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Jazz Bass strings out of alignment

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by shrimpflea, Aug 27, 2012.

  1. My 1990 Fender 62 RI has an issue....the strings are out of alignment...have been for some time. It's not my main bass and it doesn't really bother me when I play it but I'm thinking of selling it soon and wonder if there is any way to fix it myself. Thanks.
  2. danomite64


    Nov 16, 2004
    Tampa, Florida
    Looks like the neck shifted a bit; you could probably loosen the neck screws a hair, putt it back towards the upper horn, re-tighten the screws, and it'll be back to normal.
  3. tjh

    tjh Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2006
    Do you have threaded saddles on the vintage bridge?
  4. aprod


    Mar 11, 2008
    That's an easy fix. The neck has to be adjusted in the pocket. You could loosen the neck plate screws a consicerable amount but do not remove them completley, than grab the neck and pull it to the e string side, tighten and there you go. It sounds easy but if you feel uncomfortable take it to a luthier. He should be able to fix it while you wait for a nominal fee.
  5. Nah, this bass is broken. You should probably just throw it away. But because I'm feeling generous, I'll give you $100 for it :)
  6. Loosen all the neck screws slightly, shift the neck into proper
    alignment, retighten screws, done. Easy, easy fix.
  7. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    Classic example of the Fender neck pocket. Not a big issue, but I recommend loosnening the strings before adjusting the neck position. Looks like it has plenty of room to move. I'm sure soebody will complain about the "huge neck pocket" soon enough.

    Looks like a beautiful bass you've got there. Its just your backup?
  8. OK...first off I would like to thank everyone for the quick replies....I will attempt the neck shift soon.
    To answer a few of the questions....it does have the threaded bridge saddles and it used to be my main bass for several years until I acquired a 62 RI P-Bass about 4 years ago and fell in love with the P-Bass sound....and to aetheldrea...thanks for the $100 offer but I must decline at this time...(wink).
    Thanks again everyone.
  9. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    And so another jazz bass player was lost to the dark side...
  10. Yes....but the dark side sounds so good.;)
  11. bootsox


    Apr 28, 2012
    Biloxi, MS
    Maybe you're lucky and just taking the neck off and putting it back on will fix it. Maybe you're unlucky and will have to move the bridge.
  12. Chuck M

    Chuck M Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    San Antonio, Texas
    You should be careful not to crack the body at the edge of the neck pocket when you are adjusting the neck position. We have all seen Fender style basses with cracks on the edge of the neck pocket on the treble side caused by shifting the neck too aggressively.
  13. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    When you do it, loosen the strings, but leave just enough tension to make them straight and be where they would be under tension. Did it not long ago on my MIA Jazz. Good as new.
  14. Bitterdale

    Bitterdale Natural Born Lurker

    Dec 4, 2010
    Ocala, FL
    Those cracks are usually the result of wood expansion inside a tight pocket.
  15. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005
    Bad advice right there...

    - georgestrings
  16. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005
    I've seen them on basses that definitely didn't have a tight pocket fit - so, I'd have to agree with him on many cases...

    - georgestrings
  17. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005
    Agreed, but I like to leave some tension on the strings while doing this - it helps seat the neck against the body better... I just loosen all tuners a couple of turns, and loosen the neck bolts just enough to allow shifting the neck - then re-tighten the neck bolts, tune back up, and you're done...

    - georgestrings
  18. Meddle


    Jul 27, 2009
    I've had this problem on guitars and basses. It is amazing that four neck bolts can allow so much travel, but it is not impossible. Be glad it isn't a set neck or thru-neck instrument that this is happening to!

    Loosen off the bolts and give the neck a wee pull. Keep an eye on the strings and pole-pieces to check the alignment. Worst case scenario is you need a wee shim on the treble side of the neck. Tighten everything back up and see how it holds.
  19. Thanks again for all the excellent advice....I will let you know soon if it worked.
  20. mech

    mech Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2008
    Meridian, MS, USA
    There has to be some clearance in the bolt holes for the bolts to properly clamp the neck. The bolts can't thread into the body and neck.

    If you work the math...(diameter of bolt holes) - (diameter of bolts). Take the difference as side A of a triangle and side B as the distance between neck side and body side holes and it'll probably be about 1 deg. Isn't very much but noticeable over 21". Just a SWAG.


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