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Stringheight? Tech English Suck ;)

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by mist2, Aug 20, 2004.

  1. mist2


    Aug 20, 2004
    You'll have to excuse me, my bass-tech-english isn't what it should be :rollno: Help me out here! I'm a bassist from Sweden (Just regged at the forum btw). I got a boring Ibanez GSR 100. I'm buying an American Fender or Warwick (I might need help to choose between them later) once I get the cash! Meanwhile, I thought I'd fix my old gun. I don't like my strings... they're too hard and there are .... (tech english) metal hums when I hit the strings too hard. I figure it's because the strings are too close to the fretboard! Now we're getting close to my question :bassist:

    I want to increase this height, between the strings and the fretboard. Now, how do I do this? I have nothing to go at. I don't know what it's called, so I'm sorry if there are threads about this issue. I hate doubleposts myself :help:

    Can someone direct me for further information? Is it so simple I just put a metal plate under my bridge? I can add images off the bass if someone wants to help me later! =) Thank you for your time.
  2. josh_m


    May 5, 2004
    Davie, Fl
    The saddles on the bridge are adjustable, just raise the height a little, if it still buzzes then you need to have it taken for a good set up.
  3. Tim__x


    Aug 13, 2002
    Alberta, Canada
    Just for reference, that "Metal Hum" is called "Fret buzz" or just "Buzz" and "String Height" is called "Action".
  4. mist2


    Aug 20, 2004
    Thank you for the information! Seems pretty simple, if I just had the tools. Gotta borrow from some friend. So if I understand this right, the saddles are adjustable both vertically and horizontally? The screw "behind" the bridge moves the saddle horizontally right? So far so good. Problem is I can't figure where I increase the action. It seems to be small wholes on top of the saddles, two in each, this is where I put the allen wrench? You'll have yo excuse me since I'm new at this! :) I could post pictures for further help, just ask and I'll make it happen. Thank you!
  5. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    You've got it right! The horizontal adjustment is for "intonation". This adjusts the overall length of the string, and how in tune it is in the upper frets. You do this by tuning the open string, and then getting the twelfth fret harmonic and regular fretted note to be as in tune as possible. On a GSR100, you probably won't be able to get spot-on intonation, but it shouldn't be a problem to get it pretty in tune on a Warwick.
  6. mist2


    Aug 20, 2004
    Even more advice, thanks! This forum is great :hyper:

    I just checked the curvature and it seems to be ok! Don't have a ruler to meazure but I can figure no more relief is needed. :)

    Today I'm getting the proper tools for mixing with the saddle. Stupid americans, why can't you use the metric system like the rest of us :smug: Hehe no offence, I really apprechiate this help. We'll se later today how I handle the intonation when I increase the action. I'll let you know! Have a great day.
  7. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    asking for help, receiving help and then calling us stupid and adding "no offense"....
    would be like me calling you a moron for not knowing how to turn a screw....no offense.
  8. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Hey, ease off, he actually started the thread with excuses re. his lingual abilities ;) (he said "tech", but...well.)

    And, more to the point, he was not calling anybody in this forum, personally, any names. The reference was to the american authorities and industry, who refuses to conform with the treaty they actually signed, way back in the '60's! :eyebrow:

    Biker, and all, you are all very much appreciated, not least by mist2 - and myself! Don't get upset for one word, which was aiming on someone not-on-TB!
  9. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Back to the point, lately I've found that useful string heights are .045-.105 on the G string side, and .105-.270 on the B string side. That would be inches (same as string gauge), at the 12th fret, from the fingerboard to the bottom of the string.
  10. I wish I could speak a second language as well as you do!
  11. scottbass

    scottbass Bass lines like a big, funky giant

    Jul 13, 2004
    Southern MN
    Here are some suggestions from Gary Willis (a professional bassist who also represents high-end Ibanez basses, I believe), Fender and Ibanez...English and Metric. First you make sure the neck has the proper relief ("truss rod adjustment"), then you set the string height to where you want it ("action"), then you set the pickup height, and finally you intonate it using a tuner, 12th fret harmonics, etc. These are only suggestions, you may prefer a little more or less height. And if you can't understand these instructions, please just take it to a qualified shop for "professional setup"...but they will only be performing these adjustments, anyway! ANd the SHOULD charge you no more than $50 US for this. Where I'm from (Minnesota) they will do it for $25 US.


    Gary Willis: Use the A string.
    Capo at 1st fret.
    Hold down past last fret.
    The string should have "a little" clearance,
    about "the thickness of a credit card."

    Fender: Use the E string.
    Capo at 1st fret.
    Hold down past last fret.
    Clearance at 8th fret should be 0.305 mm (0.012").

    If there is not enough neck bow, tighten (right, clockwise) the truss rod. If there is too much bow, loosen (left, counterclockwise "anticlockwise) it. NEVER TIGHTEN OR LOOSEN IT MORE THAN 1/4 turn per day!

    STRING HEIGHT - (remove the capo)

    Ibanez: Measure at 14th fret.
    E string should be 2.5mm - 3.0mm (0.098" - 0.118").
    G string should be 2.0mm - 2.5mm (0.079" - 0.098").

    Fender: Measure at 17th fret.
    E string should be 2.388 mm - 6/64" (0.094").
    G string should be 1.981 mm - 5/64" (0.078").


    Fender: Hold (or capo) strings at last fret.
    E string should be 2.769 mm - 7/64" (0.109").
    G string should be 1.981 mm - 5/64" (0.078").

    My own preference (I play an Ernie Ball Stingray clone with
    an active humbucker pickup):

    No capo: E string at 3.969 mm - 5/32" (0.156")
    G string at 3.175 mm - 4/32" (0.125")

    I know it's intimidating to mess with your bass the first time, but millions of us have learned to do it...and so can you!

    Good luck!
  12. scottbass

    scottbass Bass lines like a big, funky giant

    Jul 13, 2004
    Southern MN

    Danger, Will Lee! (Er, Will Robinson...)

    I KNEW I would get it wrong...too many beers!

    The correct statement is:

    If there is TOO MUCH neck bow, tighten (right, clockwise) the truss rod. If there is NOT ENOUGH bow, loosen (left, counterclockwise "anticlockwise) it.