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I've always had action issues with my Fender Jazz, even though the saddles are really low

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Sean775, May 11, 2018.


  1. Sean775

    Sean775

    Mar 19, 2015
    New Jersey, USA
    Is it true that I can get lower action if I get the string slots in the saddles filed down? I figure that's the issue, because I've had it set up professionally and the guy said the saddles were as low as possible.
     
  2. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    Shim the neck is your answer.
     
    mwbonsall likes this.
  3. Sean775

    Sean775

    Mar 19, 2015
    New Jersey, USA
    I'll ask the guy I'm going to tomorrow, but I've been told by at least one tech that a shim wouldn't do anything.
     
  4. Cal68

    Cal68

    Dec 13, 2017
    NJ
    +1 on the neck shim. So many “professional” set up guys don’t know how to do this.

    Changing the angle of the neck so the headstock is pushed back towards the rear of the body means the saddles have to be raised higher.
     
    96tbird and Killed_by_Death like this.
  5. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    My advice is to never go back to that shop, and I'm serious.

    It's a very basic thing that even us non-craftsman know, so if this "tech" doesn't know that he shouldn't be in business.

    Oh wait, is your bass a neck-thru or set-neck design?
    If so, scratch everything I just posted.

    Hmm, Fender Jazz, not likely set-neck or neck-thru.
     
    96tbird and Cal68 like this.
  6. FrenchBassQC

    FrenchBassQC Supporting Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Gatineau QC CA
    :rollno:
     
    96tbird, Dean N and Cal68 like this.
  7. Sean775

    Sean775

    Mar 19, 2015
    New Jersey, USA
    Standard Bolt on neck.
     
  8. Sean775

    Sean775

    Mar 19, 2015
    New Jersey, USA
    So how would a shimming work btw? Which side of the neck would need to be lifted up?
     
  9. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Inactive

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    How could a shim not do anything? It will change the neck height or angle in the neck pocket.
     
  10. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Inactive

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Not if they're where they need to be after the shim. Some saddles won't adjust low enough. There are ways to address that like removing material from the bottom of the saddle.
     
  11. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Inactive

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    It depends. This is something you can experiment with this yourself. Loosen the joint, insert a business card and check.
     
  12. FrenchBassQC

    FrenchBassQC Supporting Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Gatineau QC CA
    This...
     
  13. Cal68

    Cal68

    Dec 13, 2017
    NJ
    Not quite what I had in mind when posting.

    As the OP didn’t say his tech had tried a shim I assumed that it hadn’t been done. I would definitely try a shim before resorting to other more destructive solutions like reducing the mass of the saddles or trimming the front of the pocket.

    I have 4 and 5 string Am. Deluxe Jazzes and both have required shims to get the action just right, even after supposed professional set ups.
     
  14. Sean775

    Sean775

    Mar 19, 2015
    New Jersey, USA
    So should I raise my saddles a little first?
     
  15. Cal68

    Cal68

    Dec 13, 2017
    NJ
    Not quite. If you’re comfortable removing the neck and tweaking the bridge height and intonation, then you’ll find it really easy to make a shim out of a business card and screw everything back together.

    If you’re not, then have a look on YouTube and see what others have done.

    If you’re still not comfortable with that, then find a shop that knows how to adjust the neck angle (nice way of saying shim) and take it to them.
     
  16. /\/\3phist0

    /\/\3phist0 ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) mmm Woody! Supporting Member

    Last edited: May 11, 2018
    Brad Johnson and Cal68 like this.
  17. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Inactive

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    I talked about shimming before I addressed your post. The issue was this:

    "Changing the angle of the neck so the headstock is pushed back towards the rear of the body means the saddles have to be raised higher."

    You might have to do this... then again you might not. That's what I'm pointing out about that. If they were at their lowest pre-shim and not low enough they might be where he wants them post-shim without adjustment. It can and does happen.
    :)
     
    /\/\3phist0 likes this.
  18. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    Everyone seems to be jumping on the idea of adding a shim. This may not be the answer - there is not enough info here to determine what the problem actually is.

    The tech said that the "saddles were as low as possible". That may mean "as low as possible without introducing fret buzz", or "as low as possible without choking the higher notes" or something else. Maybe the saddles aren't sitting on the base plate. We don't know what the string height is now, nor the relief. Perhaps there's some un-eveness in the frets, a ski jump. Without knowing those things, it's a wild guess that a shim is needed or even advisable.
     
  19. Paulabass

    Paulabass

    Sep 18, 2017
    In order-
    Find new shop.
    Shim neck.
     
  20. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    You might want to read some of the 2,345 threads on neck shims on this forum to get some details about this.

    What I get from the OP is that he needs a good setup which takes into account the neck, bridge, truss rod adjustment and nut, as well as setting witness points. And talk to another "tech" (and I use the term advisedly, as it does not sound deserved) because anyone who doesn't know that shims serve a valid purpose is not someone I want working on any instrument I own.

    (I shouldn't intrude on this forum because I'm not a pro, but this is a common question with well documented answers in many threads.)
     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    May 15, 2021

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