Higher fret buzzing on Fender Am P-bass. Skijump?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Mark Holter, May 3, 2020.

  1. Mark Holter

    Mark Holter

    Apr 17, 2020
    Hello, I just acquired a 2017 Fender American Professional Precision Bass. The setup was odd when I got it. I did the basic setup. The nut looks fine in terms of groove depths. The neck was almost completely flat. I loosened the truss rod and now the relief at 8th fret with capo on 1st fret and fretted 17th: .012 (30mm). So far so good.

    The problem is that when I try to lower the action to normal height, I get a lot of buzzing from the 12th fret up. The very lowest I can adjust it without buzzing is:
    Action at 12th fret: E 3.85mm / G 3.4mm
    Action at 17th fret: E: 4.00mm / G 3.65mm

    Fender recommendations (I believe on the medium/high side) are
    6/64" (2.4 mm) on bass side and 5/64" (2 mm) on the treble side.

    So, I don't see any way to get the action anywhere near what I need it to be.

    Any advice is appreciated. I am trying to decide wether this is fixable and at what cost. I am leaning toward sending it back to the seller.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Jim C

    Jim C I believe in the trilogy; Fender, Stingray, + G&L Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    My advice is to be sure that a ski jump is really the problem.
    Do you have known good straight edges to visually see the problem?

    Some folks have had decent results with the neck being bent back in a jig but I think the fool proof method is to create some drop off. In other words remove material from the top 4 or 5 frets that are high because the neck has lifted at the body mount.
  3. Mark Holter

    Mark Holter

    Apr 17, 2020
    Thanks for the response. It's hard to visually sight the problem and no, I don't have a long enough straight edge. The measurements were made with callipers. I've set up many guitars and maintain my own and this is the first time I've encountered this. I read through the skijump thread and it seems likely that's what I'm seeing here. Before I'd take on the repair I'd need a sizeable price reduction from the seller, and even so I don't know whether I want to go there.
    Jim C likes this.
  4. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician
    Easy ski jump check: Fret at the 10th fret. There should be a tiny gap at the 11th, getting larger at the 12th and larger and larger to the end. If the gap starts getting smaller at any point, there's ski jump.
    bigbassmike, Jim C, JLS and 4 others like this.
  5. Mark Holter

    Mark Holter

    Apr 17, 2020
    Thanks so much. Doing that, the gap does become progressively larger to the end of the board. What then would explain why my action can't be lowered to normal (playable) without string buss beyond the twelfth fret? This was supposed to be a quick setup and it's been driving me insane all day :)
  6. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician
    Check for buzz at each fret and all strings from 12th fret up. Does it buzz at every fret? All strings?
    five7 likes this.
  7. Mark Holter

    Mark Holter

    Apr 17, 2020
    Needed to go to work but will check this out next. Thanks!
  8. R&B

    R&B Both kinds of music: Rhythm AND Blues! Supporting Member

    Aargh. I feel your pain. Check neck bolts to be sure they are tight. And maybe try tightening the truss rod a touch. Some necks seem to set up better when flatter. Good luck!
    Mark Holter likes this.
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