a full setup

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by BassGreaser, Aug 12, 2003.

  1. BassGreaser


    Aug 22, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I'm saving money to get my newly bought Strunal 5/20 fully setup,(sound post, bridge, nut and saddle, tailwire, strings, and end pin)How much of a difference is sound should I exspect
  2. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Expect a big difference.
  3. BassGreaser


    Aug 22, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I'm guessing the sound will become more open, and rounder. If that makes any sense
  4. BassGreaser


    Aug 22, 2002
    Austin, TX
    also, I'm looking at getting an Gotz endpin. the stock endpin has a chrome rod and a plastic caller. I'm 5'6" so I leave the endpin all the way in..is it worth the money to upgrade the endpin?
  5. That´s more of a functionality question. If You don´t need to extend the endpin, it doesn´t rattle or slip, I´d say save Your money. Götz is great, but costly. If you can live with the present endpin, I´d suggest putting the cash saved to better strings for example. Replacing the endpin afterwards is not that big a job.

  6. jimclark68


    Dec 16, 2000
    Morganton, NC
    It might not necessarily affect sound volume, but certainly sound quality. It will also make your bass more playable, which will have a positive effect on your technique, which will have a positive effect on sound volume and quality.
  7. jimclark68


    Dec 16, 2000
    Morganton, NC
    Sorry... my last reply was in response to the general question about the effect of a setup. Should have clarified.
  8. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
    Your set-up list ignores the fingerboard. Any decent set-up begins with a good fingerboard graduation & dressing. I've NEVER seen a factory bass delivered with an adequately dressed fingerboard (proper camber, no high/low spots, smooth surface, etc.). Setting up the bridge and nut should be done only after the fingerboard is ready. Otherwise, you're probably wasting your money. Of course there is a small possibility the board is OK; let your luthier determine that.
  9. b0nes83


    Dec 14, 2000
    hey how much does a setup cost($ range)? ive been trying to find it out on this site but no luck. thanks
  10. LarryR

    LarryR Supporting Member

    Feb 2, 2003
    Los Angeles
    To any Luthiers,

    Just got my bass back from a full setup: new bridge w/adjusters, neck shave/dress. Couple things I noticed that I'd like your opinion on since this is my first time I've had work done of this nature.

    1) There's a hole in the bridge. It runs somewhat parallel to where the bridge adjuster hole would be, but, it exits at a different point. I've never seen anything like it. The exit of the hole is irregularly shaped, so it's not as though it's caused by a drill bit mark.
    Luthier said it doesn't affect the sound at all.

    2) Rattle on E-string when fingering low F.
    Luthier said it's the bass and/or technique, something he can't "fix".

    3) A string buzz at certain area of A string. Luthier on the spot shaved a bit of ebony off. It seemed to help but I'm not sure.

    I got the bass home and I'm just bothered by the fact that I've spend good money and the bass doesn't play much better than when I took it in. For instance, I had a boingy sound on the A string when I played moderately hard. The Luthier and I talked about it before his setup. The boingy thing is still there. Can't be technique. It doesn't occur on the other strings.

    Is it common that a setup will need a few tweeks until it's just right? That said, what of the rattle that the Luthier said he can't get rid of.

    Thank you in advance for your help.
  11. I can't speak to your specifics, but my bass was perfect when Jeff Bollbach got through with it.

    If my own limited experience is not enough, my teacher really put the bass through a tough audition, and he felt the bass would handle anything you could dish out, and not complain (make noises).

