Fender Jaguar Action

Discussion of newer designs, copies and reissue offset-waist instruments.
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valenjf
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Fender Jaguar Action

Post by valenjf » Mon Oct 08, 2018 3:02 pm

Hello! I have a Road Worn 60’s Fender Jaguar, and i have notice that string action is quite high, especially when compared to my Fender Jazzmaster which has a very low and comfortable action. I also noticed that the saddles for the high E and low E are much lower that the others. Should i adjust the other four saddles and lower them? Or just lower the bridge posts?
Thanks for helping!

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Re: Fender Jaguar Action

Post by mbene085 » Mon Oct 08, 2018 3:05 pm

The saddles should have come set to the neck radius.

Checking the relief is the first move. Lowering the bridge is the second.

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Re: Fender Jaguar Action

Post by otis » Mon Oct 08, 2018 3:05 pm

you have to adjust the height of the saddles to your playing needs, just like with any other guitar.
It's a bit of a strange question to me...

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Re: Fender Jaguar Action

Post by timtam » Mon Oct 08, 2018 3:37 pm

The general rule is to set the saddle heights to match the neck radius and the overall bridge height to set the action. But it's never quite that simple and in fact a bit of a dance. Obviously the saddles can be high or low overall and still have the right radius. So what is the right overall height for the saddles ? Higher overall increases the chances that an intonation screw may foul a string ahead of the saddle (especially on import metric bridges that tend to have too-long intonation screws) - as those screws are angled more upwards when the saddles are higher. Lower overall and the strings may not clear the front or back of the bridge (especially if the bridge overall is higher, increasing string angles); and the saddle height screws may stick out of the saddle into your hand when it's over the bridge.

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Re: Fender Jaguar Action

Post by Larry Mal » Mon Oct 08, 2018 5:22 pm

Jesus Christ... why does everybody have to make everything so complicated around here? Clearly the guy doesn't know much about guitar setups. Why are people talking about all this esoteric bullshit like having the saddles not match the neck and giving options that only serve to complicate things?

A basic guitar setup is simple:

1) Set the saddles to match the radius of the fretboard. Disregard anything that anyone says about how they don't do it that way... that's for a very small percentage of guitar players. That's not you. Just set the radius to the fretboard, and you'll be happy like 99.9% of guitar players are.

2) Make sure your fretboard is flat by measuring and adjusting the truss rod.

3) Adjust the height of the saddle to conform to these heights:

Radius Bass String E Height Treble Side E string height
7.25" 5/64" (2 mm) 4/64" (1.6 mm)
9.5" to 12" 4/64" (1.6 mm) 4/64" (1.6 mm)


After you have that stuff down, then it's time to think about other things. But do that for now, and once you get good at that, then start to evaluate if you want anything else done.
"Larry Ray Vaughan"

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Re: Fender Jaguar Action

Post by valenjf » Mon Oct 08, 2018 9:07 pm

Hey! Thanks for the reply and the help! You are right i dont know much about setting the guitar myself. I have played guitar for almost 20 years now and i always knew how i wanted it set up, but i have never done it myself, i always had a tech or luthier setting it up the way i wanted it. But i am trying to do it myself nowadays. I’m taking baby steps, i mean i dont want to mess anything up. I had already adjusted the fretboard, but my string action was still quite high for my taste. But i wasnt sure if i had to adjust the saddles OR the overall height of the bridge. But i adjusted the saddles according to the heights you provided and i find it much comfortable than before. So thank you very much for the help! I have another doubt, does your jag/jazz bridge buzz? My jag and jazz do not buzz right now as they are both adjusted but i’d like to find a definitive solution. Thanks!
Larry Mal wrote:
Mon Oct 08, 2018 5:22 pm
Jesus Christ... why does everybody have to make everything so complicated around here? Clearly the guy doesn't know much about guitar setups. Why are people talking about all this esoteric bullshit like having the saddles not match the neck and giving options that only serve to complicate things?

A basic guitar setup is simple:

1) Set the saddles to match the radius of the fretboard. Disregard anything that anyone says about how they don't do it that way... that's for a very small percentage of guitar players. That's not you. Just set the radius to the fretboard, and you'll be happy like 99.9% of guitar players are.

2) Make sure your fretboard is flat by measuring and adjusting the truss rod.

3) Adjust the height of the saddle to conform to these heights:

Radius Bass String E Height Treble Side E string height
7.25" 5/64" (2 mm) 4/64" (1.6 mm)
9.5" to 12" 4/64" (1.6 mm) 4/64" (1.6 mm)


After you have that stuff down, then it's time to think about other things. But do that for now, and once you get good at that, then start to evaluate if you want anything else done.

