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prob with action after defretting, help plz =]

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by DEFELDUS, Jun 19, 2003.


  1. hi, you may have seen my thread in regards to my decision of defretting (and thanking everyone here for all the info about it) and i must say for the most part things went well. i do have one slight problem though, ever since i defretted it i havent been able to get the action to a reasonable setting (read: low) and its really becoming a pain in the butt now. i have tried everything, i sanded down the nut and adjusted the trust rod and lowered the strings as much as possible at the bridge, yet the action is still pretty high (im talking its probably a 1/4 inch above the fingerboard! yikes!) and around the 15/16th fret i get a buzz on the a and d strings.my first thought was the trust rod but when i adjust it and get the strings lower that way the buzz begins at about the octave (12th fret) so i put the truss rod back where it should be. any ideas as to what might be the problem? any help/advice would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. oh and if it helps the bass is a fender mia standard jazz. :D
     
  3. JohnL

    JohnL

    Sep 20, 2000
    Grayson, GA
  4. geezer316

    geezer316

    Jan 26, 2003
    NEW HAVEN ,CT
    i had an action problem to when i de-fretted my japanese p-bass copy,the action was at the same height as when it was fretted and maybe even higher, now that the fretts were gone i could see more clearly the string height. so i did some research and asked a few fellow bassists for some idea's and it turned out i had forgotten to file down the nut(i said nut:meh: )so i took a a skinny wood/metal file and did one string at a time ckecking the depth every 20 strokes of the file to be sure i did'nt go to deep. Now it plays great, i could'nt ask for a better non pro job,it just took some patience and the willingness to accept ideas and opinions of other bassists. its not a difficult modification,just go easy and keep checking often because you dont want to end up having to change the nut. HAVE FUN :D
     
  5. thanks for the help guys. About the nut: i did file it down, but should it be filed down a lot compared to original setup?
     
  6. JohnL

    JohnL

    Sep 20, 2000
    Grayson, GA
    Maybe it's not scientific, but it worked for me; I filed the nut slots down the same thickness as the frets I removed, since the nut slot was originally cut to compensate for that height.
     
  7. geezer316

    geezer316

    Jan 26, 2003
    NEW HAVEN ,CT
    Every bass is a bit different,i did'nt go nuts when i did it,i let the weight of the file do most of the work.as far as needing alot of filing,in the respect of luthierism i dont know how much is alot or a little.just to check it often:D .AND YES I KNOW THERE IS NO WORD LUTHIERISM:p
     
  8. Its a word now! ;)

    :D:D

    Merls
     
  9. pkr2

    pkr2

    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    Adjusting the depth of the nut slots is not going to do anything to correct for action that is 1/4" high.

    The first thing you need to do is get the TR adjusted properly. Adjust the TR initially with about the diameter of the G string of relief.

    Next, adjust the bridge height so the strings are about the diameter of the E string above the fingerboard at the end of the fingerboard. At this point make sure that the adjustment is not bottomed out. MAKE SURE TO TUNE ALL STRINGS TO STANDARD PITCH before and after each adjustment

    Next, file the nut slots to correct depth by using a .030 feeler guage laid flat on the fingerboard right up aginst the nut. File down each slot untill the file just makes contact with the feeler guage. The feeler guage makes it impossible to go too deep and assures that the strings are all the same height .030 will probably be a smidgin high but it will get you well within the ballpark. You will have to fine tune the slots as you get further along with the set up.

    If you run into a problem attaining the proper measurement with either of these steps, stop right there and figure out what is causing the prob.

    Next, play a note at the 12 fret on each string. Lower the bridge untill each string slightly buzzes and then increase the string heights slowly, just enough to clear up the buzz on each string.

    Now play notes at the first fret. remove relief(straighten neck) until any one of the strings just begins to buzz. If removing relief wont induce a buzz at the first fret, the nut slots can be filed a little deeper. Change to a .025" feeler gauge and refile the slots. Repeat until ANY ONE of the strings slightly buzzes at the first fret. This step may have to be repeated a time or two. Once the buzz is attained, increase the relief by gradually loosening the TR untill the buzz just clears up. Remember to strike the notes with the same amount of force that you normally use when playing and to give the TR time to react.

    Adjust intonation at this point.


    You now have the bass adjusted about like you would get it back from your local repair person.

    Repeat the procedure untill there is no further improvement.
    This is the good part: Every time you repeat the procedure, up to about 3 or 4 times, the better the bass will play and the lower the action will be.

    If you run into any problem, hit base with us and we we will try to help you.

    Pkr2

    PS- I'm assuming you understand that by "fret", I mean note position on the neck.
     
  10. might be a "n%b" question, but what does that mean, the whole "with about the diameter of the g string of relief"
     
  11. pkr2

    pkr2

    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    Hold the string down at the first fret and the 12th fret. The clearance between the string and the fingerboard at the 5th fret should be about the same as the diameter of the G string. Sorry for the confusion. :)

    Pkr2
     
  12. oh ok no problem man, my fault not yours. thanks for the help, im about to go redo my setup on it now. thanks alot man!
     
  13. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    You may also have to shim the neck. The first bass I defretted, years ago, had to be shimmed. I filed down the nut, and lowered the saddles all the way, but the action was still too high for me.
     
  14. pkr2

    pkr2

    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    Good point, Jeff.

    Pkr2
     
  15. what do you mean by "shim" the neck? sorry for the hassle. oh and i used your method pkr2 and it helped a little, but the action is still much higher than it should be (especially on the e string, and the saddle wont go down anymore!) its playable, but the high action is really making it more difficult than it should be =[
     
  16. pkr2

    pkr2

    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.

    As I said in my original post, "If you run into a problem attaining the proper measurement with either of these steps, stop right there and figure out what is causing the prob."

    The fact that the saddles bottomed out before the strings went low enough is a pretty good indication that the neck angle is wrong.

    A neck is shimmed by placing strips of cardboard, wood or whatever in the neck pocket.

    Remove the neck from the neck pocket. Cut 2 or 3 strips about 1/2'' wide from a business card or matchbook cover. Lay one of the strips across the bottom of the neck pocket, right under the END of the neck heel. Replace the neck and check to see if the strings aren't closer to the fingerboard. If needed, put two or even 3 thicknesses of cardboard.

    You don't have to remove the strings completely. Just loosen them and a wrap or two with a big rubber band will keep them from springing off the neck.

    When you get the angle corrected, go ahead with the rest of the setup.

    Pkr2
     
  17. ok thank you, i am going to try this later today.