    In addition the bass is comfortable and easy to play.
  12. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    It would help to know what strings you are using and how high the action is.
    The hole in the bridge may just be a wood defect that may in fact have no negative effect. However this type of event on a decent bridge blank is pretty much non-existent. Maybe your luthier is using a very cheap blank. Can't really tell without seeing it.
    The rattle on the e-string may in fact be something unfixable. When you fire the g,d,a string with your right hand you are pretty much forced to send it in the direction of parallel to the board. The e is a different matter. Many players let their hand fall off the edge of the board when pissing it and the string is fired up in direction to an extent. This is enuf to create a downward spike in the strings vibrational crossection that slaps the board. To correct this you must be conscious of firing the string in the same direction as the other three.-watch where your hand ends up after you pluck the e. Or your guy could have just done a *&^%ty job.
    The boingy sound usually suggests that the string slot on the nut is too low. You should be able to insert your fingernail under the string as it comes off the nut-if not then that may be the problem.
    The a buzz suggests a sloppy job, or there just may not be enuf relief.
  13. (1) If you have a new bridge, the luthier must have made the hole. Sounds like a mistake.

    (2)& (3) Since I've not seen you play, I can't give an opinion on your technique. E string buzzes can be difficult, but any decent luthier should be able to reduce if not eliminate the buzzing.

    There's no excuse for not fixing a buzz on the A string. It sound like the guy doesn't know what he is doing. Find another luthier!
  14. There you have it straight from three of the best in the business. From an old jazz pro, these guys, as always are right on the money. The hole in the bridge sounds like a mistake, but I don't want to sound like an armchair quarterback. But, as everyone said, the fingerboard dressing is first and foremost. If your chops are not quite where they could be, the F at the nut can be a killer. What about the other notes on the E string? Does it rattle on the open E? You can stick a piece of paper under the string in the nut groove to check out open string buzzes and that F. You're supposed to be able to fit a business card in between the string and the fingerboard at the nut.
    The endpin deal...if you don't need it and can't afford it and it doesn't rattle, screw it. If someone sits in and needs more height, well....
    Good luck.
  15. LarryR

    LarryR Supporting Member

    Feb 2, 2003
    Los Angeles
    Bless you all for your time with me.

    Here's some additional info:

    Strings are new Thomastik Spiro Weichs.
    The bridge is an Aubert Mercourt w/alum adj. and the hole appears to be lined up with the channel drilled for the adjuster. Looks like they drilled too far. They didn't drill completely through. There's a 1/2 moon showing.

    Re: E and A string buzz/boing/rattle
    With some pizz adjustment I *can* make most noises disappear. I could have an experienced player check it out. Still, I've played slab for 25 years, cello and upright as a kid. I'm no rookie to 4 string instruments and right hand control.

    Using a credit card, I'd have to apply a modicum of force to slip it under the strings (all 4) to butt up against the nut. In other words, serious friction begins about a 1/2" from the nut.

    QUESTION: What would you folks recommend I do?
    Ask for a redo? Is that unreasonable? Kinda pisses me off that hole in the bridge and the Luthier's brushing it off when I mentioned it. NOTE: this Luthier has a good reputation in these parts, so, he's my expert. I should find another expert to check on the expert??

    Thanks again.
  16. kip


    Sep 11, 2002
    Sausalito, Ca
    Just a minor note, I recently did some bridge adjusting and when I re-tuned, it sounded godoffal.It was not changes in the bridge, the strings had to be played in again and then it sounded good.

    I'm sure this is not the source of your problems, but something to remember after a set-up.
  17. I'd go for a re-do! The bridge was a goof with the hole. He'll probably just plug it, but he should put on a new bridge. Some weakening probably ocurred. That's shabby work. Nobody on this board would do that. I'd ask him to do something about the board too. It should be easy right up there by the nut.
    Larry, i'd make copies of these posts just to show him what other luthiers and players (ME) think.
    Also Jeff makes some really good points about the string firing and control with yourpizz.As you mentionedwithyou're experience with pickin', you are responsible for a certain amount of control. I play a 5 string and alot of pepople that try to play it get some horrible string noise, just as if the the fingerboard needed some serious attention. I know all it's little idiosyncrasis, so I can control it.
  18. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada

    I'm 5'6" also. I couldn't imagine having the endpin all the way. That would be way too low in my opinion.

  19. Adrian...I was addressing Larrys question on the endpin...Sorry...Who's on first?