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Effects of action height on sound!!!

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Mili, Dec 2, 2017.


  1. Mili

    Mili

    Nov 14, 2015
    Earth
    Hi
    I have only one Bass :-( and my action is medium(E2.5mm,A2.5,D2.4mm,G2.35mm) and the sound is good for finger style but i can't practice slap technique on it( it doesn't feel right) so l decided to get it down, on the other hand i saw Janek Gwizdala said that low action isn't good and he used to low action for many years till John Patitucci told him about the advantages of higher action and he changed it(he was regretful if i knew that before). I searched about the effect of distance between string and pickup and i found out the only thing affected is the volume. Now I'm confused and concerned about lossing the sound i have now.
    Also you think what is the proper action for slap? (Pls tell in numbers)
    Sorry for poor English.
    Thank you all in advance.
     
  2. Mili

    Mili

    Nov 14, 2015
    Earth
    really?!!! nobody cares about it?
     
  3. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    Since action adjustments are such a matter of personal taste you probably won't get a lot of response. Some like higher. Some like lower. The difference, if there is any difference, in tone is also a matter of personal taste. As far as pickup height goes, the closer the pickups are to the strings the more output there will be. Also there will likely be more higher end harmonics in the signal with the pickups closer. BUT, and this is important, too close and you will introduce problems, like bad overtones, chorusing, etc. So how close is too close? Can't say. It depends on the pickups - the pull of the magnets in particular. Best go with the manufacturer's spec.
     
    Skeptismo and Mili like this.
  4. Geri O

    Geri O Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    I like it a little higher than recommended. To my ear, the sound “rings out” a little more. Plus I can dig in a bit and not get too much fret rattle (a little is okay)

    There ya go.
     
    Mili likes this.
  5. Mili

    Mili

    Nov 14, 2015
    Earth
    Ok, this is interesting, i guess the better way to find my answers is running a test and analyze the sound by DAW.
    Thank you for response.
     
  6. Geri O

    Geri O Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    I really don’t mean this as contrite, condescending, what have you, it’s just a suggestion...

    But set up your bass with the action you want to analyze and just spend time playing and listening to the bass. Good headphones would be helpful. See what that particular set-up does for you. DAWs and others’ opinions are certainly helpful, but you have a good set of ears and obviously the curiosity to explore different set-ups, so just go for it.

    Back in the 80s, I was fortunate to be playing 5-6 nights a week. So I was able to set up a bass early in the day, usually do a rehearsal, then play that night and see how I liked the set-up I had at the moment. I didn’t have DAWs and an internet full of people even more full of opinions, just my practice headphones (big old klunky Kosses at the time) at the hotel (or a hideous bandhouse...:D) and my amp at the gig. Over time, I realized I like heavier strings and an ever-so-slightly higher action. I don’t advocate this set-up to anyone other than just trying it.

    And after several of laying off the bass, I picked it up again 4 years ago, so I tried lighter strings and a lower action, thinking my older hands and fingers wouldn’t do well with that set-up from the 70s, 80s, and 90s. It took only a few days to realize that the old set-up from that time still worked best for me these days and these old hands and fingers are just fine with it for now, anyway. And again, I came to this conclusion by just playing and listening.

    I think you’ll enjoy this process of self-exploration much more in the end and learn a lot about your basses and even your own playing.
     
    Mili likes this.
  7. Mili

    Mili

    Nov 14, 2015
    Earth
    Very inspiring, good for you, i love 80s.(everything was cooler and simpler) and thank you for response. I
    believe in what you say and we just should experience, listen and feel but I'm a beginner (15 months)so i doubt about my ears. I guess listening and watching the meters in DAW is a more reliable way to see what's going on. I'm excited for designing the test(trust me, I'm an engineer;)). I will post the results.
     
    Geri O likes this.
  8. Mili

    Mili

    Nov 14, 2015
    Earth
    Ok i ran a test between my old action a very low action. Playability improved and i felt it easily. The volume went higher and Sound got boomier and less clarity but I noticed that boom is in low mid area and with a little cut on 110 Hz the tonality became very similar to old action.
     

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