Jazz bass pickups and strings alignment

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by GDalbosco, Sep 4, 2018.

  1. GDalbosco


    Feb 18, 2017
    Hi everyone,

    I changed the strings of a fender jazz bass american standard 2013 but when I put them I notice that they are not alignment with the pickups poles. Do I have to change it on the saddle to correct this?


    Also, what is the correct string spacing for this bass?

    Hope anyone can help me to adjust it.
    Tks in advance.

  2. Michael4bass


    Aug 20, 2011
    Florence, MS
    I would set it up so that all the strings line up between the pole pieces like the D string is in your photo.

    Bassically, Michael
  3. GDalbosco


    Feb 18, 2017
    How I do that adjustment? Loosen the string and change each string position on the lines of the saddle?
  4. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone.

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    It looks like your bridge saddles have ridges for adjustable string spacing. Just detune the strings and align them on the saddles to your liking, then retune. Be sure to set you witness points ;).

    Also, the “correct” string spacing is whatever you want within the parameters of the bridge saddles. That’s the advantage of adjustable string spacing.
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  5. RedJag


    Mar 2, 2016
    San Jose, CA
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  6. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    Don't worry about the strings being over the poles yet. Your neck has shifted. If you look at the 19th fret and dot, you can see that the strings are no longer centered on the neck properly. Those necks can move sideways fairly easily from a bump. Loosen the screws on the back of the neck a half turn or so and move the neck to center the strings back up on the neck. Re-tighten the screws. Now you can concern your self with the pickup alignment.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2018
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  7. GDalbosco


    Feb 18, 2017
    I am little worried to move the neck. Anyway, tonight I am going to checked well to know if it was shifted.

    Then I’ll try the saddles adjustment.

    Tks for your help.

    Hope I can fix this.
  8. bassdude51

    bassdude51 "You never even called me by my name." Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2008
    Central Ohio
    Based on the photo, your E and G string need to be moved outward on the bridge. One notch. Then, your strings should be about 19 to 20 millimeters apart measured about one inch or so north of the saddles.........measuring from the dead center of each string to the dead center of the next string (not the from the edge of each string!).

    Although your saddles are notched, and this is a good thing, the better saddles to use and you should be able to swap out the saddles alone, are the threaded saddles used on Fender's Pure Vintage bridges. The '63 and the '58 bridges. The '58's saddles are the better because they are a finer thread.

    You should be able to improve your "string to magnet pole" alignment to an acceptable level............there's not such thing as perfection.

    It's difficult to explain this verbally but it's all pretty easy to do for a DIY set-up.

    My first concern is that the measurement from the edge of the E & G string to the edge of the neck @ the last fret are fairly much the same and lined up with the magnets..................... and then I adjust the string spacing from this starting point. I get very acceptable string/magnet alignment.

    Good luck. Nice J! And you're not too far off from having your strings lined up plenty good enough.

    Here's the best bridges.....................(the '58 being the better 'cause of it's finer threads = better string spacing.)

    Genuine Fender Pure Vintage Bass Bridge Assembly 099-0804-100 NEW 717669740863 | eBay

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  9. Yahboy


    May 21, 2008
    From the picture you shown, i believe the string to string spacing are quite even.
    Try play it , if the E and G string output sound are balance (without lourder) with the D and G, that could be fine.
    In my opinion on flat pole magnet piece jazz pup, if bass string adjust to line up with the pole piece, i will get louder sound on E and G string than A and D. But if i make the E and G off like yours, i get better balance string to string output.

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  10. As long as the strings are 3/16 of an inch one way or the other from center between the dual pole pieces, it'll be fine. There's nothing of any precision to agonize over here. I would be more concerned spacing the strings for playability.
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  11. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    ^^^^ This. It's incredibly easy to do, and nearly every Fender bass I've owned needed to have this done.
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  12. GDalbosco


    Feb 18, 2017
    I moved the strings on the saddles. The string alignment improved but the string spacing is more uncomfortable for me (like 20mm) and the sound was very similar. I putted the strings back to the starting place (19mm approx.).

    Now I will definitely try to move the neck to adjust it.
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  13. GDalbosco


    Feb 18, 2017
    I move a little the neck to try to center it, and here is the result:


    Before / After:

    IMO is more centered now and the string and pickups alignment is not perfect but acceptable.

    Also, I notice that the hole that you can reach the truss rod is not centered with the pickguard hole (sorry I don't know the names). Is this normal in Jazz Basses? or Do I need to move more the neck of the bass?
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  14. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    No, don't move the neck more. The first time you need to adjust the neck you will discover it is easier to loosen the neck to adjust the truss rod and then do this whole thing again.
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