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Best Time of Year To Get Bass Setup?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Livewire, May 20, 2011.

  1. Livewire

    Livewire Yahtzeeee

    Nov 13, 2007
    Brooklyn, NY
    Unfortunately, I'm not saavy enough to set up my own basses. I usually change strings and get them set up once a year (since the shops in Brooklyn and NYC charge over $40 for setup not including cost of strings), and I'm starting to get fret buzz and intonation issues. With the summer approaching, and the humidity of NYC, should I get my basses set up now or wait a little longer? I ask because I don't want to set the basses up now and in a month or two when it gets hotter, the neck to just warp again. Any advice?
  2. kevteop


    Feb 12, 2008
    York, UK
    My advice would be to get your bass set up professionally now if it needs it, and ask them to check if the frets need any work (could be causing your buzzing) and fix that if necessary, and learn to adjust your own truss rod so you can make any minor adjustments that need making in future.

    I only send my basses to a professional if they need work on the fingerboard / frets - anything that you don't need specialist tools/machining for I think it makes more sense to do at home. Especially truss rod adjustments where on most basses you need to make a small tweak and then see how the neck reacts over the course of a few days.
  3. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Same thing here. If you must pick one time of the year, aim for the dead of winter when shrinkage is at its worst and fret sprout is most pronounced. Learn to do your own set-ups.

  4. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings

    Dec 12, 2006
    NY & MA
    As one New Yorker to another... tweaking your instrument just once a year between hot/humid summers and cold/dry winters just doesn't cut it. I don't know to what extent you use your gear, but mine gets used hours every day with gigs every week. Tweaking my truss rod, or setting my intonation, or adjusting saddle height, etc just once a year is simply not an option for me. I check my gear thoroughly about once a month, and give the instrument I'm using at the time a quick review every time I pick it up. It's not that hard. You'd be a better musician in so many ways if you learned how to give your instrument a basic going over. If you're up to the task, there's plenty of help and advice to be had here.
  5. azfryguy


    Feb 2, 2010
    Queen Creek AZ
    Your post got me thinking. I think you instrument should be setup 4 times a year. Once in January because it's usually the coldest month. Once in April because it's starting to warm up and become more humid. Once in July because it is the usually hottest month. Finally once in October because thing are starting to get colder and drier. When I say setup I mean just adjusting the action not cleaning it or anything special. It usually takes me about 15 minutes to set up a bass. So, January cleaning and set up, April setup, July cleaning and set up, October setup. However since you do not do your own I would say learn and if you just don't want to for whatever reason. Then, July and January or April and October.
  6. mjbing


    May 5, 2005
    Western Oklahoma
    Whenever it needs it.

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