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Strings not centered over neck, pickups

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by pepito, Mar 20, 2003.

  1. I have a fender jazz bass with a badass II bridge. I think it plays and sounds very good. There is no fretbuzz anywhere on the neck.
    But I've noticed that the strings seem somewhat off center. That is, instead of the position marker being directly between the A and D strings, it's closer to the A. That leaves only a little bit of fret under the G string. Also, the strings aren't exactly over the pickup poles, but slightly to off.
    Is this a problem? If so, how is it fixed?
  2. It's a tough one. can you tell which end of the strings is off? if you look at the nut, are the strings centred on the neck there? has it been sliding to one side of the neck? can you push it back to the centre?

    if the nut isn't the problem, then it's the bridge. does everything on the bridge itself seem to be line up? are there slots filed in the saddles? if not, there should be, and that would cause the strings to slide too far in one direction........

    if none of those things fix it, maybe the bridge isn't placed correctly..or the neck may be off. place a ruler against the pickups on one side and note how far away it passes from the base of the bridge. do the same thing on the other side. the distances should be identical. you can also do this with the neck to see if it's on straight.

    hopefully this will make it clearer as to where the problem is. once you find the problem, it may involve drilling out holes in the body or neck, and filling them with dowel or epoxy, and redrilling holes in the correct position. perhaps a job for a luthier......
  3. geezer316


    Jan 26, 2003
    i had the same problem with a peavey foundation and the problem was ,not it might be ,but was, who-ever worked on the bass put a wooden paper thin shim in the top of the neck pocket,why? i dont know i got it used, it could of been done at the factory for some odd reason,but now knowing this if it bothers you ,bring it to a repair shop and have it shimmed to make it more center,does it affect the play-ability of the bass?tone? action? if not dont worry ,its personality.:bassist:
  4. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    If the strings are properly centered at the nut end but not at the bridge end, odds are high that the bridge wasn't centered correctly when the bridge was installed.

    It is pretty easy to check the centering by using a straightedge.

    Hold the edge of the straightedge against each side of the FB, letting it extend down and across the bridge. Lightly mark each side of the bridge at the point where the Straightedge crosses. The marks should be the same distance from the side of the bridge on both sides.

    If the bridge is not centered, about the only way to correct the prob is to remove it and plug and redrill the holes in the proper place. Not really a big deal since the bridge will conceal the repair.

    If the saddles have not been notched, they should be but lack of notches wouldn't cause the degree of misalignment that you describe.

    If the neck fits in the pocket properly it is very unlikely that shimming the neck will correct the prob.

  5. geezer316


    Jan 26, 2003
    i gave you the solution to my problem,i did'nt say it would definately work on yours,there could be a couple of things causing your problem,not being able to see the bass makes it a little hard to diagnose,good luck with it,you will get some ideas on this page,but to be sure go to an experianced luthier and this way you will have a little insight to go in there with,i just dont appreciate others opinions saying my situation was in-correct,i'm not perfect ,just trying to help,its not like i told the guy to take off his neck and throw some shims in there and hope it works,it was just a possible scenerio.so if you dis-agree please keep it to your-self or say it in a polite manner OK.
  6. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    Adam, I am going to say what I have to say to you ONE time and one time only.

    Nothing was said that was meant to insult you.

    Since you are already insulted though I will be perfectly frank with you.

    You do not know what you are talking about when you try to give advice on setup.


    The person asking for the advice has no way to know that you are incompetent and this creates a real risk to someone that follows your advice.

    You have recommended to someone that the truss rod could be the problem and you are not even remotely close to right. A complete newby could very easily keep cranking the TR untill the problem either clears up or something breaks.

    You advised someone on another thread to sight down the neck to make sure it was straight. That advice is totally incorrect. Luckily the member that you gave the advice to is experienced enough that he politely ignored your advice.

    Out of the thousands of members on this board, I have to wonder how many newbies straightened thier neck with the truss rod only to find that a whole new can of worms is now opened when all of a sudden it buzzes all over the neck.

    Your heart is probably in the right place but in the future MAKE SURE YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT BEFORE POSTING.

    What your teacher told you does not qualify you to give set up advice!

    And NO I am not going to keep my opinion to myself when someone gives advice that I know is not only wrong, but potentially can damage somones instrument.

  7. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    Uh...did I miss something?

    Where, in his post, does geezer316 say its the truss rod???

    No offence to either of you, but as someone who does his own setups and, professionally, for many other bassists and guitarists (because they like the way my instruments play) I can tell you, you both could be wrong.........and/or right.

    Although an off center mounted bridge could cause the problem, the problem could just as easily be a neck thats not sitting in it's pocket correctly (or a combination of both). The smallest inaccuracy at the neck pocket of the body or heelblock of the neck will be magnified by the time it gets to the headstock which can very easily pull the strings to one side.

    Many basses come from the factory with shims for this very reason. A shim that is 1/2 to 1/3 the length of the neck pocket, placed just inside the top (towards the headstock) of the pocket on the side that the strings are leaning toward could very easily fix the problem. By putting the shim only at the top part of the pocket it causes the neck to pivot slightly, correcting the problem.

    I've done this hundreds of times and your shim could be as thin as a piece of paper folded once ( I find a little piece of fine, unfolded sandpaper almost always does the trick ). Extreme cases may need a shaved piece of wood.

    Now if its a neck-through or set-neck you've got a problem that needs to be adressed at the bridge.
  8. You should check out the guys other posts.
  9. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    I'm assuming you mean geezer316. I did, and its pretty harmless, although he is incorrect about the truss rod being the solution for buzz at any one particular fret.

    But he admits his experience is limited and you should probably take the bass to a pro if you are equally inexperienced and unsure. Not hardly worth jumping on the guy......

