NBD!! (Fender Ultra)...and a question.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jadenjazz, May 10, 2021.

  1. jadenjazz

    jadenjazz Supporting Member

    Oct 23, 2010
    Indianapolis, IN
    Hello TB!

    My new Fender American Jazz Ultra V just arrived today! Absolutely beautiful! Plays, sounds, and feels better than I even hoped!

    I bought this bass with the intention of stringing it E-C. But after I did the first setup today, I found I would like action of the high C string to be lower and there is no more adjustment left in the saddle. My question is this: would shimming the neck be the next logical step to try or will I need to file the nut (or both)? Thanks!! E2B08790-FB28-4E77-B73C-63E6F997E856.jpeg

    Attached Files:

    TrevorG, wintremute, Duder and 22 others like this.
  2. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Nice looking bass. Hope it works out.

    ‘You can always undo a shim. Taking tools to the parts kinda muddles the whole ‘originality’ thing.
    BazzaBass likes this.
  3. stuntbass77


    Nov 6, 2007
    I wouldn’t shim it unless you had to. I would get a used bridge saddle and file it down till you get the action low enough. I can only testify to my experience but shim’s have always effected the tone not to mention why take off the neck if you don’t have to. Every time I take a neck off I always think about stripping the wood in the neck. It’s not a huge worry if you only do it once and a while but it is something to consider.
  4. BassIan

    BassIan Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2003
    San Jose, California
    One other thing to check - how is the neck relief? If the relief is on the high side it will have the secondary effect of raising your action, particularly higher up the neck. Consider reducing relief, which could buy you room to have low overall action with slightly higher saddles.

    This is exactly the course I had to take when I originally got my American Ultra Jazz. After reducing to ~0.010" of relief, I ended up with an incredibly low setup (4/64" on the 12th fret of the Low E) with room to spare on the saddles. No buzz.
    Gigas444, rockdoc11, bbh and 2 others like this.
  5. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member


    cool ax, @jadenjazz! let us know how you like that E-C setup! congratulations on your new instrument! :thumbsup:
  6. jadenjazz

    jadenjazz Supporting Member

    Oct 23, 2010
    Indianapolis, IN
    Thanks guys...good advice! And I had not thought about getting a extra saddle to experiment with. Glad I posted
  7. stuntbass77


    Nov 6, 2007
    That is one gorgeous bass !!!
  8. Lammchop93

    Lammchop93 Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2007
    Louisville, KY
    where is the C string hitting the frets? if you play the 12 fret, does it buzz out? The only time you would need a new nut, is it if buzzes when playing an open note. other than that, it would need a neck shim, or another bridge with higher adjustability.
  9. jadenjazz

    jadenjazz Supporting Member

    Oct 23, 2010
    Indianapolis, IN
    It's actually too high. I have plenty of adjustment left if I want to raise the string. I just can't go lower with it.
  10. jadenjazz

    jadenjazz Supporting Member

    Oct 23, 2010
    Indianapolis, IN
    I had set the relief to 0.011. I think I'll try it at 0.010.

  11. furym


    Aug 31, 2014
    Carthage, NC
    I recently got the 4 string version and thought the action was too high on my E string also with no adjustment left to lower it. A literal 1/8 turn in the truss rod to flatten the neck a hair made everything to within spec. Check/adjust the relief before shimming or filing. Easy first thing to try.
    LBS-bass and the baint like this.
  12. BassIan

    BassIan Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2003
    San Jose, California
    Worth a try but you're darn close. I should have specified I measured that relief at Fret 12.

    It might be that a shim is your best course of action if there's not much relief in the neck and you still can't get it low enough.
  13. fishdude101101


    Oct 15, 2020
    That is a beautiful bass.

    Also why can't fender make basses that don't need a shim with anything other than medium action? Either change the neck pocket depth or use a thinner bridge or one set lower into the body.
    J_Bass likes this.
  14. Sam Dingle

    Sam Dingle Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2011
    Congrats that’s a great bass
  15. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    Congrats on your new bass and decision to opt for high-C tuning. I “temporarily” set my fiver up that way just to satisfy my curiosity and ended up never going back. :)
  16. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    Both of my Am Elite J 5’s have very low action, no shims needed. Both have Hipshot A bridges on them now, but they were just as low with the stock bridges too. My Player J 4 also has low action with no shim and a Hipshot A bridge, which is a little thicker than the stock bridge if I remember correctly.
  17. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    Nice looking bass. Congrats.
  18. fishdude101101


    Oct 15, 2020
    Both of my fender American jazz basses needed shims to get to 4/64ths on the e string.
  19. Knavery


    Feb 24, 2004
    Westminster, CO
    Are these Ultras really worth 2k when a lot of them need shims? I have the Elite and I lucked out there. But I also ordered P-bass Ultra as well and worry about the high action.
  20. It is a bit of a thing with these Fender high mass bridges. I had to take a file to the bridge saddle of the G string to get it low enough. You could buy one of these bridges for the saddles (they are rather cheap). Be careful with which one you buy, there are two versions with different string widths.
    Luigir and JeezyMcNuggles like this.
  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.

    Jun 18, 2021

Share This Page