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How do I lower the action on my bass? (Truss rod, string saddles, etc.)


allan grossman

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Basic trussrod setting for dummies

Here is the magic position :

setup.jpg

 

- Fret the E string with your thumb behind the 9th fret.

 

- Fret the E string with your middle finger behind the 5th fret.

 

- If the string touches the 7th fret, your neck needs curve. Gently turn

counterclockwise.

 

- If the string is way higher, there is too much curve. Screw clockwise.

 

- On an ideal neck, there should be like room for a cigarette paper between

the string and the 7th fret. It should ALMOST touch the fret. Just a ray of

light should be seen.

 

- The space is so tight that sometimes you can't see it. Gently tap your

string over the 7th fret with the back of your pointer. You should hear a

sound.

 

- Another thing you can do is pluck the string with your left hand between

the 2 fretting fingers. It should produce a very high pitched note. If you

hear nothing then you need curvature.

 

- Perfect necks are not so common. A lot of instruments have minor neck/fret

level problems. Just add a little curve if it rattles.

 

- Repeat for every string.

 

- If you have a double trussrod (mostly RickenBacker or 6 string bass), it

works the same except that you have to work on higher an then lower strings,

NOT the other way round.

 

 

Hope it helps.

Cheers.

 

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I got a neckthrough bass and I would like to lower the strings to get faster action. Can anyone give me some advice on what I have to do? Are there any good websites that explain the procedure? I want to do it myself because I want to learn. I don't really like my current bass so I'm kind of using it to experiment with until I get my new bass. Of course if I really liked this bass I would probably take it to a professional but I fgure I can try working on it myself.

 

Thanks.

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Alot of it will depend on what sort of Bridge you have, if you have an adjustable nut, etc. Typically, your manufacturer should have a manual for this sort of thing.

 

Mainly, you just need to adjust the Bridge (or Bridge Saddle) and possibly the Nut. These adjustments also affect intonation/string speaking length and Truss rod adjustment.

 

I don't know of any good books or website, I always let someone else set mine up.

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Typically on a bass, you want a very slight bow in the neck since the strings are so big and need room to vibrate, unlike a regular guitar. Normally you want just enough of a bow to allow this without fret buzz. If you have an underbow, there will be fret buzz all over the neck, especially frets closer to the nut. For an underbow, you loosen the truss rod(s), no more than 1/4 turn at a time, and allow it to sit overnight before readjusting. For an overbow you tighten the truss rods, again, by no more than 1/4 turn at a time and allow it to sit overnight before doing any further adjusting. Once your neck is set properly, you adjust your bridge height for maximum action without fret buzz. Then adjust your saddles for harmonics. After this, minor tweaking may be necessary for optimum playability.

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Originally posted by Banta

Typically on a bass, you want a very slight bow in the neck since the strings are so big and need room to vibrate, unlike a regular guitar. Normally you want just enough of a bow to allow this without fret buzz. If you have an underbow, there will be fret buzz all over the neck, especially frets closer to the nut. For an underbow, you loosen the truss rod(s), no more than 1/4 turn at a time, and allow it to sit overnight before readjusting. For an overbow you tighten the truss rods, again, by no more than 1/4 turn at a time and allow it to sit overnight before doing any further adjusting. Once your neck is set properly, you adjust your bridge height for maximum action without fret buzz. Then adjust your saddles for harmonics. After this, minor tweaking may be necessary for optimum playability.

 

 

My bridge doesn't have anything to adjust the height. It just seems that I can only adjust the saddles for the height of the string. But how do I know how to get the saddle at the right height for intonation and harmonics? That sounds hard.

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Originally posted by xvertirx



My bridge doesn't have anything to adjust the height. It just seems that I can only adjust the saddles for the height of the string. But how do I know how to get the saddle at the right height for intonation and harmonics? That sounds hard.

 

 

 

what is the exact bass you have?

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Originally posted by xvertirx

My bridge doesn't have anything to adjust the height. It just seems that I can only adjust the saddles for the height of the string. But how do I know how to get the saddle at the right height for intonation and harmonics? That sounds hard.

 

 

Get the bridge height right for action. Adjust the saddles (length of scale) for intonation.

 

It's easier than it sounds.

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Originally posted by boalg v. 2.0




what is the exact bass you have?

 

 

Jackson Professional bass....I just looked at that website Banta posted and it helps a lot. I understand how the intonation adjustment works now. It's not as hard as I thought. Thanks Banta

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Originally posted by xvertirx



Jackson Professional bass....I just looked at that website Banta posted and it helps a lot. I understand how the intonation adjustment works now. It's not as hard as I thought. Thanks Banta

 

You're welcome, but RIC N BACKER posted the website. ;)

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