Odd saddle issue on new am dlx J bass

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by BCY123, Mar 19, 2014.

  1. BCY123


    Nov 17, 2013
    Just Bought a new J Bass . I really like it so I removed all the tags and stickers and did a setup on it today...Put my favorite ECB81 XL Chromes 100s Flatwound D'adddarios on it....

    Everything came in just fine: Pup height, intonation, relief and string height....however.......the saddle for the E - and only the E - is essentially resting on the bridge plate and the end of the intonation screw is almost touching the bridge plate. I have never seen anything like this. Now the Bass is in tune up and down the neck, and the string height is 6/64 for G, D and A...and just a tad higher for the E. That's not necessarily bad, but it seems odd that the saddle is maxed out for lowering.

    You folks have any ideas??
  2. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    Many Fender Basses need a neck shim so you can keep the bridge saddles higher. That's what needs to be done here.
  3. BCY123


    Nov 17, 2013
    thanks....Yes would seem like the obvious fix....but the A, D and G are exactly correct.....so fixing the E will make these saddles too high. It is sort of like the neck is mis-milled and the bass side is too low/thin.

    i have been fixing and setting up gtrs for years and if they were all low, then of course I would shim as you suggest, but this is just plain weird...i am not able to post attachments (not sure why) but I saw another player on a UK bass site who had the same issue and posted a picture....
    see here

    many thanks for your help.
  4. acebase62


    Jun 29, 2010
    Some "high mass" bridges have larger than stock saddles, which can result in this condition.

    The Gotoh 201 bridge is one example of a bridge with large saddles.

    Switching to a more vintage style bridge or changing to smaller bridge saddles might be considered.

    (I'm not sure of your saddle size relative to vintage bridges)

    I recently bought a Gotoh 203 bridge which has smaller saddles than the Gotoh 201.

    Here are some visual examples:



  5. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    You need to set the witness point on the E string. There's too much of an arch in the string past the saddle (toward the neck). Once you get that straightened out the E string will be sitting lower and you will be able to raise the saddle a little.
  6. rogerb


    Aug 31, 2010
    From that photo, it looks already lower than the A string, and it also looks like you need to set that "witness" point or whatever they call it around here, the string should break over the saddle your is a little rounded, so it is up a bit higher.

    Push down on the string just in from of the saddle to make the break angle more evident, that will get you a 'tad' but not much lower.
  7. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    I still say shim it. The other saddles can still be raised if you do this. As it looks, your A string is higher than the rest in an unnatural way.
  8. Doug Parent

    Doug Parent Gold Supporting Member

    May 31, 2004
    San Diego, Ca.
    Dealer Nordstrand Pickups.
    I say shim as a last resort, only because I'm stubborn that way.
    If you find an E string that is TAPERED you will solve this issue instantly. It's the only thing I can think of unless you switch out the barrel itself with one of smaller diameter. (good luck finding one)

    This is a design snafu on Fender. I've had to deal with this many times.
  9. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Yeah, I usually push down on the string over the break angle on the saddle. That will cause the string to sit lower and you should be able to raise the saddle. You can also file the string groove down a little so the string can sit lower as well. Shim the neck as a last resort.
  10. Britbonic

    Britbonic Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2002
    San Francisco, CA
    I just went through this same exercise on a 74 AVRI Jazz Bass. Had everything setup perfectly, action nice and low, etc. Even with the older vintage style bridge which has a thinner bass plate than the Am Dlx was not able to get saddles low enough without bottoming out. Ended up putting a small shim in neck pocket that was just enough to make a difference. You could switch to a vintage style bridge but for the 10 minutes that it takes in make and install a shim I'd try that first.
  11. Doug Parent

    Doug Parent Gold Supporting Member

    May 31, 2004
    San Diego, Ca.
    Dealer Nordstrand Pickups.
    Tapered E string. Done. OOps I already answered this.
  12. Guygrooves

    Guygrooves Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2012
    Albany NY
    Im going through this with my recent Fender P-Deluxe~ 2007 AND went through the same with my 2011 P-deluxe. Saddle to the ground and still a pinch high action wise for me...

    The saddle isnt notched correctly for my gauge string-a Fender tapered string could work if not going through the body.(semi hard to find). But Im tempted to just file out the saddle just like a badass bridge.~ Allow the string to rest in the saddle and not ride above on the grooves.. All are OK but the E.. Easily replaceable if needed later as well. Cheap fix!~
  13. the 90s MIA Fenders came from the factory with tapered Es and saddle was fine, Change the strings and you have the same problem.
  14. JustForSport


    Nov 17, 2011
    It must cost too much to route a little for the bridge...
    then people could buy and use non-tapered strings.
    That flexibility should be built-in rather than having to 'rig' it.
  15. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY Supporting Member

    String has a bad arc (just look at pic 2)in it where it breaks over the saddle. Bend it down flat (witness) and you will be able to raise the saddle to where it should be.
  16. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY Supporting Member

  17. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY Supporting Member

  18. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Disease du jour, eh? No witness point(s) resulting in a lazy loop as the string passes over the saddle. Stringing thru the body exacerbates the condition. Set your witness points at both the bridge and nut. You'll probably be able to raise the saddles considerably.

  19. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009

    i got pix!



    you'll find that fixing this also fixes the intonation, to where the saddle doesn't need to be nearly as far back.