New JMJ Bass - Is there something wrong with my neck pocket?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jondom22, Jan 22, 2023.

  1. jondom22


    Aug 14, 2014
    Picked this up brand new yesterday, and didn't notice until today that the string alignment is offset to the E string bass side significantly (pics attached). I went ahead and loosened the neck mounting screws and slightly tugged the neck towards the G string side and re-tightened the screws. Unfortunately, this didn't have any effect whatsoever.

    I also noticed that in order for me to not get any fret buzz my saddle heights are completely cranked (pics attached) as well. Seems like something might be funky with the neck pocket on this one, or the bridge is mounted 1-2mm to the left. Otherwise, was absolutely loving the sound and playabality of the bass, but for the current retail cost this seems a bit too much of a no-no for me.

    IMG_0011.jpg IMG_0008.jpg IMG_0009.jpg IMG_0010.jpg
  2. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Gold Supporting Member

    congratulations on your new instrument! :thumbsup:

    sounds like the neck heel and the neck pocket are making for a super snug fit (not allowing you to shift the neck the way you want) and that you may need a neck shim to be able to lower the saddles.

    if you like the ax, but if you're not that handy with modifications = take it to a luthier! good luck! ;)
  3. sleddogn


    Sep 8, 2013
    Love My Dogs
    I'm in the return it camp. It's brand new, shouldn't have to deal with such issues right out of box in my opinion.
  4. Dan Bone

    Dan Bone

    Apr 4, 2021
    Just to be sure .... so with the strings loose and the neck bolts loose it didn't move much?
    If so, the pickguard might be getting in the way of a better alignment - maybe take it off and try again.
    What does the neck splice like look like? Is the neck even sitting flush? You should have a nice tight and even mating line of neck/body like the one in the pic. If the neck is sitting flush and the saddles are still needing to be that high, you likely need a shim. Not a big deal, all easily fixed, but you shouldn't have to deal with this on your brand new toy.

    Attached Files:

  5. jondom22


    Aug 14, 2014
    To answer everyone's questions....

    1) Yes, I slackened the strings, and didn't get any play in the neck pocket to result in a change of how the strings are aligning over the upper frets of the neck.

    2) I think a combination of the pickguard and or neck pocket finish might be the culprit, but IDK

    3) Yes, the reason I bought a brand new bass at a brick and mortar for retail + tax without discount (instead of saving $200-$300 new, or buying used) was so I can play the bass first, make sure I like, and not have any issues. Unfortunately, I didn't catch the string alignment issue at the time of purchase (feel like I need to do a 55 point inspection these days on buying new guitars). Likely, I will contact Fender and see what they say, and then either go back to the shop to see if they can adjust since that's a QC issue, or have Fender send a replacement. Would rather they adjust than me start removing the neck and pickguard and shaving down the pickguard or whatever at this point (though I'm generally reasonably good at setting my own guitars minus nut/fret stuff cos I don't own those tools).
    beatdatthang, JRA and Dan Bone like this.
  6. 4Mal

    4Mal Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    Is the bend in the E string before the saddle a function of photography ? If not, is that normal - I've never seen a JMJ in the flesh so to speak. It sure looks odd to me. Kinsa looks like the bridge was installed a bit left of center.

    If it were me, that bass would be going back and I'd be back in the market I think.
  7. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    There's nothing wrong with Fender's specification for neck pockets - you can buy Warmoth parts made to Fender neck pocket specs, and they work just fine.

    Fender's execution of neck pockets, though, is a different matter. Your bass is but one example. You would think that, having made instruments with this attachment topology for 70 plus years, Fender would have the kinks worked out. Sadly, not quite yet. There's another thread with a different "twist" on Fender neck pocket issues on Talkbass right now.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2023
  8. Given that you paid full retail for a new instrument, you shouldn’t have to do any work on it beyond adjusting relief, saddle height and intonation.
    pbass2, beatdatthang, Mili and 3 others like this.
  9. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    They make a whole lot of these, so take it back and get one they made right.
  10. KenB


    Jul 15, 2008
    Yellow Springs, OH
    If that is a brand new instrument, it's defective or has been damaged. Return it or exchange it.

    It's either a lemon, or someone monkeyed with it.

    There have been some problems with the JMJ model in the past, regarding string placement over the neck (caused by both factory-misaligned bridges and incorrect bridge saddles), but those problems were ironed out years ago.

    And I've NEVER seen one that required the saddles to be set so high.

    There are PLENTY of JMJs out there. You deserve better. Return it!
    Aqualung60 likes this.
  11. SulzerType2


    Jun 10, 2022
    You can't shift the neck in the pocket on a Mustang as easily as on a Precision or Jazz as the pocket is very long and, ideally, a good fit.

    There is some monkey business with certain bridge saddles on Mustangs. They almost have to be canted off centre slightly to get the right string paths.
  12. Indiana Mike

    Indiana Mike

    Nov 18, 2005

    See if shop can correct it.
    If not then
    Exchange it
    bobba66 likes this.
  13. Bikeguy57

    Bikeguy57 Supporting Member

    I've owned two of these that were perfect. It looks like the saddle is mounted wrong. I return it for another.
  14. Something is happening in Ensenada qc lately...
    cashmoneywill and 6-3-2 like this.
  15. S.F.Sorrow


    Dec 6, 2014
    This bass has serious issues. You would need a shim in the FRONT of the neck pocket to tilt the neck FORWARD to sort out the saddle height. That's totally unacceptable with a brand new instrument. Loosening the strings+neck screws and re-aligning the neck might work on some basses but most likely not on this Mustang.

    It's junk. Return it.
    Admiral Akbar, AlexanderB and C Stone like this.
  16. jondom22


    Aug 14, 2014
    Thanks for the input everyone. I sent Fender support a message with photos, will keep you all up to date on what they say (whether they'll just ship me a replacement or make me to take it back to the store, etc).

    FWIW, the bass does sound and play pretty awesome otherwise. Was a tough sell for me to be a mustang convert, but there's something very punchy and fat percussive about it that I dig.
  17. C Stone

    C Stone

    Sep 4, 2020
    That’s a problem. I can get most basses set up with some finagling if necessary…
    That one (for me) would go back ASAP.
  18. I’d personally return to the store and get another.
    BasseroDE and 6-3-2 like this.
  19. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Have you tried loosening and retightening the neck bolts and keeping it aligned while you do it?
    deff and direwolf333 like this.
  20. jondom22


    Aug 14, 2014
    If anyone with a JMJ has pics of their saddle height that would be helpful.

    And yes again, I tried loosening and retightening the neck bolts to see if that helped re-align the strings over the neck. The issue is either with something obstructing the neck from being properly seated in the neck pocket (pickguard or neck pocket shape/finish itself), and/or the bridge possibly tilted or shifted 1-2mm towards the bass side. Please see previous responses in the thread.