Do any reputable online dealers do special set-ups?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by RedHotFuzz, Mar 27, 2014.

  1. RedHotFuzz


    Mar 16, 2014
    As posted previously, I want to get a short-scale bass and start learning to play. Based on forum feedback as well as much reading of reviews, I think I'm going to start on a Gretsch Junior Jet II. But no dealers locally carry it. I can easily order one online, of course. But what if I want it shipped set up with new strings (the stock strings seem to be universally loathed)? Is there an online dealer that will restring it and get everything set up properly so I can just pull it out of the box and play it in its optimal state? I'm no luthier. I don't know how to set string heights, intonation, neck angles, etc. I just want a nice out-of-the-box experience.

    Any recommendations?
  2. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY
    Quick answer is no. I'd buy one like you stated and get comfortable with it when it arrives. Hopefully there is a tech local to you that can set it up. That being said, I'd recommend you learn how to set up your own basses. It's not complicated. Everyone should be able to do most of it
  3. RedHotFuzz


    Mar 16, 2014
    Sure. At around $50. Plus strings ($30?). Was hoping for a cheaper route for a basic $300 instrument.

    It's the stuff that doesn't fall under the "most of it" category that I'm worried about. :p :help:

    But hey, there's always YouTube and TalkBass, right? :bassist:
  4. StevieMac

    StevieMac Supporting Member

    Mar 17, 2005
    Vancouver, BC
    The problem is that most basses are made of wood and wood expands and contracts with temperature and humidity changes so even if the setup was perfect for you when it left the dealer it probably wouldn’t be the same when it arrived.

    Just buy the bass, tune it up and play.

    If you feel you need it adjusted you can have that done locally or better yet IMO go here and start learning how to do your own setups and you'll never have to worry about paying someone to do it for you.
  5. Musicphan


    Oct 11, 2008
    You may want to check with Sweetwater... I'm super impressed with their customer service. Talk with a rep and see what they could do for you.

    And the above advice is good... its best to learn to do it yourself. I fought this for a couple of years... now I can't imagine having someone else setup my bass. Only I know how I like it setup.
  6. dderatz

    dderatz Supporting Member

    Sep 1, 2010
    Highly doubtful. You may get a "set-up," but that is no guarantee that you will get a nice out of the box experience. I recently bought a bass from on OL retailer who says they do a set up before shipping, and indeed, the box had been opened and there was a certificate that someone had set it up. I still spent a couple of hours actually setting it up to get what I considered to be "set up." Your local shop will probably do a set up on anything you bring in for a fee. If you are not comfortable with even basic setup, you should have it done right the first time, and with your input.
  7. lawjazz1


    Sep 7, 2013

    I just bought a bass at Sweetwater and they have a 55 point set up they do before shipment. They will also re string for around $15 + price of the strings you want (assuming they have the strings you want). Excellant service.
  8. hdracer


    Feb 15, 2009
    Elk River, MN.
  9. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains

    Just as an example, I had a super nice bass sent to me. It's got graphite rods in the neck which help with keeping the neck in the same place. When I took it out of the box it played perfectly. A few days later it acclimatized in my house and the neck was out of whack. It's just the nature of the beast...
  10. JoeWPgh


    Dec 21, 2012
    You should learn set it up yourself. Even if an e-tailer did do this for you, there's no guarantee that it won't need another setup soon after it adjusts to your specific environment. The stuff that doesn't falls under "most of it" would be things like fret leveling and dressing. But the basic stuff, like adjusting the truss, setting intonation and action are all very easy. There's a ton of tutorials on these things floating around the web. You can do your research on it while you're waiting for your bass to be delivered.
  11. RedHotFuzz


    Mar 16, 2014
    Great advice by all, thanks. I bought my Taylor GS Mini from Sweetwater and was impressed. They won't have any Junior Jets in for a couple more weeks though. Good to know they'll restring (thanks lawjazz1). Maybe I'll give Elderly a call too, but their website doesn't show any black ones in stock either.

    I will spend some time online learning how to do my own setups though. Good advice.