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Did my first set-up. Went great. Thank you Talkbass!

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Cousin Iggy, Mar 4, 2019.

  1. Thank you Talkbass, you guys are the best!:thumbsup:

    After reading all the 'do your own set-ups, it's not that hard' comments here, I finally pulled on my big-boy pants and did it. I watched the vids in the sticky above (more than a few times, lol), bought some tools, and went for it. Turning that truss-nut the first time (of course it was sticky!) was a bit butt-clenching:nailbiting:, but after that it was just as straightforward as advertised.

    I'm still a rookie in so many ways, so it felt really good to stretch myself a bit in a new direction. Also, I'm a big believer in knowing how to take good care of one's equipment, so it was past time to do it. (Also, I'm going stir-crazy from this unending winter, so this was better than yelling at the squirrels in the bird-feeder.:bored:)

    The best part: even this hack could tell that there was an improvement. I know it's a little thing and some of you may roll your eyes, but I'm still grinning over this...:hyper:

    (The one negative thing about this is that the reason it needed setting up was that the local independent music store said it was 'good-to-go' when it clearly was not :(.)
  2. StyleOverShow

    StyleOverShow Still Playing After All These Years Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2008
    Feels good. I had the same experience a decade ago.
    Cousin Iggy likes this.
  3. BaileyMan


    Jan 8, 2012
    San Francisco
    Awesome! It is a game changer. I love knowing how to do my own setups. I can tweak it how I like. I don't have to wait a week or longer while it sits in someone's workshop. It saves me money...

    Welcome to the club!
    Cousin Iggy likes this.
  4. Very cool. Like BaileyMan said, it's a game changer. From now on, you'll be setting up your own basses to your style, picking and/or plucking strength, etc. Welcome to the next level.
    Cousin Iggy likes this.
  5. 1bassplayinfool

    1bassplayinfool -Nowhere Man- Gold Supporting Member

    Sometimes you just have to dive in. Soon you be creating Frankenstein basses... :laugh:
    Cousin Iggy likes this.
  6. Thanks all. I used the numbers and measurements from the John Carruthers videos. I have flats on the bass, so I was a little concerned that those numbers might not be ideal for flats, but I didn't plan to do anything drastic or irreversible (had the action at the first fret been off, I'd have left the nut adjustment to a professional, but it was almost dead-on his recommendation). And as I said, it seems better ('smoother' and less buzz, although it's probably just confirmation bias:))

    I didn't measure string height beforehand, wish I had. Just a vague recollection that the A was too high and the others were 'close'. Nor did I record what the relief was before I adjusted the tross rod. Hmm, I need a notebook.
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2019
  7. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    No eyes rolling. Rather, a hardy pat on the back!

    Good going matey!
    Cousin Iggy, bholder and Joshua like this.
  8. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    The setup sticky thread ought to be included for free with every bass. :D

    (Seriously, a link should be in every owner's manual!)
    Jaymo and Cousin Iggy like this.
  9. Rallypoint_1

    Rallypoint_1 Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2010
    Pasadena, California
    Very good buddy!! Look out now...Mr Mod??
    Cousin Iggy likes this.
  10. Jaymo


    Jul 7, 2017
    I'll admit, the "pucker factor" is always high when I touch a truss rod.
    Cousin Iggy likes this.
  11. James Collins

    James Collins

    Mar 25, 2017
    Augusta, GA
    I would recommend adjusting the nut yourself when you need to on some other bass. You can get a new nut for $5-20. Even if you ruin a nut, you are not out an impossible amount. My experience is as you play and setup your instruments you get a really tight understanding of what you want. When you take it to a tech or luthier to set it up, they make it playable, but never how you would yourself.

    The other thing I would suggest is getting an Emory board or some hobby files and learning to dress the fret ends. Eventually you will be soldering in your own electronics.
    PaulCISSA and Cousin Iggy like this.
  12. PaulCISSA

    PaulCISSA Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Jul 10, 2014
    Northest New Jersey
    I've taken to hitting all my truss rods twice a year to keep them from binding and just the fact that they need attention twice a year in the N/E. Temp/hum changes are always at work.

    @James Collins is absolutely correct - start smartening up on dressing your frets, especially the sprouts.

    Good work! Keep it up! :thumbsup:
    James Collins and Cousin Iggy like this.
  13. James Collins

    James Collins

    Mar 25, 2017
    Augusta, GA
    Thanks for the second on fret ends. I remember being terrified I was going to ruin the frets or the fret board at the start; but the reality is if you have sharp frets, the frets are at their worst and you won't make them worse.

    Same thing goes for filing nuts and saddles, but again it's not like those are one of a kind pieces. Also, now I notice where the fretboard is scratched from dressing by the manufacturer more often.
  14. PaulCISSA

    PaulCISSA Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Jul 10, 2014
    Northest New Jersey
    Not to detract from topic but the OP will read it for what it is - That's an interesting observation regarding the factories work - It's become one of my pet-peeves with some famous commercial makers. They regularly botch the fretwork and in some cases the fingerboard as well. Nuts and saddle - don't get me started. :bored:

    I've never had a new bass that didn't need to go to the bench before I attempted to play it. Exceptions that deserve naming for excellent neck work were Alembic and both my USA Spectors. They were perfect right out of the box.
    James Collins likes this.
  15. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    There are those who are comfortable working on their cars and those who are not. I think it's useful for all bass players to know how to do maintenance on their basses, but I am darn sure there are many that don't feel comfortable about doing it, and should not attempt it.

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