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Collection maintenance routines?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Standalone, Jul 5, 2012.


  1. Standalone

    Standalone

    Jan 17, 2005
    New Haven
    Many of you here have a number of basses. What's your maintenance routine?

    I tend to rotate my bass cases in the practice space and maybe once or twice a year switch up what I'm playing out with.

    I don't tweak or check anything really, and I will admit that the size of my collection keeps me from keeping strings at all fresh.
     
  2. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    I play everything as regularly as I can, which usually means taking new basses to each gig. I've got them so I want to play them.

    As for maintenance, I just do what is needed when it's needed. That usually involves changing strings or batteries when they're needed and doing a little truss rod tweak here and there. Once a year or so I'll clean the whole thing and do a full setup.
     
  3. superdick2112

    superdick2112 Mile High Bassist Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2010
    The Centennial State
    I've played only my three Spectors for the past two years, so for my eight non-Spectors, here is the routine.
    Weekly: Top off Herco humidifiers. One in every bass case - dry as hell in Colorado.
    Monthly: Light application of lemon oil to fingerboards, visual inspection of entire bass.
    Every six months: New preamp batteries in the active basses.
    Yearly: Clean case inside & out, polish the frets.

    For the basses I play on a regular basis (the Spectors), the routine is the same as above, with string changes every 18 - 21 hours of play (I'm addicted to the sparkle & zing of fresh rounds). String changes include intonation checks & a pinch of powdered graphite in the nut slots.
    I clean and polish the bass after every rehersal, and wax them all once a month.
    I do all my own set-ups, so once a bass has been set up, all it requires is the occasional minor bridge or truss rod tweak to keep the action just right.
     
  4. Standalone

    Standalone

    Jan 17, 2005
    New Haven
    I guess I really don't do regular setups-- with the action decidedly medium, the basses seem to remain within a good range of playability through seasonal changes. I know I'm compromising on tuning a little bit, but I'm pretty sure I just unconsciously fudge intonation with my left hand.
     
  5. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Unless you're changing string gauges, the intonation really shouldn't change with the seasons like your relief does.
     
  6. well, i have three basses currently, and every 3 or 4 months on a day off I'll give em all a fresh set of strings and make sure everything is set up properly.
     
  7. CnB77

    CnB77

    Jan 7, 2011
    NJ
    Wouldn't the change in relief slightly affect the intonation?
     
  8. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    I suppose anything is possible, but I haven't noticed it in my collection.

    Intonation is changing the length of the string
     
  9. PlungerModerno

    PlungerModerno

    Apr 12, 2012
    Ireland
    It's certain to. think of it... you'll be changing the angles at saddle and nut slightly, you'll be changing the tension / strain increase upon fretting (higher action means a bigger increase in strain on the string when fretting).

    That's my understanding. Also the seasons may move the frets / neck relative to the bridge slightly (esp. hollowbodies).

    I'd check it every setup, only takes a minute.
     
  10. Standalone

    Standalone

    Jan 17, 2005
    New Haven
    I believe that it does-- the greater distance a string must move down, the greater the tension/higher the pitch. So intonation does go out. Not enough to be all that noticeable with my sloppy playing, though!
     
  11. PlungerModerno

    PlungerModerno

    Apr 12, 2012
    Ireland
    But on a fretted instrument it's getting the frets to be in the correct relative positions along the strings length (between nut to saddle).

    Eg. my 12th fret must lie approximately in the middle of the length...

    It's also a good idea to have a corrected nut:D
    check the EB Bongo's for more info!
     
  12. PlungerModerno

    PlungerModerno

    Apr 12, 2012
    Ireland
    For a bunch of whole/half notes... you'd notice if it was out relative to another instrument (hear the nasty warbling sound).:spit:

    Maybe not with fast runs.:bassist:
     
  13. crobasster

    crobasster

    Jun 16, 2009
    croatia
    Mine are hangin on the wallhangers,and are played pretty frequently and equally,just remove some dust ocassionally and adjust truss rod due to climat changes.
     
  14. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Yep. Anything is possible, but I haven't personally noticed it.

    I don't buy into the compensated nut, I've had a few EBMM's some with and some without. I never noticed much of a difference between them.
     
  15. PlungerModerno

    PlungerModerno

    Apr 12, 2012
    Ireland
    I never have, but I've heard they are more noticeable on 6er's than others. I think it was carol kaye who recommended slightly sharp tuning on some bass situations, I imagine up at the 22nd fret of a 6er intonation becomes very important.

    Oh and to the OP:
    I have two basses. I play them both nearly every chance I can get. I occasionally clean the bridge & fretboard of dust with a soft brush, and wipe the body and neck down after each use. If I am trying to keep the strings fresh they get wiped too.
    Damn roto 66 nickels... they started going dead and now they seem to be in a half dead state... good but I still would like a little deader!
     
  16. etoncrow

    etoncrow (aka Greg Harman, the curmudgeon with a conundrum)

    I will wipe the strings with a micro-cloth after I play. All of my basses are natural finishes and I wipe the bodies and necks down about once a month with Howard's Feed N' Wax.
     

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