How high are tour strings?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by magic8161, Apr 13, 2018.

  1. magic8161

    magic8161 Supporting Member

    Mar 4, 2003
    I use one of theses to check my string hight I have mine set at 1.75 to 2.00. I like it a bit low. Whats the average? Its a P bass. And whats yours?

    Attached Files:

  2. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    I don't measure mine, but I know it's quite a bit lower than what your measurement on that tool is. I get the strings as low as I can without buzzing, and follow the radius of the neck. For me, it's about how it feels rather than a specific measurement. I like to have the action as low as possible so I don't need to use much pressure with my fretting hand.
    lz4005, JRA, Bassbeater and 2 others like this.
  3. Alik


    Apr 13, 2013
    El Paso, TX
    Exactly as Lownote38 said above, add that to a jazz bass neck and :bassist:
    JRA likes this.
  4. Bassbeater

    Bassbeater Guest

    Sep 9, 2001
    As low as possible to get a clean enough note with no fretting out. Fatigue and carpal tunnel are the issue if you are playing long sets constantly.
    David A. Davis likes this.
  5. Willicious

    Willicious Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2008
    Bend, Oregon
    I use the StewMac equivalent of that same gauge, and for string height on my P Bass with vintage-spec 7.25" radius board I've found that 5/64" is about the lowest she'll suffer before the buzz sets in. That's with a generous .014" of neck relief and clean, dead level frets.
    On my other P bass, with an AllParts neck, with its 10" radius, I can easily set string height at 4/64", with .008"—.010" neck relief, and it plays super clean along the entire neck. This experience alone has sold me on ditching the tight vintage radius necks on my future bass builds.
    I should also note that on both of the above basses, I pretty much minimize my nut slots / first fret action: about .010" on the E, and about .006" on the G, with the middle strings falling in between in graduated increments.
    Sands, magic8161 and Bassbeater like this.
  6. TuneSalad666

    TuneSalad666 Inactive

    Mar 1, 2018
    Just about 2.0 mm low E string 12th fret, about 2.4 mm at 17th fret. Not on a bass with a fretboard radius similar to P Bass though.

    This is on a 12" radius neck.
  7. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    What are tour strings?

    I don't tour, but I play my regular strings at all times.
    Alik and lz4005 like this.
  8. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician - Retired
    I use the same string height at home and on tour. Had no idea that you should change height when on the road.

    Sorry. Typos are easy targets.
    Pilgrim likes this.
  9. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Gold Supporting Member

    Lownote38 likes this.
  10. Member8675309

    Member8675309 Inactive

    Aug 19, 2017
    Nashville, TN
    I measured my strings once upon a time. Although my obsession with measuring only lasted a month, it was long enough to drive me nuts.

    I’ve gone back to going by feel. It’s way, way better for me. No matter the bass, tension, string type, there is one overall characteristic I go by.....can I pull and release at the neck for fat bass without any/much fret rattle? If I can, they’re just right.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2018
    lz4005 likes this.
  11. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    my vintage g&l actually sounds weird and isn't as easy to play with super low action, kinda strange i guess
  12. twelvetrombones

    twelvetrombones Martian Ambassador Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2017
    I like action a bit on the high side, just a hair above 7/64th. I don't obsess about it too much, preferring a bit higher action over being marginal for string buzz.
  13. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    2mm is about 5/64", if I still remember how to do the conversion. Which, IIRC, would be pretty much the Fender factory spec at the 17th fret. And, if that's what makes you happy, is perfectly fine. Like other people have said, I like my strings low enough to buzz a little when I want them to. Which is mandatory for Rick basses...;) And, with 22 basses, I have no idea what that height actually is, for all of them. A good bit lower than 5/64" for most of them, I imagine...:whistle:
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2018