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Fender ABG-1

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by zon6c-f, Nov 8, 2013.

  1. In late 1998, I was looking for a way to practice low volume-in-house and take to remote locations...also to do the 'un-plugged thing'...LOL..

    Years prior, I had seen some good Acoustic bass guitars: Godin, Takamine, Alvarez-Yairi....

    So I tried and bought a '98 Fender ABG-1. A beautiful little bass.

    Ever since I bought it..I have had 'buyers remorse', although I don't long to sell it..However, it would be first to go if I ever decide to sell any of my basses.

    I met with Greg Curbo [ R I P ] at a seminar . I showed him an identical bass to mine and explained issues mine has.

    He said it could all be remedied..and cost would exceed original cost of instrument..so I keep mine in its gig bag.. and try it ocassionally..then fall in love.. then heart break...as it just has so many issues.

    Issues are :

    Tuners.. won't stay in tune.. sometimes needs tuning adjustment as I play it during a tune.

    Action is high [for my taste]

    Intonation is awful...not in tune with itself after so many frets up.


    Can bridge be adjusted to correct intonation issues?

    Do I need to replace tuners? I have tightened screws..to no avail.

    I want to fall in love with this instrument again, although I now have line6 pod and Korg PBX 4 for indoor headphones. I can take the Pandora anywhere..batteries ...and use any bass, so an A B G is no longer required for that

    I love the Fishman Transducer /piezo sytem..love the amplified tone.

    I did replace original bronze round strings with laBella short scale flats, as the bronze sounded too much like what it really is..an acoustic bass GUITAR.

  2. MD


    Nov 7, 2000
    Marin Co. CA.
    The only adjustment on the ABG fixed bridge is the saddle. It can be filed down to lower the string height, or replaced to raise it. There's no way, AFAIK, to adjust string length. Of course, you can pull the frets and intonate yourself.

    I've had to replace 2 tuners on my 8 year old Takamine G series. They didn't just go out of tune, they suffered total failure, and spun like a stripped screw. Cost me $5.00 each to replace.

  3. THANKS!!

    Other than tuners..seems like Curbow was correct..major $$$ to get it 'right'. I would rather buy a more expensive bass than throw $$$$$ into this one.

    I was hoping I could loosen strings and bump/adjust the bridge a little flat/sharp ..whichever..on treble side to make octaves equal..like with a string bass..but ...NO??...

    Which tuners did choose and do they hold tuning?

    TUNERS...That's my main battle with this bass. As long as I don't play unison/octaves in upper registers; no real issue with intonation to casual listener/ audience. BUT if tuning slips all over the place..all the time??

    Tuning is impossible to keep up with...makes me want to trash it..but I love it like a 'challenged child' bass. It is beautiful..satin finish,..great electric 'Jack Casday' tone.

    Funny.. this bass is a FENDER..but made in Indonesia...like my Squier..yet decal reads FENDER.

    Thanks again, MD....
  4. MD


    Nov 7, 2000
    Marin Co. CA.
    I just took the bad tuner to my local music store and they ordered a new one; direct from Takamine I imagine, as all the tuners have a Takamine logo on the gear box. As I mentioned, five bucks apiece.

    I keep the bass on a stand next to my work table and noodle on it every day. Weeks can go by, and when I decide to put a tuner on it, very minor adjustments are needed. I'd say they hold very well.
  5. Martin89


    Nov 8, 2010
    Glendale, AZ
    Unofficial Endorser: Ibanez, D'Addario, Zoom
    Get the tuners replaced and find a local guy to do a good setup? It's really not that much money. I was able to find a guy to do something similar to my ABG and it's great now; since he wasn't attached to a store, it cost me $50 for the work, crown level and polish on the frets. And invest in a humidifier.
  6. I will look into replacing tuners.

    Set-up for an ABG?..and you can't adjust the bridge??

    $50 to set-up..crown /polish frets?? GREAT PRICE!

