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strings closer to fretboard on 1st fret than 24th fret

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by spidersbass, Jan 24, 2005.

  1. spidersbass


    Nov 29, 2004
    Downtown L.A.
    strings closer to fretboard on 1st fret than 24th fret.

    i can just fix that by adjusting the truss rod right? i'm starting to tap more in the upper register and the string height up there is a hassle. i'd like the strings as close to the fretboard as it is in the 1st fret.

    which way do i turn? clockwise, counterclockwise

    by the way, the bridge saddles are already as low as they can go... any lower and there is some buzz from the 17th fret and higher on the D-string, that is also a problem.

    i'm a "do-it-yourselfer", don't like strangers hands on my bass... i'm pretty sure i can fix this myself pending proper instruction by the educated TBers.

    thanks in advance.
  2. I don't think you'll ever get them as low as the first fret, and still have a playable instrument.

    Having said that, clockwise usually removes relief (downbow) and counter-clockwise adds relief. Go slowly no more than 1/8 turn at a time, tune up and check the results. Let it sit for a few hours, preferably 24, and re-check, adjust again if necessary.

    Be careful not to strip the trussrod threads! You are doomed to an expensive repair if that occurs. Don't tighten so much that you end up with a back-bowed neck either, that will make the lower frets unplayable to some degree.

    If the bass is of the bolt-on neck variety, you can raise the end of the fingerboard by shimming the neck. Remove the neck, and put a thin shim (business card thickness at the most) in the rear of the neck pocket this will raise the end of the fingerboard by about 1/32", which is alot.

    Good luck!! ........Jim
  3. spidersbass


    Nov 29, 2004
    Downtown L.A.
    what are and where do i get these "shims"? i'd rather do that than mess with the truss rod... seems safer.
  4. the strings are supposed to be higher at the 24th than the 1st. no bass i've played has had them equal level across the board, i believe its physically impossible to do so. if you like the set up. just leave it.
  5. spidersbass


    Nov 29, 2004
    Downtown L.A.
    yea, i dont' like this setup... thats why i want to change it. at least to get the strings SOMEWHAT closer to the fretboard on the upper register.
  6. tkarter


    Jan 1, 2003
    Setup is a combination of things. You haven't described something that is easy to tell you what to adjust. The truss rod is not where I would start on your description I would lower the bridge saddles a bit.

    There are excellent sites available on setup.

    Caution here is never get carried away with a truss rod. It is designed only to keep some bow in the neck. Necks don't need much bow so... don't crank the truss rod to achieve your total setup.

  7. might not beable to. depends on string tension, neck relief etc...
  8. Rav


    Dec 29, 2004
    Aurora, IL
    How much space are we talking about here? How much space is between the fret and the string? Can you get a credit card between them? If the answer is no your about at the physical limit from what I've seen.

  9. To me it sounds like you haven't done any adjustments at all on the truss rod. That's ok, because I never did any adjustments on my first bass until someone showed me. And If your saddles are bottomed out, that means you've been comensating for the neck bow. Personally I would forget about shims, they're for older basses with bad necks.

    To tighten the truss rod safely, first loosen all the strings and then stand your bass on the floor and hold it tight with your legs; then by using the allen key, gently coax the nut tighter (clockwise about 1/8 turn) while at the same time gently bending back the headstock with your other hand to straighten the neck a bit and to relieve tension. Re-tighten the strings and see where you're at. You'll be fine as long as you don't get carried away with the tightening.

    You're like me, a do-it-your-selfer, so go get yourself a good readable 6" steel rule that measures in 64ths and once you get the neck where you want it, start fooling around with the string height and pickup height to where you want it. Pretty soon you'll have a great playing bass, trust me. :cool:
  10. SirPoonga


    Jan 18, 2005
    have you tried following the mr gearhead or the trussrod sticky thread setup guides?