Fret leveling/ semi-advanced setup

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by dave120, Aug 19, 2005.

  1. dave120


    Jun 27, 2005
    Central Florida
    Hi guys,

    I'm getting to the point where I think I want to try giving my SX bass a little more of a setup than I've given it already. I've done all the basic stuff before like adjusting truss rods, string heights, etc and it's gotten this bass to a very playable point. I'm interested in investigating just how good i can get it though.

    Are there any websites out there that give really detailed explanations of how to do minor fret work and things? Mainly there's like 2 frets that I think might need some work on this bass and I might possibly want to shim the neck a little bit too.

    Am I better off just taking it to a shop and having them do it? I'm not TOO worried about messing it up since the necks for these things are only about $40 (besides the finish that's on them) and the whole bass was only $89. I imagine I can probably spend hours on it and not do the job as well a professional that spends a half hour on it though. Should I attempt it or just get it done and play it?
  2. For the price of a simple setup you could get one of the StewMac videos on fretwork and that would give you the best, repeatable reference for fretting jobs. Seeing it done in real time is a much better way than just reading descriptions and still pics. The tools will cost much more than the video but after you've viewed the tape, you'll see how you can use non-luthier specific tools for fretwork AND make your own special tools for pennies compared to their storebought counterparts.
  3. dave120


    Jun 27, 2005
    Central Florida
    Thanks Hambone! We have a pretty advanced metal working shop here at the house with a good assortment of wood working stuff as well, so I'm not too worried about going out and buying tools at the moment. Like I said, this is an $89 bass (and I know you've done GREAT things with them) so it being absolutely perfect isn't essential, but it could turn into one of my main gigging basses pretty easily. I may check out that video though since building a guitar or bass from scratch is something i'd like to try eventually, that video would help later on too. Unfortunately I start classes again on Monday so my free time is gonna be in the negatives (never become an Engineering major!) so may just take this one to my guy and get it done so I can just play it.
  4. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    I don't typically take the "sky is falling" approach, but I'll add my 2 cents and say that my only advice would be to spend some time with the bass and examine it well enough to be absolutely sure that fret work will solve this issue.

    I have seen more than one bass with what was believed to be a high fret turn out to have a bad overall fb dressing job. If the fingerboard is not right, you can file the fret into oblivion before you get it level.

    The real fix may be to remove all the frets, properly dress the fb and refret the whole bass. This is less likely than the simple need to level a fret, but you should know the range of possibilities before you start grinding.
  5. Hey Charles - long time no see!

    Good advice BTW!