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How Spoiled Are You By Your Bass' Setup?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Bryan R. Tyler, Aug 27, 2005.


  1. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    Is anyone else completely spoiled by the way their basses are set up?

    I've become very particular about my setup in the past year and a half or so, so much so that I often have a hard time playing other basses that aren't set up in a very similar fashion.
    The way I have all my basses currently set up is:
    1. Light strings (40-60-80-100-120) with a .28 C on my six-string and a .130 on my Bongo because it has a shorter scale length than my other basses.
    2. Very low action ( I go to the point where it cause little to no fretbuzz, but any lower and it would buzz quite a bit)
    3. Neck with very little relief- again, to where if it were adjusted any lower there would probably be buzzing on the first five frets. My fretless is almost completely straight.
    4. Radiused playing ramp with about a credit card's distance between the strings and the ramp at the front of the ramp.

    Playing a bass fingerstyle without a ramp is now difficult for me to do. I can very often feel the difference between a .40 and .45 G string when I pick up another bass, and it's not comfortable. It's gotten to where I often don't even feel like trying out other people's basses or in particular basses in stores (as they usually have bad setups to begin with) unless something really catches my eye.

    Its a bit of a double-edged sword, as I feel extremely comfortable on all of my own instruments, and my GAS has become greatly reduced because I'm no longer looking for basses with playability to my liking like I used to. The other side of the coin is that I often sound like I'm fumbling when I try out a bass not setup to my liking, and if a situation ever arose where I had to gig with someone else's bass, I'd be in pretty bad shape.
     
  2. FreedomGundam

    FreedomGundam

    Aug 26, 2005
    I feel like of sad that my bass hasn't gotten a good setup though when I had the people at Suberan look at it they said just needs a little setup if that..Other than that I do take care my bass best of my ability.

    I don't really like giving people my bass unless I know they are expereinced and will treat it well when they set it up. I had my acoustic bass setup. Well...it didn't go well, but of course my Acoustic Johnson bass was only like 150 dollars witht he case. But still.. Strings don't look that well strung and if I tried to take tehm off it is really freakin hard try to put the strings back on.
     
  3. Time Divider

    Time Divider Guest

    Apr 7, 2005
    I'd venture to say that if you're NOT spoiled by your setup, you're not really serious about playing.
     
  4. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    I'm not really sure that I understood all of that...but you can learn to do your own setups so that you don't have to bring your bass to a shop to have it done. It took me forever (particularly when it came to fine tuning the truss rod), but I feel very capable of doing my own setups now.
     
  5. Figjam

    Figjam

    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    This is my thread for sure. My sterling is set up perfectly for me, the action is like 1.5 milimetes are 12th fret, and ive never played a bass that felt so nice.
     
  6. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    I'll have to try it in NY in three weeks. Just make sure to put a ramp on it first ;) :D
     
  7. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    I always thought I was serious. :bawl:

    I am not too picky about setup. It obviously has to be in tune, have correct intonation, no serious fret problems.

    I *prefer* a medium setup ala the Fender setup guide. But as long as the bass is playable, I will play it.
     
  8. lbanks

    lbanks

    Jul 17, 2003
    Ennui, IN USA
    +1
    I like a higher setup, but anything will do...
     
  9. Time Divider

    Time Divider Guest

    Apr 7, 2005
    Well, then I'd say you're spoiled by a decent setup. Sounds to me like the only thing you're not too picky about is string height. Nuthin' wrong with that. Keeps the world of possibilities open.
     
  10. Figjam

    Figjam

    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    You and your ramps ;) I should put new strings on it before the GTG. I use DR lo riders, SS, on it.
     
  11. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    OT but where would you put a ramp on a P bass :confused: Between the neck and the pickups?
     
  12. Audiophage

    Audiophage

    Jan 9, 2005
    I set up my bass having higher action than most, so sometimes I'll play a little too hard on some basses, but I can get used to it pretty quickly.
     
  13. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    That's a tough one...between the neck and pickups would work, but it may be a problem to put it there if you slap a lot. Gary Willis' ramps go from the one pickup up to the neck, but he almost never slaps.
     
  14. jeffhigh

    jeffhigh

    May 16, 2005
    I like my nuts low!




    On both basses and guitars.
    very rarely have I come across one new or used that has the nut slots at the correct depth. That and low but perceptable neck relief are the most important to me.
    Oh and level frets,
    and proper bridge height,
    and
    and,
    well yes I rarely come across a guitar or bass that is really a pleasure to play setup wise but I can play all sorts of neck thickness and widths
    Jeff
     
  15. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    Thanks, that's what I thought. I am used to seeing them "between" pickups.
     
  16. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    It drives me absolutely nuts to play a bass that doesn't have the intonation set correctly. Other than that, I have no real issues.

    I have been setting up basses for going on 20 years now. It been at least 15 since I got paid to do it, but I have always loved playing my own setups. I think I do a good job. I think the best judge is that most bass players who play my bass ask me to set up theirs.
     
  17. Brendan

    Brendan

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Yep. I prefer something in the medium range, but I figure if my technique is such that a change in setup screws me, I'm probably not much of a player.

    I have no real problem adapting to other peoples setup, from the sickeningly low, to the skyscrapers.
     
  18. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    :crying:
     
  19. Brendan

    Brendan

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Well, one of us is screwed here. Either I'm not serious about my playing because I'm not spoiled by my setup, or you're not much of a player because you are.

    Rock and a hard place, eh? I suggest we start flipping quarters for punches, man.
     
  20. JAL

    JAL

    Dec 15, 2004
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Yup. Guilty. My fretless's action is so low it can barely be called action, and my fretted is a low as possible for good tapping. However, im more spoiled by string tension then anything!!! Use TI Jazz Flats on my fretless, and when i switch to my fretted i need about 10 minutes to get used to the added tension!!! (side note-i have been told my fretless is unplayable because of the strings!!!)