I Need A Set Up Should I Do It Now Or Wait For Humidity And Temps To Rise?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by PJ Bassthumper, Apr 9, 2022.

  1. This might be a silly question but I'll ask anyways since I'm genuinely curious about how humidity and temperature affects a set up.
    So I bought a new bass this past August. It was a Sterling Ray SS with a maple neck. Now the setup from the store was actually really good and nothing needed to be done to the bass when I bought it, I was pleasantly surprised by that. The bass played really well until winter hit. I live in Canada and it gets really cold and the humidity is really low. In the summer temps are between 75F to 85F with insanely high humidity. Anyways around January I noticed the action getting really low towards the nut and high from around the 16th fret onwards. Now when I play on the first or second fret of the G string I get no note at all it just gives the sound of the pick or finger and dies quickly. It only does this on the G string though I do get a lot of fret buzz on all other strings between 1st and 5th fret. So obviously I need a set up. I get one free setup with the purchase of my bass but I need to use it with in a year from date of purchase. I have two other basses that are fine that I can use. So my question is this. Do I do a setup now while we are transitioning from winter to summer or should I wait until summer where humidity and temps will be much higher?
  2. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician
    I would say wait until the humidity rises. That usually corresponds to a rise in temperature, the more important part of that being that your furnace is not coming on. As your furnace heats the house, the relative humidity drops. So once the furnace is not active, the humidity will be increasing in your house. Give it a couple of weeks for the wood in your neck to adapt to the higher humidity and then get it set up. It should be good then until the furnace comes on again regularly in the autumn.
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  3. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
    I say cash in your free one now, and in the interim afterwards, learn how to do it yourself.

    You can thank me later.
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  4. James Collins

    James Collins Guest

    Mar 25, 2017
    Normally you just need to adjust your truss rod if you liked the setup before.
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  5. Thanks Turnaround. That was my line of thinking as well. I see your in Toronto, do you think by May long weekend it would be good or should I wait to end of June beginning of July?
  6. You are right it is something I should learn to do myself having said that I'm really the most un handy person alive. I'm that guy, if it can go wrong it will. I've seen video's on how to do a set up, it looks east enough but I'm really nervous about screwing things up.
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  7. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
    I think almost all of us have been 'that guy'.

    Baby steps... watch the Carruther's videos, in order... more than once, if you have to. Note your questions, and bring them back here. They'll get answered, for sure. Once you're comfortable in what you're trying to accomplish, hit it.

    Nothing like saving money doing something yourself, but the satisfaction in adjusting the instrument to your liking is priceless.
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  8. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician
    You should be good by mid to late May.
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  9. ThomasTronics


    Nov 21, 2011
    I live not to far from you.
    Do you setup now. From there you should only be doing small micro adjustments to the truss rod.
    I have the same problem as you with unfinished necks and alls it takes is a 1/8 of turn right or loose depending on the change.
    Don't wait because those humidity changes are constant and year round and every 3 months i need to get the truss rod tool, small little micro turn.
    Does it really matter if its may? Sept? Nov? The bass dont know but it needs to know the changes are real
    Do a proper setup and learn to adjust your neck when needed, not too much else to it and don't over think it
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  10. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Gold Supporting Member

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  11. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician
    I tend to agree with this if you are up to doing your own truss rod adjustments. I do mine whenever it needs it, sometimes that's weekly to keep them in the sweet spot I like. But if you are reticent to make truss rod adjustments, way till mid May so you don't have to pay a tech twice before next winter.
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  12. testing1two

    testing1two Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2009
    Southern California
    One compelling reason to get your setup while its still dry is if you have sharp fret ends/fret sprout. That's typically a sign of the fingerboard shrinking due to low humidity. The up side is that once you dress those fret ends with the fingerboard in its shrunken state, they should be fine year-round from then on.
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