Fretless action hight?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by bassman134, May 21, 2002.

  1. Hi,

    Quick one, on a fretless Bass, can you get as low as an action as you can get on fretted? I am trying to setup my new fretless, and the action is a bit higher than Id like. I'm not sure if it is because this is an inexpensive Bass or if the Action on a fretless has a higher limit. An example of a good fretless action hight in some kind of measurement would be cool too..

  2. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    You can actually get very low action on a fretless. The technical term used by luthiers for centuries is "Supa-low".

    What's nice about fretless is that you can not only get lower relief, as mentioned below, but you can set up the bass with NO relief, and still have a playable instrument. I lot of the higher-end fretless basses are set up at the factory with zero relief in the neck.
  3. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Generally with fretless you can get lower action than on a fretted. Most people use less relief (the amount of bow) on the neck than on fretted. That, and the fact that there are no frets in front of where you finger it to buzz against, allow you to have lower action. It also increases the mwah sound that fretless players are usually looking for.
  4. OK,

    It seems I may have found the problem. The neck is mounted at a backwards angle to the body. When I lessen the relief and lower the saddles, the strings buzz at the 24th fret area. Can I shim the neck forward? Here is a pic...( Dont mind my foot )

    ThanksNeck Picture
  5. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    Wow... yeah, that is a definite problem. What kind of bass is it? Was it new? If it was, you might be able to get your money back or have it fixed under warranty. Otherwise, a shim could work. Take off the strings and unbolt the neck, and see if you can figure out what is causing that wacky angle. I would be very surprised if a production bass had an angled neck joint.
  6. Its a cheapo, a brice... I bought it at rondo music, and it was the floor model so it is not returnable. I only paid $150 for it though. I think Ill take it apart and see what I can do.
  7. Ok..ready.. and the reason is..IT WAS SHIMMED THAT WAY....
  8. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    Hehe... you always gotta wonder about the people who owned your gear before you.
  9. And now I know why... with the shim out, saddle all the way down and very little relief, the action is about 5-6 cm what? I think they made the cutout too deep for the neck, maybe shim the whole thing up evenly? I can send more pics if you think you could help... Also my AIM name is bassmansi134, if you care to IM me

    Thanks for your help
  10. Ok, well I raised the height of the whole neck..It is better now. I guess I learned 2 lessons with this...1, you get what you pay for..2, Don't buy floor models you can't return...
  11. bizzaro


    Aug 21, 2000
    And don't forget the other lesson????.........
    On Neck Shimming:eek:
  12. steve-o

    steve-o Guest

    Apr 17, 2002
    when you the shim was takin out was the neck flat with the body?
    if so than why couldn't you of just lower the string saddles?

  13. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    Because sometimes, if the neck pocket is too deep, the distance from the fretboard to the string can be to great to be fixed with a saddle adjustment. Raise the neck up with the shim and the fretboard gets closer to the strings.
  14. bass_giant


    Jul 31, 2000
    Hong Kong
    my fortress one fretless...

    How about the the buzz sound from 1st to 3rd fret ??
    and my neck can't relief any more...
    how to shim ?
  15. lowcarlos


    Aug 31, 2015
    Starting out on fretless too, and the low action seems to mwah appropriately, but it also rattles. Do I need to just crank up the volume and play lighter?
  16. JustForSport


    Nov 17, 2011
    Regarding the OP's situation, a thinner shim would've fixed it.

    If the rattle is from the strings rattling on the fingerboard, yes, try to play lighter. If it still rattles, check the saddles first.
  17. MarkoYYZ

    MarkoYYZ Commercial User

    Jan 31, 2012
    Hammersmith Music
    Wanting the action low doesn't mean the saddles need to be low. A slightly back-tilted neck (with shim) means that in order to get low, you want the saddles up a little. Straighten the neck and then adjust the saddle height as needed, and if they're high, then so be it.

    Low action is the relationship between the strings and the neck, not between the saddles and the body.
  18. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    13 years later, i wonder if the OP ever got it figured out ;)
  19. kkaarrll


    Jun 1, 2014
    why not help out the person googling a similar problem they are having when this thread doesn't answer it?
    MarkoYYZ likes this.
  20. kkaarrll


    Jun 1, 2014
    because what? carrots? metal?

    help a new bass player out

    welcome them