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Leave the shim?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by fresnorich, Oct 2, 2004.

  1. fresnorich


    Sep 17, 2003
    Fresno, CA
    I took the neck off my Tokai TPB-64 (P-bass) because I needed to loosen the truss rod. The TI flats simply didn't have enough tension and I needed to add a little bow or curve to the neck to eliminate the buzzing. It seemed okay with the LaBella Flats it came with, but the tension is too high on those for my liking.

    When I took the neck off, I discovered a wedge shaped shim made from a thin pick. I'm trying to figure out whether to leave the shim in the neck pocket, or take it out since I'm switching to a lower tension string.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
  2. The Clap

    The Clap

    Jan 5, 2004
    Scottsdale, AZ
    The most usual application for a shim is to put a strip of card in across the heel end of the neck pocket. This is usually done as a fix for guitars wherein the saddles have already bottomed out without lowering the strings to the ideal height. This type of shim angles the neck downward to an optimal degree that allows the saddles to work at a functional range with the intended setup. Though I see the temptation to make an adjustment that could prove beneficial at this moment of discovery -- the problems you're attacking aren't really related. If, however, you have a problem with your saddles or are just curious at to what will happen (shimming can decrease sustain, especially if using poor material), try it out, and see if you like it. If not, it's only 5 minutes' time to switch it back in and rock out.

    BTW, you don't like your TI Jazz flats? To be honest, I didn't think they'd be tight enough either, but I've had them on my P bass for a month or so now and they sound GREAT. The balance string to string and note to note is superb, and the tension is just fine. If playing with a harder touch is more your style though I can see the tension being a problem. Just wanted to say: give em another try -- they even sound better after a couple weeks. Good luck with your bass adjustments!
  3. fresnorich


    Sep 17, 2003
    Fresno, CA
    Thanks for the info.

    I Love the TI Flats. I've pretty much settled on them. I'm just trying to get my bass set up correctly with them on it.

    The bridge saddles are currently pretty high, so I'm not sure that the shim is needed. I think I'm going to try without it and see what happens. As you say, it's a quick fix if it seems like it was better with the shim.
  4. seanm

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

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    I agree. Leave the shim out and see how it goes. You might need to adjust the saddles.

    If you do not like the tension on the LaBella flats, you will hate Fender flats.
  5. fresnorich


    Sep 17, 2003
    Fresno, CA
    Well, I put the neck back on without the shim in the pocket and after loosening the truss rod 1/4 turn.

    Strung it up with the TI Flats and no buzzing.

    Lowered the saddles by turning each tiny screw three 1/2 turns and still no buzzing.

    I'm going to leave it there for a few days and see how it feels.
    Thanks, guys.