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Gibson RD Standard bass setup help

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Shimmidybone, Feb 4, 2014.

  1. Shimmidybone


    Jan 13, 2014
    Houston, TX
    I've had this Gibson RD standard bass for quite a while. It is a vintage bass and I'm currently trying to bring it back into shape. I've managed to fix all the major issues that it had when I got it, but now I'm focused on getting it all the way there. I'm facing a few issues I've not dealt with before and would like any input you all might have.

    I'm just trying to get it set up to my liking. I'm used to a my P bass. It gives me plenty of room with the action and I get to put some force into it. I took this to have a pro set it up and it just isn't working for me. He set the action very low so there was lots of fret buzz if I played too heavily. This also might have had something to do with the string tension being too loose. The strings on this bass are supposed to go though the body. This requires a long scale because standard strings are not long enough. Here's my starter questions to get the ball rolling. There are pictures below. She is a beauty! Really one of my favorite body styles of all time.

    1. The frets are very not very high. I've heard that Gibson is famous for this feature. Is that true? Are there any special set up considerations for accommodating low frets?

    2. I have no clue what to do with this bridge (see pictures). My issues with my last setup made me think I wanted to bring the action up a little. Then the bridge lifted off the body! Am I going about this the wrong way? It really looked like my only option for raising up the strings.

    3. Any good string suggestions for this situation? Something that will give me plenty of tension with this long of a scale?

    Thanks ahead of time for the help. Any insight would be great. Although I love the RD, I know very little about it. :)





  2. TinIndian

    TinIndian Supporting Member

    Jan 25, 2011
    Micco Florida
    Sorry, I can't help, but I has to say I love that bass. Gibson basses really dont do much for me but I love those RD's! Good luck with her!
  3. Shimmidybone


    Jan 13, 2014
    Houston, TX
    Just wanted to try to bring this back to the top for visibility!
  4. pfox14


    Dec 22, 2013
    First of all it sounds like you paid for a setup that was NOT done properly. Not the first time that's ever happened. The RD has the standard Gibson 3-point bridge and when you raise it, the bridge moves further away from the body. That's supposed to happen. Not sure what you mean by low frets. Have they been leveled and re-crowned? That might explain it.
  5. MaddAnthony_59

    MaddAnthony_59 Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2006
    Columbus, IN
    I Channel Surf During Commercials. (Drives my Wife CRAZY!!!)
    I've had a couple of RD's over the years, and my son has my '77 Artist, which one of us will to take to the grave!

    Setups are pretty easy, and I would be regurgatating what is already documented ad nauseum. Check out the Setup Section and just follow the steps! FWIW I never got Super Low action on my basses, around 3/16". I used RotoSounds back in the day, 105 - 045 IIRC. They still played nicely, even though they weigh a TON!
  6. aquateen


    Apr 14, 2005
    search the hardware, setup & repair forum for threads on setting up the 3 point bridge. it's really not as hard as people think
  7. Nathanfd


    Mar 28, 2014
    I like Rotosound rs66 strings which come in longscale. I think that setup sounds typical unless you specify your preference for higher action and things of that nature.

    What guage strings do you have on at the moment? When did the bridge come off? When you tried to adjust the action?

    Also how does the neck width feel compared to a p bass?