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Question about Fender American Deluxe action...

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Knavery, Feb 18, 2014.

  1. Knavery

    Knavery Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2004
    Denver, CO
    Hey folks --
    I have a Fender American Jazz standard and am thinking of picking up a deluxe to round out my arsenal as I'm looking for an active bass. Here's the problem... On my current bass, I can't get the action really low. I had it setup a few days ago, but when I brought it home, the strings were buzzing. They weren't at the store. So, I found a nice video on Youtube from an older gentleman who worked for a number of manufacturers. Since I have the tools, I figured I'd give it a shot. Here's how I currently have my bass set up:

    E - 4/32
    A - 3.5/32
    D - 3.5/32
    G - 3/32

    The neck is pretty straight, because the GC tech took care of that. There's an ever slight flex in it as it should. The A, D, and G strings are still buzzing and they shouldn't with those settings. It doesn't matter what Fender I play, they all have high action and don't seem to support low action like a Lakland, Pedulla, etc.

    I know all basses are different, but should I just skip Fender and move onto something else with lower action? It's a must for me. I love to slap and pop and zip up and down the neck scale-wise. And to be honest, I haven't been very inspired to play because of it. For some reason though, I can't seem to get the Fender American Deluxe gas out of my head. It must be their sexiness.
  2. JLS


    Sep 12, 2008
    Emeryville, Ca
    I setup & repair guitars & basses
    That's a big part of your problem. Take it to a pro.
  3. Knavery

    Knavery Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2004
    Denver, CO
    So you're saying taking it to GC was like flushing money down the crapper... That sucks.
  4. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    You live in MN, I am guessing you have seen some weather changes in the last couple days? Any setup will settle in a couple of days, wood adjusts. That is one of the reasons it is nice to know how to do your own setups, on top of you being able to personalize your setup and saving money.

    I recommend Jerzy Drozd'd setup guide to all my students, there is a link on this site in the stickies. It explains the setup procedure and the science behind it.
  5. Knavery

    Knavery Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2004
    Denver, CO
    Thanks guys. I have a lot of tools and decided to give it a shot myself. I looked at the guides on the stickies along with some Youtube videos.

    It was basically trial and error over about 90 minutes. So the process was the following.

    1.) Capo on first fret. Press down on last fret. I couldn't get a business card under the 8th fret without it pushing on up on the string. I sighted the neck and it looked too straight. Since I'm a hard player, I added a little relief. Once all was said and done, I did two 1/8th turns of the truss rod. You can see by sighting it that there's a little relief, but barely. The relief is roughly .04mm.

    2.) Tuned the bass.

    3.) Measured the action with a my 150mm ruler at the 17th fret. Adjusted the bass side to be roughly 2.4mm--both E and A. Measure the treble side and adjusted those to be roughly 2mm.

    4.) Tuned the bass.

    Basically, it was a combination of all of those until I got it just right. Here's the weird thing... My G string buzzes more than the D string at 2mm. So, I went a fraction higher. Could this be that there isn't the flex on the treble side that there is on the bass side? There is no twist in the neck that I'm aware of...
  6. Britbonic

    Britbonic Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2002
    San Francisco, CA
    Glad that you decided to take on fixing it yourself. Once you get over the fear of adjusting the truss rod that many people have and understanding how it affects action you're about 70% of the way there. If an instrument is good shape - no neck issues, level frets, etc. anyone should be able to get it to play the way they want with a few simple tools and some patience.

    On most of my instruments, once I get them set up the way I like them, only require tweaks to truss rod and intonation to keep them in top playing shape.

    Interesting that even here in NorCal where there's not much fluctuation in temp and humidity levels I find that I need to adjust more than you would expect. During our long dry spell, had to tighten up the truss rod on all except 1 bass but now that we've gotten some rain it's gone the other way!
  7. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    The nut might be high on the G string OP, it could other things but that would be my guess.