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good new setup

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by lermgalieu, Apr 18, 2003.


  1. lermgalieu

    lermgalieu Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    I took my bass to a different luthier who focuses on setup issues. I told him I wanted the sound loosened up and the action lowered. He lowered the action, moved the strings a little closer together, and put steel cable on the tailpiece instead of the 'coat hangar'. Man, what a difference! Even through the pickup, it sounds like a new bass, and a lot closer to what I want. I can't put the thing down now, not that I could before.
     
  2. lermgalieu

    lermgalieu Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    He did adjust the length some in the process, which could account for some this, but isn't the material important because of its tensile properties - its ability to flex? This would cause more of a spring and give when the instrument is played.
     
  3. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    Worm Ballet is correct IMO. and LG, if'n you like the guy's work give 'em a plug!
     
  4. Bijoux

    Bijoux

    Aug 13, 2001
    Denver-CO-USA
    What I heard about the material of the tailpiece wire, is basically that the tailpiece should be able to vibrate freely, so a lighter material and more flexible will allow that to happen. You can try to move around the tailpiece with your hands on a bass that has the hanger instead of aircraft tailpiece wire, you'll notice how flexible the aircraft tailwire is compared to the stiff hanger wire. Some luthiers believe more flexiblity aloow more vibration and less weight on the tailpiece also helps to provide a more "open" sound
     
  5. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
    Rap on the tailpiece with your knuckle. It should reverberate pleasantly. I call a properly suspended tailpiece the bass' reverb unit. Think of the old tube guitar amps with their internal spring reverb units. When the tailpiece is rigidly attached, a bass will usually have a deader tone and a not-so-responsive feel by comparison.
     
  6. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    I like that analogy. I used to have an old Ampeg Reverbarocket and one of my favorite things to do was get stoned and smack the amp. It would make all these crazy springy, cymbally sounds. ....Hmmmmn, maybe I shouldn't have said that.
     
  7. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    Probably not, as we tend to frown on the words "springy" and "cymbally" around here. Especially "cymbally".
     
  8. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
     
  9. You gave yourself away a long time back.
    And yes, that effect is great when playing Pipeline... dude.
     
  10. lermgalieu

    lermgalieu Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Oh by the way, here's the plug. Pete Lampe, Portland Oregon. He just opened up a DB shop where he sells, repairs, and gives lesson on DB only. YAY!