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Too little relief?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Iamjacksbass, Nov 29, 2006.

  1. Iamjacksbass

    Iamjacksbass Banned

    Nov 29, 2006
    Ok here my question, I have read over the sticky ontop, and everything makes sense. I just bought a Fender Jazz bass a few days ago, used to have my brothers Squire. To make a long story short, I didn't really take care of that bass to well, now that I have a nice bass, I wanna take care of it. I know my squire has too much relief in it, because I can just see that the strings are really high off the fret board, and after the relief test, it is really bad. That besides the point though. I am a little narrodic about my new Fender. I did the relief test knowing that some of those basses have been sitting in Guitar Center for a while, and may not be set up right. Now my perdicament is not that it moves to much, its that it hardly moves at all. Don't get wrong it moves a little, but a very little like I tried sticking a credit card under and it moves the string. So my questions are because my string doesnt moves does that much does that meen I have a backbow or is it just straight?. Two. I know relief and action are preference, but I also know there has to be a point were theres to much(my squire) and to little, like in a back bow. If that statement it true, in what area does it become too straight? Does it have to be trully backbowed, or is having a straight neck bad altogether? And finally at what point does it have to much relief I know a little is good, but what would be considered alot? I know that alot to take in, but I would really apprciate if some of you guys who know a little about repairs could clue me in.
  2. From my experience, there's not one set amount of relief that works for every bass. It's dependant on how hard you pick/pluck, string tension, etc... Looser strings need a bit more room to vibrate.
    What seems best for me is to just a small bit of relief. A credit card would be too much for me. Probably half that for me.
    My idea of what you call "backbow" means that the truss is too tight, pulling the neck back towards the player as he holds it. Forward bow is what you usually have when you have some relief.
    Having a perfectly flat, straight neck doesn't work for me. I can clearly hear the difference in the way the notes ring out. Although I cannot actually hear buzzing, I can tell the notes don't sound full.
    I honestly believe there isn't one setup that works for all. You should experiment. Just keep a small amount of relief (1/2 to 1 credit card thickness)for starters. If you're a heavy hitter, maybe a bit more..

    Good luck..

  3. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    Here's the thing.

    The straighter the neck, the lower the action.

    The lower the action the more perfect your frets need to be.

    The more you play the more fretwear you get, the more you have to dress the frets.

    The more you dress the frets, the faster you need a refret.

    High performance is high maintenance.

    It's a real drag to have to dress the entire fret board as soon as you get a few dents in the high traffic areas.

    The more relief you have in the neck the worse your frets can get before it starts to buzz and fret out.

    There really is no right or wrong answer as long as YOU can still comfortably play the instrument.

    imho of course

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