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New Jazz bass problem

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by MMcC, Jan 24, 2006.


  1. MMcC

    MMcC

    Sep 10, 2005
    Dallas
    I just got a brand new, out of the box Fender Jazz 24 (quilt top, made in Korea) and the setup was a mess. There's practically no action in the thing. The saddles are about where they should be. I gave it a couple small turns (counter clockwise) on the truss nut but didn't see an improvement. I don't want to do too much. Should I just wait and do a little by little? How long will it take to be playable?
     
  2. Kronos

    Kronos

    Dec 28, 2005
    Philadelphia, PA
    If you're talking about action, action is fixed by the saddles, not the truss rod. The truss rod adjusts relief in the neck (bowing) so that the strings have room to vibrate.

    Also, when adjusting your truss rod, never turn it more than a quarter turn, and then wait 24 hours for the neck to settle.

    The way to check for relief is to fret your e string on the first fret and on the last fret, and see if there's a bow in the neck. There should be. If there isn't, then the truss rod needs adjusting.
     
  3. Dr. PhunkyPants

    Dr. PhunkyPants Guest

    Aug 11, 2002
    USA
    Agreed. Here's the way to do this:

    1. Check the nut. Hold down each string just to the body-side of the 3rd fret. Tap the strink against the first fret. There should be a little tap to indicate clearance. This is ideal. Beware nuts that are not cut deeply enough.

    2. Check the neck for relief by tuning the bass properly, then holding down the first and last frets. You want to have the space at the 7th to 9th frets to be just about exactly one credit card high.

    3. Then go sent the height of the bridge saddles. 3/32 space between the TOP OF THE 12th fret and the bottom of the string is the forgiving side of medium action. Close your hand lightly over the strings and use touch to set the string heights for best consistency.

    If this doesn't work, lay a matchbook in the back of the neck pocket and repeat 1/3 above again.


    Have fun!
     
  4. MMcC

    MMcC

    Sep 10, 2005
    Dallas
    The relief is my problem. I can't tune it because I can barely get any notes out of the first few frets to play. That's how bad it is. Should I raise the saddles a little, just to have something to work with when I'm making the adjustments to the neck?
     
  5. Kronos

    Kronos

    Dec 28, 2005
    Philadelphia, PA
    Does your neck have backbow?
     
  6. MMcC

    MMcC

    Sep 10, 2005
    Dallas
    I don't think so. It feels like it might, since the strings are so close. But it looks totally straight. I've never had a good eye for that.
     
  7. MMcC

    MMcC

    Sep 10, 2005
    Dallas
    On second thought, yeah it might be a little back-bowed. Do I just keep adjusting?
     
  8. Dr. PhunkyPants

    Dr. PhunkyPants Guest

    Aug 11, 2002
    USA
    A pretty good rule of thumb is that if all notes below the 5th fret buzz, but the bass is otherwise playable, the neck has too little relief.

    If the bass buzzes above the 15th fret, but otherwise plays well, the neck has too much relief.
     
  9. Check the Sticky at the top of this Forum.