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Help with action

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by pnchad, May 25, 2018.

  1. pnchad

    pnchad Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2005
    Hey All,

    I have a great old flatback I’m trying to optimize. I’ve had various strings on it but I was wondering about setting up the action. It plays well w the zyex strings but the action seems high towards the bridge.

    Is there a dimension you look for between the strings and the fingerboard wars the end?

  2. BobKay

    BobKay Supporting Member

    Nov 5, 2012
    Estero, Florida; USA
    The distance depends on the strings and the sound you are trying to achieve, according to many of the folks on TB. But FWIT, on my hybrid bass, with Spirocore mediums, the measurements are 9mm - 8mm - 7mm - 6mm E to G. That is measured from the bottom of the string to the fingerboard, at the end.
  3. Steven Ayres

    Steven Ayres Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2007
    Northern Arizona
    Ditto that specific string tension and the technique you want to use are primary factors in deciding how to set the bridge height. What many miss is that the first height to set is the nut, which makes all the difference in how the strings feel in the money position.
    robobass and Povl Carstensen like this.
  4. James Collins

    James Collins

    Mar 25, 2017
    Augusta, GA
    I agree with all of the above and add that proper neck relief is more than just "flat as a rule." There is a proper amount of relief to allow a particular amount of action that I have found through trial and error.

    You cannot set saddle height without also considering nut height and neck bow in whatever order gives you consistent results.
  5. robobass


    Aug 1, 2005
    Cologne, Germany
    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
    First of all, how high is the nut? Secondly, if you press say the Bb on the A string, and also the highest note on the same string, how much distance is there under the string at the midpoint? Flatter boards produce higher action in thumb position, while deeply scooped boards have higher action lower down. Saddle height is less of an issue when trying to dial in your "action". I'd leave that parameter alone until you have worked out the other variables.

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