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Help! Need to Shim The Neck

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by wll012, Jan 19, 2005.

  1. wll012


    Sep 23, 2004
    I have MIM Jazz and I just put a Gotoh 201 bridge on it. Looks nice, but the action is way too high even when I lower the saddles. I read in other threads that this might be a common problem. People were recommending to shim the neck. My question is where do I actually place the SHIM? I read somewhere at the butt of the neck. Where is the butt of the neck? Thanks
  2. r379


    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    I had to do this to my MIA P. The butt of the neck is the end closest to the bridge. I used two strips of ordinary masking tape (you may need more or less) one on top of the other about 1/2" from the end of the butt. You'll just have to go by trial and error to see how much shimming you'll need.
  3. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    don't put it at the butt.
    Putt it between the screw, right against the bridge side screws.
    If you put it at the butt, with years you have chances to see the end of the fretboard lift up due to flexion.
  4. r379


    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    That's about where I put mine. Guess I shoulda mentioned the screw thing.
  5. wll012


    Sep 23, 2004
    thanks so much for your help...bass plays great now
  6. I resurrected this thread to continue the discussion. I have exactly the same issue with Gotoh 201 and MIM basses. I'd rather shim the neck than route the bridge deeper into the body.

    What is the correct method of shimming MIM necks to raise the installed height of the finger board?

    Does somebody make wood shims for this purpose? I'd think that maximum solid contact must be maintained between the neck and the pocket, or this will affect tone and sound quality.

    Thoughts, please.
  7. I use a business card to make shims and that works well for me. A lot of people use a piece of aluminum from a beer or soda pop can. I have never seen commercially prepared wood shims (although they certainly might exist). I can't tell any difference in the tone of the bass after the shim was installed vs. the tone before it was installed.
  8. Any thin veneer will do the job well. I have a bag of scrap wood veneers i save for this purpose
  9. I'm a lot more inclined to use a non-paper shim that does not change dimension with humidity, or eventually compress.

    Veneer sounds like a good idea. When I need a shim to compensate for bridge height, I need more than 0.007" provided by business cards or beer cans.

    If my bridge saddles are bottomed out, I figure a 0.0625 to 0.125" shim is in order. This will give me some movement in the saddles again for fine tuning.
  10. Sounds like you are over thinking your measurements. Try a veneer, see how close it is. if the neck still needs raising abit more, add another veneer or use a thicker one.

    1 or 2 veneers wont affect the stability of the neck join, any more and you might have problems, but it shouldnt need that many anyway
  11. It is hard to calculate just how much difference a shim of a given thickness will yield. I have never needed more than 2 thicknesses of business card. A thin shim will make more difference than you might think.
  12. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    It's not a very fine adjustement. You just want to fit into the adjustement range of the bridge. 2 or 3 tries should be enough.
  13. Loel

    Loel Blazin' Acadian

    Oct 31, 2004
    many years ago i picked up a 69 mustang,some blow head had put a gibson ebo humbucker in the bridge position and a piece of wood under the bridge to compensate for height;when i took all this apart i noticed they'ed put a tort guitar pick as a shim in the neck pocket it seemed to work well :eyebrow:
  14. I own a Yamaha RBX 375 and I had that problem.
    I use the method indicated in this post and it really worked.
    Thank you Jazz ad :bassist:
  15. This is the ticket. I just put a new Gotoh 201 on my MIM and had the same problem. Shimmed it with a strip of business card... did a re-setup and BANG... my Mexican Mule has never played better.
  16. The 201s are increasingly notorious for this. I have one I've stopped trying to make work. Once you get the shin in right you have to pull the pickups up and sometimes you need to put extra padding under the pickups. Someone suggested replacing the saddles on the 201, I think that's an idea that merits exploring.

    I recommend using a strip shim across the width of the heel rather than a guitar pick, over time it can make a lump at the point where the shin is and make action settings weird from string to string.

    It's funny how much difference a very small shim can make. Calling cards are good but they may compress over time.
  17. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    I'm having the same problem with the Gotoh 201, and it might be worse in my case b/c it's a fretless MIM J neck.

    I've thought about removing the saddles and filing down the bottoms. Anybody try this?

    Otherwise I guess I'll try business cards or veneer, which I can easily get from a neighbor who builds high-end furniture for a hobby. I'm figuring about 1/16" of an inch should do it.
  18. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    I now use the veneer edging strips myself because I bought about 30 feet of it at a good price. I've also used a plastic guitar pick once or twice and business cards. There seems to be no difference in sound between the various methods. The placement shown just behind the butt end screw holes works best.

    I wouldn't get into filing down the saddles.It's a lot of unnecessary work.