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This might be a silly question...

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Larry Mal, Apr 1, 2013.


  1. Larry Mal

    Larry Mal

    Nov 1, 2011
    But I just bought my first Jazz Bass, and I'm giving the guitar a setup tonight (the first since I've had it). I restrung the guitar, and now I'm confronted with the bridge (which I already don't like much) having multiple slots on it. My G&L doesn't have those, nor my Stingray.

    Am I correct in assuming that I just want the strings to go right in between the pole pieces? Is there any advantage to doing other?

    And while I'm at it, I tend to like pretty low action. What do those of you who like low action tend to set yours at? I know I can go lower than this because the neck is straight and my Stingray's is lower, so I should be able to hit that. But any advice anyone can give me would be great.

    Also, am I missing the point of this bridge? I know about the Badass 2 and whatnot, and I'm used to the massive bridges that are on my G&L L1000 and the Stingray. But maybe I don't see something in this very light Fender bridge. Maybe it's actually adding something to the sound, being so small and frail (or elegant, I don't know).

    This is a 2003 American Standard, by the way. I'm going to spend the evening drinking beer, setting her up, and looking for responses.

    I'll take any advice, also... I'm primarily a guitarist, I guess, although I've played bass for over fifteen years. But I've not been setting up my bass, so bass setup is pretty new to me. I'm solid on guitar, truss rods, and whatnot. But maybe there's more to it than I know.

    Here's the bridge:

    null_zpsa8b81933.

    null_zps30081ff3.

    Here's the bass- this is my "offset" family:

    IMG_0075.

    So far I'm not loving it, then again, it's not been set up, and the strings were the ones I bought with it, dead and lifeless.

    Thanks all!
     
  2. darkstorm

    darkstorm

    Oct 13, 2009
    Ive never seen a bridge like that and hope I never see another. lol. Strings are best over the pole peices. But can work fine when not. Correctly done imo adjustable bridges for string spacing have whole bridge saddle moveable from side to side with adjustment screw. Yours doesnt and requires rather big changes for string placement choices. Not good design imo. Id replace the bridge if i had one like that.
     
  3. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Nice instruments!

    That bridge is fine - the Fender bent metal bridge is on millions of basses and works great.

    The strings should pass as close to directly over the pickup poles as possible - that's why the extra grooves are on the bridge saddles. Use them to position the strings by selecting the groove which positions each string best.

    It's all very simple, really. The Fender bridge is a great example of elegant simplicity that works.
     
  4. Larry Mal

    Larry Mal

    Nov 1, 2011
    Thanks guys! It's a nice bass, I'll be setting it up, like I say, tonight. I'll get the action down a bit and do the intonation again, see how I like it.

    As to the bridge, it might be great... I don't know. I know the bridge is a popular upgrade, and after having had the G&L as my only bass for over a decade, the Fender bridge looks like a toy.

    Then again, sometimes the less metal on the guitar...
     
  5. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I stick each string in the closest slot to the middle on my Precision. Perfect spacing (for me). And the strings line up between the polepieces, although that's not really important.
     
  6. Larry Mal

    Larry Mal

    Nov 1, 2011
    Thanks Jimmy!
     
  7. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
    yeah, but with P basses that's usually how it works out.

    with jazz basses, you want to spread them out a bit to get each string right between each pickup magnet pair.

    (and that's a terrific bridge, low-mass but rock-solid, especially when you string it through the body like it was primarily designed for. it's one of the best things about that bass.)
     
  8. Larry Mal

    Larry Mal

    Nov 1, 2011
    Thanks for the thoughts! And I agree, stringing through the body would be the way to go. And I could have done that... but I forgot, and didn't! I top loaded it.

    Told you all I didn't know how to set up a Jazz bass.
     
  9. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Point taken. According to his pic, he should move the D string over one toward the G, and maybe even do the same to the G but I can't quite tell. Then again, it's a bit fuzzy. Me, I like the tighter string spacing so I still stand behind my suggestion ;)

    I usually don't think it matters, but this is one case where it seemed to matter when I got my Precision. My E string rattled pretty good when top loaded. I imagine I could have spent an hour or two figuring out where it came from, but I tried thru-body and no rattle, so now that's all I do.

    Oh, and ditch those strings for your favorites. It'll never come to life if you don't have your favorite strings on it.
     
  10. ancientrocker

    ancientrocker supporting member

    Mar 7, 2013
    And while I'm at it, I tend to like pretty low action. What do those of you who like low action tend to set yours at? I know I can go lower than this because the neck is straight and my Stingray's is lower, so I should be able to hit that. But any advice anyone can give me would be great.

    Hi,
    I don't know the specifications for your bass, however I can tell you that the lower you go the sooner you'll encounter fret noise. You may find you'll have to play around with the intonation as you get lower. Always remember to retune each string before you check the intonation as well as the action. The standard action on most four string bass guitars is E 6/64, A 7/64, D 8/64, G 8/64. Start from there. Don't settle for just ok intonation; try to get each string at each dotted fret as close to zero cent as you can. It will never be perfect, but the closer the better. The twelfth fret must be right on EADG.
     
  11. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member


    Well put! With a P-bass, the strings should pass over the poles. With a J, the strings pass between the pole pairs.

    D'OH!!!
     
  12. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
    well, with the P they're supposed to pass between the poles as well, it's just that typically a slightly narrower spacing makes that happen OK.
     

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