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String height at the 1st fret

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Chrisk-K, Oct 19, 2010.

  1. Chrisk-K


    Jan 20, 2010
    Maryland, USA
    Is there any acceptable measurement of the string height at the 1st fret?
  2. FunkMetalBass


    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    As low as possible?

    There's virtually no vibration at the first fret, so the height is almost never measured there unless it's being used to check the nut depth.
  3. 251


    Oct 6, 2006
    Metro Boston MA
    FWIW, the zero fret on my fretless is 0.025" to the finger board.

    Does that help?
  4. Chrisk-K


    Jan 20, 2010
    Maryland, USA
    It absolutely helps!
  5. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    i don't see why, the distance to the board is a useless measurement;

    all that matters for action is the distance to the tops of the frets.

    the height over the first fret should theoretically be the same as the height over the second fret when pressing down the string at the first; in reality, you won't get it exactly that low without a little buzz, but it should be pretty close.
  6. 251


    Oct 6, 2006
    Metro Boston MA
    The height of the zero fret on my fretless neck was 0.040" when I received it. It was difficult & very tiring to play in 1st position. Above the 5th fret, it felt normal. From Fret 1 to 5, I could feel the added stress in my left hand. Reducing the zero fret to 0.025" makes it as easy to play as any fretted bass I have ever held.
  7. 251


    Oct 6, 2006
    Metro Boston MA
  8. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I was taught:

    1) Depress / capo string at 3rd fret

    2) Space between the string and 1st fret should be .003" - .005".



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