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set up advice for a new J Bass?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by powderfinger, Mar 22, 2009.

  1. powderfinger


    Feb 24, 2009
    I got a new Mexican Fender Jazz Bass a few weeks ago.

    What is an "average" set up for most bassists who play these basses? And what type strings? And what gauge? What about the action?

    I like to play a little hard with my plucking hand, yet physically have a hard time with high action on the fretting end. So super low or high action is out of the question. I hate low action more though, b/c I feel like I have to be so delicate.

    Also, string brand/guage? Whats some good ideas?

    Im not a beginner, but not a master either. Im actually a pianist and keyboardist who switched to bass out of necessity and happened to really fall in love with the bass!!!
  2. Brand and gauge of string: Depends if you plan on drop tuning or not, if not ive recently discovered that a Medium Set of GHS Boomers are great strings that smooth out nicely when they get old.

    From your description you like to have a "medium" height action which I would consider some 2-3mm of height at the 12th fret (I personally use 4mm at the 12th fret but im the kind of guy that likes high action even though I dont have such a heavy hand it just feels right to me) I just use a standard ruler to measure the height from the top of the 12 and 11th frets to the bottom of the string each string (there's more accurate ways but this seems to work fine for me) and use your bridge saddles to get the height to where you want it to be, take in mind that im just taking estimate here and 2mm-3mm at the 12th fret might not be right for you so tinker with it a bit until it feels right for you, also your truss rod might need adjustment, but if the bass feels fine to you after you adjust your string height (and there's no buzz) then I would leave it as it is, but the old ID card at the 8th fret has never hurts, put a capo at the first fret, and hold down the last fret, and make sure there's enough of a gap to fit an ID card but you shouldnt be able to fit more than one (again here some like to have a bit more or a bit less but it serves as a good guideline) hope I was of some assistance.
  3. John Wentzien

    John Wentzien

    Jun 25, 2007
    Elberta, AL
    Artist:TC Electronic RH450 bass system (original test-pilot)
  4. And I forgot to add that with adjusting string height comes the duty of adjusting Pick-Up height, which I use the same ruler technique I explained, and I measure from the top of the pole pieces on each pick-up to the bottom of each string (the purpose of of adjusting pick up height is to have equal out put levels on each individual string.) and BTW I don't own a MIM Jazz Bass, but I did set up my buddies Squire Classic Vibe Jazz , and so far he's had no complaints.
  5. Here's another great web site I use a lot, that's a bit more in depth about set ups, and also show you how to properly set up intonation if you don't know how already: http://www.tunemybass.com/ their set up guide was really helpful to me when I was learning how to do set ups for the first time.

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