Advice on bass setup

Maintaining, setting up or adjusting your instrument.
User avatar
greghr
Bronze Member
Posts: 80
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2013 2:47 pm
Location: Gisborne

Re: Advice on bass setup

Post by greghr » Mon Sep 08, 2014 8:36 pm

Next attempt will be my Am Std P bass. The neck on this is already really straight so probably no need to disturb the truss rod, but it probably needs nut height, saddle height and intonation and pick up adjustment as it is still like it was when it came from the shop. The only think I've done to it was put on some Flats. But I'll wait until my tools I've ordered from http://www.stewmac.com, some bass nut files and a basic metric setup kit arrive.

User avatar
Fenderfan
Silver Member
Posts: 229
Joined: Wed Oct 27, 2010 5:44 pm
MySpace Page: myspace.com/snowblindnz
Bands / Groups: Snowblind
Location: Auckland

Re: Advice on bass setup

Post by Fenderfan » Tue Sep 09, 2014 6:21 pm

I love that site! Bit of a geek re. tools, they have some pretty handy stuff, as well as a few unnecessary rip offs too. Your description of your setup steps ar pretty much bang on what 'The Fender Bass Manual' says to do too. Handy that it's got all the pickup heights, neck heights etc.
Fender MIA Precision, Squier Jazz, Genz Benz Shuttle 6.0, Ashdown ABM 1x15, 2 x DIY Jack 112 now complete!

User avatar
pins
Gold Member
Posts: 810
Joined: Wed May 05, 2010 1:43 pm
Bands / Groups: Naked Gun (Covers),still just filling in on bass after 26 years.
Butt Scratch (Bus Crash) originals band.
Location: Napier

Re: Advice on bass setup

Post by pins » Tue Sep 09, 2014 7:10 pm

well done on the set up greghr :D be interested to hear how the P bass works out.

since writing my post in this thread I have finally tweaked a truss rod and attempted to sort out the stupidly high action my fender acoustic and lo and behold it worked ! a joy to play again.
tempted to sort out a few high action issues with some of the others now.

User avatar
greghr
Bronze Member
Posts: 80
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2013 2:47 pm
Location: Gisborne

Re: Advice on bass setup

Post by greghr » Tue Sep 09, 2014 7:50 pm

Well done on yours to Pins. I guess the challenge with setups comes when you run into a really knarly bass where the truss rod has been all maxed out or the neck has become twisted as well as bowed or the set screws have their slots chewed out or something. I guess about that time its time for a new bass.

But I find its a minor triumph when you take on some technical task that you thought was too esoteric for an amateur like myself and you actually demystify the process and it works out.

I've just played my Warwick down in the practice room playing along with some tunes I'm learning on Riffstation and the bass seems to have settled nicely after all the tweaking and twisting.

User avatar
pins
Gold Member
Posts: 810
Joined: Wed May 05, 2010 1:43 pm
Bands / Groups: Naked Gun (Covers),still just filling in on bass after 26 years.
Butt Scratch (Bus Crash) originals band.
Location: Napier

Re: Advice on bass setup

Post by pins » Wed Sep 10, 2014 8:03 pm

long timer mechanic by day so I relate very well to "tools" sometimes you love em next minute you don't because you lost some skin.
but I still have lots of tools that were bought as an apprentice in 1981 ! hard to find such quality these days.

I have most of the basic bass type tools,for truss,saddles,and a small file kit of sorts,and picked up a capo,and some crappy home tool box type feeler blades,what tools are you getting greghr ?

irvinz
Gold Member
Posts: 503
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2007 12:01 pm

Re: Advice on bass setup

Post by irvinz » Wed Sep 10, 2014 10:34 pm

good job with the setup. always good to know how to setup ur instrument to get to know it inside and out. once in a blue moon, send it out to a pro to see what you've been missing out. i do that once in awhile. sometimes we get used a style of setup and preference, and we never know what we miss out on until we try something else!

i love stewmac too. tho i now have a lot of redundant tools for bass, especially since most of the setups i do for others are on guitars :lol:
ex- Music Planet Queen Street Resident Bass expert wannabe

now residing at vinzmusic.com

User avatar
greghr
Bronze Member
Posts: 80
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2013 2:47 pm
Location: Gisborne

Re: Advice on bass setup

Post by greghr » Thu Sep 11, 2014 8:31 pm

[quote="pins"]long timer mechanic by day so I relate very well to "tools" sometimes you love em next minute you don't because you lost some skin.
but I still have lots of tools that were bought as an apprentice in 1981 ! hard to find such quality these days.

I have most of the basic bass type tools,for truss,saddles,and a small file kit of sorts,and picked up a capo,and some crappy home tool box type feeler blades,what tools are you getting greghr ?

A basic metric set up kit that includes the following:

String Action Gauge (metric) : The fastest way to measure the height of strings, nuts, saddles and pickup polepieces. Designed for stringed instrument work, it's much faster to use than any ruler.

18" Precision Straightedge : Machined for fanatic accuracy (to ±.0015" per foot)! Use it to check neck relief and evaluate truss rod adjustments.

Understring Radius Gauges : A big help for matching bridge saddle heights to the fretboard curvature, for easier playability. Accurately laser-cut from stainless steel, the set includes 9 different fretboard radii.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=p ... wBKnjAslmA

and some nut files.

User avatar
pins
Gold Member
Posts: 810
Joined: Wed May 05, 2010 1:43 pm
Bands / Groups: Naked Gun (Covers),still just filling in on bass after 26 years.
Butt Scratch (Bus Crash) originals band.
Location: Napier

Re: Advice on bass setup

Post by pins » Fri Sep 12, 2014 7:29 pm

greghr wrote:String Action Gauge (metric) : The fastest way to measure the height of strings, nuts, saddles and pickup polepieces. Designed for stringed instrument work, it's much faster to use than any ruler
This !!! Do need. :) I like tools made for the job ! :wink:

User avatar
beagle
Site Admin
Posts: 2295
Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2006 1:59 pm
Skype Address: steve_sussex
Bands / Groups: Bands: The Bravos, Black Dog, Los Diablos, Rebel without Applause, The Buskers
Location: North Shore, New Zealand
Contact:

Re: Advice on bass setup

Post by beagle » Wed Oct 15, 2014 6:18 pm

cjj wrote:And if you're a "dig in to get tone and dynamics type player" and want to get that Geddy Lee sort of sound, you actually WANT fret buzz...
I think you've hit on a great point here.
Fret buzz can be musical in itself in an 'organic' kinda way and it can add character to your sound.
Also buzz may be really obvious when practicing at home but in the final mix of a band wouldn't be heard at all.
It depends on what sound you want to get and how much buzz you are willing to accommodate for a low action.
Musicman Sterling, Fender Jazz, Cort SJB-3 Acoustic, GK 800RB, 400RB, 2x Neo112-II, 410T http://stevesussex.bassplayer.co.nz
Sussex Design http://www.sussexdesign.co.nz

Post Reply