warwick thumb bolt-on 4 action too high

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by vrossi, Mar 25, 2014.

  1. vrossi


    Jan 29, 2013
    Hello. I am trying to get the action on a warwick thumb bolt on 4 low to my liking. I followed the warwick set up videos on youtube and read all the manuals. But even with the bridge & saddles slammed, just-a-nut slammed, neck straight, the action is still too high for me, especially compared to my other basses.

    Also, the truss rod seems to be of very little use if I tighten or loosen it. Luckily the neck is a bit straight with very little relief. Are all warwicks meant to be set-up with medium-high action?

    We tried adjusting a friend's Fortress and it came out with the same medium-high action after slamming everything to the max.

  2. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Well, if you've got your bridge block (6 hex screws!) bottomed out and saddles profiled correctly, the next step is to add an end-of-pocket shim.

    Edit: did you set your witness points correctly? This will, by practice, drive the strings closer to the fingerboard.

  3. vrossi


    Jan 29, 2013
    Hi Zooberwerx! What's witness points?
  4. Push down on the E just past the saddle. Tune push again, tune. Set the intonation, move on to the A repeat then the other 2 strings. This ensures the strings run true from the saddle to the nut.
  5. tobias3469

    tobias3469 Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2013
    West Los Angeles
    so... straight neck, nut and bridge to lowest position.. and the action is still too high? There has to be something else going on with this bass. Can you post photos?
  6. sratas


    Dec 15, 2007
    Parma, Italy
    nope, the 3D bridge allows super low action, till the notes stop ringing because they are too close to the fretboard.

    There must be something else, a bass issue or a user mistake.

    First thing to do, set up properly the height of the whole bridge, many times you don't need to lower the single saddles.
    Check the truss rod and neck relief using a precision measuring tool, like calibrated steel sheets.

    If the bass has a issue, it should come out pretty clearly
  7. prd004


    Dec 3, 2010
    I think the root of your problem lies here
  8. elBandito


    Dec 3, 2008
    Rotten Apple
    Ive had the same result with my warwicks, 06 corvette std, 08 $$. With the bridge and saddles all the way down, I was able to lower down to about 2mm @ 12th fret on g string. It's low enough for me, and I didn't want to stick a shim inside the perfectly fit neck pocket. If you have access to a machine shop, you could mill down the bottom bridge plate(hunk of metal inside the body) about 1mm, and allow the bridge to drop down a little more.

    Warwick necks are so stiff, it feels like ithey're not responsive to truss rod adjustments right away, but let them settle down a bit longer than maple fender style necks.

  9. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    As mentioned, this is when you forcibly push down each string on the fretboard side of the saddle...repeat likewise at the nut. This creates the necessary "bend" or break which delineates a truer speaking path for the string. If ignored, the strings, especially the B & E, have the tendency to form a lazy loop as it pass ever the bridge and nut. This results in all sorts of havoc when intonating and higher than normal string height.

  10. vrossi


    Jan 29, 2013
    woah thanks for the input guys! so many useful insights. tried out a shim made of business cards. lowered the action a bit but i'm a little O.C. about the neck not making full contact on the body. might try sanding down the bridge plate or I'll try to make the bridge pocket deeper...
  11. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Negative. If you're concerned about full-pocket contact, you can easily fabricate a full-size shim from a hardwood veneer scrap. The thinner stuff is easily worked with an xacto razor. The mod will be inconspicuous. The neck will maintain the same planar relationship with the body.

    Any way you can post a lateral pic of the bridge / neck / strings?