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 Post subject: String spacing - best kept secret ?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 3:45 pm 
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Hello everyone,

I have just registered to this forum since I want to buy a Fender Jazz, and I can not find very important information about the string spacing at the bridge on any of the current models.

Sadly enough, no guitar shop here in Slovakia seems to have any samples of MIA or MIJ Fender products, so unfortunately I can not measure myself.

I have sent an E-mail couple days ago to Marris, which is a Fender distributor for Slovakia, asking where I can see a sample, but got no answer yet. I do not understand how Fender expects someone to purchase an instrument costing about 2000,- EUR without having the possibility to see a sample. Is this normal ?

Anyway, back to the topic.
Could someone from Fender please send the string spacing at the bridge data here ? I am particularly interested in American Deluxe 2010 (both 4- and 5-string), Marcus Miller 4-string and Marcus Miller 5-string.

I am aware of the American Deluxe 2010 using HMV bridge with multiple grooves per saddle, so in this case I would like to know the distance between the middle grooves on the E and A string saddles.

Generally, I believe this data should be available in the instrument specs on the web-page, Fender, please add this data.

Thank you very much
Martin


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 Post subject: Re: String spacing - best kept secret ?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 9:31 am 
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Dobry dań Martin,

I currently own the the new 2010 USA Deluxe Jazz
so lets start with the standard string spacing.

From 1957-1969 there were grooved saddles on the basses. Not only a few grooves were carved, but the whole actual saddle was grooved. From 1959-1969 you the grooves were deeper and wider, still the whole saddle was routed with them, so you could adjust the string spacing all around the saddle, but the avarage was ca. 20 mm.

From 1969 until 1982 used the single groove saddle, and they went with a 21mm string spaceing. Which means, that the Marcus Miller model, being a modified 1977 reissue has the 21 mm spaceing - with the Leo Quan Bridge, though.

In '82 fender used two grooves with 1mm distance between them for each saddle for the Jazz Bass until '94

My deLuxe Jazz has the new HMV (such as the USA Standards), and there you can go anywhere from 18-22mm string spacing. I use it with the 21mm, since i am used to it by other Fender Jazz Basses.

The Marcus Miller V has 19mm, Marcus actaully disses it on his website http://marcusmiller.com/faq.html?catego ... 63&color=0

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 Post subject: Re: String spacing - best kept secret ?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:20 pm 
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Apart from the very informative post above, i not long ago asked the same question.
Here is a link to that thread.

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=51254

All the best.
Dan.

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 Post subject: Re: String spacing - best kept secret ?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 3:37 am 
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Jónapot Zsolt !

Thank you very much for the information, but I am still confused.

As for MM 5:

I have off course checked the Marcus Miller website, but all that he says is
"The spacing between the strings is great for slapping or finger style."
There is no exact info about the spacing being 19 mm.

As for MM 4:

It uses Badass II bridge, which specifies 2 1/4 inch string spacing. I understand this as a distance between the E and G string. Divided by 3 it should give the inter-string spacing, and it comes down to 19 mm, not 21.

As for American Deluxe (4 and 5):

I do not quite understand the concept of multiple grooves. If I understand it correctly, there is no way of achieving even string spacing unless you have all the strings in the middle groove. More over, D and G strings do not have a middle groove, as there are four grooves.

As you are lucky to own this bass, could you please explain this a little bit more ?
Can I, for example, put E string in the upper groove, leave A string in the middle groove,
shift D string to the second groove from bottom and G string to the very bottom groove while retaining even string spacing and also reasonably even distance of the E and G string from fingerboard edges ?

And, could you please also measure the distance between the middle grooves on E and A strings ?

Finally, how are you satisfied with the American Deluxe 2010 ? Should I go for it for mostly funky/jazz and a lot of slap ? What I like about the Deluxe compared to MM 4 is the graphite reinforced neck.

Thank you very much
With best regards
Martin


Last edited by grecner on Fri Mar 18, 2011 5:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: String spacing - best kept secret ?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 8:16 am 
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The best way to explain it is with a couple of pictures.

Image

As you can see there are Three groves/slots for the E & A strings and Four groves/slots for the D & G strings so you can space them as evenly or unevenly as you want !

Image

Hope this was some help
All the best
Dan.

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 Post subject: Re: String spacing - best kept secret ?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 8:36 am 
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grecner-- you are Romanian? Hungarian?


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 Post subject: Re: String spacing - best kept secret ?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 8:59 am 
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stroker vance wrote:
grecner-- you are Romanian? Hungarian?


Neither. I am Slovak. ;-)
As Zsolt said good day in Slovak to me, I did the same in Hungarian, since he is Hungarian.

Martin


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 Post subject: Re: String spacing - best kept secret ?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 9:09 am 
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danny-79 wrote:
The best way to explain it is with a couple of pictures.

As you can see there are Three groves/slots for the E & A strings and Four groves/slots for the D & G strings so you can space them as evenly or unevenly as you want !

Hope this was some help
All the best
Dan.


Hi Dan,

Thank you very much for your pictures.
I off course want to space the strings evenly, at least I have never thought something else could be an option.

In your pictures I can see that you have E and A strings at lowest of of the three grooves, D sting at the topmost out of the four, and the G string one groove below.

Could you please measure what is the A-E, E-D and D-G spacing in this configuration ?

Thanks a lot.

Martin


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 Post subject: Re: String spacing - best kept secret ?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 11:28 am 
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Since i took that picture Ive since set the bass up to my liking so have moved the D string over a notch to position two.
Just measured it for you an now have a 19-20-19mm string spacing.

