View Full Version : lowering action on fender jazz bass

10-16-2003, 07:53 AM
About a month ago, i purchased a beautiful white Fender Jazz bass. The strings that came with the bass were very comfortable and enjoyable to play, but were too dull and worn out, so i purchased a set of new strings and almost immediately changed the set. These new strings sound great, as new strings always do, but i think i may have fucked up the action while changing sets, because it appears alot higher and i am straining my hands to do chords high up the neck, which i was able to do quite easily with the previous set. can changing the strings really screw up the action? and if so, how do i lower it myself so i don't have to bring it into the music shop? help would be greatly appreciated, thanks

conical johnson
10-16-2003, 03:04 PM
What may have happened is that these new strings are higher in tension, which bowed your neck more, raising your action.

Other than that, the only way string changing could raise the action is if the old strings were taper core (meaning that the part of the string that passed over the bridge saddle was just the string core, no wrapping, and the wrappings start right after that), and the new ones aren't. Generally only B and E strings are tapered, though, so I don't think that's the case here.

Doing one's own setup is an excellent thing to learn. Action's about the easiest part. Using an Allen wrench of the right size (Fender bridges usually use smaller screws than most), turn the Allen screws on either side of the string counter-clockwise to lower action. Clockwise to raise action. Turn both of the screws on each saddle an equal number of times. I generally give one a couple turns and then the other an equal number, alternating. Now that you've done that, though, you might want to change the relief/bow of the neck. But you might like it as it is. Relief's a little trickier (not so much in execution as knowing how far to turn the truss rod nut), and there's the potential to destroy your neck if you do something wrong, so read this (http://www.garywillis.com/pages/bass/bassmanual/setupmanual.html) before you go fiddling with your truss rod. It'll also teach how to intonate so all those chords you play up high will be in tune.

10-16-2003, 04:40 PM
Thank you for your help, I'll try finding the correct allen wrench. I find it impossible to look for help on custom set-ups on google so i just thought "hell i'll ask on tdn"...thanks again

conical johnson
10-16-2003, 09:27 PM
No prob, Bob. Glad I could help. I hate Mick Jagger, too. But take look at this bizarre bass that his brother made.


10-16-2003, 10:38 PM
That's fucking awesome.