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String height in relation to each other?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by AndrewM, Jan 7, 2014.

  1. AndrewM


    Feb 10, 2013
    I recently had my bass setup by a shop, as I had never actually gotten a full setup and had only tweaked the action a little bit and called it "good enough". So after deciding to get a professional setup done, I took my bass home and it played perfectly, even better than before.

    However, on occasion I like to tune my E down to D, and with the recent adjustments to my bass, tuning down a step is just enough to give me some buzz on certain frets. I was just going to raise the saddle on the E string a small bit, but then I started wondering if strings are supposed to stay at a certain height in relation to each other for some reason or another, and thought I should turn to TB for answers.

    Thanks in advance for your time, and I'm sorry if this seems like a question with an obvious answer :p
  2. G00D+~VIBES


    Nov 21, 2008
    Kansas City
    You may have to adjust intonation or pup height, but otherwise it should be fine. So long as it feels good to you
  3. AndrewM


    Feb 10, 2013

    Alright, that's not too big of a deal then. Action won't affect the truss rod in any way, will it? I can't imagine that it would.
  4. G00D+~VIBES


    Nov 21, 2008
    Kansas City
    Well in a perfect world the bridge would be used to set intonation and match the fingerboard radius. The overall height of the string is adjusted with the truss. But in your application, a slight saddle adjustment, the truss shouldn't be effected.
  5. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    Trussrod adjustment will change the distance between the strings and fingerboard, but that's only because it's adjusting the relief in the neck (the primary function of trussrod adjustment). Primary string height adjustment is performed at the bridge.

    More relief may need to be added to play cleanly when tuned down. It's also possible that the frets may need a leveling as well.

    A bit outside of the box: If the bass has a bolt on neck it may be useful to install a reverse shim in the neck pocket.
  6. G00D+~VIBES


    Nov 21, 2008
    Kansas City
    It appears we have found more than one way to skin this cat with excellent results.
  7. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    if everything else is fine, raising the E saddle a little to improve the drop-D sound is OK.
  8. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    Don't count on excellent results if you are using the truss rod as the means to adjust string height. That's exactly the wrong thing to do, but it's a common mistake.
  9. KeddyLee


    Nov 12, 2013