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How Low can you go? (Action)

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Luis Fabara, Jun 30, 2001.


  1. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    How low do you have your action?
    Neck relief?
    How much fret-buzz you have that way?

    Measures can be in either Metric or Inches.

    I use my Cort Curbow 6 String at almost zero relief with 1~2mm height at the 12th Fret.
    It has an increased angle at the neck pocket so the Birdge doesnt bottom out when having this low action.
     
  2. My EDC705 is ~1mm, but the strings are way up in the air..
    no fret buzz, but the volume is pretty low too..
    maybe i should lower the strings sometime..
     
  3. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    ????
    I dont get it, how can you have 1mm Action and the strings way Up in the air?
    Where are you measuring the 1mm?
     
  4. oy sh#t.. i'm mistaken again :(

    I pull the strings to the neck at the pickups and fret the 1st fret on A-string.. then there's about 1mm between the string and nect at the 12th fret..

    but when i let the string go.. there's about 5 mm between the strings and the neck at the 12th fret.

    maybe i should losen the thrussrod ? i want my strings down, but the sadle at the bridge is nearly at it's lowest limit..
     
  5. Yeah, giving the neck a bit of curve will give you some leeway to lower the strings. You could also try rasing your pickups a little to increase the volume.

    My strings have about 0.5mm relief, and when released are 3mm above the 12th fret. My pickups are about 0.7mm from my strings.
     
  6. actually i meanth TIGHTEN the thrussrod, to make it lean backward more.. that lowers the strings a little.

    uhm.. pickups 0.7 mm from your strings ???
    how the hell are they supposed to vibrate then ?
     
  7. Yeah, a little. If you want to radically alter the height, a slight trussrod job won't do it, IME.

    0.7mm is a lot of room. Plus, I play softly. And my strings don't vibrate up and down onto the pickups, the vibrate side to side. Unless I play weird...:rolleyes:
     
  8. Heheh..

    Wel i spanky my strings pretty hard with the pick, so they " swoosh " to all sides.. tried raising the picks just now but it's impossible (?).. the pickups have a fixed height (?) on the EDC
     
  9. On my Pbass the distance on the released string at the 12th fret is a bit less than 3/16 of an inch. When pressing the 1st fret and beyond the neck its about 1/16 of an inch. There is next to no fretbuzz.
     
  10. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    Well, If your bridge is bottoming out not allowing you to make the strings lower I suggest all of this:

    1) Remove the neck and add a 1 cent coin nearest to the bridge in the neck pocket.
    This way the neck will create an angle and go downwards...
    2) When you put the neck back , strings should be now hitting the frets, so you will have to RAISE the bridge sadless until you like it.

    Relief should be around 0.5 mm or less.. I use it straight on my Cort Curbow.

    That is the way I set up my basses for ultra-low action..
    5mm at the 12th fret makes a bass a piece of crap to me.
     
  11. So Luis, could you play my bass?

    And I made a slight error in measurement. My Pickups are 1.7mm from the strngs.
     
  12. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    3 mm is good for most things.
    But for me it wont cut it.
    I use tapping and fast fingering techniques wich requiere a very low action..
    1.7 mm on the pickups?
    Thats very close to the pickups, do you have Active or Passive pickups?
     
  13. I got passive, weak-ass pickups. I might lower my action a little, along with my pups. I can't stand fret buzz, but I might be being excessive(I can fret my 1st fret E right behind the nut and not get buzz - :eek: )

    I think, an 8th turn of the trussrod for a little less curve in the neck, and lower my saddles by a 1/2 turn should do the trick. Lower my pups about 2mm too....
     
  14. RS

    RS

    Aug 27, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    Unless you're playing very insane stuff, there is really no reason other than personal preference to have "on the board action". In fact, I think alot of basses sound better with a medium or high action.
    Of course if it is too high you have intonation problems as well.
     
  15. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    My personal preference is Extremely-Low Action.
    I believe Slapping and tapping gets better with low action..
    Specially 2 Handed Rythm/Melody tapping
     
  16. Dox

    Dox

    Aug 17, 2000
    Millville, New Jersey
    If I want to lower my action an I start getting fret buzz 12th and highier do I tighten or loosen teh truss rod to stop it? Or will that not do the trick?
     
  17. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    It seems that you have a Front Bow and low string saddles.
    To fix that I suggest you the Truss rod 1/4 of a Clockwise turn and wait a couple of hours or overnight.
    Then raise the saddles accordingly until the buzz is even on all the frets.
    Or no buzz at all.

    Hope that helps
     
  18. Dox

    Dox

    Aug 17, 2000
    Millville, New Jersey
    I have my action where I want it. But it buzzes. I want to know if I can adjust my truss rod without having to raise the saddles. I would like to get maybe a bit lower to. Or is it just my bass won't let that low of action?
     
  19. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    The way Im telling you , will probably end in a Lower Overall action with better playability.
     
  20. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well there seems to be a lot of advice flying about here. I would always rather rely on the "experts" and the best article for getting low action I ever read was "Anthony Jackson's setup Masterclass" which was in BassPlayer and is on their website :

    http://www.bassplayer.com/z1998/9812/aj.shtml