Need help on bridge - side to side string adjustment?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by bherman, Feb 10, 2013.

  1. bherman

    bherman Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2009
    Grand Junction, CO
    Hi all- I have a problem and want to know if you can give me some advice on how to solve. I recently picked up a used Squier Jazz 5 with a MIM neck that had been fitted to it that looks like it doesn't fit it exactly. As a result, the alignment of the strings is slightly off. Specifically, the B string is about 1-2 mm off alignment (slightly closer to the b-string side of the bottom of the fingerboard than it is at the nut).

    I'd thought about remounting the bridge, but its such a small amount that It would be difficult given the location of the screw holes.

    One thought that occurred to me would be to replace the bridge with one that provides side-to-side string adjustment. The current bridge has slots that the strings sit in, thus not allowing for any movement side-to-side.

    Is there any bridge that would serve the purpose for what I am describing, or does anyone have any other suggestions for remedying the problem? Overall the bass plays well and sounds great. Intonation is perfect, all seems well. The only problem is the b string - and the way it is set up now, it just doesn't feel right - with the b string just slightly too close to the edge of the fingerboard.

    I thought about having the neck reset to slightly realign it, but am concerned that it will be the same problem with the existing mounting holes. Also, there are shims glued into the neck pocket to accommodate the slightly narrower width of the neck, and these would have to be modified as they appear to be glued in.
  2. Threaded saddles like on a vinatge Fender bridge. You can get the bridge, or just the saddles alone. Should fit the Squier. The saddles are non-adjustable, but you can place the string on it anywhere along it's length to line the strings up as needed.
  3. jbrooks


    Sep 7, 2007
    Maybe the neck isn't straight in the pocket. Does the G string move to the middle of the fretboard the same distance?

    You can loosen the string tension and back the neck screws a bit and try moving the neck towards the G string. Leave enough tension in the strings (especially the B) to see if you can make it better. Once you get it lined up then retighten the neck screws while holding the neck in the position you like. You might get enough relief by doing this.

    If not then you could plug the holes in the neck with 1/8 wood dowels and wood glue. Taper four pieces of the dowels and tap them into place after applying glue to them. After they dried then trim off the excess.

    That's how I line up the neck on my builds. I mount the bridge centered on the body. I put the neck in the pocket and secure it with a C clamp. I use a small block of wood to protect the frets. I put on the outer two strings to use as a reference and adjust the neck accordingly. Once I have it lined up I tighten the clamp and drill the holes for the screws into the neck. I think this does two things; first aligns the neck in the correct position and two, the tension of the strings pushes the neck tightly into the pocket for better contact. I think this would also help to keep the neck from shifting later.

    I predrill the holes in the body on a new build or use the existing holes of a existing body as the pilot holes. Once you have done that then loosen the strings and put it back together. You might still have to tweak the neck into alignment as you put it back together using the outer two strings as guides.

    Others may have a better way to do this but this works for me.
  4. bherman

    bherman Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2009
    Grand Junction, CO
    Thanks, this sounds like a good solution. My main bass is an old Fender, I know that it is possible to do what you are saying (move the strings). I'll see if I can find a set of saddles...
  5. bherman

    bherman Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2009
    Grand Junction, CO
    Good suggestions, but I don't think it will work in this case - the neck is butted up against the pocket on the g string side. G string appears to be ok....

  6. Steve Dallman

    Steve Dallman Supporting Member

    A Shaller Roller Bridge would be perfect. I love that bridge.
  7. bherman

    bherman Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2009
    Grand Junction, CO
    I can see that it would. But I'm looking for a lower-cost solution at this stage, but will go that way if I have to.....
  8. Bobster


    Mar 27, 2006
    Austin, TX

    Be careful to make sure the threaded saddles will fit a 5 string bridge. I am pretty sure all those are for 4 string bridges which have larger individual saddles.

    BTW, which model Squier Jazz V is it?

  9. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY Supporting Member

    Ah, but it will work. It only takes a hair of movement to align a neck if it needs adjustment. Threaded Saddles are great for aligning strings over the poles and are very stable compared to the crappy single groove saddles. Cheap too. But you cannot discount neck alignment it's part of guitar maintenance and setup. Especially with a transplant. I suggest you begin with aligning the neck and order the saddles. You will get The neck spot on and when the saddles arrive, well they just work better and are worthwhile for 40 bucks. If they fit. You have to make sure the string spacing is the same as the American 5: wide!
  10. Rocky McD

    Rocky McD

    Jun 28, 2005
    San Antonio, Texas
    Try the neck alignment as suggested. It only has to move slightly to make a big difference on the string alignment.
  11. bherman

    bherman Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2009
    Grand Junction, CO
    Thanks all - I will try that first. BTW, the body is a Squier Deluxe 5. No matter what, I will replace the saddles. I really dont like the ones with the slots. Would have been better if Fender just stuck with the original design instead of trying to "fix" it!
  12. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY Supporting Member

    So true, mr Fender had it right the first time. CBS just had to pee on it to make it their own.