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string height is 6mm, is that Bad?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by markjazzbassist, May 13, 2006.

  1. markjazzbassist

    markjazzbassist Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    hey guys i just setup my bass for the spring/early summer months tonight and i have my action set at 6mm at the 17th fret on all strings (on a 20 fret fender jazz). I really dig in (im a funk player) and have higher gauge strings (.5, .7, .85, .105). Just wondering if this is really high and shouldn't be that way or if it doesn't matter. it looks high, but my hand strength can handle it. Plus, i will never ever get a buzz now no matter how funky i get on it.

    help appreciated, thanks

  2. Snarf


    Jan 23, 2005
    Glen Cove, NY
    That's insane.
  3. markjazzbassist

    markjazzbassist Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    in a good or bad way?
  4. Pretty high man, but it's all about preference, if it works for tyou then by all means leave it. I have mine set at about 3mm at the 12th fret E-string, and 2mm at the 12th fret G-string. Also a Jazz Bass. I like to hear a bit of grind when I dig in.
  5. 12th fret = 2.5 - 3mm for E and 2 for G on all my basses...
    even my $60 (US) cheapo special is about 3.5 on the at the 12th and that's a tad too high for me, although it sounds great, it just doesn't feel quite "right", if you know what I mean.
  6. 20db pad

    20db pad

    Feb 11, 2003
    I been everywhere, man...
    None. At all.
    That is a high action, by today's standards. That's a label, and not meant to imply a negative. Adding the .50 to .105 strings to the equation will pretty much insure that nobody will want to play your bass because they won't be able to pull off any of their Flea or Claypool riffs.

    However, if you choose to go that route, you're in the company of notables like Will Lee, Rocco Prestia, Steve Swallow, and James Jamerson, who all play(ed) high action. Jamerson's action was considerably higher than the measurements you've listed but he managed to define great playing for countless players, which ain't a bad thing at all.
  7. markjazzbassist

    markjazzbassist Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    i figured it wasn't bad i just wanted to know if thats way out of normal. I had the string height at 5mm but the pickups were too low and i like the rest my thumb on it. I think the higher height will help me to be more precise with my left hand (hopefully). thanks guys.
  8. ctxbass

    ctxbass Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Central Texas
    I like mine about 5mm at the 12th fret all across. Fender 9050M or Labella Jamersons. All the electronics in the world won't get you that sound any other way.
  9. markjazzbassist

    markjazzbassist Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    yeah i just went back to 5mm on the bottom (E and A) and 4.5mm on the top (D and G) cause the high action wasn't too my liking. It's still decently high now but i think ill stick with this current setup. thanks for the help everyone.
  10. Bleu Bass

    Bleu Bass

    May 15, 2006
    my action's gotten pretty high too...the humidity absolutely murdered it.
  11. morf

    morf Banned

    Feb 17, 2006
    I've been wondering alot about string heigth, this thread has been helpful, thanks :)
  12. flatwoundfender


    Feb 24, 2005
    I haven't measured mine but I'm sure it's above 5mm, probably around 7 or 8. The sound is killer and guitar players can't say bass is easy if they can't press the strings down. One post in the Aston Barret thread also said his action was pretty high. In Jamerson's case he came from upright so his setup probably seemed easy for him.

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