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brand new bass

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by thumbzilla, Apr 29, 2006.


  1. thumbzilla

    thumbzilla

    Apr 28, 2006
    Mentor, Ohio
    I have tried several searches, maybe my question is too bassic. I am new to basses and am buying a factory brand new instrument. I have read lots of threads on truss rod tension, various settings of this and that, but these seem to be for customizing modifications and problem solving. My question is can one trust the factory to ship an instrument that is correctly assembled and generically well set up? Does the dealer have a part in this? I mean, for example, is there a standard truss rod setting for a given bass and can one check/verify it before judging the "quality" of the instrument or its performance?

    Thanks for your help.
     
  2. DougD

    DougD Bassman7654

    Sep 19, 2002
    North Las Vegas NV
    No there is no stanard truss rod seting. It all depends on what the neck is made of, how the wood is cut, what kinds of wood is used, ect ect. The dealers of mass market basses usually set them up for medium action and most people need to make minor adjustments to the neck after buying a new bass in order to best suit their playing style and comfort. When you get the bass I would sugest that you take it to a shop and have it set up for you (if you dont like the way it feels that is) :) As for the assembly and such, you have just hit on the main reason why a lot of players dont buy basses sight unseen from the mass producers. sometimes the quality control is......iffy at best. Now if you are getting one of the high end basses like a Sadowsky,Smith, Fbass, Rosco, Lull ect (sorry is i left any out) then usually the quality control is excellent.
     
  3. thumbzilla

    thumbzilla

    Apr 28, 2006
    Mentor, Ohio
    So I should go through the set up according to the STICKY on truss rod and action above and start from there. OK!
     
  4. 62bass

    62bass

    Apr 3, 2005
    It will depend a lot on what the bass is you're buying. I've bought many new basses and always had to adjust the setup to suit myself. Very few stores keep their stock set up properly.

    You might just luck out with the bass you get.

    My advice is take the bass and get used to it first and find out what the action is like. Then, take it to the store you bought it from, buy a set of good strings for it, and ask them to set it up better for you. That's assuming you buy it from a store and they do setups.

    Most of the big stores around where I live offer a free setup with each new bass they sell. Some do a decent job, some don't. I set up all my own (and quite a few for other people) because I figure I do a better job, but I've been doing it for many years.

    It's not all that hard but you do have to learn the basics to do it right. It took me a while to get proficient. My first attempts made it worse until I figured out what I did wrong.
     
  5. thumbzilla

    thumbzilla

    Apr 28, 2006
    Mentor, Ohio
    Well, that's just it. I have no experience and don't know what I like. So I figured I would start with "spec" and begin. Experience tells, surely, but realistically I am not an artist.

    I have bought a Fender Squier P-Bass, a lefty, and it had to be made up for me. The choice was made on price alone...
    the store had a package deal going. I have read lots of threads on preferences and "ratings" , and how some seem to be great and some not so great. I am wondering if the differences are related to set-up. I am pretty handy and will check it out based on the STICKY on set-up. Maybe after some experience, I'll know how to fuss with it or move up to an investment quality instrument.
     
  6. 62bass

    62bass

    Apr 3, 2005
    That sounds like a plan. Take it easy on the adjustments, keep track of what you did each time and don't do anything too radical at first. Also, be careful to use the right sized tool for the job so you don't bung up screwdriver and nut wrench slots.

    You'll get the hang of it. Be aware that with the low end basses the frets may not be as level as they could be and that can limit how low you can set the action without buzzing.

    The more experience you get playing the thing the more you'll know what needs adjusting.

    One more thing. Take everything you read with a grain of salt.
     
  7. thumbzilla

    thumbzilla

    Apr 28, 2006
    Mentor, Ohio
    Right! And throw the salt over your left shoulder!

    Thanks ever so...
     
  8. DougD

    DougD Bassman7654

    Sep 19, 2002
    North Las Vegas NV
    Just be carefull,and go slow. And whatever you do dont over tighten the truss rod. Dito on what 62bass said.
     
  9. rylche

    rylche

    Oct 27, 2005
    Singapore
    Have a play around with it first, I would suggest. Find out what type of player you are ; extremely-light touch? Or do you dig in heavy? That could play a significant factor in deciding the "ideal" action for you.
     
  10. Puru

    Puru

    Mar 13, 2006
    Alachua, Florida
  11. thumbzilla

    thumbzilla

    Apr 28, 2006
    Mentor, Ohio
    Yeah, Puru, that's the sticky at the top of the page. Thanks, though! See mods? I did read it like a good boy!
     
  12. thumbzilla

    thumbzilla

    Apr 28, 2006
    Mentor, Ohio
    Well, my new bass is here. Squier P-bass Special, lefty, black and chrome. Came with bag, Fender "Rumbler" 15 watt rehearsal amp, cable and headphones. strap. The "Special" model, as you know, has two sets of pick-ups and a slim neck on a standard body. The man called it a "blended jazz and p-bass". I bought an electronic tuner.

    I went through the set-up sticky at the top of the page, and by golly, it was right ON!! Tuned it up and tried to play a C-major scale. First time I've ever held a bass. How long does it take to get calluses on your fretting hand??
     

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