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I am having problems setting up my neck

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by JaneBass1, Sep 15, 2008.

  1. JaneBass1


    Jul 23, 2008
    I read many articles and saw a couple of videos on how to setup the neck relief.

    I think I understand the theory, but the practice is something else.

    I tried to sight it, but when I see down the bass I dont see anything wrong.

    There also the credit card trick but I still dont get it. Maybe they are not explaining it right.

    The other setup steps I think I have them down (string height, intonation, pickup height)

    Could somebody give me some pointers on how to setup the neck?
  2. Are you looking down the length of the neck or from the side? What problems are you having?
  3. JaneBass1


    Jul 23, 2008
    both, down the length and from the side. I cannot really tell of it is up-bowed or back-bowed.

    Which point of reference do I use so I can see it is not straight. I was reading you use the length of the string as this is a straight line, but when you look it down from the headstock, or up from the bridge, I could not say the neck is straight or not.

    From the side, it says hold the 1st fret and the last fret, and look at the height on the 7th fret. Is it supposed to be flat? I doesnt really explain clearly.

    By the way, this is from videos I found on google, typing setup bass
  4. From the side of the neck, fret the first and last fret on the low string. At the 7th fret, there should be .010" to .014" of space between the fret and the string. If there is no space or the string hits the seventh fret, the neck is either flat or back bowed.

    BTW - in my experience, a credit card is too thick - they are around 0.030".
  5. praisegig

    praisegig Supporting Member

    Jul 7, 2008
    Stephenville, TX
    Sometimes it is hard to see things looking down the neck from the headstock, if it is close to flat. Put a capo or fret at the first fret and last fret, you should have around .014 thousandths or a business card thickness between the bottom of the string and top of the 8th fret. This measurement also depends on the radius of the neck. If the relief is more than that, then a truss rod adjustment is needed. I've also just laid a straight edge across the the frets, if you have a backbow the straight will rock on a fret somewhere in the middle. If concave, then there will be a gap. Maybe you have read:http://www.fender.com/support/basses.php

    Hopefully all this will make some sense. It is not hard, just need some practice to get comfortable with the procedure.

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