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Thread: Should I call CS? PDN neck and saddle concerns

  1. #1

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    Should I call CS? PDN neck and saddle concerns

    Hello, so my PDN Sterling is setup with 2.5/32" on the bass side and 2/32" on the treble side. Checking the relief as the EBMM website suggests, holding the 2nd and 12th frets down and checking the space in between the neck and the strings there seems to be little if any neck relief. Also the saddle on the G string seems to be as low as it can go, and the saddle on the E string seems to be just a hair above its lowest point. I am worried that these extreme settings will not yield favorable long term results. Does the neck need a shim? can CS do this for me?

    I would really like to have this bass operating within normal, and healthy parameters (i.e. not with max out settings)

    MM SR5 HS Dargie Delight 1 of 15
    MM SR4 HH ltd. 2005 Buttercream 1 of 13
    Candy Apple Red Bongo 5 HH Fretless

  2. #2

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    I'd say...yeah...go ahead and call CS to clarify as they're the best people to answer these things.

    That said, the action that you've mentioned is a tad lower than the factory specs. According to the Bass guitar FAQ, the factory-adjusted action would put it, from the top of the 12th fret, between 3 - 3.5/32" on the bass side and between 2.5 - 3.5/32" on the treble side. If you loosen the truss rod that will give you more neck relief and raise the action and maybe that will put you back to factory settings.

    Mind you, that's just based on factory specs - which is what I normally use. Your preferred action may be different and may need some different adjustments and maybe a shim. ??

    When I look at my two fretted one has 1 or 2 threads showing below the bridge saddle but on my fretless the G-string saddle is very close to touching the base plate. I admit I've wondered the same thing as you but it's not causing any issues at the moment. I've found, and what EBMM says, is that a little tweak to the truss rod is normally all you need for adjustments so you may never need to touch the bridge saddles.

    Bongo 5H, BFR Roasted, Black Sugar
    Bongo 5Hp Fretless, Mahogany, Roasted, Honey Burst

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by stu42 View Post
    I've found, and what EBMM says, is that a little tweak to the truss rod is normally all you need for adjustments so you may never need to touch the bridge saddles.

    2001 STERLING H/ black/black ice pg/rosewood board
    2003 SUB active white/black pg/rosewood board


  4. #4

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    Edumacate yourself on setups. Been covered extensively around here and, for that matter, just about everywhere else too. We've got cool photos and detailed descriptions.

    Short version of the important part:

    Saddles DO NOT control relief. The trussrod does.

    Saddles control string height AFTER and ONLY after relief is properly set.

    1: Adjust relief with trussrod
    2: Tune, Re-check relief, adjust if needed, tune, check....
    4: Check height and adjust saddles only if needed (it shouldn't be unless you've already futzed with 'em)
    5: Tune, check it all again.
    6: Check pickup height if you've got nothing better to do. Adjust as needed (see parenthetical note above).


    Admittedly, the thought that saddles are not related to relief (sometimes mistaken for string height because too much relief results in strings WAAY to high) is not the most intuitive thing in the world.

    After all, you've got two little set screws that raise and lower the saddle, so it seems obvious that you'd use them to cure a high (or low) action problem. Obvious, but wrong.

    Feel free to tweak the trussrod as often as you like. Saddles should be touched rarely if ever.

    I own four EBMM basses. The only time I have *ever* touched the saddles is when I changed to non-stock strings.

    My setup has always been perfect.

    The good news is that the marvelous little capstan wheel -- greatest invention since toilet paper, as far as I'm concerned -- is so easy to use that I can tweak my setup during a gig in the middle of a set if I want to, without even taking the bass off my shoulder.


    Desert Gold F13843 05 Bongo 5 HHp
    Blue Dawn F11199 07 LE Bongo 5 Hp fretless
    Candy Red F23343 08 Bongo 5 H
    Tangerine Pearl F28251 2011 Big Al 5 SSS

    BP: "I am very proud of many of the creations at ebmm but none more than the Bongo. Every day the cult grows and it makes it all worthwhile."

  5. #5

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    When I brought my PDN home I had an issue with the action being too high. It travelled from SLO to Florida, and flew to Canada in the cargo, so no real surprise here.

    But it took a quick truss adjustment, no more than a 1/4 turn really, and it was perfect. I agree that the truss wheel is amazing.

    The instructions above should solve it, but if not then call CS.
    Big Al, 4 SSS, Olive Gold Sparkle, Maple
    BFR Roasted Stingray, 4H, Black Sugar, Roasted Maple, Ebony Board
    PDN Honey Roasted Bongo, 4 HH

  6. #6

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    Not that the neck should need shimming, really RE-shimming, as most
    MM's [personal sampling, over a dozen] do have a facory installed shim,
    but FYI anywho ....

    If ever it were reliabley determined that neck re-shimming is in order,
    it's just a very simple task involving only a screw driver, and as such is
    hardly worth the cost of shipping an ax to SLO, even if it's still under a
    factory warrantee. Shimming is NOT a mod, it's an adjustment, and if
    one really feels way too clumsy [that would mean VERRRRY clumsy] to
    handle such a chore, just get a friend who is comfortable around tools
    [and nicely finished woodwork] to help you out.

    Not exactly a disclaimer: Ptolly the reason I get involved in somewhat
    more shimming than other players [who may have a similar sized herd]
    is that most of my basses are FL, which seems to "invite" tweaking cuz
    with FL "little things mean a lot".

    Last edited by Golem; 12-14-2012 at 01:56 PM.
    S.U.B. SL4 - SR4p FL [x3] - SR4HH FL [Moses neck]
    SL4p FL [x2] - SL4HS FL - SL4HS FL [Moses neck]
    SR5HS alnico - SR5p FL ceramic [x2] - Bongo4Hp FL

    "Too many basses is never enuf"

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