    Local guy, here wants a LOT more $$$ ...maybe its because he works on stars' guitars..Has pics on his wall of himself with with likes of Jeff Beck..Zack Brown..when they are in town....just to do same for my Squier Jazz-5 Active, which is only real issue I have with that otherwise fantastic and [most affordable electric bass] I own.

    Fingers crossed that tuners will make enough improvement to where I don't feel sick after playing 5-10 minutes. After which...I feel so frustrated.. tuning is all over..like the bass is intoxicated. B T W ... all 4 strings/ tuners.....

    I don't know anyone else who has one..so I am crying on your shoulders.

    I have thought about getting a Jack Casady EPI...not that I need nor require another bass..just a case of G.A.S. but this bass has THAT tone inherently..
    ...just makes me sound whacked-out as each line in a song may have different tuning..LOL.. I play it around the house..no one hears it but me..BUT I HEAR IT..I KNOW.

    Don't know when I will get around to this as it's not high on my priorities. I have 4 other basses that don't get enough of my time and have NO issues other than lack of being played and no gigs.

    I do appreciate responses and knowing I am not alone with this dilemma .

    Thanks and keep posting!
  7. Forgot to mention that I don't feel that it is a lost cause..nor totally hopeless, either.

    TUNERS.. 4=$20...WOW... inexpensive fix for a 'tragic' dilemma.
  8. MD


    Nov 7, 2000
    Marin Co. CA.

    Well, it was a number of years ago; probably not $5.00 anymore.
  9. Again..if that cures most of my problem,..I will deal with the cost.....

    You guys have given me hope..means a lot to me...

    ...ALL suggestions appreciated.

    Thanks again...
  10. Your high action can seriously mess up intonation too. You end up bending the strings which brings pitch up.
  11. SEE??...More feedback/ posts / opinions help....GREAT STUFF, Carl h.....

    Thanks again..See y'all next week...
  12. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    First: Tuners are like cars. You can get a Lexus or a Yugo.
    I imagine the tuners on there now are 3/8 standard single screw machines. You can go on ebay and find a set really cheap. They might be good enough.

    Second: Most ABG's don't have as strong a neck as a regular bass, so take off the high tension strings. They might very well be too high a tension for the neck and might be partly causing it to bow. Use a lighter tension string.

    Third: I had a top end Fender ABG that was great until you got to the 10th fret and up. After that it went way out of tune. I was told the fix was to take the bridge off and reposition it. NOT CHEAP! I sold the bass as soon as possible.
  13. I don't know my string tension..LaBella short scale flats. I can bend strings/ notes easiy.

    I replaced the stock bronze round wounds as the bass sounded too 'guitar-like'..maybe some or most like that..I didn't.

    I like rounds on my electrc basses, although my Rick has had flats since 1998.
    wHEN iam ready to upgrade., I will prefer BETTER
  14. Continued..

    I will use better tuners as opposed to cheaper ones, regardless of price..IF that covers most the cure.

    Intonation/ expensive bridge relocation??.. as Curbo told me..would cost more than I apid for my bass, to make it right...maybe I wil hold off on that one..I am not gigging with it..mostly stays in the gig bag..
  15. MD


    Nov 7, 2000
    Marin Co. CA.
    If it's that bad, just rip out the frets. A few bucks for sand paper and wood filler. Done!
  16. Yeah..'fretless'..then I control 'intonation' by referencing filled-in fret slots?

    Another good idea..
  17. MD


    Nov 7, 2000
    Marin Co. CA.
    Or, by relocating the side dots and using them as a reference. You'll soon find that they're in the wrong place for fretless.
  18. You CAN adjust and fix intonation on an acoustic. If you raise or lower the saddle, that'll have an effect on intonation and could fix the problem. You can also shape the top of the saddle to make very minor adjustments to intonation.

    If it's too poor, the saddle slot can be filled and re-routed to adjust properly.

    With acoustic instruments, set-up is almost always a compromise. Low strings means lower sound outup. High action affects playability. Etc etc etc

    Good luck
  19. Thanks all..I hope one day to resurrect my 'problem child bass'.

    Thanks Josuah...