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Fender Am Dlx Jazz bass V unnatural B saddle angle

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Fernando Perez, Feb 16, 2016.


  1. Fernando Perez

    Fernando Perez

    Feb 15, 2016
    Hi Guys:Ive been trying to get a low action on my fender jazz bass. I got the neck as straight as it can go without buzzing. I lowered the string saddles to get to the action that I like but the B saddle ended on an unnatural angle. The saddle for the B - and only the B - is essentially resting on the bridge plate and the end of the intonation screw is almost touching the bridge plate. Now the Bass is tuned up and down the neck, and the string height is 6/64 for B, 5/64 for G with string on between following the neck curvature. That's not necessarily bad, but it seems odd that the saddle is maxed out for lowering. I'm always wondering if the B would sound better if the saddle would be on natural angle. Have anyone experienced something like this before ? Any solution ? Would you guys prefer to have higher action on this kind of bass ? I have attached a photo for your review
     

    Attached Files:

  2. JustForSport

    JustForSport

    Nov 17, 2011
    It doesn't matter- the height adjustment screws are all that rests on the plate anyway.
     
  3. Fernando Perez

    Fernando Perez

    Feb 15, 2016
    I was thinking that there's a functionality issue or defects. Especially because the B sound weird.
     
  4. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    I am more concerned about the extreme bend in the string from saddle through the body mount. That extreme angle means that the B string is unlikely to form a good witness point at the saddle and may cause intonation issues and/or premature string failure. If it's possible to string through the bridge rather than through the body, I would go that route and re-evaulate the B string problems after the change.
     
  5. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    The witness bend looks okay but that's juxtaposed against the near-vertical ascent of the E string as it passes thru-body...which I avoid like the plague especially with larger gauge strings. I see what appears to be a gothic mouse hole directly beneath the intonation screw so I'll assume you have the thru-bridge option. Use it. Re-witness and adjust (intonate, string height) accordingly. I've also found it a bit easier to avoid string-twist when stringing thru-bridge.

    Riis
     
    JustForSport and Geri O like this.
  6. Fernando Perez

    Fernando Perez

    Feb 15, 2016
    Would using the thru- bridge option has an affect on the sound/tone of bass ? Will you use this option just for the B string ?
     
  7. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Just run all 5 thru-bridge and be done with it. IME, you're not gaining anything by stringing thru-body. Okay, be different: run the G & D thru-body and the rest thru-bridge.

    Riis
     
    DiabolusInMusic and JustForSport like this.
  8. megafiddle

    megafiddle

    May 25, 2011
    Judging by the amount of height screw extending up above the saddles, it looks like the G saddle is even lower than the B saddle.

    Are you basing this on the end of the intonation adjusting screw being close to the bridge plate?
    That is occuring because the screw is longer than it needs to be. The saddle itself looks ok.

    -
     
  9. Fernando Perez

    Fernando Perez

    Feb 15, 2016
    Well, if you see on the photo, there is kind of a forward angle on the saddle. The rest of the saddles looks flat regarding to the plate. Is it possible that adjusting screw ends are worn out ? They seems to not been flat on plate. And, yes the G is even lower but saddle looks on a natural position.
     
  10. Fernando Perez

    Fernando Perez

    Feb 15, 2016
    I have another question for those that have a low action on this kind of bass. Have you noticed any change in tone, sustain, and highs in comparison with the factory recommended specs for neck relief and string action ? Could anyone of you be willing to share with me your measurements ? String height, neck relief, pickup height, etc....thank you guys. I'm currently using the DR sunbeams string on this bass.
     
  11. megafiddle

    megafiddle

    May 25, 2011
    I see what you are saying: the bottom of the saddle is not level with the surface of the bridge plate; and the height screws are angled towards the neck.

    That is occuring because the hole in the saddle for the intonation rises and falls with saddle height, and the hole in the bridge plate for the intonation screw is fixed.

    So the lower you set the saddle, the more the intonation screw will be angled downard, and the more the saddle will rotate towards the neck. And the closer you set the saddle to the bridge tail, the more the saddle will also rotate towards the neck.

    What you are seeing is caused by the saddle being low and being way back towards the bridge tail. If the G saddle were moved back that far, it would also be rolled forward towards the neck, even worse than the B, as it is lower.

    Since the top of the saddle is round, any rotation of the saddle makes no difference in how the string is supported. The string would always be passing over the same shape surface.

    -
     
    JustForSport and Fernando Perez like this.
  12. SamuelSandoval

    SamuelSandoval Supporting Member

    Jan 18, 2014
    Northern Colorado
    I have a 5 string Fender as well and setting up action can be a hassle (especially if you try to compare it to other basses that have really low action).
    There is a change in tone and sustain when setting up very low action. Whether these difference are substantial or not is completely up to you. The lower you go, the less the string can vibrate and in my case (I think my frets are too big) when the action is too low it rattles easily. I guess you tend to lose a little resonance in the notes when you set lower. The lower the action, the softer you have to play with the right hand and therefore you'll tend to have a slightly different tone and possibly sustain. On the other hand, the lower the action, the closer your strings are to the pickups, and I believe it tends to compensate as far as tone and sustain are concerned. With the pickups closer to the strings, you'll get a different sound. Some pickups have different results than others depending on the brand, winding, pole pieces, etc.

    Are you willing to sacrifice "tone" for lower action, and faster playing? You might have to do a lot of setup trials before you come to terms with the action on that bass.

    If you're gonna be messing with saddles and truss rod, don't necessarily go off by specs on a sheet. Use your ears as a reference. Just off the bat if you're using different strings than those suggested by Fender, result might vary.

    Finding your ideal action on bass might take a while to discover and it might change with time. It does for me.
     

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