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Questions about how to adjust a Fender JB '78

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Sixmax, Apr 15, 2010.

  1. Sixmax


    Dec 5, 2005
    Hey all!

    I own a '78 Fender JB (4-sting), but some things have to be adjusted, and I thought that maybe you guys know something about that ;):

    1) My d-string is acting strange. It appears to be the same heigh as the other strings, but when I get to about 8-10th fret and up it seems to touch 2-3 more frets. I do not get this fuzzy sound, as I have experienced before with other basses when this problem occurs, but the tone seems to be more "dead" and I have to play harder to get a tone. Also the output from my amp is a bit lower. :( Any suggestions to this?

    2) When playing and tuning I experience another problem. The bass is apparently out of tune "in octave". I don't know the english term for this, but if you play 10th fret on the a-string, and 12th fret on the g-string they are not in tune with each other. This problem occurs when I just tune the bass in a regular way, so for a while I have tuned in octaves, in the 6th fret. I have read that this could be solved by a neck adjustment, but I am sure that I would give it a go (think if something gets broke!) :meh:. Maybe I should visit a music store and let them solve the problem? Or is it easy to do?

    3) When I bought the bass, I had to switch the button pickup, as it was almost dead. I bought a BassLine pickup, on the advice that it would fit the original pickup in sound. So far so good, but over time I have noticed that the original pickup has a much louder output. Is it possible to adjust the pickup high so that I get a better balance, or should I just get rid of that old (well-working) pickup and by a better match (or some new ones)?

    4) Stings: I have played with different strings, especially the Rotosound Roundwound, and they have worked okay. But, as i have begun to play more with plectrums their sound does not fit in so well. I play an indie/rock/pop-like style with my band, and I want a more rock-alike sound. What could you suggest? If you want to, you can listen to my band (www.myspace.com/ladysmithdk) and get an idea on which kind of music we play.

    Any suggestions are welcome, as I am a noob when it comes to adjusting, gear, stings etc :smug:

    Thanks for you attention!
  2. I would take it to a shop honestly. They should be able to answer your pickup question too, and adjust its height.
    As for strings, I would suggest DR LowBeams.
  3. snyderz


    Aug 20, 2000
    AZ mountains
    Did you read the stickies in hardware/setup/repair forum? Lots of info on deadspots and intonation. If they don't make sense, take it to a tech.
  4. pacojas

    pacojas "FYYA BUN"

    Oct 11, 2009
    didn't your Mother tell you to never buy a '78 Fender??? you should always listen to Mother!!!
  5. Sixmax


    Dec 5, 2005
    It was quite easy to adjust the things on the bridge. Now the bass is completely in tune, and string heigh is good! No need of a tech - thanks for the tip about the repair forum.

    I now use Lo-Riders, what an amazing sound!
  6. queevil


    Aug 6, 2009
    Is that sarcasm or are they really crappy? Or both? The reason I ask is that '78 is my birth year and I've always thought that it would be cool to have a J bass from that year. Thanks.
  7. RoboChrist

    RoboChrist Guest

    Jul 8, 2009
    You can fix the intonation yourself by moving the saddles back or forth. There are threads on this, do a search in repair.
  8. Sixmax


    Dec 5, 2005
    My opinion is that it depends. I have one from that year, and it is actually a great bass! Apparently, the quality of the Fender J-bass varies a lot in that decade, so there is no guarantee that you get a great bass just because of the building year. It is always necessary to try out the instrument and figure out if it fits your taste or not ...

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