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Does Anybody Else do this?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by GearHeadBassMan, Sep 26, 2008.

  1. I think it might be just me, but does anybody else insist of setting up their own guitars, for the simple reason that you don't like the neck perfectly straight and the action on an even height?

    it comes from a few years learning on crappy basses, but I prefer a slight bow in the neck up near the nut, and the G string to be pretty high off the neck in relation to the other strings.

    Is this odd? basically, am I the only bassist who doesn't like his bass as much after a tech has his way with it?
  2. Tom Domino

    Tom Domino

    Jul 27, 2008
    There are a number of subjective elements to a setup. A good tech will work with you to get things where you like them. He or she should tell you if you're asking for a setup which might affect the longevity of the guitar/bass, but if that's not a factor, a good tech will usually set them up the way you want them, and if they won't, it may be time to start shopping around for a new tech.

    By the same token, a lot of people don't have a clue what they want/need, and it can be exasperating trying to work with that sort. You can only devote so much time to a project, and if the customer is unable to articulate what it is he or she wants, it's awful hard to guess. A good tech should be able to draw the elements of what the customer is looking for out of them, but it may take some trial and error to get everything just right, particularly if it's an instrument that hasn't been cared for or that is a stinker to begin with.

    A good tech is like a good mechanic. You don't want to be putting them in a situation where they're expected to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. Unless it's a dire emergency, I try not to rush them. If it IS a dire emergency and I have to rush them, I make sure they're compensated for the extra effort.
  3. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    No, this is not odd. A neck should not be perfectly straight IME nor should the strings be equidistant from the fingerboard. A few will argue both these points but, hey, its a free world. If its your bass, you can do whatever you damn well feel like. The G string thing kind of puzzles me but if the set-up is comfortable, go for it.

  4. Well put. I basically posted this because when I bought my last bass, it was setup just to my liking in the shop, to the point where I felt like I was playing much better than normal. When I picked it up, they had it set up by their tech and i hated it. I think it was because the neck was lined up just so and the action was raised and the strings were leveled and all that. Next time I'll just tell them to leave it alone.
  5. as for my g string thing, i do alot of e strings slaps with g plucks, having the string a bit higher makes it a bit easier to pluck on my way off the slap and makes it a bit brighter, IMO.
  6. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    Well, for myself, I had a bass set up maybe 8-12 months ago. I got it done on the cheap by someone who offered to do it cheap through craigslist. With strings the whole thing cost me $30. And I'll say he did a decent job, he wasnt a pro-tech, just someone who knew the motions to go trhough. I got it back, made a few little adjustments myself, and its in great working order.

    A few days ago I decided to buy a new bridge for my Squier P/J combo. I asked in the set-up forum as to how easy the swap would be. I was reassured the swap would be no problem to do myself, but EVERYONE recommended I have my bass set up by a tech afterward.

    So, I did a google search and printed out a few articles on Bass Set-ups. To my surprise I found this to be a very simple job, and I've actually done most of this type of work on my bass previously (as far as pick up height, action height, and how to make these adjustament). The one thing I was excited to learn about was setting the intonation.

    After reading over a few articles and getting a more in-depth understanding of what to do when setting up a bass I am more than confident I can get it done on my own. So now I just wait for my new bridge to arrive!!!
  7. ()smoke()


    Feb 25, 2006
    no, i set up mine simply because i can accomplish what i need at any time of the day or night without any wait

    as mentioned, a good tech will set up your instrument to your specifications
  8. xshawnxearthx


    Aug 23, 2004
    new jersey
    it's not odd. i do all my set us, and all my friends set ups. i actually have 5 guitars sitting in my house that just got back from tour that need a once over on al of them before recording. if you don't like your neck straight, you tell them how you want your action. i like my necks with a slight bow, so i would tell them i like a medium action.

    if i'm setting up guitars/basses for someone, and i don't know their deal, i ask them a few questions.

    what do you tune too?
    what gauge strings?
    how do you like your action? do you hit hard or have a light touch?

    that will tell me what i need to do.
  9. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Bearded Dingwall Enthusiast Banned

    I set mine up due to the simple fact that it's cheaper. I keep a very slight upbow is all of my necks because otherwise I get some wicked fretbuzz. I string with DR Hi-and-Sunbeams and TI Flats, so I need a little more relief than the tech would assume to setup for.
  10. I set my own. I prefer absolutely no relief under tension, and string hight just where the fret buzz
    dissapears when the bass is laying flat. A big pain in the butt with the old style slotted head in the heal truss rods.

    This would probably be horrible for some one else to use though.

  11. GianGian


    May 16, 2008
    Well, I am pretty standard about my setup, but I also do everything on my own. One thing that I learned is not to care about the buzz, specially after I realized how much Geddy's basses buzz...if it is good for Geddy, it is more than good for me, and it ismuch more comfortable.
  12. BZadlo

    BZadlo Supporting Member

    Mar 4, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    I am my best tech.
    I sometimes change my setup for a gig, at the gig.
    It is something that every musician should know how to do. It affects how you play your instrument and how you sound. No excuses.
  13. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I Grow Organic Carrots but they are not for sale
    Most basses are designed to be set up the way that you like with a very slight bow ... Rickenbackers are designed to be set up with a flat neck ... I prefer an almost flat neck on most basses ...

    Also I think every player should learn how to set up the basses he owns...

    I like very low action on the G string ... and a little more relief on the low B
  14. I do my own setups for the basic reason that I like my basses to feel the way I want them to and to take it to someone else won't accomplish this consistantly, IMO.

    In addition, it's cheaper and I can sort out issues myself in a pinch.

    I've been playing bass for 18 years and have never had a tech look at any of my instruments...(I've had 6 different basses over the years)
  15. +1 - Couldn't have said it better - I'm a perfectionist, and trust my own work plus I use a Stewart-MacDonald String Action Gauge to get it right where I want it.
  16. Not for these reasons, but yes, I pretty much do my own set-ups. Couple of reasons:

    1.) I get exactly what I want without having to put into words or explain it exactly to a tech. And the tech I normally use is damn good.

    2.) I have gotten a pro set-up from some big-name guys that everyone here would recognize. Mine are just as good for me.

    3.) I'm cheap! Why would I pay $50-100 for somebody to do something I can do myself.

    4.) Due to the experience gained from doing my own set-ups, I've been able to make a few bucks charging other people to do set-ups for them!


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