Freless Bass Setup

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Luis Fabara, Jan 23, 2001.

  1. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    Hi.. I need a lot of advise on fretless bass setup.
    Im very good at doing setups on fretted Basses and Guitars but my new fretless is really giving me a hard time.

    Since the fretboard is completely black and shiny.. I cannot ditinct a curvature on the neck.
    I like really low action on my basses, and I tought I was straightening the neck.. and actually.. I did a BACK BOW!! I didnt even notice it because of the color of the fingerboard, but I noticed it at playing because it rattled at the first five frets and then in the upper part i had high action. (due to the raised sadles to compensate the curvature that I didnt see)

    Please help on this issue and if you know where to find information on fretless bass setups please post it.


  2. Your setup can be done very similiar to a fretted instrument by fingering (fretting?) at the 3rd and 14 fret positions. I agree about the black fingerboard and not being able to tell but try using pieces of guitar string inserted into wood handles as feeler gauges. You can make'em longer and lay them across the neck easily.

    Now, here's the inquisition part. Did you really need to adjust this setup?? Hmmm??;) I'd go back to square one and start over by measuring your relief first, then doing some adjustments. And remember Righty Tighty, Lefty Loosey!!!
  3. snyderz


    Aug 20, 2000
    AZ mountains
    There is a nice setup page in last month's Bass Player (the one with Geddy on the cover) that has pictures of the steps and tools used, i.e. a metal straight edge, feeler guages, etc.
  4. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    Well , I found out what the problem was..
    I normally just look at the fretboard and I dont take measures of the relief.
    I feel the relief with my hands and also on the string behavior.
    The problem was a slight angle in the neck.. Not in the long but in the width.. So I took off the neck and added a shim in the treble side and a smaller shim at the bass side.
    Then I straightened the neck until it didnt rattle in the first positions and then lowered the strings..
    VOILÁ!! More MWAH and a very sweet action across all the strings.
    I have to admit something. Cort does not take too much attencion to the neck tilt/dive. I had to do this on my 6 Stringer too but Now.. There basses really kick ass.

    Thank god that I know some school physics... (You need it to setup a 7 String Floyd Rose equiped guitar!!)

    Thanks to Hambone and snyderz for your advise!!