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Heel, Pocket or Neither??

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Mojo3432, Mar 7, 2013.

  1. Hello all. OK so I just put a 50's Classic Vibe P-Bass neck on a Sting Signature body. It fit the pocket perfectly and the bass is great, plays beautifully and the neck is straight as an arrow...BUT...

    It seems I can't make the thing not buzz on the frets unless I prop up the saddles with a couple of nickles stacked on top of each other. And I have the height adjustment screws just about maxed. Obviously something is WRONG...But what??

    Would a solution be to sand the back of the neck heel a bit to make it rest deeper in the pocket? Should I sand the pocket? Or is neither of these the issue??
  2. No thoughts or suggestions from anyone?? I would really appreciate your input.
  3. 20YearNoob


    Mar 29, 2012
    A couple of things come to mind that need MUCH less intensive care than sanding out the neck pocket.

    Depending on which frets are buzzing, your truss rod might need to be tightened OR loosened.

    The nut slots could be too deep for your setup, allowing the strings to buzz on the first frets. Replace the nut.

  4. devo_stevo


    Aug 2, 2006
    Northern Utah
    Builder: Brumbaugh Guitarworks
    Another option is to put a shim under the bridge to raise the whole thing up to where it should be instead of just the saddles. This would be much less invasive and less permenant than the other options you suggested.

    If you end up removing material from either the neck or the pocket, make sure that you still have a flat, square surface when you are done and check the length of the screws as they could go through the fingerboard if you take off too much.
  5. SoLongJake

    SoLongJake Supporting Member

    Jul 1, 2007
    Des Moines, Iowa
    Couldn't you shim the neck side of the pocket to get a little bit better angle for your bridge?
  6. Thanks for the replies NOOB and STEVO. All fantastic advice too.

    I certainly don't want to have to sand anything due to it's inherent issues. Couple of questions though...what would I use to shim under the bridge and how do I deal with the grounding wire under it?

    The neck seems straight as an arrow, yet from maybe the 8th or 9th fret on up the notes are almost non discernible across all strings.
  7. "Couldn't you shim the neck side of the pocket to get a little bit better angle for your bridge?"

    I could, but then I would have to lean the top of the neck forward instead of the bottom of the neck back. I'm not sure that wouldn't cause other issues.
  8. SoLongJake

    SoLongJake Supporting Member

    Jul 1, 2007
    Des Moines, Iowa
    It would cause other issues, like your bridge being usable.
  9. Take it to a pro, please.

    Do not start sanding away material and shimming may or may not be the solution.

    Find a reputable guitar tech and have them take a look at it for you.
  10. I'm just trying to be careful not to do any damage anywhere. That's all. I'm not doubting your advice...Just trying to be sure.
  11. Yes. That is the BEST advice and I will. I guess I just wanted to pick everyone's brain first to see if anyone had ever run across something like this before. Thanks ;)
  12. You are welcome. When you do take it in see if they guy who is going to work on it will show you a thing or two. You will be amazed and how misguided you might be on how to get your action and setup just right.

    But if you really wanted to tackle it yourself, you can - and should. But do more studying - here and elsewhere - before you break out the tools - especially before you break out tools that remove wood! ;)
  13. devo_stevo


    Aug 2, 2006
    Northern Utah
    Builder: Brumbaugh Guitarworks
    Geez tZer. Come in here with all that common sense and all.

    Just trying to give some ideas of things that could work without damaging the instrument beyond repair. Absolutely take it to someone who knows shat they are doing and they should be able to sort it out for you.
  14. devo_stevo - Ha! tZer and common sense in the same sentence... Mark down this day!

    I do want to encourage the OP to study up and learn how to diagnose and fix these things himself. It's not rocket science. But it is also the kind of process that is not the most instantly intuitive to a beginner. Things that might look like the obvious solution may actually be totally off base. There's an order to things... adjust for proper relief... check intonation... adjust height... so on...

    You get my drift.
  15. devo_stevo


    Aug 2, 2006
    Northern Utah
    Builder: Brumbaugh Guitarworks
  16. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    Personally, I would break out my router and remove a little material from the neck pocket. That being said, I am experienced with the tools and capable of doing the repair correctly.

    I would strongly caution the OP to do what was said before and take it to a pro. I would hate to see you ruin a good bass.
  17. funnyfingers


    Nov 27, 2005
    Post some pics. I am no pro but something is definitely wrong if there is fret buzz with the saddles at their highest. What are the string height measurements at the 1st and 12th fret? Maybe the 20th fret as well.
  18. JLS


    Sep 12, 2008
    Emeryville, Ca
    I setup & repair guitars & basses
    "Straight as an arrow" = wrong. Relief is needed. Also, a shim to tilt the neck forward--check the neck pocket to ascertain that there isn't already a shim there, that has the neck tilted too far back.

    As far as this, "shimming the bridge/routing the neck pocket", goes, this is just goofy. ALL YOU NEED IS A SHIM!!!
  19. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol

    You say the neck is perfectly straight. This means it isn't properly adjusted. Before shimming, adjust curvature properly.
  20. Gord_oh

    Gord_oh Midtown Guitars: Ulyate Pickups & StringJoy Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2008

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