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Do all your basses have similar setups?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jive1, Jul 26, 2005.

  1. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    I have been noticing that I set up all my basses the same lately in terms of relief, action, etc. I used to have some basses with low action, some with high action, etc. , but now I have all them all around the playability, with slight tweaks for a few basses.

    How bout y'all?
  2. Whafrodamus


    Oct 29, 2003
    Andover, MA
  3. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    No, not really--if I'm looking for a deeper vintage-type tone, I really prefer the action to be a bit higher, so I usually have at least one set up like that. Besides changing the tone, it also changes the way I play the instrument. The fretless and the acoustics also have their own individual qualities that I try and enhance with higher or lower action, too.

  4. Dirty Dave

    Dirty Dave

    Oct 17, 2004
    Boston, MA
  5. Snarf


    Jan 23, 2005
    Glen Cove, NY
    Yeah. My fretless jazz is set up a bit higher so I can dig in, my Carvin's much lower so I can really fly if I want to, and the precision . . . well, the action is too low right now, I'm gonna put flats on it and then raise the action.
  6. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    my jazz has medium action and a ramp...

    my warwick has low action and no ramp...
  7. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Nope. Different strings, different relief settings, different overall action heights ... you gotta listen to what each bass wants to get the most from it.
  8. Groover


    Jun 28, 2005
    Ohio, USA
    Yup, I keep mine as close as possible. I like the fact that when I pick up one right after the other, it feels almost the same as the one I was just playing.
  9. tonedeaf

    tonedeaf Supporting Member

    My fretted basses have pretty uniformly medium-high action, since I like to play pretty aggressively.

    My fretless has low action and I use a much lighter touch with it.

    If I had a higher-end or more modern-sounding fretted bass, I'd probably set it up with lower action.
  10. For the most part, yes but each individual instrument has a bit of tweaking. My Hamer 2-TEK CruiseBass (D'Addario Chromes-flats) and my P-Bass clone (Fender 9050's-flats) have medium light strings, virtually no relief and very low action; the strings are quite tight on these 2 basses. My Reverend Rumblefish XL (GHS Precision Flats) has slightly higher action and a small amount of relief to compensate for the additional string movement allowed by the lighter guage (i.e. less string tension) strings. My fretless Jazz (Rotosound flats) has low action and virtually no relief; the Roto's are high tension (and rough textured) strings.

    Once I use up my string inventory, I plan to use D'Addario Chromes on all my basses. There are without a doubt my all-time favorite strings.
  11. ugo


    Jan 8, 2005
    Northern VA
    Sound Design Coordinator, Camel Audio | Designer, Ugo Audio
    i keep mine pretty similar, at least as close as the basses allow. there's a just certain feel i like to have. once i dial it in, it feels like home.

  12. Jeb


    Jul 22, 2001
    Yes, pretty much the same. I'd guess about "medium."

    About 3/32" in the fret 12-17 neighborhood for all strings on all basses with minimal relief.
  13. lefty007


    Jan 19, 2004
    Miami, FL
    I'm with pickles. Each bass (and bass model/type) has its own "sweet spot".

    And each style of music you play can benefit from different setups too.

    Playing a fusion gig: super low action and roundwounds.

    Reggae/motown/classic rock/latin gig: medium action with flats.

    It all comes down to your own technique, regadless of setup, but playing with setup optimized for specific styles can definitely channel some extra creativity

    I personally have that: passive basses with flats and medium action and others with active electronics, rounds and low action.
  14. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    You've probably played all my basses. But the answer is.. NO WAY! Not a chance.

    My Palaedium is set with very low action for a very light touch. Dig in and it barks back with fret buzz. The neck is straight as an arrow with an almost flat radius. Flattest neck I've ever seen actually. It's really a great bass, now even better with a new bridge and tuners - no more gold!

    My Tacoma Thunderchief has action sky-high compared to just about any electric, but about right for this deep toned acoustic behemouth. I want to be able to really dig in and get that top vibrating since this ABG has such a wonderful acoustic bark to it.

    My Fender Standard Jazz V and Brice V2 6 fretless are set up about the same, middlin' string height, nice plunky sound.

    Did you play Dr. Phunkypants' Sterling? That thing had insanely low action! I couldn't even play it and I have a relatively light touch! First thing I'd have to do if I bought that bass would be dial out the neck for a little relief. Just a little mind you. :)
  15. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    Other than my beater P-Bass, which has a medium/high action, the rest of my basses are all in the same ballpark setup-wise. My Roscoe 6 string is an exception; It's neck has less relief and a slightly lower action than the rest of my basses.

    - Art
  16. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    All the same. I have ramps on all of my basses and I'm trying to develop a quick four-finger plucking style, so I prefer them to all be set very low with the same string gauges.
  17. Deadworks


    Dec 13, 2004
    St.Louis, MO
    On my Kingston I have super low action, my jazz and P-copy have medium action because I have to dig in more on those. I have them set up that way because the preamp on my kingston is 18v verus my J's 9 and P is passive. I have to dig in more on my J and P at times. Both are capable of a super low action but just don't feel right to me set up that way.
  18. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Nope, same strings, VERY similar necks, and Hipshots. Only difference is the body and electronics.
  19. adam on bass

    adam on bass Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2002
    New Braunfels, Texas
    Endorsing Artist: Spector, GK, EMG and D'Addario
    Mine are all over the board. My 6's are all about the same except my Euro 6LX. I have that action burried for tapping. All of my basses have the EMG BQC Preamp in them so I can dial in the tone I want quick. I have a strap for each of my basses so I don't have to adjust on the fly. It's worth the extra cashola.
  20. no...some of my basses see more action than others... :eyebrow: