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Super low action help!

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Lazarevicmass, Feb 9, 2014.

  1. Hey everybody! This probably been asked so many times before, but i seem not to find it, sorry! :( i Have a MIA Jazz Bass with Badass bridge II on it, i'm looking to have super low action, as low as i can get, even if i have a little bit of a fret buzz. I worked on the saddles, and on the rod, still not low enough, should i shim the neck? Will it be a better setup for a low action? Should i use playing cards, or a credit card? Thanks for all the input!

    Attached Files:

  2. sharpbass

    sharpbass Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2011
    Yes shim if your saddles are low and the neck is almost flat, no credit card. I've seen guitar pics, tape, paper, and all kinds of stuff in there. I'd probably use a thin sliver of wood if I could find or make something proper, if not I'd use paper.
  3. Wagz


    May 2, 2012
    Milwaukee, WI
    Relief is a key to low action, a little bit of bend in the neck will help ensure you don't buzz when fretting the first 12 frets.
    If you already have a bit of relief in the neck, shimming can work to get you aligned like in #3 in the image you attached. I like to use business cards, I start with a third of a card all the way in the bottom of the pocket, if I need a little more, I put the other 2/3 of the card on top of that. Haven't ever needed to go more than that.
  4. After i shim the neck, how do i set everything else up? Meaning, how do i get to a low action after that? Saddles? Thanks again!
  5. JustForSport


    Nov 17, 2011
    After shimming, re-check relief, then adjust the saddles to set string height.
  6. I just got it all down, i ran into another problem; now the strings are buzzing like a bastard from the 12th fret to the 17th. To raise the saddles to solve the problem, will bring me to the same height i had before i started, the saddles are way too high, and the buzz still there! :(
  7. sharpbass

    sharpbass Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2011
    You should take it to a good tech. You may have a high fret or two. You may just need an expert to take a look. A good setup is not too much money, but well worth it sometimes.
  8. JLS


    Sep 12, 2008
    Emeryville, Ca
    I setup & repair guitars & basses
    Ski jump! Fretmill, if there's enough fret height. You need some fallaway there.
  9. Levin S

    Levin S Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2007
    Charlotte N.C.
    Fallaway is a thing of beauty.
  10. Thanks for all the help!
  11. elBandito


    Dec 3, 2008
    Rotten Apple
    Fall away in the ski jump area is a must for bolt on fender. Makes a big difference, even if you don't set up with low action.
  12. Rocky McD

    Rocky McD

    Jun 28, 2005
    San Antonio, Texas
    If you shim the neck, I think you need to shim the whole pocket and not just the end. The Badass has a very thick bottom plate which raises the strings. If you run out of adjustment, the neck needs to come up, but uniformly not tilted. More relief might help, I would try that first. Loosen the truss rod and give the neck time to respond, maybe 1-2 days with string pressure.
  13. kohntarkosz

    kohntarkosz Banned

    Oct 29, 2013
    Edinburgh - Scotland
    I saw somebody suggest you file the saddles on a Badass bridge to lower the action, the other day on here.

    If you must shim, try and use a wooden one. I've seen cardboard and sandpaper used as shims, often in budget instruments. These materials can compress over time, so it would be difficult to gauge the usefullness of such shims in the long run. Wood veneer makes for a better shim. It would be interesting to try and quantify the drop in sustain, resulting from the lack of heel-to-pocket contact once a neck is shimmed against the gain in sustain from the BadAss. Reckon you come out even?
  14. Thanks again!
  15. mimaz


    Mar 1, 2005
    Wheeling WV
    Endorsing Artist: Crook Custom Guitars
    Just to get you started in the right direction, what is the relief currently set in the neck? Meaning....what is the measurement with a feeler gauge? That's the starting point, before you mess with the saddles, and certainly before you even think about shimming. (Step 1, proper relief. Step 2, saddles.) If you don't get step 1 correct, don't even bother to move on to step 2.

    Although some folks will swear that they can just sight down the neck and adjust properly, you really need to measure this properly, or you're just kidding yourself. If you're not sure how to properly set the neck relief first, drop me a line.
  16. Bassisgood4U

    Bassisgood4U Banned

    Jan 30, 2014
    Those BA saddles won't go as low as a regular Fender bridge..or the bottom plate is higher, not sure which. That leaves you with the neck. If completely straight, you won't have a problem with the BA II, because that extra height will be needed.

    I suggest slowly turning the rod until it's 99% straight. Start with the saddles lowered to the bottom, and adjust from there. After you've done all that, try a set of light gauge strings(40's). That might do the trick.
  17. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    How far did you turn the truss rod????? Go back half the distance you turned it, and you should be right on. (If you turned it). If you didn't turn it, I would maybe tighten it an 1/8 turn.
  18. One more question! On a BadAss bridge, its got two screws for each saddle, when i adjust it, should i move both of them screws every time, or can i move one at a time, leave one a little higher than the other? Once again, i can't say thank you guys enough! ImageUploadedByTalkBass1392078761.839704.
  19. gidbass

    gidbass Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    I had no idea that iron maiden had their own beer...and that there is a local distributor in my area. Guess I know where I am going on my lunch break tomorrow...Thanks!
  20. Have a beer on me pal! Galloping all the way!!! :)