before the expansion, but ever since they tripled the size of the store, they've really gone down the pooper.
     
  17. I had almost the same issue with my MIA Jazz 2005, it was nice from the shop, basically. But after a few days in my livingroom it got a boooow..:eek: yes it was a lot. Fortunately a couple of adjustments on the trussrod fixed it up, but then I noticed that the fret ends were not filed properly since they were extending out in thin air! Not much but just enough to hook my skin when sliding across them, very annoying!! :crying:

    So what did I do? Instead of taking it back to the shop (40 min drive) and having them to set (or mess) it up, I saved all that driving, taped the neck up and filed the fret ends myself. It got really sweet, and since the bass is very resonant and great sounding I will keep it despite the "unlucky start" (and obviously bad QC). Yes Im a true DIY-person, by the way. (and that bass was ordered just for me, no shop-sitter so probably the climate change from cold warehouse to warm cozy livingroom made it twist?)

    Anyway this got long and out of hand, sorry, hope that you will get it right with the replacement! :bassist:
     
  18. dgce

    dgce

    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    I'm glad yr jazz worked out well for you. But I have to tell ya, I find yr story the most disturbing from this thread because yr talking about a MIA Jazz; meaning new American Series, right? Aren't these axes supposed to have graphite strips installed to keep their necks stable? The reissue basses are supposed to be reproductions of basses from way back when so I can understand the neck issues there. However you have a modern Jazz with all the updates in design that should prevent such neck issues. Agreed, all the climate changes from factory-store-yr home will naturally throw yr action a bit off and SOME bowing can be expected but from what you describe, yr J-neck was really whacked. Good thing you have the skill to fix it yrself but I can't help but be a little suspicious when it comes to Fender necks given the stories on this thread and the issues I've had with 2 American Standard Strats from 10 years ago (had same problem you guys have been talking about but these were guitars and I figured the new American series P&J basses were free from these sort of neck problems).

    Kinda makes me love my G&Ls even more ;)

    r
     
  19. Dr. PhunkyPants

    Dr. PhunkyPants Guest

    Aug 11, 2002
    USA
    I am a known Fender critic, having seen and worked on more iffy ones than good ones. (That said, I am obviously more likely to be asked to do tech work on an iffy bass, so there's that to factor in.) Still, I think Fender gets away with too much because of their name.

    All this aside, your experience with the neck changing in your living room and the fret ends protruding does not, in my opinion, constitute a bad neck.

    1. This is relatively normal
    2. There is a strong chance the frets were already protruding a little and your awareness of the bow increased your sensitivity to other flaw
    3. If this was the winter, homes with certain heating systems can be as dry as kilns

    Anyway, touch up those fret ends and you shouldn't have to do it again.
     
  20. AGCurry

    AGCurry

    Jun 29, 2005
    Kansas City
    Return the instrument or go through the steps of forcing Fender to make it right.

    I love my '83 MIA 62 reissue. One good thing about buying used is that, generally, whatever will go wrong has already done so.