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Thread: SR5 string height setup problem

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
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    Angry SR5 string height setup problem

    Hey, folks,
    I've got a nice SR5. But I can not find a way to setup the string height low without buzzing.
    I've read numerous manuals for setting the bass up. I know the physics of setup very well.
    I feel like my bass has something wrong with it.

    I've got:
    G - 5/64
    D - ~6/64
    A - 6/64
    E - ~7/64
    B - 8/64

    This way it plays rather nice, a little buzzy (normal buzz with aggresive action).

    I have a Fender JB 4 string setup with 4/64 on G and 5/64 on E and it plays awesome.
    I love the tone of StingRay, but this string height above 6/64 is killing me.

    Can it be a neck angle problem? Some neck pocket issue?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    Hessen Germany
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    Have you setup your JB yourself? The truss rod of your MM works the same.
    First straighten the neck with the trussrod-wheel, turn the wheel in quarter steps.
    The straighter the neck gets, the strings come lower.
    After that adjust the saddles for the higher frets.
    1979 StingRay natural maple

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bert View Post
    Have you setup your JB yourself? The truss rod of your MM works the same.
    First straighten the neck with the trussrod-wheel, turn the wheel in quarter steps.
    The straighter the neck gets, the strings come lower.
    After that adjust the saddles for the higher frets.
    Yep, I set up JB myself. I know setup basics. I straighten the neck until a little arc achived. Then I set up string height.

    The point of my message was that there is smth wrong. Because the arc is about bussiness card thickness (7-9 fret), but string heights are way high to avoid buzzing.

    I've got:
    G - 5/64
    D - ~6/64
    A - 6/64
    E - ~7/64
    B - 8/64

    But It still buzzes fretted 12th fret and above...

    ?!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    Hessen Germany
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    Sounds like your neck is perfectly straight with a hint of relief (push string at 1 fret and 17 fret and credit card fits). (Like 3. in the picture, right?).

    SR5 string height setup problem-necks-jpg


    SR5 came normally with a 0.20 shim:
    SR5 Saddle problem?
    You can probably take that shim away, if there is one and not needed.

    Otherwise your bass is still in factory specs:
    FAQ | Ernie Ball Music Man
    "Factory String heights for a 4 string bass are: Bass side 7/64" Treble side: 5/64" to 7/64" from the top of the 12th fret to the bottom of the string."

    I like a slight buzz in the upper frets - but thats me.
    1979 StingRay natural maple

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bert View Post
    Sounds like your neck is perfectly straight with a hint of relief (push string at 1 fret and 17 fret and credit card fits). (Like 3. in the picture, right?).

    SR5 string height setup problem-necks-jpg


    SR5 came normally with a 0.20 shim:
    SR5 Saddle problem?
    You can probably take that shim away, if there is one and not needed.

    Otherwise your bass is still in factory specs:
    FAQ | Ernie Ball Music Man
    "Factory String heights for a 4 string bass are: Bass side 7/64" Treble side: 5/64" to 7/64" from the top of the 12th fret to the bottom of the string."

    I like a slight buzz in the upper frets - but thats me.
    I tried the .72mm pick to measure the relief. It almost fits.
    I turn the truss rod CCW just a little and reset the string heights. It seemed to help a little.
    Thanks!

    I will check out for the shim today. I didn't know this. )

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by IpkisMX View Post
    ...........

    I will check out for the shim today. I didn't know this.
    There's no "standard" shim thickness. It's basically a
    substitute for the micro-tilt screw that was common
    on 3-bolt neck joints. I have found various different
    colored shims in MMs [thickness is color coded].

    You can re-shim with scrap plastic to whatever neck
    angle rocks your boat. Scrap aluminum works well if
    you need a relatively thick shim. I avoid paper-based
    shimming material ... not trusting it to remain stable.

    I doubt that simply removing the shim would fix this.
    For upper octave buzz, that can make it worse. Plus,
    you're gonna have a differently shaped relief curve
    on that fat SR5 neck than you get from a jazz neck,
    cuz they each taper at a different rate. IOW identical
    set ups are prolly impossible when you get down to
    critical levels of adjustment.

    Also, are you using the same strings on both the JB
    and the SR5 ? Some strings have crazier harmonics
    than others, which can affect the severity of buzz.
    Last edited by Golem; 09-27-2017 at 07:37 PM.
    S.U.B. SL4 - SR4p FL [x2] - SR4HH FL [Moses neck]
    SL4p FL [x2] - SL4HS FL - SL4HS FL [Moses neck]
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    "Too many basses is never enuf"

    Golem is NOT engaged in social networks.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Northern VA
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    I would recommend having a good tech look at the bass and determine if some fretwork would help the situation.


    IME EBMM basses play about as well as any mass-produced instruments right off the production line will. There are always slight variations in wood, fret dressing, etc that can cause a buzz. I had three of my EBMM basses' frets plekked and then finished by a human being and they are by far the best playing basses I've ever owned. My Stingray5 I did *not* have plekked but it plays very well and I don't think it needs it. But, one of my other EBMM's had some weirdness in the neck--before the plek job it really buzzed rather badly, and afterwards it was the best playing bass in the bunch.

    All this is to say that sometimes you need to have the frets touched up to really get the most out of your instrument. I like ridiculously low action so all of my basses have a little bit of "fall-off" put into the upper frets to prevent buzzing in the upper octave of the neck.

    Tom

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