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How to tilt my neck???

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Boombass76, Nov 20, 2010.

  1. Boombass76

    Boombass76 Commercial User

    Jul 1, 2008
    BassCollect Blog & Shop (founder)
    I have a great sounding 66 Jazz, and it playes pretty well, too. However, there is some slight buzzing at the 4th fret no matter how adjust the truss rod and/or string height at the bridge...

    Then, it struck me that I have come across some basses that had a small piece of paper or thin card board sitting between the neck and the body in the neck pocket.

    Could anyone give some advice on how to determine if this would help and where it should be placed?

    I guess plutting it close to the end of the neck pocket (towards the body) the neck will be tilted a bit 'backwards' and if I place it at the edge of the neck pocket (away from the body) the neck will be tilted a bit forward.

    In short, are there any rules of thumb regarding altering the angle of the neck as it is common to say that buzzing above the 12th fret calls for tightening of the truss rod and buzzing towards the headstock calls for loosening the truss rud?

    I know that a fret dress may be the trick, but I would rather not as it has the original frets, and I'd like them to remain original for as long as possible :)
  2. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    A piece of sandpaper or business card at the end of the neck pocket. I wouldn't go any thicker, a little goes a long way. I recently recieved a bass that had 2 slivers of paper business card. The neck looked like a ski slope and the strings touched the last frets.
  3. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Shimming the neck to correct a buzzing fret is probably not your best choice. If you've followed the set-up stickies above and are still experiencing the problem, best take it to a competent tech. IMO, a fret dress is a basic component of instrument maintenance and should not detract from the value.

    FWIW, neck shims simply alter the relationship amongst 3 planes...neck, body, and strings. A shim placed in the butt-end of the pocket would tilt the neck back slightly and lower the string height in relation to the fingerboard. A wonky neck will remain wonky no matter how much cardboard you jam underneath.

  4. Generally, if it's buzzing at the first fret, a little added neck relief usually solves the problem. [DEL]If you get buzzing beyond the 12th fret and the saddles are all the way up, then shims are useful.[/DEL] But if yours is only buzzing at the fourth, truss rod adjustments or shims at the heel are not going to help. Sounds like you need fret leveling, and it can only help the value of your bass, not hurt it.

    EDIT: Sorry, the shim comment was incorrect. Don't know what I was on at the time.:eyebrow: Shims are only useful if you can't get your strings low enough, and your saddles are at their lowest point. Shims won't help buzzing.
  5. Boombass76

    Boombass76 Commercial User

    Jul 1, 2008
    BassCollect Blog & Shop (founder)
    Thanks (to all of you) for the replies. Yes, I was suspecting that, but just wanted ask anyway (you never know :)

    I guess I will consider a fret dress - or just live with the string height. It could be a little lower, but it's not a major problem in any way.

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