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Bass Ramp distance from strings?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by cire113, May 17, 2011.

  1. cire113


    Apr 25, 2008
    Ok a bass ramp how far away is it from the strings? like half a centimeter?

    Technically i could raise my pickups higher and use them like a cheap mans "ramp".. ?? I know i could get more variety of tones with a real ramp but would this work??

    Does having pickups too hight do anything to the sound or tone?
  2. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto

    Yes it does, and generally not for the better. First, if the pickup is too close to the strings, the magnets in the pickup will interfere with the string vibration resulting in some strange overtones and possibly a chorusy effect.

    Secondly, the output of the pickup will increase as it gets closer to the strings, but so will distortion.
  3. darkstorm


    Oct 13, 2009
    Adjusting pup height should only be for tone tweaking imo. Ramps Ive seen are curved top to follow string radius. Very few pups have curved top. You can make your own ramp with whatever kind of wood you want. Using double sided tape to attach till sure about its dimensions etc. I expect someone will come along shortly with ideas for making inexpensive ramps. Theres several posters here with ramps including those whove made theyre own ramp Ive noticed. Perhaps start with home depot wood to make a few and get hang of it and customized for you size. Then whatever wood including home depot wood of choice which you then stain and seal as desired for coloring. Actually that would be an nice sticky subject. "Ramps, basics and making your own".
  4. bThumper38

    bThumper38 brian ebert

    I like mine as close as possible so I set it so that the last notes at the 24th fret are just about to cancel out.

    Attached Files:

  5. cire113


    Apr 25, 2008
    I have a guy making me a ramp and he said it's level with pick ups... The ramp is curved right? I wish someone could plz give me ramp specifics so I can tell this luthier what to do... Or maybe he knows what to so? I just told the guy about it and there was aloof ambiguity....
  6. darkstorm


    Oct 13, 2009
    Find someone else to make the ramp then. If he;s aloof and just saying "even with the pups" he not taking into account pup height adjustments for tone tweaks nor the players wants for a ramp. I'll geauss he'll make a flat top rather then curved ramp as well which isnt correct either imo. Look for a luthier whom plays a bass with a professional ramp on it as a start. Those who dont use ramps often have a hohum attitude about them. I dont use ramps but at least I have a idea of why some do. I doubt your current maker has a clue and prob just regards them like training wheels on a bike.
  7. pacojas

    pacojas "FYYA BUN"

    Oct 11, 2009
    will a ramp make me even more awesome than i already am?!!!

  8. the pickup height should be depending on the pickups magnet strengh. some pickups works well too close, others dont
  9. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    1. A ramp could be as close as a couple of millimeters from your lightest string. Not as close for your lower strings, they need more room to vibrate.

    2. Yes, you can use your pickups as ramps. Depends on the bass, the pickups and the curvature of the fingerboard how well this might work.

    3. I adjust my pickups on most of my basses (which typically have Bartolinis or similar style pickups) as close to the string as possible while still allowing the string to move in accordance with the way I play. Typically just as close as my ramps. On two pickup basses I do this then adjust the height for even output. Don't one markedly louder than the other.

    So no, it's not a given that even having the pickup almost against the string will interfere with anything. Depends on the pickup and the way you play. But if you're thinking about using a ramp, refining your technique, working on economy of motion is the goal anyway.
  10. bThumper38

    bThumper38 brian ebert

    I just spent a couple of hours working on my bass set-up. I had to ease up on the neck tension a little bit, but in doing so I was able to drop the string height, without any fret buzz, and my strings are right on top of the ramp. It's gonna take me a minute to get used to it, but I already love the way it plays. IMO i think it's worth it to pay alot more for an instrument if you have special needs other than just a decent sounding instrument. Kudo's to Scott Surine, I think he's one of the greats.
  11. kaifreeza


    Feb 27, 2006
    If you take a look at Matt Garrison ramp (watch the instructional videos on his homepage), it have a (small) couple of milimeters of distance from the strings. I think about 2 or 3 milimeters not more.
    Mine have about 1/2 centimeter, but i want to short the distance because the 4 finger technique it's a lot more easier as long as the distance ramp-string is short.

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