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Thread: Action Problem, maybe the nut?

  1. #1

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    Exclamation Action Problem, maybe the nut?

    Hi everybody,
    I' m a new EBMM customer. 4 days ago i bought a StingRay 4. I love that bass but i have some question for expert musicmen in this forum.
    I noticed that the action is too high (5mm at 12 fret on E string) and i wanted to try lower the action turning CCW the trussrod, but i didn't because there was already too much buzz on every string and looking at the fretboard it was perfectly straight. I think it's strange to have buzzes with high action and straight fretboard, so:
    1) Maybe the action is very high because of the Nut at the top of the fretboard? That Nut is very high compared to other basses.
    2) Or maybe this must be because of the height of the frets? On other basses frets are not so 'prominent'.

    - Finally what i have to do to get the lowest action without buzz considering what i wrote above?
    Thanks guys

  2. #2

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    Not sure what you mean by CCW, but counter clockwise to me implies loosening the wheel, which is the opposite of what you want to do. You want to tighten the wheel by turning it toward the Gstring...I'm assuming that your 'Ray has the adjustment wheel at the heel of the neck.
    ...Bryan

    194-59-21-01 Sterling Silver Sterling5 HH Rosewood MHS F28514 3/14/11

  3. #3

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    welcome to the forum!
    you have excellent taste in basses

    if you have an issue with your bass you should first contact your dealer. they should be able to sort it out for you.
    if that doesnt work out (or you like to skip steps in a process ) you can contact ernie balls excellent customer service on this phone number:
    +1 866 823 2255 (skip the +1 part if youre in the usa)

    hth!

    MrM
    flats for the bongo!
    roundwounds for the fretless!

    eb customer support:
    E-mail: musicman_customerservice@ernieball.com
    Telephone: +1 866-823-2255

    trussrod adjustment:
    Click here for an image!
    less relief / flatter = lower action
    more relief / bow = higher action
    do NOT use cheap tools to adjust with. they break and scrape up your bass!

    if you have a 100th namm sr4: the truss works the other way around on those!

    i have no affiliation with eb other than i love their basses

  4. #4

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    CW and CCW are relative to facing the bolt. So as Mynan said, CCW would be loosening the truss rod, putting more relief in the neck.

    that all being said, I have no advice other than to take it to a luthier and have it checked over.
    -Tom
    Fret more, worry less.

    Bongo only bass in Tom's life.

    Blank-Plank Egyptian Smoke Bongo4H "Nefertiti"

  5. #5

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    The trussrod weel on my Sr4 is where the body meet the fretboard. So i was thinking at te rule: "Righty-Tighty Lefty-loosy" or something like that.. It means thet turning right (clockwise - CW) the TR become tight; turning left (clockwise - CCW) the TR become loosen.
    Hey guys this is a little bit strange...so you are telling me that my 7 days old bass needs to be taken to a liuther or again in the Guitar Center?
    Unbeliavable, you spend a lot of money to catch a perfect instrument and than you realize it will be a perfect instrument only after spending much more money...I don't know in USA, but here in Italy, taking a bass to a liuther for a setup (they always find something else that need to be done), can cost something like 100 €.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by WhiteBat View Post
    Hey guys this is a little bit strange...so you are telling me that my 7 days old bass needs to be taken to a liuther or again in the Guitar Center?
    No, EBMM makes adjusting your setup easier than any manufacturer out there. However, you said that you wanted to loosen the truss rod to lower the action, which is completely opposite. You would tighten the truss rod to lower the action. That indicates that you may want to take it in for a professional setup, but only because you may not know how to do it yourself. That's not a bad thing, but before I knew how to do my own setups I always made sure it was setup by the store's tech before I left with it.

    I can tell you that when your bass left the EBMM factory it was set up properly. Whatever change in climate conditions between California and Italy may have caused it to need some adjustment...that would be typical for any bass.
    Last edited by mynan; 03-23-2009 at 07:00 AM.
    ...Bryan

    194-59-21-01 Sterling Silver Sterling5 HH Rosewood MHS F28514 3/14/11

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by WhiteBat View Post
    The trussrod weel on my Sr4 is where the body meet the fretboard. So i was thinking at te rule: "Righty-Tighty Lefty-loosy" or something like that.. It means thet turning right (clockwise - CW) the TR become tight; turning left (clockwise - CCW) the TR become loosen.
    correct. However, loosening the trussrod will put more relief in the neck, more bow. Not necessarily what you want to do.

    Quote Originally Posted by WhiteBat View Post
    Hey guys this is a little bit strange...so you are telling me that my 7 days old bass needs to be taken to a liuther or again in the Guitar Center?
    Unbeliavable, you spend a lot of money to catch a perfect instrument and than you realize it will be a perfect instrument only after spending much more money...I don't know in USA, but here in Italy, taking a bass to a liuther for a setup (they always find something else that need to be done), can cost something like 100 €.
    To second what Mynan said, any guitar with a wooden neck, be it $100 or $5000, will have to be setup every now and again. It is the nature of wood under tension. Going from the factory to a shipping container, via air, ground or sea, then out on the floor of a shop, the neck can see a wide swing of temperature and humidity. This will cause things to shift.

