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bass setup/action question

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by vivaknoxvegas, Jan 27, 2003.


  1. vivaknoxvegas

    vivaknoxvegas Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2002
    Knoxville, TN
    I just got a new bass and had it set up. The action was too low so I had it raised and the intonation set, new nut, etc.. Well, the action is still a little too low to play with a pick and not buzz. Can I raise the action without screwing up the intone? Can one string action be raised without raising the others or is this not a good idea?
     
  2. Trevorus

    Trevorus

    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    it completely depends on your bass. Post a pic, and I'm sure I can tell you exactly what to do
     
  3. vivaknoxvegas

    vivaknoxvegas Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2002
    Knoxville, TN
    Here you go. Also, I tune c#, g#, c#, f#
     
  4. Trevorus

    Trevorus

    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    Yep, the geddy lee jazz. Down tuning can cause some BAD intonation problems. You might either need to tune up a bit, or get some fatter strings. That bass has 34" scale, which can make down tuned strings pretty floppy. you can raise the action with hex keys at the bridge. If you tune down that much, you could use a 5 string and get all those lower notes that you want. You will have to change the way that you play quite radically, but these are your most bassic (ha ha) options.
     
  5. vivaknoxvegas

    vivaknoxvegas Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2002
    Knoxville, TN
    I went up a gauge in strings and had a new nut put on it. I think I will just try and raise the action at the bridge and see how it does.
     
  6. Trevorus

    Trevorus

    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    you might even try the thickes 4 of a 5 string set.
     
  7. vivaknoxvegas

    vivaknoxvegas Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2002
    Knoxville, TN
    Then tune like I always do or tune b, e, a, d?
     
  8. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    This just sounds like asking for trouble in this area to me? I can't see the point.
     
  9. monkfill

    monkfill

    Jan 1, 2003
    Kansas City
    Tell your guitarist to learn how to transpose songs into different keys instead of using silly tunings. Then you can play in standard tuning, and possibly use a 5-string in standard tuning.
     
  10. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Yup - that would be my view, along with the observation that tuning strings to pitches a long way from where they are designed for; is liable to lead to set up problems!
     
  11. vivaknoxvegas

    vivaknoxvegas Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2002
    Knoxville, TN
    Ok, neither of those suggestions is going to happen. What can I do to make the best of it in that tuning?

    Can I raise the action from the bridge with strings on the bass? Should I raise the action of each string the same amount or can only one string be changed?
     
  12. neptoon

    neptoon

    Jul 25, 2000
    summerville, sc
    i recommend using a .130 or .135 guage string as your C#. you're going to have to raise your action, but you'll at least have decent string tension. if you're using standard guages designed for EADG pitch, they're going to be way too floppy, as well as badly intonated. the badass bridge will allow you to raise the action on each string...one saddle per string with action and intonation screws. if you raise the action to the same height for each string, your higher strings will probably be too high. i would buy a heavy guage set of strings for a five string bass, take the bass to a set up tech and have him set it up for your required tuning with the four heavy strings.
     
  13. DarkMazda

    DarkMazda

    Jun 3, 2000
    NJ
    With all due respect to the people that posted.. Good posts etc.. but if the guys want to use that tuning etc, let them. Its how they create their own sound and music. Let them do whatever they want :D

    viva: My band uses C# F# B E tuning. I assume you guys are using drop C#.. What I use is DR LoRider Light 5 string set and using the 4 strings.. 60-80-100-120. It gets a little tight for the F# B E string but the C# is fine..

    For your tuning
    C# G# C# F# I recommend you using

    C#: 120
    G#: 75 or 80
    C#: 60 or 65
    F#: 50-45

    IF you don't have that much $ for a DR LoRider set, you can also get the 50-110 set, which has 50-70-90-110. This isn't that bad either.. or you can get the typical A D G strings for your G# C# F# (since its only 1/2 step lower), then just get a separate 120 string.. you willd efinitely need to get it setup afterwards..

    DM
     
  14. DarkMazda

    DarkMazda

    Jun 3, 2000
    NJ
    for the "Majgnim" tune I recorded, i tuned my zon C# F# B E A using 45-135s and let me tell you.. TOO TIGHT!!! 135s for C# is a little too tight.. too much buzz for me etc.. even with the raised action. I would personaly keep it at 120.

    DM
     
  15. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Fair enough - but then, don't complain about set up or action problems!! ;)
     
  16. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    It's like that famous joke :

    Man goes to a Doctor and says - Doctor, if I lift my arm like this, then I get a funny pain.

    Doctor says - well, don't lift it like that then!! :D
     
  17. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    Yes- you can and should set the action height individually for each string. There is no reason to raise them all just because one needs to be raised. You generally want each of them to be as low as possible without buzzing, given that different players will buzz at different heights depending on individual technique. (Also, there are players who just like their action high for tone reasons, damn the playability.)

    You might want to consider B-E-A-D, because it might be easier for you mentally, and because of the greater ease in getting a balanced string set (As already suggested, you would get a 5-string set and not use the G.)

    Mods, doesn't this thread belong in setup?
     
  18. vivaknoxvegas

    vivaknoxvegas Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2002
    Knoxville, TN
    Thanks DarkMazda and everyone else.

    So many different ways to go. I wish I had asked this question before I had it set up. I got blasted for wanting to tune like this but I have been doing it with regular 4-string sets of strings for a year or so now without a floppy/buzzing/intone problem.

    I went out at lunch to get a small allen wrench and I got a tiny one that's still too big. Is it a standard size on bass bridges or are they all different?
     
  19. monkfill

    monkfill

    Jan 1, 2003
    Kansas City
    Were you playing bass notes and upper register notes at the same time on that song?

    If so, amazing work. If not, why tune a 5-string up? Do you need the open strings that bad?
     
  20. monkfill

    monkfill

    Jan 1, 2003
    Kansas City
    Maybe the best solution is to select a heavy gauge 4-string set or a light gauge 5-string set. And even though it costs more money, I would take it to get setup with this string set installed.

    A guitar player that uses a one step down tuning asked me to come sit in with him sometime. I play a 5-string. I don't like the idea of tuning a 5 down to A. I guess if I end up joining the band I'll pick up a 4-string and get it set up for the lower tuning. Or I'll just play in standard tuning. . . once I learn a song I usually don't think about the actual note I'm playing, I just learn the positions/scales/patterns. So once I learn "where the song is" on MY neck it wouldn't matter so much where he's playing it on his. But I don't understand why he insists on using this tuning anyway, considering that he is only playing originals. He says its because his voice is low, but if you're playing originals, you can write the song in whatever key you want.