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How much does a good quality set up cost?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Myrriad, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. Myrriad

    Myrriad Banned

    Oct 11, 2012
    My action is, quite, frankly, too low. Anything below the 9th fret has insane fret buzz, and I've heard an improper setup can warp the neck, so just to be safe I'm looking for have someone who knows what they're doing do it. Just looking for an average cost/time estimate.
  2. boristhespider9


    Sep 9, 2008
    Set-ups $40-70 generally, depending on where you live. Time depends on how busy they are obviously. Sometimes 1 day, sometimes a week. Just call around.
  3. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    It costs too damn much... just do it yourself. There are plenty of guides on here I recommend Jerzy Drozd's. You will need to spend less on tools than you will on the job(feeler gauge, allen keys, and 6" straight edge are musts radius gauges from tunemybass.com are a plus). There are plenty of resources on this site.

    I haven't a headless for that price but I have never really looked to extensively at them. I am sure somebody else can offer advice on that.

    Improper setup cannot cause warped necks unless it is extremely bad.
  4. glutah


    Nov 5, 2012
    Salt Lake City
    If you don't know what you are doing, have a pro do it or find a friend that is competent at setting up instruments to show you.
  5. +1

    It's not very hard to learn how to do a proper set up yourself once you have the right tools and know the rights and wrongs of doing one. That being said, pricing for setups differ from one tech to another. The price is also not indicative of the quality of work, either. I've seen $30 setups that were exquisite and $70 setups that were hack jobs.

    As for the headless bass question, you might look into the Kramer Duke bass, they're pretty sweet little headless basses and usually go for under $500 used.
  6. Myrriad

    Myrriad Banned

    Oct 11, 2012
    Does a setup also include a string change if I provide the strings? I don't really need to change mine yet (I know how, done several times), but I've got my first set of flats coming about the time I'd get the setup, and I'm feeling lazy >.>
  7. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    Your bass sould be setup twice a year. Learn how to do it yourself. This is a gift to yourself that keeps on giving. It is damn awkward to have to take your bass out leave it with someone and pay them to set it up.

    Doing a setup is not rocket science.
  8. Every set up I've gotten (only a couple) has included a string change in the price. I don't know if they will take off the price of strings if you supply your own ... you'd have to ask.
  9. Rockin Mike

    Rockin Mike

    May 27, 2011
    It's not good for the neck to adjust the truss rod more than a quarter turn each day. That's one reason it's better to do your own setups. The guitar shop will probably adjust the truss rod all at once no matter how far it needs to go.

    Also you are the best judge of how low or high the action should be for your personal playing technique.
  10. bass12

    bass12 And Grace, too Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    My tech is great and he charges around $70 for a setup (you supply the strings). I'd been going to him for years for setup and repair work. One day he took me aside and showed me how to do my own neck adjustments, set string radius, etc. He just figured it was silly that I was still paying him for setups and he was right. :)
  11. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    It can - if you want it to. It all depends on the total scope of work that you and the guitar tech agree upon, doesn't it?

  12. viking power

    viking power

    Jul 5, 2012
    I'd recommend doing your own setup. It's not difficult and the directions are readily available. Here's the link I use: http://bassplaying.com/?q=diy-bass-setup-guide . Hopefully, it's okay to post links like this on this forum. This guy tells it straight and adds a little humor as well.

    Good luck however you go.....
  13. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    IME, it's often worthwhile to have the very first set-up on any particular instrument done by a pro - just to establish a "baseline" (pun unintended) set-up, such that any future set-ups will require only minor tweaking. This is particularly the case if you stick generally to the same brand & gauge of strings from one set-up to the next... :meh:

  14. Myrriad

    Myrriad Banned

    Oct 11, 2012

    That's kinda my thinking, just so I know how it should feel/sound.
  15. killer


    Jan 7, 2013
    Just read some guide and do it yourself ..
    It's so simple , you have just to follow some rules :)

    Keep your $ for a new string gauge
  16. Rockin Mike

    Rockin Mike

    May 27, 2011
    If you can talk to the manufacturer and get the recommended setup specs, you can dial it in really well. Patrick from Spector was great in giving me complete setup instructions for my Euro including measurements for neck relief and string height, etc.
  17. ObeyGiant


    Feb 26, 2012
    Cookeville, TN
    I've only paid for a set-up once and it was CRAP! I was very unhappy with what I got for what I paid. You don't know who is going to do the setup, their tastes, nor their experience.

    I know it is intimidating at first to try it on your own, but trust me it is worth it. I did my first setup less than a year ago (with no previous knowledge except for what I learned around here and other places online) and am SO glad I did. My basses have never felt so good in my hands.

    What I did at first is went to http://www.fender.com/support/articles/bass-guitar-setup-guide/ (if you have Fender basses like I do- I am sure you can find the "factory setup" specs for other basses too) and tweaked from there. Most likely the factory setup specs will feel much improved over a bass that hasn't had a setup.

    All of this is IME of course. In the small town I live in there are only 3 small music shops and they are VERY good at trying to rip people off. I'm sure I could drive an hour to Nashville and find some awesome places that would give me an awesome setup, but it was definitely much cheaper to buy the tools and learn to do it myself.
  18. Epitaph04

    Epitaph04 Supporting Member

    Jul 5, 2010
    Damn. I usually do a quarter turn every half day. Are the necks on my bass guitars going to melt now?
  19. Rockin Mike

    Rockin Mike

    May 27, 2011
    I dunno, I'm just repeating what I've heard other people say. I'm sure all necks are not created equal and some can take more than others.
  20. RhynoRock


    Dec 19, 2012
    Fredonia, NY
    Now, do Ric basses have any special needs? I know the truss rods on these suck, and being dual truss rod presents a different challenge. I had to have serious repair work done to my 4003 because I screwed up adjusting my truss rods.