Distance in 12th fret

Hello !!
My name is Emmanuel and it-s a placer to be sharing this place with all of you.
I-ve come to find answers and opinions about the distance of my bass’s strings with the neck.
The bass is a Fender electroacustic 4 strings.
The photo with flashlight is in the 12th fret and the other in the 14th fret.
Should I get my bass set up? I feel that its too high but the seller told me that the bass was already set up, so I dont know :confused:

So I hope you can help me and I wish you the best to all of you!


Oh man, yeah you dont need measurer to see that action is high. Cant be easy to play like that. But still its about your style and how you like your action. Theres no single setup for everyone.

Oh thanks . It’s weird that the nut and the saddle are plastic made so I wonders if it can get set up .

Usually you just sand the bottom until it is the right height. Usually :slight_smile:

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Acoustics are a bit trickier to set up as you only have but height and truss rod to work with. If your not familiar with nut work best to have a luthier set it up for you.

When you look at string height, look at the last fret, not the 12th, this gives everyone the same reference point. And it is measured from bottom of string to top of fret. This gives you a reference to any info you find online btw.

That said, your picture shows the strings way too high anyway. This will be very hard to play.

Um, no. That’s the reason everyone uses the 12th (it’s the exact center of the string on all basses) and not the last (which no one uses because it varies by bass - it could be anywhere. 21 fret, 20 fret, 24 fret, etc)

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Hmmm. Interesting cause so many cite the last fret. But looking at Sadowski, he frets the 1st fret and measures 12th. Thanks @howard for raising this. I’ll be checking this methodology out as well perhaps it will work out better for me.

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Fender specifies measuring at the 17th fret. Of course, that is specific to Fender basses.

You can measure it however you like, wherever you like… it’s just a baseline measurement for a starting point. Fender says to measure string height at the 17th fret and gives measurements for that.

Usually you don’t fret the 1st fret to measure action height because that would push the string lower. You fret the 1st fret and ~17 fret and measure around the 7th fret to set the action (truss rod) because you’re removing the nut and bridge from the equation.

In the end, numbers don’t matter… how the instrument plays is what matters.

For a quick check if you eyeball it, the space between the bottom of the strings and the fret should be approximately the diameter of the E string.

Yeah, I suppose any way that gets you to what you know.
I like to start with the same baseline and then adjust from there based on the bass.
My MM is set higher for slapping and general aggressive playing.
Most of the others I have a starting point then bring them down to where they start to buzz then up a bit again. But starting at a baseline measurement gets me super close now that I know what I like.

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Like I always say, tighten the bolt until it breaks and then back it off a bit :wink:

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So some unscientific research with my sample set here…
The vast majority of 12th fret this, 17th fret that, last fret something else measurements across Fender, Corruthers, Sadowski and a few others all basically equate to the same thing.
They all appear to put you in the same basic ballpark of ‘baseline’ string height starting points.
Does measuring at 12 vs. last matter? 21 fret vs. 24? Depends on if your up on those high frets a lot or not I guess, but, it doesn’t have to be. It is just a starting point.
Which is probably why no one way is right, and most ways are not wrong if done right.

@sshoihet I was thinking about why Sadowski frets the first fret - it does take the nut out of the equation when measuring. Maybe this is why he does this for this measurement.

My conclusion is this - do it any way you want that ends up feeling good, there is no single right way, if there were, everyone would be doing it (except those “contrary MFer’s” ((Love this Sam Jackson line from Pulp Fiction)) you get in every group, :rofl:)

The point is when people give advice online for a height, they almost always use a fixed fret number, so it will always be in the same place along the string. Saying “last fret” is not generally useful there as who knows how many frets someone has when they write a post sharing their action height.

Manufacturers can get away with that because they know how many frets the bass has. But the manufacturer’s number is not very useful for individuals because it’s just an average middle height action, and isn’t tailored towards any particular feel. It’s a starting point at best.

OMW home, i realized that i never bothered to set up my new pbass that i’ve been playing a lot since i got it three weeks ago, so i decided to measure it… I got:

String Height at the 17th fret: 0.100 in (3mm) similar at the 12th as well.
Neck Relief at the 7th fret: 0.032in (0.81mm)

The recommended values from Fender are:

String Height: 6/64in or 0.094in (2.4mm)
Neck relief: 0.012” (0.3 mm)

I was a little surprised the neck relief was so high but it’s within walking distance and it still plays great. :slight_smile: The nut is nice and low on all the strings.

Solid advice this. I actually prefer a higher action since I play aggressively with fingers and pick.

If you want to play light you should lower your action. Usually adjusting your truss rod would suffice.