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Expertise required to properly setup?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by CaptainWally, Apr 18, 2001.

  1. Hi gang,

    I am no expert on setup, but I understand some of the
    elements: relief, saddle height, etc.

    There are only a few parameters here, but I guess it could
    be complicated to make them all work together for a single
    setup that works well for a particular player.

    Just how much expertise does it take to do proper setup?
    Do most of you players setup your own basses? I've heard
    even seasoned pros talk about getting 'professional setups'
    for their instruments.


    P.S. Those that do setups professionally, please don't
    take offense! I just want to understand what goes into
    this setup thing that requires the attainment of your
  2. dytakeda


    Jul 18, 2000
    I'd say it takes a moderate amount of expertise to do a "proper" setup. However, you have the advantage of knowing what you want, and making the adjustments are relatively quick and cheap.

    The only thing to be careful with is the truss rod.
  3. BassicRob


    Mar 28, 2001
    Massapequa, NY
    I have done everything on my Fender since I got it with what I learned fom the little pamphlet Fende includes and articles on the web. Basically, I set it up so the strings go as close to the fretboard without buzzing, check intonation, and truss rod adjustment. I have no regrets but one, and since reading TB, I have become aware of my truss od doings and question myself, if I have done damage. It still plays like a charm and no problems, but maybe next time I will bing it in to the bass doctor for a check up, and have a look to see what he does.

    I would much rather do it myself, though, since I know what I want and how it feels. Good Luck!
  4. Some players are able to get a good setup on their instruments, but all of them can stand a little professional TLC from time to time. As a repairman I encourage players to take care of the day to day things and even experiment to find their preferences. I am even happy to show them how to do it. With the exception of truss rod damage it is all reversable error.
  5. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    Some guitar shops would like for you to think that it takes some special Voodoo to get a good setup. In reality, as long as something like a fret leveling or truss rod replacement isn't called for, anyone can do it as long as you understand the physics of neck relief and the relation to string height and bridge adjustment. Also the role the nut plays. It isn't rocket science, but it does take some common sense (which is lacking in all too many cases among musicians, sadly enough).

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