    Lighten up boys.:bassist:
  10. geezer316


    Jan 26, 2003
    well pkr2 i am not going to retaliate cause its obvious your a master bassist,i must have imagined the shims making my neck and strings off center,its a good thing we have you to make our life complete,and next time you want to VOICE your opinion of my bass knowledge or lack of, i would appreciate you do it privately in my mail box or e-mail, regaurdless of YOUR opinion of me bashing me in the public forum is out of line,if i published openly what i thought of you, i would probably get kicked off the site, if i had gripe with you or i objected to the manner in which you gave advice i would give you the courtesy of doing in private, your nasty little comments were unjust and un-appreciated, grow up!
    and for those i supposedly gave bad advice to, i am sorry, i spoke from my experience only,next time send all questions directly to PKR2 for he is all that is bass repair
    PS i would'nt put the fate of my bass in the hands of an opinion i got off line, its only a suggested opinion,not fact! i always state bring ito a pro, the way i see it ,if you are asking these questions you need a pros touch
    so if i gave any one bad advice i am sorry,i will not give it any longer, i now hang my head in shame:bawl: :bawl: :bawl: :bawl: :spit:
  11. geezer316


    Jan 26, 2003
    i dont know what happened, it published the post 3xs by accident.sorry bout that! look guys i know i'm not an expert,and i say so in my reply's,i always suggest going to a pro,and giving advice on a poorly described problem on an un-seen bass is a shot in the dark,that is no reason to attack someone, BUT KNOW THIS,PEOPLE FEEL SAFE TALKING TRASH OVER A COMPUTER SCREEN,I AM 100% POSITIVE GIVEN THE CHANCE TO SAY WHAT HE DID IN PERSON, I WOULD NOT HAPPEN!
    i may not know everything about bass repair but i'm confident of one thing.that one to one ,he would sing a song of a different tune,with a completly different tone, do we understand each other?
    now lets drop this topic and talk bass and bass stuff,please no-one comment on this thread,or feed the fire,let bygon's be bygon's.
    life is to short to argue ovenonsense,
    and for those people who backed me up,and stood up for me ,THANK YOU!:D
  12. back to the original topic.....

    after giving my original advice i realized that a lack of slots in the saddles wouldn't cause the strings to be off center. the tension on the strings will pull them back into the middle when not being played. slots may have been filed off-center, though. that would keep the strings (when stationary) off to one side. so many possibilities..so, my advice is this:

    pickups are hard to move. they're fairly stationary, so...compare neck location as described earlier, but compare to the pickups. also compare the bridge to the pickup locations, and the neck to the bridge. hopefully one out of three pairs will be properly alligned, and the third party can be adjusted accordingly.
  13. geezer316


    Jan 26, 2003
    thanks josh for the info,and i'm sure pkr2 knows his stuff,but that does'nt give the right to bash me in the OPEN forum, he could of privetly mailed me and did it there,there are proper ways of doing things this was not one of them,its very easy when we get good at something or gain some experience to forget that at one time we were a novice or even a begginer,nobody started off being good or knowing about things,but this is how we learn by our mistakes,the mistakes of others and asking for help,admitting we are stuck and asking for help is one of the hardest things to do,so remember were we came from and that some people are there now and learning to become a good bassist
    adam nuzzo
  14. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    You just don't know when to quit, do you?

    The reason I responded on the open forum is because my response was meant as a warning to people that you were dispensing faulty info.

    It would have done no good to point out to you that you are not experienced enough to give anyone advice. That fact has been pointed out to you before(a quick search of your posts will point out what 'm talking about) and it apparently fell on deaf ears.

    A recurring statement that I notice on some of the other boards concerning setup and repair is "go ask the question on Talkbass".

    I, for one am proud that this forum is getting some recognition. There are a handfull of us that have spent a lot of time on this forum to bring it to the point that it enjoys now.

    I'm speaking of guys like Chasarms, Milothicus, Hambone, John walsh, Merls and the list goes on.

    It is grossly unfair to these people for you or anyone else to come on the board spewing out less than accurate info. Not to mention the unfairness to a person who actually follows your advice.

    No, it's not stupidity (your statement, not mine)when a novice breaks or strips a truss rod. If he/she does so because of poor advice it's a reflection on the person who gave the advice. Or worse, a reflection on the forum where the info came from.

    I haven't forgotten that at one time i was a "novice or beginner". That's why I'm very careful that my info is correct before I offer it. I know that when I first started that I didn't have the experience to seperate the wheat from the chaff.

  15. I'm not sure what you're asking, exactly. There are grooves in the bridge saddles that keep the strings from sliding back and forth.
  16. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    But the whole point about TalkBass is that people don't have to make mistakes and learn from them - they can ask knowledgeable people and get the right advice first time - it's very simple - if you don't know the answer for certain - then don't post as if you do!

    To say : "if not dont worry ,its personality" - is just bad advice and is worse than useless - it implies you know what you are talking about to somebody who is less experienced, whereas it's pretty clear to anyone more experienced, that it's not the case.

    I think that PKR2 has performed a public service here and has not been insulting in any way - whereas the same cannot be said for your posts!

    But that's just my opinion...
  17. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Well this is a potential problem - the badass bridges don't come with slots (grooves) and the idea is that you file them yourself - so I think Josh is saying that this is a likely area for problems - whoever did this, made a mistake?
  18. I bought the bass used, with the badass II already installed. But I thought the badass II was a straight swap on the fender J. How could somebody f---- that up?
  19. I'm still waiting to be drafted. i have been swinging a few bats, though......
  20. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    Sorry for the typo, Josh. 50 mph fingers, 30 mph brain. :)


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