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12 fret action on p bass


Geek99

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Can people please tell me what action from 12th fret top to underside of E string they have on their p bass? Ie as if using a feeler gauge 
 

mine came out for the midlands bass bash and when I got it home I realised I could actually abseil off the action 

 

I’ve set the relief to 0.3mm at the eighth with first and last frets held down - radius is 9.25” on maple - Japanese neck 

 

it had a heavy concave but no more 

 

 

Edited by Geek99
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My Shuker is proper fàg-paper stuff, as low as I can get it without choking completely. The Sire V7 fiver is about 2.5mm across the board at the 12th fret.

The ska jazz is more like 3-3.5 -- what with the music being that bit more energetic, I tend to get carried away and hit it pretty hard especially with the pick, so it needs to be a bit higher. 

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I have always thought of action as something you do by preference. Many years ago I tried to have really low action because I thought that would make me faster and smoother. I ended up with clicking coming out of my speaker. It was only when someone said you can hear that out front that I realised how bad it was and so  I raised the action and it disappeared.

Whatever is comfortable for you would be my answer. Some people prefer low, some high.

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As a starting point I go for relief of about 0.3 mm then set the G string to 1.5mm and 2.2mm fot the E at the 12th fret (holding down the 1st fret), then radius the A and D strings accordingly.  Then tweak to taste.  If I'm playing a bass with a pick these need to be a smidge higher. 

Edited by franzbassist
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52 minutes ago, borntohang said:

I set the relief till it's choking around the 9th to 12th frets and then dial it back a bit so I can dig in and get a little rattle but not when I play softly. Action gets set the same - down until it's rattling and then back off a touch. It's not an exact science for me. 

 

 

Same. I take it until I get buzz and then back off.

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Action depends very much on the quality of the frets fitting and dressing, quality of neck craftsmanship and the way you play. I have some basses with action going lower than 1mm at 12th fret under the E string without any buzzing, but those are fantastic luthiers masterpieces.

 

My go to action goes from 1.5mm under the G string at 12th fret to 2mm under the E string at 12th fret. Then I lower this until the buzzing appears, if needed.

 

That said a perfect nut height is also mandatory.

 

I firstly set the relief to my taste (almost flat these days), then put all strings at exactly 1.5mm (use a 1.5mm Allen key to make the measurement as it's easier than a ruler) under themselves and the fret at the 12th position (also working for fretless) and then, starting from the highest string, I simply raise each saddle screw from 1/4 turn compared to the previous one, this way the strings follow the new neck radius and you'll go progressively from 1.5mm to 2mm. 😉 

 

So D string saddle : + 1/4 turn. A string : + 1/2 turn. E string : + 3/4 turn (B string : + 1 full turn. C string : - 1/4 turn).

 

That said a P-Bass sounds better with a higher action and pickup lowered compared to a J-Bass.

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You need to experiment. The ideal string height will depend on how hard you play - often, finger players need a higher action than pick players - and what the tension of the strings you use is. Do you mind a bit of fret rattle? A lot of people like the bite it gives, but I can't stand it. Rounds tend to buzz more than flats. Some like a dead straight neck. Others, including me, like a little relief (very slight concave). Different strokes for different folks, etc.

Edited by Dan Dare
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7 hours ago, Hellzero said:

I firstly set the relief to my taste (almost flat these days), then put all strings at exactly 1.5mm (use a 1.5mm Allen key to make the measurement as it's easier than a ruler) under themselves and the fret at the 12th position (also working for fretless) and then, starting from the highest string, I simply raise each saddle screw (to taste)

I would call that the only way to set the action.

1 Set Relief.

2 Set Saddle Heights.

Job done.

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22 hours ago, ubit said:

I have always thought of action as something you do by preference. Many years ago I tried to have really low action because I thought that would make me faster and smoother. I ended up with clicking coming out of my speaker. It was only when someone said you can hear that out front that I realised how bad it was and so  I raised the action and it disappeared.

Whatever is comfortable for you would be my answer. Some people prefer low, some high.

Indeed. The low side of medium for me, typically 3-3.5mm at the 17th. No lower.

 

As you say, sounds much better than super low for the sake of it. Also, too low compromises manipulation for hammer ons, pull offs, etc.

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On my P the strings are 1.6, 1.7, 1.8, 1.9 and I'm not getting clank — but I've relatively stiff hexcore, nickel-plated strings, 45–105.

 

If I fitted, say, a 40–95 set of something more flexible like DR, would I find myself having to raise the action much?

 

At first I had the action at 1.9, 2.0, 2.1, 2.2 and the combination of that, stiff strings and knackered fingers was not a happy one. So if my ears are going to insist on these strings, my fingers will insist on the low action.

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