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Fret Alignment Fender Jazz

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Robert Strickland, Nov 22, 2016.

  1. Greetings Luthiers. I have a 50th anniversary American Jazz Bass. I just noticed that the frets do not appear to be on a level plane with the neck. (I would say they don't appear to be perpendicular to the edge of the fingerboard, but that wouldn't make sense because the edge of the fingerboard obviously gets wider as it approaches the heel.)

    Rather, the frets appear to be slightly "slanted" down toward the E string when you look at the bass in full frontal view. It's slight, but noticeable. I have another jazz with a 62 reissue neck that doesn't appear to be that way - the frets look "level".

    Hard to tell, of course, because there are no true "right angles" on the bass do to all the curves.

    I know that Dingwall and others have designed basses purposely with significantly "fanned" frets. But is the slight downward angle normal for certain years of Jazz Basses?
  2. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    I've never heard or seen of an angle on standard Jazz frets. Photos? Do you have a carpenters square you can lay on it? Does it intonate correctly? Find the center of the fingerboard at nut and heel, mark them with tape, then run a straightedge connecting the centerpoints at each end. Are the frets perpendicular to that line? If not, you have entered the Twilight Zone of Fender necks.

    Are the E and G strings a consistent distance away from the fingerboard edge? Just wondering if the neck is skewed in the pocket, creating an optical illusion of sorts.
  3. Thanks for the reply. Yes, Intonation appears to be OK as you move up the frets.

    E & G appear to be roughly equidistant from edges.

    Will do you experiment and or take to a Luthier. Thanks.
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    Primary TB Assistant

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