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Fret Fallaway

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by jdwhitak, Nov 29, 2013.

  1. jdwhitak


    Mar 20, 2012
    Greenwood, IN
    Is having fallaway in the frets on a bass neck as important/desirable as it is on a guitar neck?
  2. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Victoria, BC
    Fall away means different things to different people - whatcha getting at? Frets being leveled at successively lower heights from nut to bridge to reduce buzzing? Or maybe the fall away on an acoustic guitar where you keep the end of fretboard angled back to introduce height at the bridge, and subsequently need to introduce an arch in the upper transverse brace towards the neck?

    Neither are necessarily all that important and/or desirable, it all depends on your design and the parameters needed for optimum playability and setup. Depends on player preference too...
  3. Reticle


    Jul 24, 2009
    Charleston SC
    I've been using the technique that Simo described in one of his posts. I don't like super low actions but I can seem to get a hair lower doing the fallaway than I could with normal leveling.
  4. jdwhitak


    Mar 20, 2012
    Greenwood, IN
    I have a really light touch when playing and I like a low action with a neck that is almost dead straight. Maybe at most .009" of relief.

    Anyways, years ago I read a guitar repair book by Dan Erlewine. In the section about necks he said that many necks have what he called secondary relief from about the twelfth fret up. He said that this secondary relief caused buzzing in the higher frets. That the ideal situation is for the fretboard to be dead flat from the twelfth fret up or a fallaway where there is more and more space between the top of the fret and the bottom of the string.

    I guess my question to everyone is does this apply to bass? I'm thinking Elrlewine's idea really only applies to guitars.
  5. FunkyMan


    Nov 27, 2007

    It absolutely can apply to bass too. I have a Custom made bass which have a slight fallaway from fret 18 to 24, (on the actual fretboard, not the frets) and i can acheve a ridiculous low action, and still have a good playability at higher frets, it doesn't sacrifice string height as we can imagine! but this has to be done well