Mustang bass--do they come with a high string action?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by rpt50, Jun 11, 2021.

  1. rpt50


    Jan 10, 2021
    I'm relatively new to bass and thinking about buying a Mustang. Like everything else, they are in short supply, but the ones of have played (even a couple of American models) have relatively higher action than what I've become accustomed to with my G&L tribute and my Ibanez Mikro. Is this a Mustang thing (or a Fender thing), or have I just not found the right example yet. Is a set-up all it needs? I like the sound and feel of the Mustangs I have played, but I don't want to buy something that is more difficult to play, as my wimpy guitar hands are already suffering a bit from the switch to bass.
    DC in ATX and JRA like this.
  2. seedokebass


    Mar 21, 2009
    I haven't played many but I'd chalk it up to poor setup. I take it your current basses have lower action and you're comfortable with them?
  3. sleddogn


    Sep 8, 2013
    all good don't worry, just bad setups. I've owned over 10 mustangs in my life, and this wasn't an issue at all...
    Rabidhamster and kjp360 like this.
  4. godofthunder59

    godofthunder59 God of Thunder and Rock and Roll Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2006
    Rochester NY USA
    Endorsing Cataldo Basses, Whirlwind products, Thunderbucker pickups
    The notorious factory set up. Basses are shipped from points all over the globe, travel and weather play havoc with wooden instruments. A good setup take care of your problems. Mustangs like most short scale basses are very easy to play.
  5. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    no doubt! ;)

    no off-the-rack (or out-of-the-box) ax is set up for a specific player --- except by luck! (the same would be true of guitars.)
    Plain Old Barry, 707GK and kjp360 like this.
  6. kjp360


    Feb 11, 2014
    My CIJ, which I bought used, had high action and light rounds on when I acquired it. A quick trip to the luthier (not big box retailer) and it had very low comfy action with Labella DTF's. I have tweaked the intonation once or twice in 5+ years and otherwise it has held the set up perfectly.
  7. rpt50


    Jan 10, 2021
    Thanks for the replies. I would rather not have to pay for a set-up on a new $1300 instrument, but I'm in no rush, so I will probably just wait until inventory builds and also check out any used models that come available.
  8. felis


    Jul 31, 2013
    Midwest, USA
    Learn to do a set up yourself. It only requires a minimum of tools, a little research, and some practice.

    OTOH - if you're going to pay that much for an instrument,
    it's not unreasonable to ask to have a set up included in the price.
  9. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    And it's very easy to do your own setups. Millions of places on the net to learn how to do them.
    ruju, Plain Old Barry, 707GK and 3 others like this.
  10. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    Most basses need a setup. That’s not a bad thing. Check out videos or take it to a shop. It is not too difficult to learn to adjust your bridge and neck.
  11. mikecd1

    mikecd1 Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2009
    New England
    I've had my JMJ Mustang for quite a while and the action is great and the neck seems to hold the setup very well with action at 12th fret E string just below about 2mm and no buzzing which is fine with me.
  12. mellowgerman

    mellowgerman Supporting Member

    Jan 23, 2008
    Orlando, FL
    Both MIJ Mustangs I've owned set up beautifully, without even needing frets crowned/leveled. Can't speak for the newer offerings though as I haven't played any of those.
  13. Robot.G

    Robot.G Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2015
    My Mustang bass was purchased from Sweetwater. The setup was so good that I'm hesitant to do any of the upgrades that I planned for it. Maybe I just got lucky?
  14. BarfanyShart


    Sep 19, 2019
    DC Metro
    You see most of the players I knew with Mustangs had them set up real low, so I grew up with the opposite impression of them.
  15. lermgalieu

    lermgalieu Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2000
    Mill Valley, CA
    This has nothing to do with mustangs vs. any other bass. Learn to do setups and you're good. Don't adjust your truss rod unless you know what you're doing. Or take it to a qualified tech; that said, if you just tell a tech to "set it up," you're going to get what you get. You need to be very specific, i.e. I want the action X mm on the E side and Y mm on the G side. So you have to know what you want in precise terms.
    One Way likes this.
  16. 39-Bassist


    Jul 7, 2010
    Endorsing Artist for: Brace Audio; Duncan Pickups; Line6, Hipshot, GHS Strings, Somnium Guitars
    This a 100 times over...

  17. Just buy it from Sweetwater, they have a 55-step evaluation process that all guitars & basses go through, they must be great after that much attention to detail ;).
  18. Robot.G

    Robot.G Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2015

    I see that you're from Orion Arm, Milky Way. Which one of Uranus' 27 known moons do you get your basses from?
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2021
  19. Real Soon

    Real Soon

    Aug 15, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    My Mustang's got nice low action! I actually have to play it fairly lightly or it'll sound like I'm digging in... and I like it like that. You, too, can have low action on a Mustang. Great basses too, both sonically and feel-wise.

    Truss rod adjustment, aka neck relief, can come across as a bit of a mystical science, but it's not; it's just something to take a little bit at a time. It's the thing that, if done wrong, can keep any other part of a setup from giving the desired result, so it's worth making sure you have a good idea how to get proper relief. Action and intonation are easy after that.

    I think they fired 54 of those guys during the shutdown haha... pretty sure the Sales Engineer's the only employee left there
    Admiral Akbar and eldorado2001 like this.
  20. fat_nermil

    fat_nermil Supporting Member

    Dec 18, 2010
    Richmond, VA
    Just for awareness in case setting up a bass feels as though it is beyond your skill set: I’m not very handy with tools, but I quickly learned how do my own setups. It really comes down to learning which steps to do in what order and taking it slow to start.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

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