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Deciding to tune lower/do I need a setup?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by SquareWaves, Oct 18, 2013.


  1. SquareWaves

    SquareWaves

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2011
    I have a P(ish) bass and despite my just getting a setup a few weeks ago I've been thinking of getting a larger gauge of string and tuning lower, I was told by a Sam Ash employee that I should get a setup anytime I go up in string gauge but I really don't want to think that's true because that guy is a huge douche.
     
  2. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2010
    Location:
    Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
    If you do a big change then yes, you should. If you have a .90 E string and you go to a .100 and you are still tuning to E I wouldn't set it up unless it adjusted much, which it may. If I was going from a .105 E to a .125 B, then yes it will definitely need a setup. Your instrument is setup to work at standard pitch with the strings you have on now, if you use thicker, higher tension strings, and then down tune you will probably need a setup.

    Stop paying somebody else to do your setups. There are plenty of guides and resources right here on TB so you can save the money. You will spend as much on tools as it would cost you to get one setup done, it pays for itself very quickly.
     
  3. gregmon79

    gregmon79 Effectheadaholic Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2012
    Location:
    Chicagoland area
    No, its true. You will more than likely need to adjust either the saddle heights and intonation and or the truss rod. Not always needed but probably. Depends on how drastic the gauge switch and tuning is.
     
  4. gregmon79

    gregmon79 Effectheadaholic Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2012
    Location:
    Chicagoland area
    "Stop paying somebody else to do your setups. There are plenty of guides and resources right here on TB so you can save the money. You will spend as much on tools as it would cost you to get one setup done, it pays for itself very quickly."

    Oh ma Lord +1!!!!! Very good advice here.
     
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  6. mmbongo

    mmbongo Chicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!! Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Location:
    Upstate, South Carolina
    The huge douche spews truth.
     
  7. SquareWaves

    SquareWaves

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2011
    Darn. I've actually tried to do my own setup a few times and for some reason it's never gone too well, specifically bridge/intonation stuff. I'm going from 105 to 110 and E to C or perhaps drop C.
     
  8. cableguy

    cableguy Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2009
    Location:
    North Bend, WA
    You might want to go bigger than 110 if you're playing in drop C. I use a 110 E so I can do drop D, but another step down I would think it would be pretty loose...IMO
     
  9. cableguy

    cableguy Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2009
    Location:
    North Bend, WA
    Come on someone, this is sig worthy.....
    :D
     
  10. SquareWaves

    SquareWaves

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2011
    I play in drop D sometimes and I don't mind it with 105's.
     
  11. gregmon79

    gregmon79 Effectheadaholic Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2012
    Location:
    Chicagoland area

    I think that if you go to dropped C, you will notice quite a difference in your E sting when tuned that low. I've tuned down to C and even B at times and I know I would've liked it a whole lot better if I had a .110 or .112, is that a gauge?, on it. Way too noodly for me but manageable if I didn't play too hard. I remember when I bought a set of heavy gauge boomers just to try them after years of not and I had to do a setup because my bass was so use to the .105 sets I'd been playing for a while now. You can try whatever you'd like to, but be prepared for your instrument not reacting well if you don't give it some relief for thicker gauges. What happened that you don't like setting up your own bass or what was it that you messed up on?
     
  12. SquareWaves

    SquareWaves

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2011
    Well I want the 110's for the D/Drop C tuning, My bass is in standard now and the 105s are perfect for it so I figured since I'm throwing the thicker strings on at a lower tuning, the tension wouldn't change drastically then what I was used to with the 105's at standard tuning.

    I went to guitar center today and picked up some ernie ball(literally the only 110's they had) strings to throw on in the morning and attempt the setup myself. I think what I had the most trouble with before is my own hesitation, I worry I'm going to drop my baby, so to speak. The last time I could not get my intonation accurate no matter how much I adjusted my bridge, this was an old bridge from a crap P copy and since have gotten a hipshot bridge.
     
  13. gregmon79

    gregmon79 Effectheadaholic Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2012
    Location:
    Chicagoland area
    The hipshot should make it even easier to set up I'm my mind. Better quality. Easier to work with.
     
  14. Robus

    Robus Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2013
    Location:
    Chicago Area
    You'll be a happier player if do your own setup. Dial it in to your taste and adjust as often as needed. Experiment with higher or lower action. Don't feed the douchebags.
     
  15. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2010
    Location:
    Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
    Way to stay classy... can't even spell douché right
     

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