How does one preserve a setup?
I just got a setup on my baby(early 80's g&l l1000)
Probably the first real setup this thing has gotten in 20 years.
My question is how do i preserve this setup to that i dont have to go back for another one for a while? And also what conditions worsten the setup of a bass (lying down, humidity, warm weather)??
Mostly it's humidity and weather changes. What you can do is try and keep the bass in a consistent temperature. Use a humidifier either in the case or the room if it needs it. But the best thing you can do is learn to do your own setups. It's really not that hard and in the end no matter what you do, your bass will need one 1-2 times a year. But usually just a quick tweak of the truss rod which is well worth learning how to do it yourself.
Knowing how to adjust stuff yourself is gonna be the only thing that will keep you away from the tech when you need a setup. Everything changes your setup. New strings, climate change, temperature, alternate tunings, fret wear, saddle screws coming loose, etc.
I just do bi-annual setups on my stringed instruments to keep them in check and buzz free. Read the setup sticky, it will save you mountains of money, and you won't have to wait a week for the tech to spend 20 minutes of their time with your bass and charge you a bunch of money.
What hey said.
Learn to do it yourself of take it to a tech a couple times a year, or more.
Besides the obvious benefits (saving money & time) the big plus to doing it yourself is you get it exactly like you want it. A good tech will be able to get it close but would need you to try it and then adjust to get it goldilocks for you.
it's the neck that changes season to season; if you can see where the neck relief is now that it's been dialed in right, you should be able to maintain it there as the weather changes.
the saddles and such shouldn't move.
If you like how it is set up now, buy a cheap set of feeler gauges and measure the relief. Also use a good ruler to measure the string height of at least your lowest and highest strings. Record these numbers and duplicate them when you sense a setup is on order.
If the intonation is currently set, it should always be pretty close and can be generally be left alone, but a good tweak never hurts.
Here is an example of the process and some numbers. http://www.mtdkingston.com/thezone/setup.htm
(Low... hanging, ... can .... not .... resist)
1. Ensure the bass is set up exactly how you want
2. Assemble recommended measuring tools.
3. Measure relief and action. Write it down on paper.
3. Arrange paper in jar so you can read through glass.
4. Put lid on jar and place in boiling water for five minutes.
5. Setup is now preserved. Refer to jar during setups as needed. Done!
^ Good one! :p
I was going to suggest something similar, so my second recommendation choice would be plastisizing, like the Bodyworks exhibits.
I have several basses and they each feel and play a little differently. I learned to do my own setups because I set my basses up the way they feel best to me. I find that a tech will set the instrument up to spec based on industry standards, and it may still need tweaking later.
Learning to do your own setups will help you know the instrument better.
Changes in humidity are a big factor in changing a setup. During a few days of particularly stormy weather I had a guitar go from delicious low action to buzzing all over the fretboard. Went back to normal when drier weather took hold. Depending on how your neck is finished, this may be a big problem or one that never crops up.
Get some tools and learn how to do it.
I set up guitars and basses for many friends and acquaintances. The thing I always tell them is that they need to play the instrument at least enough to decide what brand and gauge of strings that they prefer or allow me to decide for them.
If you use the same exact brand, model and gauge of strings all the time, you can "preserve" a setup for quite a long while with - as mentioned - only minor tweaks with seasonality. These tweaks are completely dependent an the bass. Some move more than others.
But, as soon as you buy a different string, the setup is almost certainly shot.
learning to do your own setup is the best way to preserve it.
good quality tuning machines
no changes in setup for yonks.
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