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High action and have run out of ideas

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by samtay6, Jun 4, 2012.


  1. samtay6

    samtay6

    Nov 2, 2010
    I've got an SX P-bass that has high action. I've basically run out of things to blame it on.

    From what I can tell on Rondo, SX's are supposed to have neck pockets cut 3/4" deep. Mine is spot on 3/4" across the pocket. Neck heels are also supposed to be 3/4" deep minus the height of the fretboard on rosewood models. My rosewood fretboard neck is 3/4" deep minus the height of the fretboard.

    Even with those specs falling in line I am still sitting at about 5mm string height on the 17th fret with the saddle bottomed out. I don't see how this can be happening with the bent steel style bridge, a tiny bit of relief, and no neck pocket angle to speak of.

    Could it be possible the rosewood fretboard just isn't cut thick enough?

    Would it be wise to buy a replacement SX neck off Rondo with the old-style headstock to see if it's strictly a neck issue? I'm not opposed to shimming, but if a neck swap can solve it and I can get a better headstock in the process, I'd be more interested in that.

    Thanks for the help
     
  2. Andy_D

    Andy_D

    Nov 28, 2009
    Corpus Christi, TX
    If your not opposed to shimming then try that first before throwing money at a new neck. half of my basses have shims in them they work great. I put a high mass bridge on my SX and had no choice. I had to shim.
     
  3. bootsox

    bootsox

    Apr 28, 2012
    Biloxi, MS
    Are you sure the neck is straight? If it is, you might just have to shim it.
     
  4. mongo2

    mongo2

    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    I just checked my 2 SX basses and the neckpockets are 5/8" deep not 3/4".
     
  5. JLS

    JLS

    Sep 12, 2008
    Albuquerque, NM
    I setup & repair guitars & basses
    ...and the replacement neck might require shimming, as well.

    "Opposition to shimming", is, well, silly.

    So, yes, shim, this is the classic need for it.
     
  6. Two ideas immediately jump to mind:

    First, how shallow are the nut slots? If they are overly shallow, this will add to your string height. You may need to file them deeper, but only with the right tools and only if you know what the hell you're doing, because if you botch it, someone is going to have to replace the nut.

    Next, sometimes you can take nearly all the relief out of the neck and then raise the saddles. This is usually only true if the frets are very level, so you may be looking at a fret level here.

    Also, FWIW, I always measure my action at the 12th fret. Works well for me.
     
  7. If you do end up shimming the neck, use a material other than paper. Paper might deteriorate due to time, pressure and moisture. But thats just my 2 pesos.
     
  8. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    If you have gone through the setup procedures outlined in the stickies in this forum, then I think you're probably in shim territory. It's not difficult and it's 100% reversible.

    I've used a business card, either folded over or single thickness, more than once. I don't expect the paper to deteriorate during my lifetime...and maybe not my kids' lifetimes, either.

    Masking tape also works, and allows adding very thin layers.

    If you really feel compulsive, you can always have a beer and cut a shim out of side of the aluminum can.
     
  9. brad houser

    brad houser

    Jan 4, 2008
    SHIM. I cut 2 1/8" strips from a guitar pick and used those on my Squier. perfect!!!! made the bass really come alive.
     
  10. Chuck King

    Chuck King Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2006
    Chicago
    Another shim material that's hard and dense and won't decay is a sheet of aluminum foil cut to size and folded to the desired thickness.
     

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