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Neck or bridge?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by machine gewehr, Dec 26, 2005.


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  1. machine gewehr

    machine gewehr

    Sep 17, 2005
    Istanbul
    Hi all.I prefer low action on my bass which is a Washburn xb120 and i have a problem.I prefer low action and I have low action on lower frets but when it gets closer to bridge,on high frets,it gets so high that i sometimes miss the frets.The guy who set my bass up said it was about something with the neck,it needed to be refretted and lots of stuff.He also wanted half of the money i paid for my lady :rolleyes: So is that really about all the freatboard or is there some way i can do it with the bridge?Oh one more thing is it is not something about the truss-rod!We tried that already.
     
  2. Minger

    Minger

    Mar 15, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    I'd say lower the saddles...
     
  3. machine gewehr

    machine gewehr

    Sep 17, 2005
    Istanbul
    If I do that I'll get nothing but fretbuzz on the lower notes,thats the problem.
     
  4. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    If it buzzes only on the lower frets you probably need to loosen the truss rod. Who set up your bass, was it a pro?
     
  5. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001

    Sorry -- missed this part of the original post... but, I have got to ask - How do you know that the problem has nothing to do with the truss rod? It sounds to me like it has everything to do with the truss rod. Who "tried that" already? The guy that told you that you need a fret job, yourself, or somebody else?
     
  6. HMZ

    HMZ Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2003
    USA-Mineola
    You need the truss rod adjusted. Sounds like this guy is trying to rip you of for a fret job.
    I would try some one else to set it up. Good luck
     
  7. basstruck

    basstruck Guest

    Nov 25, 2005
    Sudbury
    You need to shim the neck if it is a bolt on. A fret job won't do anything to solve your problem because the frets have nothing to do with it. The height of the strings is solved by a good set up, truss rod adjusment or the right angle of the neck.
    Buzz have a lots to do with frets.
     
  8. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001

    Can you please explain to me what you read in this thread that led you to the conclusion that the neck needs shimmed?
     
  9. basstruck

    basstruck Guest

    Nov 25, 2005
    Sudbury
    That sentence tells me that the angle of the neck is wrong because the action or height of the strings is low or normal on the lower frets and high on the last frets
    The end of the neck or the last fret shoulds be closer (2.5mm to 3mm) to the strings. The only way to rectify that is shimming the neck to the proper angle without having any buzz.
     
  10. HMZ

    HMZ Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2003
    USA-Mineola
    I think basstruck makes a good point about shimming the neck but I bet the neck has some issues as well.
     
  11. Shimming the neck has the SAME EFFECT as lowering the saddles as far as action is concerned....if lowering the saddles to get an acceptable action at higher positions brings on fret buzz at lower positions, this sounds like a neck bow issue.

    I agree that a fret job probably is not required.
     
  12. ..let me further explain why shimming won't solve anything.

    You have a string. It's fixed on both ends. One end is the nut, attached to the fingerboard. The other end is a saddle. The string length is fixed. Note the angle the fingerboard makes to the string.

    If you lower a saddle, one end of the string is lowered. Let's say we lower the height of the string by 1 mm at the very last fret. The angle relative to the fingerboard also changes.

    Note carefully: this is IDENTICAL to leaving the saddle fixed, and moving the fingerboard instead to get to the same 1 mm height drop on the last fret....

    So why shim? Shimming is necessary when the normal range of height of the saddles would be too high or too low to get the proper action. In other words, if the saddles won't go any lower or higher.
     
  13. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Have you considered getting a second opinion? Quite honestly, I think it's the frets, but you should take it to someone else who does that kind of work. You may not need the frets replaced. You may just need them dressed, which is about half the price of a total refret. But regardless of what you paid for your "lady" (BTW, please stop saying that...it's just creepy), if it doesn't work right, then it's worth every cent to get it fixed properly.
     
  14. basstruck

    basstruck Guest

    Nov 25, 2005
    Sudbury
     
  15. jeffhigh

    jeffhigh

    May 16, 2005
    Have to agree with nashville bill, shimming the neck has the same effect as lowering the saddles. shimmed quite a few necks myself and always just used it where the saddles ran out of adjustment,
    Thats just the way the geometry of the situation works.
     
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  17. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    Thanks for replying to my question. I wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something here, as I was working on a bass yesterday that seemed to have very similar set-up issues. (in my case, adding some relief was the answer) …I tend to agree with NashvilleBill here, and I think that maybe you are trying to "over-think it" on this one. When this young player said this:
    …he is really just saying that the action is too high - we need to keep in mind that the action will always be higher over the higher frets, or maybe I should say the strings will always be closer to the frets down by the nut.
    So, if the action is just way too high, you need to lower the saddles - if that causes it to buzz in the lower frets, that usually means that you need to add some relief. If that doesn't work, you probably have a fret problem or a twisted neck.
     
  18. basstruck

    basstruck Guest

    Nov 25, 2005
    Sudbury
    I have been making classical, acoustic and electric guitar and 4,5 6 freted or fretless basse and doing repair since 1984. So i think I know the diference between neck angle and setting the action with the saddles.
    When you reset a neck on acoustic guitar , you change the angle of the neck so it is the same with a bass only the scale is different.I make neck throuhg body electric guitar and basses and you have to create the right angle of the neck to make the action play right.
    The set up of a guitar or bass is done at the 12th fret.
    Usualy 2mm above the 12th fret so if the strings at the last fret are more than 2.5 mm then you need to correct the angle of the neck (by moving the end up or down) to follow the straight line of the string from the saddle to the nut which can not be done with the saddle. That's why Fender in the 70 had a neck angle adjustment on electric guitars and basses.Usualy the neck angle on electric guitar and bass is done on the bottom of the slot on the body accepting the neck by slanting about 1mm lower at the end of the slot.
    So take a few guitars or basses apart, study the concept and learn ang forget the geometry or send it over and I will fix it right for you.
     
  19. machine gewehr

    machine gewehr

    Sep 17, 2005
    Istanbul
    Fisrts of all thank you everyone for helping me! You saved me from spending 120$ for the fretjob :smug: The guy i took the bass was a professional luthier and i believe he tried to rip me of for the fretjob!I paid 300$ for the bass and i think i have a "bow" neck.I'll try lowering the saddles again and if that does not work I'll try to adjust the truss-rod but I don't know how to do that :smug: I have a bolt on neck.Do you know any sources how i can learn it,and once more thanks a lot! :help:
     
  20. Guess what, I set up my first neck before you did!! Ha, ha!! :D

    Changing the neck angle does affect action--but it's the SAME as raising/lowering the saddles. If the bridge cannot be raised or lowered further, neck angle must be changed. Otherwise it can be left alone.

    Changing neck angle DOES NOT affect neck relief on a bolt-on guitar (or bass) neck All it does is change the relative height of the fingerboard [technically, the intersection point of the fingerboard plane] with respect to the bridge.

    Regardless of how many guitars you may have toyed with, you are misinterpreting the basic geometry of a string on a guitar neck. Evidently you do NOT understand the difference between action and neck relief.

    Your shimming advice is complete BS.
     



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