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So, adjust trussrod first then the bridge saddles (if needed)?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by triggervision, Jul 23, 2007.


  1. triggervision

    triggervision

    May 24, 2006
    After, getting sick of having someone else set my bass up (because I was too scared to try on my Thumb or Stingray), I decided to buy a cheap-o (Fernandes Tremor) and learn myself. I want to make sure I've done this in the correct order and have comprehended what I've read. Here's what I've done.... I held the 1st fret and the last fret of the E string down and measured the gap between the top of the 8th fret and the bottom of the string by sliding a credit card in there. there was space between the card and string so I tightened the truss rod. This brought the relief to where when I measured the it the credit card could slide in between the fret and string (although it was touching both). I thought this would be fine. The action was still really high on all strings. From what I comprehended on the Sticky Sites..it was time to adjust the bridge saddles. so I lowered the bridge saddles until the strings seem relatively low with just a slight amount of buzz (the buzz seems to be all over so from what I read just means it's the bridge not the truss rod). Now a few questions. Does this sound right? Should the bridge saddles be level and even? It seems as though my strings don't follow that curvature thing on the gary willis site. My E string is higher than all of my strings, the D string next highest, A string is next then G string. Any suggestions with the bridge adjustments? Also I want to make sure that when I get the relief right there is nothing else to do with the truss rod?

    Thanks so much for helping me out...I know it's long but I'm sure you can remember when you were trying to figure this all out and the questions you had. Thanks again...Deryc Johnson
     
  2. lug

    lug

    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    Sounds like you are on the right track. The E string should have a bit more clearance down through the G string with the least because the string travel on the bigger string is going to be greater.
     
  3. John Wentzien

    John Wentzien

    Jun 25, 2007
    Elberta, AL
    Artist:TC Electronic RH450 bass system (original test-pilot)
    use a 2mm allen wrench as a feeler guage under each string at the last fret. This will give you the curvature. then adjust up or down to fine tune the action to your liking.
     
  4. Scott in Dallas

    Scott in Dallas Commercial User

    Aug 16, 2005
    Dallas, north Texas
    Builder and Owner: DJ Ash Guitars
    If it sounds good, is properly intonated, and feels right to play then you did it correctly.

    Typically you rough in the intonation to give yourself a place to start. The truss rod setup is next. You can do both of those without plugging in. I always set intonation last. Even if I make another change afterward, I re-check intonation as a final step.
     
  5. John Wentzien

    John Wentzien

    Jun 25, 2007
    Elberta, AL
    Artist:TC Electronic RH450 bass system (original test-pilot)
    +1 always check your intonation after adjusting the truss-rod or the string hieght.
     
  6. triggervision

    triggervision

    May 24, 2006
    Thanks a lot guys. By staggered you mean the E string is the highest, next highest is the A string, next D string with the G string being lowest like stairs stepping down. (And before you all think I'm dumb I do know what staggered means I just want to make sure I'm seeing staggered on the strings the same as everyone else haha) If this is correct then it's time to do the intonation. After digesting all of those sites and working on a bass that's not "important" the whole setup thing doesn't seem that scary. Thanks.

    Deryc
     
  7. Scott in Dallas

    Scott in Dallas Commercial User

    Aug 16, 2005
    Dallas, north Texas
    Builder and Owner: DJ Ash Guitars
    The above makes sense to me for acoustic guitars, as they are usually designed that way. I'd think that the entire neck on a solid body instrument should be flat from the first fret to the last. Is there a flaw in my logic?
     
  8. Scott in Dallas

    Scott in Dallas Commercial User

    Aug 16, 2005
    Dallas, north Texas
    Builder and Owner: DJ Ash Guitars
    I've never seen a solid body guitar engineered to have fall-away in the fretting. A properly built neck should be dead flat. It requires attention to detail, but it can be done pretty easily. It's probably all academic which fret you push down if the neck is flat. I'll have to think on it a few days.
     
  9. pkr2

    pkr2

    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    The ideal profile would probably be dead flat from the 5th fret to the bridge end of the FB and a log rhythmic curve from the 5th fret to the nut.

    Problem is that there is no ideal wood to make an ideal neck from.:)
     
  10. Scott in Dallas

    Scott in Dallas Commercial User

    Aug 16, 2005
    Dallas, north Texas
    Builder and Owner: DJ Ash Guitars
    It's possible, but that's why we hammer it out to get to the logic. Then everybody benefits. I wouldn't be on here peppering everyone with questions otherwise. :)
     
  11. Scott in Dallas

    Scott in Dallas Commercial User

    Aug 16, 2005
    Dallas, north Texas
    Builder and Owner: DJ Ash Guitars
    Okay, the fall-away is starting to make sense to me now. I understand what Joshua was suggesting. Allowing for the vibration of the strings at the centerpoint between the bridge and the nut or fretted note would allow lower action with less buzz. Good info. I'll have to process this one for a while too.
     
  12. pkr2

    pkr2

    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    It's easier to visualize when you understand that the vibration profile of a string is not shaped like a jumprope. the vibration profile looks more like a string of hotdog wieners.

    The term 'fall away' may be a little confusing in conversation. I believe that the term is more commonly used to describe the profile that is filed into the last few frets at the bridge end of the FB. This slightly overcompensates for the 'ski jump' bend that causes the end of the FB to turn up like the tip of a snow ski. It's caused by the fulcrum point (neck mounting screws) being so close to the end of the neck.
     
  13. Scott in Dallas

    Scott in Dallas Commercial User

    Aug 16, 2005
    Dallas, north Texas
    Builder and Owner: DJ Ash Guitars
    Without turning left into a discussion of harmonics, the physical vibration, or fundamental of a plucked string IS actually shaped like a jump rope. That's the maximum distance one would need to consider when thinking about fret buzz. It's something I'll think about when I'm leveling my fretboards and I'll experiment a bit.

    I agree. I think I misunderstood what he was talking about, and fall-away was the most accurate term to describe what I was picturing, as he was simply attempting to eliminate the portion of the neck that doesn't flex when the truss rod is adjusted. Since nobody's changing the level of the frets, I don't think it makes any difference where you fret on the upper part of the board as long as you get to the same adjustment point when it's all said and done. It took me a while to assimilate the information. :)
     

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