Changed my strings, action's different - HELP!!

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by MarkMcCombs, Jan 21, 2002.

  1. When I bought my bass, it had Elixir strings on it and the best (lowest) action I've ever seen. I've had the bass for about 6 months so I decided it was time to change strings (my mistake, the elixirs were actually fine). I had some Ernie Ball's laying around, so I just used them. Well, the action is quite a bit higher, especially closer to the bridge. I don't know the string gauges' difference because I don't know what the Elixir's were.

    The question, should I need another set-up after changing strings? I really don't want to have to do it myself, as I know experienced players who have done terrible things to their basses (they say), one even broke the neck on his Grendel. But I do wonder if I could just lower the action at the bridge, and not worry about truss rods and such. It's a neck-thru Peavey Cirrus, so if I break the neck the whole bass is firewood! HELP!

  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I think that you do need to do a setup every time you change to a different type of strings and this almost always involves tweaking the truss rod in my experience.

    I started a quest for lighter gauge strings that sounded great and went from D'Addarios to Thomastiks to Zon etc. Each time there was a big impact on the action. Sometimes you can get away with just changing the height at the bridge - some times I've needed to change the nut slots as well and the truss rod.

    I think it is a good idea to learn how to do these simple set up things yourself - you can then get a setup that suits you - most people in shops will do a sort of compromise or generic setup.

    There is no problem with adjusting the truss rod as long as you take it gradually and do no more than a quarter turn and let it settle down - say over night. This is being ultra-cautious and means it would be very difficult to do anything to damage your bass.

    The main rule is if you are having trouble moving the truss rod - i.e. it's very stiff to turn - then don't do it!