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valenjf
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Re: Fender Jaguar Action

Post by valenjf » Mon Oct 08, 2018 9:08 pm

Thanks for the help! I adjusted the saddles and it is much better now!
timtam wrote:
Mon Oct 08, 2018 3:37 pm
The general rule is to set the saddle heights to match the neck radius and the overall bridge height to set the action. But it's never quite that simple and in fact a bit of a dance. Obviously the saddles can be high or low overall and still have the right radius. So what is the right overall height for the saddles ? Higher overall increases the chances that an intonation screw may foul a string ahead of the saddle (especially on import metric bridges that tend to have too-long intonation screws) - as those screws are angled more upwards when the saddles are higher. Lower overall and the strings may not clear the front or back of the bridge (especially if the bridge overall is higher, increasing string angles); and the saddle height screws may stick out of the saddle into your hand when it's over the bridge.

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Re: Fender Jaguar Action

Post by amv » Mon Oct 08, 2018 9:22 pm

I was hoping for a lot more Fender Jaguar action in this thread. But this is okay, I guess.

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Re: Fender Jaguar Action

Post by ohm-men » Mon Oct 08, 2018 11:53 pm

One question, Is the neck shimmed? I noticed on a lot of jag's with quiet high string action that the neck is often not shimmed enough, thus resulting in a quiet high action. Ofcourse, the general set up has to be good as well.
I'm by no means an expert on this, the above is just based on my expirience on the mather.

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Re: Fender Jaguar Action

Post by mbene085 » Tue Oct 09, 2018 5:57 am

ohm-men wrote:
Mon Oct 08, 2018 11:53 pm
One question, Is the neck shimmed? I noticed on a lot of jag's with quiet high string action that the neck is often not shimmed enough, thus resulting in a quiet high action. Ofcourse, the general set up has to be good as well.
I'm by no means an expert on this, the above is just based on my expirience on the mather.
Shimming does nothing to the action of a guitar directly. It merely increases neck angle, which allows you to keep the bridge set "higher", doing two things:

1) Increasing break angle over the saddle (which has no bearing on action, but can be desirable for reasons we don't need to get into here).

2) Requires you to raise the bridge in order to achieve an equivalent action to an unshimmed guitar. If you were previously "bottoming out" the bridge (hitting the pickguard with it, unable to go lower) without getting the action down low enough, then increasing neck angle, and the resulting ideal bridge height, will then allow you to set the action lower than it had been when un-shimmed.

Maybe I'm arguing semantics, but you don't shim a guitar to lower the action - you shim to increase neck angle, when the specific cause for high action on that guitar is insufficient neck angle resulting in a bottomed-out bridge.

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Re: Fender Jaguar Action

Post by Larry Mal » Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:21 am

valenjf wrote:
Mon Oct 08, 2018 9:07 pm
Hey! Thanks for the reply and the help! You are right i dont know much about setting the guitar myself. I have played guitar for almost 20 years now and i always knew how i wanted it set up, but i have never done it myself, i always had a tech or luthier setting it up the way i wanted it. But i am trying to do it myself nowadays. I’m taking baby steps, i mean i dont want to mess anything up. I had already adjusted the fretboard, but my string action was still quite high for my taste. But i wasnt sure if i had to adjust the saddles OR the overall height of the bridge. But i adjusted the saddles according to the heights you provided and i find it much comfortable than before. So thank you very much for the help! I have another doubt, does your jag/jazz bridge buzz? My jag and jazz do not buzz right now as they are both adjusted but i’d like to find a definitive solution. Thanks!

Glad that helped out! It's best to make it be as simple as possible for some time before you start fine tuning things for exactly how you want them to be.

Roughly speaking, you set the radius of the bridge with the saddles, and control the overall height of the action with the posts, at least on Jazzmaster bridges.

Frankly, if you got a Mustang type bridge with the saddles hard set to the radius of the neck, then you only need to do two things, make sure the neck is straight and adjust the height of the bridge. That's a good place to be.

I put shims on all my Fenders, but as you've read there's really only need to do that if you have the saddle as low as it can go but the action is still too high. That's somewhat rare. I like to shim my Fenders in order to add more "break angle" which increases the tension on the strings and I think it plays and sounds better, like my Gibsons.

But now we're getting out there.

Usually, saddles on a Jazzmaster/Jaguar bridge will rattle if the saddles aren't sitting quite flat on the base of the bridge. Those two little screws that control the height? If one of them is set to a different height than the other, they'll vibrate as the string vibrates. You might not be able to see it but the vibrations will find any difference quick enough.

I dealt with that for years, but really, a Mustang bridge takes that problem away also.
"Larry Ray Vaughan"

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Re: Fender Jaguar Action

Post by valenjf » Tue Oct 09, 2018 7:08 am

Lol you won this thread sir.
amv wrote:
Mon Oct 08, 2018 9:22 pm
I was hoping for a lot more Fender Jaguar action in this thread. But this is okay, I guess.

