first pro setup - what should i know?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by ack, Dec 16, 2007.

  1. ack

    ack Why Can't We All Get Along?

    Nov 19, 2006
    Somewhere near Raleigh
    I'm fairly new to bass, and i've got a few real basic questions regarding a pro setup.

    I own several basses, none of which were ever setup for me
    (2 of them were purchased used - I don't know if either of them had ever had a setup before). I'm thinking of taking two of them (my favorite and my least favorite) to a local guitar/bass shop to have him set them up.

    I don't really know if they actually need a setup, but from what I read around here, it can't really hurt. To be honest, I don't know if I prefer higher action to low action, but I know that I can buzz the hell out of every one of my basses -probably all due to bad (but improving) technique.

    My question is this: Is a pro going to ask questions specific to me and my 'style' of playing, or can he just put it on a bench and know what the best setup would be for that type of instrument?

    Will it matter to him/her if I play finger style and enjoy the warmer, subtle tones?

    Just curious. I'd like to be able to answer some basic questions to whovever I bring these basses to...also, any feedback from having setups done at Sam Ash or GC? I have both in my area (along with several mom/pop guitar stores).

    Thanks in advance,

  2. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA

    "Yes" to everything! We need our Tarheel brethren to chime in right about now. Maybe they can suggest a good tech in the Raleigh area. Until you hear otherwise, avoid using GC or Sam Ash.

    If possible, have the tech give a tutorial on set-ups. Stick around and watch the process. There's no reason you can't do simple set-ups in the comfort of your own home. You'll find it necessary with seasonal changes, when changing strings, etc....and you'll save a pile of dough.

  3. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    Good advice.

    Expect to be charged for looking over the tech's shoulder. Better yet, offer to pay. It is fair to pay them for their teaching. The setup fee is for the work performed. The teaching is over and above. Remember, if you start doing your own setups they will no longer receive the income from doing your work. Paying for the education shows that you value their time and will help you build a relationship with them. Even if you do your own setups, you will probably want them to do advanced repairs, fretwork, and use them as a source for parts and information. It's usually easier and quicker to run across town for some screws than to wait for UPS to deliver to your home. Plus there is no minimum.

    BTW, Home Depot, Lowes, most machine shop suppliers, and the cool hardware store that has everything do not have chrome or nickel plated screws that are used on guitars.
  4. kyral210


    Sep 14, 2007
    Get the book 'How to make your electric guitar play great'