Sandpaper pice under neck! [Squier VM Jazz]

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Linkert, Jan 4, 2009.

  1. Linkert


    Oct 24, 2006
    Yupp, thats what i found, and though my beautiful illustration below you can see the results of it.. This gave me a very hard time to setup my J-bass without having one part or another buzzing. Now i have removed it (duuh..) and it plays superb!
    Thank you Indonesian child workers!
    Anyone else found any sandpaper under their neck?
  2. OnederTone

    OnederTone Aguilar Everywhere Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 15, 2002
    Thornton, CO
    it's not uncommon. It's called a shim- it's usually put in place to raise the heel of the neck because the neck pocket was too deep or worn down . I've set up many older basses that because the player wanted as low an action as possible they had put paper, wood shims or even guitar picks of varying widths in the neck pocket to get the action where it's they wanted it.
  3. A friend of mine, luthier, found in a new guitar, in the same place, part of a Marlboro cigarettes package, and I found in a bass a piece of that plastic material they make circuit boards, with holes (also not meant to be there, an ex-circuit board I could say). So people use to do that :D
  4. mokl


    Mar 2, 2006
    The sandpaper was probably in there as a neck shim - usually done to aid set up by slightly altering the neck angle. My fretless Jazz has something similar (a bit of card I think).
  5. T-Bird

    T-Bird Guest


    It was not until here at TB that I learned that the "proper" way to shim the neck was to use tiny bits to raise the end of the neck.

    Up until that and in the future I will continue to use full lenght wedgeds that allow maximum contact area between the neck and the body.

    I even milled the neck pocket and the base of the neck heel flat on my Epi T-Bird, and at least to me the 50% increase of the contact area made a significant improvement on the unamplified sustain and tone.

  6. I had to do that to my Jazz(5)to get the B string to intonate; adding 2 pieces of business card at the rear of the neck pocket increased the neck angle, thereby slightly increasing the distance from the nut to the bridge, allowing the B-saddle to go back enough to intonate properly. I'm not sure how a shim in the OP's bass would cause problems setting it up.
  7. the_fooj


    Feb 15, 2007
    Chevy Chase, MD
    What I found intersting is that not having the shim made it play better... Maybe having the shim is actually standard from the factory? And is SANDpaper that good of an idea for a shim? Wouldn't normal paper have been a better choice?
  8. Linkert


    Oct 24, 2006
    I see why they would use a bit of [instert prefered stuff] under the neck to raise it but in this case the guy putting the bass together must have been blind and deaf because it did not help to make anything better..
    It might be as the_fooj said some kind of odd standard :p
  9. I've disassembled several Indonesian-built Squiers (P-Basses and Broncos) and at least two had sandpaper (actually, emery cloth) shims. To me, sandpaper is a reasonable material to use as a shim: take a piece of sandpaper and put it face down on a piece of wood, put your finger on the paper and try to slide the paper.
  10. Hmmmm....was the sandpaper USED???? The sandpaper may have been "waste" anyway. That's how you sell Squier VM Jazzes for $ waste!!!! ;)

  11. Eilif

    Eilif Grooving under the MDW runway.

    Oct 1, 2001
    I've found emery paper under a neck pocket before. I usually use thin card when I shim a neck, but I'm not sure that sandpaper would be a bad idea. I like to rehab cheapo basses, and shimming a neck is often a necessary step.
  12. jasper383


    Dec 5, 2004
    Durham NC
    You'll find factory shims in the necks of some very high end instruments. I have found shims in the necks of most Music Man basses I've popped open.

    There is a small, folded, covered in Japanese print, strip of plasticky paper in the neck pocket of the '80s MIJ Squier Jazz I own. My best guess is it's a Metro card. :)
  13. Baird6869

    Baird6869 Supporting Member

    I currently have 2 guitar picks in the same spot in my '74 P and a matchbook cover in my Squier Jazz. Both work great as shims.

    I wouldn't worry about it. At least it shows the Indonesion folks are trying to ship basses that are playable.

    I have a gui**** friend that puts his business card in the same spot. Pretty ingenious if his guitars get stolen and he has to prove ownership.
  14. mellowgerman

    mellowgerman Supporting Member

    Jan 23, 2008
    Orlando, FL
    yeah this is pretty common... did you try to adjust the truss rod and action before removing the sandpaper?
  15. funkybass4ever


    Dec 12, 2007
    As long as the shim under the neck isn't the Ace Of Spades you'll be ok:D
    I once bought an old epiphone guitar and it had a guitar pick used as a shim!
  16. lethargytartare


    Sep 7, 2004
    Shimming is great if your saddles are bottomed out and you still need them to go lower. I shimmed the necks on some of my guitars so the saddle screws weren't so exposed (resulting in gouges in the heel of my hand). So if it played better for you when you removed the shim, it's possible that they did a sloppy job of implementing the base setup for that unit, or that it shifted over time, or that your preference in setup was better matched by that bass without the shim.

    A good setup is very subjective -- some folks like their action higher than others. Some people put more pressure on the strings than other. Etc. etc. etc. Even intonation is subjective -- if you play with a very light touch, but the dude setting it up has a gorilla grip, it's not going to sound perfect when you play it.

    But -- I'd say the shim was not responsible for your buzzing problems (unless it was something extreme like the highest fret was buzzing because the string couldn't get over it). Much more likely that your frets are uneven or poorly dressed, the relief wasn't ideal, and the action was not set all that thoroughly or carefully, the nut is not cut all that well, and the strings were cheap -- none of which would surprise me on a stock Squier. And you COULD get an improvement by removing the shim, but that doesn't mean that the bass is optimally set up -- there's probably still room for improvement.

    I've found guitar picks, sandpaper (which is also what I use), wood veneer, cardboard, credit card strips...seen lots of fun stuff...

  17. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    That was the Mojo, you should put it back in.
  18. I actually tried to set up a Squire tonight that is going to need a shim to get a proper neck angle. To be honest, I am not sure why a CNC manufactured bass would need shimming, but a lot of the Squires and some Mexican Fenders require it, or come with it from the factory. Anyone know?
  19. WoodyG3


    May 6, 2003
    Colorado, USA
    I found the same thing in an older Fender. I took the sandpaper out, tried to set it up, realized the sandpaper was there as a shim. I had thrown the sand paper out, so I had to go back and put a business card in the same spot to get it set up the way I wanted it. :)
  20. lethargytartare


    Sep 7, 2004
    Can you also mention why you have to shim it, or how you're determining the proper neck angle?

    Incidentally, I actually found a nice video series that talks about that:

    that's not exactly how I approach it (I was never that thorough, and play it more by ear), but there is some nice content there on this issue...