Image

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 Post subject: Re: String spacing - best kept secret ?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 1:05 pm 
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Hey all, new to the forum. I have had the same question. I recently purchased a new American Standard Jazz 5 with a HMV bridge, and wondered what slots were factory setting slots. The spacing was very comfortable from the factory but after a rather quick string change the last time, I failed to pay close attention. If anyone can help with that or has pics that would be greatly appreciated.


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 Post subject: Re: String spacing - best kept secret ?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 5:44 am 
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[quote="danny-79"]Since i took that picture Ive since set the bass up to my liking so have moved the D string over a notch to position two.
Just measured it for you an now have a 19-20-19mm string spacing.
quote]

Hi Dan,

thank you very much for the effort you have put in this.

Now, based on your measurements and pictures I think I understand the concept behind the HMV bridge grooves.

The key understanding is that neutral settings are not in the middle of each saddle, but rather at the edge, being the lower edge groove for the E and A strings and upper edge grove for the D and G strings.

This makes for a symmetry around the middle of the bridge, allowing you to ONLY INCREASE the string spacing by moving the strings to a groove further away from the middle of the bridge.

IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO DECREASE the string spacing while keeping it even, since the closest possible spacing between A and D string is 19 mm and these two strings simply can not be closer to each other.

So, to guess the answer to tmadetm's question, I believe the neutral settings are as described above (lower edge grooves for E and A and upper edge grooves for D and G), making about 19 mm even spacing.

Or maybe I am wrong and the neutral settings are at about 20 mm, which would mean E string in the middle groove, A string in the lower groove, D string in the second-from-top groove, and G string same as D string in the second-from-bottom groove.

And to achieve 21 mm as Laszlo has suggested, it would involve moving the E string to the upper groove, leaving the A string in the lower groove, moving the D string to the second-from-bottom groove, and the G string to the lowest groove, which would mean only 20 mm for D to G spacing.

All this presumes that the groove-to-groove distance within a saddle is 1 mm. If not, (for example if the four grooves on D and G string are narrower spaced than the three groves on the E and A strings, which is possible), than the spacing will not be 100% even, but probably even enough to not present any practical problems.

I hope this makes sense. ;-)

With best regards
Martin

BTW, I have asked Fender via E-mail about the spacing couple days ago, but they did not respond yet. Is this normal that they are not very responsive ?


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 Post subject: Re: String spacing - best kept secret ?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:08 am 
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19mm Average then splitting hairs for the rest ! :D

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 Post subject: Re: String spacing - best kept secret ?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:34 am 
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Ive only had the bass since Wednesday morning (16/3/11) so not spent that much time with it (may i just add started feeling full of horrible flue since Tuesday night so not in the best of frame of mind Grrrrr freaking typical :evil: lol)

To cut long story short, the guy i brought if off called to say that he had broke a string on it so whats your brand/gage an will send a new set along with it (very nice of him). so soon as i opened the case i put a new set of strings on it.
I strung it through body an let gravity take its cause an chose what ever grove it wanted to sit in to start with, it chose the groves that are pictured apart from the D string that i moved over a notch.
The reason that i moved it over was mainly because it looked to line up with the pickup poles better that way (in the middle of the .|. better rather than looking . |. ) etc .

Don't no what it sounds or plays like string top loaded will try that next string change :)

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 Post subject: Re: String spacing - best kept secret ?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 2:32 am 
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This weekend I went to Vienna where I found a shop (Klangfarbe) which had some Fender Jazz American models on display.
From Deluxe series they had only a 5-string, and they also had couple of 4- and 5-string Standards.
I have checked the string positions at the bridges, and they were different on each bass, so I guess they have replaced the strings at the shop and did not put them back as they were originally. But I have found one 4-string Standard with the 19 mm setting which I assume is original (each saddle has the string in the groove closest to the middle of the bridge).

I have tested the Deluxe 5-string (white, alder body, rosewood fingerboard).

The string action was excellent (low), the neck was close to perfect I would say.
But I was expecting better pots (they are plastic and do not feel very solid when turned), and I also strongly believe that the Deluxe model deserves nicer pickguards.
Also, the N3 "noiseless" pickups were not noiseless when the pickup balance was uneven.
I also found myself to prefer the passive tone to active one for some reason, but as I have always played passive, this might be my specific problem.
And I still do not know what to do with the 5th string. Shame on me. ;-)

So I tried the 4-string Standard (black one, no idea what wood is the body made of, with maple fingerboard). I liked the sound somewhat less than the passive sound on the Deluxe 5, and I was disappointed by the look of the maple fingerboard (there is no optical separation between the neck and the fingerboard, it is one piece of wood, so it does not look very attractive), and also the edges were sharper than on the Deluxe.

So, now my choices are narrowed down to either 4-string Deluxe, or 4-string Marcus Miller, which I have yet to test somewhere, but I hope I will like the maple fingerboard on MM more than that on the Standard as it should have white binding.

Over the weekend I have also made a test on my current bass, which has a bridge with adjustable sting spacing. Normally I have set it to 20 mm, but now I have set it to minimum, which is about 17,5 mm !!!, and I was really surprised that I can still slap and pop it very comfortably, and also play with my fingers very fast. I have also enjoyed the extra space on the sides of the fretboard.
So at the end of the day I figured out, that it is not the tighter string spacing of the 5-string basses which makes them difficult to slap for me. It most probably is the 5th string which stands in the way.

Martin


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