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How low is low action?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by anonymous278347457, Apr 30, 2006.

  1. anonymous278347457

    anonymous278347457 Guest

    Feb 12, 2005

    This is my jazz bass(sorry for the bad quality phone pictures), how llow should the action be? if i play really hard at the top frets it still clicks against the other frets just slightly. also the relief in the neck doesnt seem to be that much:


    is this action normal?
  2. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    Whatever you are comfortable with is what you should use.

    Generally though, when Im measuring my action, what I do is adjust the neck so I can just barely fit a buisiness card under the strings at their highest point when I hold the string down at the first and last fret. Then from there, I raise or lower the bridge saddles untill I can play it without getting too much buzz or clanking against the frets.
  3. Brad Maestas

    Brad Maestas Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2003
    Oakland, CA
    You need better pics man. From the second photo, it looks like you've got a lot of relief. Hard to tell though. There's a ton of info here on what constitutes low action and how to measure your relief, etc. Do a search. There should even be a sticky on this stuff. Keep in mind that if you want to play very hard on it, don't expect to have low action. Your string height looks fairly normal as far as I can tell.
  4. IMHO, I think your action looks high. Well, higher than I like. I got my bass action set up by a the technician and the local Fender service center. I told him to make it as low as it would go without buzzing. He did. That took a lot of stress and fatigue from my hands. You can probably do it yourself. It was just easier for me to have a pro do it. I didn't have to worry about making a mistake and I didn't risk messing something up. I have only had to have my saddles adjusted that once. The bass if very comfortable now.
    I don't normally use a pick and I don't bash on the strings so having a really low action works for me. Lotta guys (and girls) here know more about it than I do.
  5. 12bass


    Jan 2, 2003
    Victoria, Canada
    IMO, low action would be about 6/64" at the E string and 4/64" at the G string, measured between the top of the 12th fret and the bottom of the string with the string unfretted.

    Low action means using a light touch, so keep in mind that you will get more fret buzz if you dig in.
  6. keyboardguy

    keyboardguy Supporting Member

    May 11, 2005
  7. SGT. Pepper

    SGT. Pepper Banned

    Nov 20, 2005
    If you are heavy handed don't set a real low action, you'll get buzzes. I used to like real low action but as my hands got stronger that changed. The bass sounds better with a normal or high action any way. You want it comfortable with no buzzes.
  8. of course, sounding "better" is subjective :)

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