Fender Jazz Bass neck problems

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by JustinStud, Feb 25, 2022.

  1. JustinStud


    Feb 25, 2022
    By the way I want to start by saying I've never used this website so don't judge me if I'm doing something wrong, I just needed help so I came here.
    So I bought a MIM jazz bass a couple weeks ago, and it was having fret buzz problems. In order to get rid of the buzz I had to raise the action super high, and the truss rod was tightened all the way (it still had a forward bow). I took it to my local guitar store and the guy there (a luthier) said that the neck was dried out and that caused multiple problems, including the fret buzz (from what I gathered it was warped, causing the 15-20 frets to be higher than the lower frets, making the higher frets buzz). Either way, I took it back to guitar center and they couldn't fix the buzz either, so I returned it and ordered the same exact bass brand new. I just got the bass today and it seems like it has the same exact problem. I still have to keep the action way too high, and it still has a forward bow, and I can't play 11th fret and above without buzz even with the high action. By the way I'm 17 and this is my first encounter with intermediate level gear and I expected an official Fender Jazz Bass to be.. at least nice.. and not have more problems than all 3 of my old cheaper basses that I traded in to get this bass. I just feel like I shouldn't have to "deal with" an $800 bass like this.. So what do I do?? Do I just need to learn how to set up guitars better? Do I return it to guitar center a second time and keep the cycle going? Do I just give up and have someone fix the guitar instead of trying to get a brand new guitar that doesn't have problems to begin with? If you have any insight I will gladly listen
  2. It’s hard to say for sure without the bass in hand or measurements of things like relief or string height. It might just need a good setup. You don’t say where you’re at but another factor is it’s difficult to expect something made of wood to go from, for example, a warm, comparatively humid environment to dry and cold and not have the wood move. With that in mind it’s not unreasonable for a new instrument to need a set up once it’s in its new home and I’ve had several friends amazed at how much better their new guitars are once that’s done.

    Some pictures could be helpful. From the headstock along the length of the neck towards the bridge. A side view of the E string at the 12th. Another thing you can check is to press the E string at the first fret and the 17th. There should only be about a business card thickness between the 7th fret and the string with it held down at 1 and 17. If you have a capo and feeler gauges, capo at the first fret, hold down at 17 and 0.012” is a good starting number.
  3. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
    (TB collective): Hi, Justin. We hope you brought donuts.
    Lownote38 and Jeff Scott like this.
  4. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    Apr 11, 2006
    Out there!
    Nice way to start your very first post here! :roflmao:

    You'll fit right in... :D

    BTW, paragraphs are pretty cheap, ya know? ;)
    JLS and Spidey2112 like this.
  5. JustinStud


    Feb 25, 2022
    I'm in Ohio so it is colder here, and I might go take it and get it set up properly. The thing is that's what I did with the first bass, but instead of setting up the bass, he told me I should return it and get my money back. Attached are some photos in this order: 9th fret (capo 1, finger 17th), 12th fret (capo 1 finger 17th), lower frets (no capo or finger), higher frets (no capo or finger). To my eye, the fretboard has a forward bow, then the very end of the fretboard curls up. with the capo and finger test, my driver's license was actually smaller than the gap between the strings and the fretboard (if that counts as a business card). IMG_3048.jpeg IMG_3049.jpeg IMG_3050.jpeg IMG_3053.jpeg
  6. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    Do you have someone else other than Guitar Center who can look at it? If so, take it to them and ask if it can be setup. If it can, have them do it. If not, send it back again.
  7. ThomasTronics


    Nov 21, 2011
    As a basic rule. Fret buzz around the 5th fret is a truss rod adjustment. Buzz above the 12th fret is saddle adjustment not truss rod.

    If you have the tool follow the setup guide here and set up the bass.
    From that point you'll have a good idea of what might be going on.

    Put a picture of the bridge and saddles of possible.
  8. lark_z

    lark_z Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2020
    Good info here....


    For me, the four videos if done in order will get you there, unless the neck is faulty. Then it's another return. For $800, don't be shy about complaining and returning.
  9. JustinStud


    Feb 25, 2022
    Just took it to my local (trusted) guitar store, and they said the neck was still dried out, plus it still has a bow that the truss rod can't fix, so Im taking it back. Thanks for helping y'all
    Lownote38 likes this.