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Re: Fender Jaguar Action

Post by valenjf » Tue Oct 09, 2018 7:12 am

Yes i have seen that many change the jag/jazz type bridge for a mustang one. I check the saddles every now and then so they dont rattle, now they do not. But after some time the buzz comes back and it’s kinda a drag to do it all again. I will try to get my hands on a mustang bridge.
Larry Mal wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:21 am
valenjf wrote:
Mon Oct 08, 2018 9:07 pm
Hey! Thanks for the reply and the help! You are right i dont know much about setting the guitar myself. I have played guitar for almost 20 years now and i always knew how i wanted it set up, but i have never done it myself, i always had a tech or luthier setting it up the way i wanted it. But i am trying to do it myself nowadays. I’m taking baby steps, i mean i dont want to mess anything up. I had already adjusted the fretboard, but my string action was still quite high for my taste. But i wasnt sure if i had to adjust the saddles OR the overall height of the bridge. But i adjusted the saddles according to the heights you provided and i find it much comfortable than before. So thank you very much for the help! I have another doubt, does your jag/jazz bridge buzz? My jag and jazz do not buzz right now as they are both adjusted but i’d like to find a definitive solution. Thanks!

Glad that helped out! It's best to make it be as simple as possible for some time before you start fine tuning things for exactly how you want them to be.

Roughly speaking, you set the radius of the bridge with the saddles, and control the overall height of the action with the posts, at least on Jazzmaster bridges.

Frankly, if you got a Mustang type bridge with the saddles hard set to the radius of the neck, then you only need to do two things, make sure the neck is straight and adjust the height of the bridge. That's a good place to be.

I put shims on all my Fenders, but as you've read there's really only need to do that if you have the saddle as low as it can go but the action is still too high. That's somewhat rare. I like to shim my Fenders in order to add more "break angle" which increases the tension on the strings and I think it plays and sounds better, like my Gibsons.

But now we're getting out there.

Usually, saddles on a Jazzmaster/Jaguar bridge will rattle if the saddles aren't sitting quite flat on the base of the bridge. Those two little screws that control the height? If one of them is set to a different height than the other, they'll vibrate as the string vibrates. You might not be able to see it but the vibrations will find any difference quick enough.

I dealt with that for years, but really, a Mustang bridge takes that problem away also.

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Re: Fender Jaguar Action

Post by minimumnishe » Tue Oct 09, 2018 9:04 am

timtam wrote:
Mon Oct 08, 2018 3:37 pm
The general rule is to set the saddle heights to match the neck radius and the overall bridge height to set the action. But it's never quite that simple and in fact a bit of a dance. Obviously the saddles can be high or low overall and still have the right radius. So what is the right overall height for the saddles ? Higher overall increases the chances that an intonation screw may foul a string ahead of the saddle (especially on import metric bridges that tend to have too-long intonation screws) - as those screws are angled more upwards when the saddles are higher. Lower overall and the strings may not clear the front or back of the bridge (especially if the bridge overall is higher, increasing string angles); and the saddle height screws may stick out of the saddle into your hand when it's over the bridge.
+1

The stock bridge is like a juggling act of trying to set the saddles right in between where the front end of the string doesn't foul against the intonation screws and where the back end of the strings don't rub against the screw heads. It is an absolute pain to dial in, but once you've got it, there won't be any more major adjustments you'll need to make afterwards.

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Re: Fender Jaguar Action

Post by valenjf » Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:00 pm

I love my Jag but i am about to give up on its bridge. I set the height of the saddles according to the radius and it works perfecty with no buzzing. But i play for about an hour or so and it starts buzzing again. Or if it does not buzz it goes out of tune. I dont know if I am too heavy handed, or if i need to use heavier strings (i am using 010’s). I don’t know if i should keep messing with it until i get it right or just buy a mustang bridge and just forget about it.
minimumnishe wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 9:04 am
timtam wrote:
Mon Oct 08, 2018 3:37 pm
The general rule is to set the saddle heights to match the neck radius and the overall bridge height to set the action. But it's never quite that simple and in fact a bit of a dance. Obviously the saddles can be high or low overall and still have the right radius. So what is the right overall height for the saddles ? Higher overall increases the chances that an intonation screw may foul a string ahead of the saddle (especially on import metric bridges that tend to have too-long intonation screws) - as those screws are angled more upwards when the saddles are higher. Lower overall and the strings may not clear the front or back of the bridge (especially if the bridge overall is higher, increasing string angles); and the saddle height screws may stick out of the saddle into your hand when it's over the bridge.
+1

The stock bridge is like a juggling act of trying to set the saddles right in between where the front end of the string doesn't foul against the intonation screws and where the back end of the strings don't rub against the screw heads. It is an absolute pain to dial in, but once you've got it, there won't be any more major adjustments you'll need to make afterwards.

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