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Fender bass help! Strings "choking"

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by MovingPitchers, Feb 11, 2016.

  1. Mendel P is here! It's not ready to be shown to the public because:

    The notes at the 7th fret and beyond start choking out. Only when it gets to the 12th fret does it choke out completely. To put it simply, the frets are touching the strings too much where no string vibration can happen.

    Not sure what's wrong. I feel like I do need to tilt the neck upwards just a little bit.

    The bass came in parts; neck and body separately packaged in the same box. I put it together before doing any setup on it, put on some strings, and played for five minutes. It was fine; action was a bit high but no choking on anywhere on the fretboard.

    Only after I did a pickup swap did it start happening. Not sure what's happening. I made sure the neck and body joints were tightly clamped together before screwing on the mounting screws.

    Any thoughts/suggestions?
  2. organworthyplayer337

    organworthyplayer337 Professional Hack

    Oct 28, 2014
    Charlotte, NC
    Disclaimer: I'm no expert

    Wood changes. It can change fast especially when the neck and body were separated during shipping. Sounds like you need a little relief in the neck. That's done by loosening the truss rod a bit, I assume you know that though... Hmmm lets see...

    High frets? or Bridge saddles too low? I would take it to a tech
  3. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Have you done a COMPLETE setup yet?
  4. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    Pickups are too high, causing string contact?

    EDIT: Probably the bridge pickup. I'd almost put money on it.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2016
    Aqualung60 likes this.
  5. ak56

    ak56 Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2015
    Carnation, Wa
    If the pickups aren't touching the strings, I would do another setup. Things are probably still settling in after being separated during shipping.
    wcriley, Aqualung60 and Will_White like this.
  6. /\/\3phist0

    /\/\3phist0 Life: It's sexually transmitted and always fatal Supporting Member

    Bridge saddles to low, combined with too much neck relief .
    or a fret level is needed.

    Proper setup knowledge can be gained from this series of videos, it is directed at Warwick instruments, but much is applicable here.
    Warwick Bass setup - YouTube
  7. I tried everything I know.

    Tried shimming the neck. That didn't work. Just made it worse.

    How is it possible that the strings fret out even when the action is ridiculously high?
  8. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    Pickup height?
    Aqualung60 likes this.
  9. If you have back bow. Check it the way the Fender setup guide explains to do it. Capo first fret. hold down last fret and check for gap around the 8th fret. Should be about .010. About the width of a couple business cards.
  10. Low. As low as they can be. I put back the QPs and since they're pretty hot, I lowered them a lot.
  11. Could be....doesn't seem like it... :S
  12. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Did you shim the neck before you followed the steps in that guide?
  13. Shimmed it, then set it up to my preferences using my Geddy Lee bass' setup as a guide.

    Made it worse.

    And it doesn't help that the truss rod won't tighten unless I risk stripping it completely.
  14. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Is there too much relief in the neck now?
  15. JustForSport


    Nov 17, 2011
    Check and verify and set relief measurement before adjusting anything else.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2016
    96tbird and Zooberwerx like this.
  16. Too much where fretting a note is difficult.

    Apparently too much relief doesn't always mean less fret buzz?

    Starting to think my bass is suffering from this diagram and it makes so much sense.

  17. If you tighten the truss rod you may be producing back bow. Go lefty loosey about 1/4 turn and see if it gets better. Better yet hold down the first and last fret and check the clearance between the string and the top of fret 8 or 9. You should do that before anything else. If you don't have a capo you can use a scrunchy or rubber band or something to hold the string at the first fret. You could even wrap tape around it tightly. Just put paper on the back of the neck to keep the tape glue off of it if you are concerned about it. Improvise and Overcome!!
  18. There is no back bow! It's the opposite! Excessive relief!
  19. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Have you measured the relief?

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