How much can you trust a pro bass setup personnel?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by modulusbassist, Dec 29, 2001.

  1. Hello,

    Just wondering how much can you trust a pro bass setup personnel and how much to pay to get your bass pro setup?

    Anybody had any bad experience, like scratch on your bass or something like that?

    I am a bit leery but want to get my Elrick professionally set up.

  2. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Totally depends on the people; it's too hard to generalize. I've had guys who have bad customer service, and those who have good. Those who charge a lot, and those who charge very fair fees. Nobody's all alike.

    I've had 1 bad experience, in which there was a scratch on one of my basses. No big deal, it's a scratch, and the guy does killer work. It was on the back of the bass, and it's a painted back. When I told him about it, he apologized, and the next setup (for a guitar with a floyd rose; i set up my own basses) was free. He also charges fairly little, so I don't have a reason to go to anyone else.

    If I needed to, I have a backup in Mike Lull, who I know does excellent work (for $$$$$). You just need to scout around and see who does what how well and for how much.

    A full set-up, with cleaning and inspection, is usually around $40 for me, including re-stringing, neck adjustments, pot cleaning, etc.
  3. I've learned to do my own set-ups. but if your going to get someone else try asking a few questions like these.

    1. Please explain neck relief ?
    2. what is intonation ?
    3. are new strings nessacary for a set up.?
    4. do you guarantee your work?
    5. ask for referances.

    Avoid these responses

    1. Dude I dont know what that means but I look cool with my guitar down around my knees.
    2. Hey I put a four barrel carburetor on my camaro, and it will do 10 seconds in the quarter mile now!
    3.what you need is a $1500 guitar.
    4. plus or minus a quarter inch ought to be good.
  4. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB

    Jan 28, 2001
    New York
    Mine does:p
  5. Though the other questions would be helpful, I would have to take issue with using this particular one to determine competency. Here's my reasoning: A setup as described by Angus is a temporary thing. For instance, how would one "guarantee" clean pots, proper intonation as the strings get older, or neck relief with changes in humidity and air temperature? I wouldn't guarantee a setup other than to tell my clients that when it leaves my hands, it will be as perfect as I can make it. Of course, if I damaged the instrument, I would certainly stand behind it's repair but not the usual day-to-day problems that instruments made from wood have.

    I think a better way to pick a pro to do your setup would be to get at least 3 independent recommendations. These could be provided by the luthier or you could ask around. This is the nuts and bolts of the dilemna isn't it? Having a good setup is a subjective thing but a thumbs up from 3 different sources would indicate that the guy listens to and responds to different player desires. That would be the best. I am a very skilled salesman and I could talk a line of BS that would sound so good, you wouldn't know whether I was on the up and up or not. Take it out of the luthiers hands and let his customers tell you about his work.
  6. tucker

    tucker Guest

    Jan 21, 2001
    North Carolina
    You should learn how to set up your own bass. I had a few people set up my bass but they did it to their likings. Everyone has a different setup and no ones is the same. I had my bass teacher do it a while back and he had the action high and the pick ups high and it was all set up for slapping and stuff. Then I had another guy setup my bass and he did it all whacked. I watched all these people set up my bass. And learned some stuff. Then I decidd to set up my own bass and boy was that the best thing I ever did. But as far as trusting them with your bass. I think you could trust them. Because think about it. They wouldnt want someone to ruin their bass. Unless the guy has something against you. but anways. Learn how to setup your own bass. I'm almost certain others in here would agree with me. I setup my own bass and its great now. ok well i dunno if i helped you but i tried. But for electronics and stuff like that. i wouldnt go about doing that myself unless i knew what i was doing.
  7. well what if u try to set up ur bass like i did and now it sounds like sheit and the strings buzz??? i have no idea how to ajust a truss rod and im scarred that im gonna do it too far and break the neck. ahh help me!
  8. frankencow150

    frankencow150 Guest

    Oct 17, 2001
    since its an elrick,you should tell him to be VERY careful with it.tell him that you dont want scartaches or dents on it.that might make him think your annoying but who cares you have an expensive instrument and nobody would want it to be in the least bit messed up.good luck!
  9. Aaron


    Jun 2, 2001
    Bellingham, WA
    I set-up most of my bass, i'll check out the pots, check intonation, check the action, have the pick-ups at the right height, etc. I don't mess with the truss rod. I have a friend do that, if needed.
  10. I do all my own setups. Once you've done it a few times it becomes really simple to do and I'd encourage everyone to get some how-to info from a reliable source such as the TB archives and give it a go. Through trial and error you will find what works for you and what doesn't. I even have had people play my basses and ask me if I'd do a setup on their instruments! BTW there is no need to be afraid of adjusting a truss rod. Just remember that 1/4 turn is alot so make small adjustments, let the neck settle and then check if further adjustment is needed.

    The only time I bring a bass into a shop is for electronic issues or fretwork. Luckly I have a couple local guys who were highly recommended to me by other players in my area that I use.