    If you have the inclination, here is a link to the FAQ on how to do a setup.

    Otherwise, as it was bought so recently, you may want to pop by the dealer you bought it from and have them check it over. Very hard to diagnose such maladies over the internet.
    Last edited by maddog; 03-23-2009 at 09:45 AM.
    -Tom
    Fret more, worry less.

    Bongo only bass in Tom's life.

    Blank-Plank Egyptian Smoke Bongo4H "Nefertiti"

  8. #8

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    I took the bass to the shop. They said that i have to pay any setup or whatever because i changed the strings.. Incredible!! You buy a bass with the original (maybe 1 year old) strings, than you go home, you change the strings with a new pack (the same gauge 45-100), you try to act on the trussrod to get a lower action, than you realize that maybe your bass have a little problem. And they tell you that it is because you changed the strings?!! I want to kill them all..

  9. #9

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    I'd say that either you must have gotten a hell of a good deal on the bass (i.e. at or below cost), or you have a really cheesy dealer there. If the strings on the bass were dead, they should have exchanged them for free. IMO.
    Have bass. Will play.
    Looking for Sessions in Switzerland. Area: Züri/Winti/Rappi


    Music Man Collection Essentials
    MarkBass F1, SansAmp RBI, MarkBass Standard 104HR; MoMark (T1M/42S/MVV)@500, NY604; Minimark
    Holding down the bottom end for Redsteam

  10. #10

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    Of course the shop is full of idiots. Anyway i took the bass to a liuther, the best one in this area. He said that the nut is a little bit too high (as i was thinking) if we consider that the nut height must be a little bit more of a fret. So he want to plane the nut. For that he want 50 €. I will try to put in this 50 € the screening of the electrical parts. Because, you know, with high gain, and no hands on the bass, there is a lot of noise; when i touch the strings or any metallic part the noise stop with a "click". I hope this also can be normal, because if not, it means that i have found the most problematic stingray in the globe. . . . . .

  11. #11

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    Hi WhiteBat

    What I want to know is if you bought the bass new or second hand?
    Because if you bought it new, and the shop is giving you grief, I would suggest contacting the Italian MusicMan importer. I have seen a fair amount of Musicman basses, but never one with a nut cut too high...


    If you bought it second hand, you can either demand the store fixes it (I would) or pay the luthier to fix whatever might be wrong with your bass.
    bovinehost: Yes, I do agree with that, but if there's nothing wrong then there's nothing wrong.
    Beth: I would compare Bongo to Tommy Lee Jones. Bad a$$ and just hot in a weird way...
    cheezewiz: They should take their lace thongs off and play bass.

  12. #12

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    If the nut is too high, the notes on the first fret will not be in tune. One way to check to see if the luthier you mentioned is being honest.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by 57fenderjazz View Post
    If the nut is too high, the notes on the first fret will not be in tune. One way to check to see if the luthier you mentioned is being honest.

    And to check nut height, you can also press down on 3:nd fret, then check for clearance between string and 1:st fret. Clearance should be between "hardly any" to "business card thickness".
    bovinehost: Yes, I do agree with that, but if there's nothing wrong then there's nothing wrong.
    Beth: I would compare Bongo to Tommy Lee Jones. Bad a$$ and just hot in a weird way...
    cheezewiz: They should take their lace thongs off and play bass.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by strummer View Post
    I have seen a fair amount of Musicman basses, but never one with a nut cut too high...
    I have. New ones with the compensated nut. Not in a way that the intonation was off, or that the setup was really bad. Just too high for my taste and left hand technique. I took one to a luthier to lower the nut, and it made the bass much more playable to me.

    Again, they're not set up bad or anything, just on the safe side to surely produce no fret noise. Like a clearance of "business card thickness", while I clearly prefer "hardly any".


    PS: I rather have the nut cut out too high, than too low... that's much harder to fix properly.
    Last edited by oli@bass; 04-02-2009 at 04:28 PM.
    Have bass. Will play.
    Looking for Sessions in Switzerland. Area: Züri/Winti/Rappi


    Music Man Collection Essentials
    MarkBass F1, SansAmp RBI, MarkBass Standard 104HR; MoMark (T1M/42S/MVV)@500, NY604; Minimark
    Holding down the bottom end for Redsteam

  15. #15

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    hehe.. oli: you have played your fretless too much.. now youre addicted to that setup.. hehe

    MrM
    flats for the bongo!
    roundwounds for the fretless!

    eb customer support:
    E-mail: musicman_customerservice@ernieball.com
    Telephone: +1 866-823-2255

    trussrod adjustment:
    Click here for an image!
    less relief / flatter = lower action
    more relief / bow = higher action
    do NOT use cheap tools to adjust with. they break and scrape up your bass!

    if you have a 100th namm sr4: the truss works the other way around on those!

    i have no affiliation with eb other than i love their basses

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