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Does a setup REQUIRE you to change the strings?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by aglide, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. aglide


    Jun 27, 2010
    Kansas City, MO
    I play an AVRI Precision Bass with DR 45-105 flats that have been on the bass for about a year. I bought the bass from another TBer and just swapped out the existing strings with what I like. A setup was not done at the time.

    A local guitar tech is telling me he can't do a setup without replacing the strings. Is that true? I ask because it seems like a lot of players pride themselves on having the same set of flats for years and years.
  2. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    I haven't found replacing strings to be necessary, ever.

    Most I would do is detune them so I can get at some of the more delicate parts, like the underside of the pickguard or adjusting truss rod.

    I see no reason why you absolutely have to change them, anyway.
  3. lowsideonacurve


    Feb 24, 2011
    I'll bet he has a set of strings he'd like to sell you.:eyebrow:

    I would find another tech, you can most certainly setup a bass without changing to new strings.

    Or, if you are mechanically inclined, download the setup guide from Fender and do it yourself.
  4. pbass2


    Jan 25, 2007
    Los Angeles
    Any good tech who knows basses and bass players should understand that some folks want nicely aged strings on their bass! Unless there's something wrong with the strings, or one of the strings(in which case you would prolly want to change the whole set), then you most certainly "can" do a setup with the existing strings.
  5. aglide


    Jun 27, 2010
    Kansas City, MO
    Thanks guys. I called another tech that was recommended to me by a friend, and he said basically the same thing you've said. He leaves it up to the player unless there's something wrong with the existing strings.
  6. adivin


    Jul 9, 2009
    New Orleans, LA
    I read this in one of the set up guides on TB also. May have been Jerzy Drozd. I never did adhere to it.
  7. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY Supporting Member

    No sense in new if those are the strings you want on the bass. Tech is pocket picking.
  8. Techs pulling this line are usually trying to sell strings for their boss...
  9. jwr

    jwr Supporting Member

    Jun 28, 2010
    Overland Park, KS
    I'm in the same general area as you. Mind telling me which shop so I can avoid going to them? I use the GC in Overland Park and never have had issues. The luthier there is cool and never pressures me about anything. He talks my ear off about stuff I only half understand usually. haha
  10. Its the inverse, changing strings require a setup
  11. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    The answer is definitely NO. Sometimes the reverse is true - a change of strings requires a setup - but a setup does not require changing strings. Many basses have setups done with no string change.

    I play flats that are from 1 to 40 years old depending on the instrument. If any tech ever takes off my old strings, he better run and hide, because I'll be all over him!!!!!
  12. Troph


    Apr 14, 2011
    Kirkland, WA
    40 year old flats? Wow. You have to admit that's a bit abnormal. :)
  13. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    WOOOOHOOOOHOOOO...had to insert evil laugh.

    Yeah, most strings don't last that long but this bass was in storage for 20 years or so...the flats were installed in 1972 and they still sound fantastic. I am convinced that flats last forever and sound good.

  14. aglide


    Jun 27, 2010
    Kansas City, MO
    You have a PM :ninja:
  15. pbass2


    Jan 25, 2007
    Los Angeles
    That is a sexy machine! Nice color--never seen one quite like that...
  16. Your tech is a tool. You need to do a setup SOMETIMES when changing strings to a different type, as tension & gauge may change. You DO NOT need new strings to do a setup. -_-
  17. FunkJunk96


    Dec 30, 2012
    Michigan, USA
    A tech up here says that it's for intonation purposes. I didn't ask further than that, because he didn't impress me when I asked him a few questions I knew the answers to.
    Honestly I agree with the guy earlier. A change of strings requires a setup.
  18. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    It is definitely true that a new set of strings is not necessary for a set up. It's also not true that a new set of strings requires a set up.
  19. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Usually, not always. If the new strings are smiliar in tension to the previous ones, no setup will be needed. Intonation may shift slightly but setting intonation is not a full setup, it's merely one part of a setup.