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Is it possible to get action lower than the recommended specs allow?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by tegnoto89, Apr 28, 2009.

  1. tegnoto89


    Dec 24, 2008
    I had been having problems with bad fret buzz on my new fender jazz. I had the relief set to the exact specs, and I just kind of felt it out on the action. Well, I actually measured the action today, and it's just about what the specs give me, maybe a little lower.

    But I want the action lower without buzz!!! Is this at all possible? Do fenders tend to require higher action to keep from buzzing?
  2. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    the nut slots need to be close (but not hitting the first fret), which is not how they come from the factory. also, experiment with a little flatter neck relief than called for.
  3. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    The fender specs give you a medium action, not a low action.

    For a low action you will need a very careful setup. For example, the fretwork on Fender's is quite often subpar, you might need a leveling. You may need nut work as Walter mentioned. You may need to tilt the neck a bit.
  4. StyleOverShow

    StyleOverShow Still Playing After All These Years Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2008
    Hillsdale, Portland
    The strings have to vibrate and that requires some room. Action is in technique and not all about string gauges and low action IMO
  5. joelc1319


    Sep 12, 2007
    +1. I was lucky to get a rather well made neck on my Jazz, but I can certainly pinpoint its shortcomings with respect to action.
  6. tcbass4ever


    Apr 5, 2009
    i have an o7 jazz bass,a great luthier i deal with leveled the frets and then i put a baddass 3 bridge which bolts right in and this bass plays fantastic,low action! my friend
    charged 60.00 bucks for the leveling and the bass plays great,hope this helps!
  7. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    1. A guitar made of wood is only as good as the wood.

    2. Adjustability is usually factor of quality and price rather than brand or model.

    3. Wood has a mind of it's own. Even the best piece of wood that is properly selected and seasoned can move.

    4. Expensive instruments from the best makers can have a piece of wood in them that is a problem.

    5. Minimum string height is a function of how level the frets are.

    6. How level the frets are is dependent on the amount of labor allotted to building the guitar.

    7. The amount of labor allotted to leveling frets depends on the price of the instrument.

    8. Even the best factory fret work will be affected by wood movement.

    9. If your guitar will not set up as low as you would like, dressing the frets is often the answer.

    10. All of the above is subject to change with the weather.

    Numbers and measurements always make it easier to answer questions specifically and precisely. If you have the data, please post it.
  8. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Oh, yeah! The factory specs for most companies are a medium set up. That's because they want to ship the instrument to a dealer and not have the dealer be required to do it again. They go for a medium so if the neck moves either way much, it's still playable.

    Fender's specs in particular always felt awkward to me. I use less relief and lower saddles than Mr. Gearhead shows. Those specs aren't a specification for how the instrument plays best, they're the specification for how they set it up at the factory.

    Go with what works for YOU!


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