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If I put a new set of strings on, the action stay the same?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Gorn, Jul 30, 2012.

  1. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    I bought a used P-bass with very, very old strings but it came with the action is exactly where I want it. If I put on a new set of strings, will the action stay the same or will I need to adjust it?
  2. PlungerModerno


    Apr 12, 2012
    Almost certainly not - you'll need to tweak it. If you had an old set of a certain type of string, and replace it with a new set - same type, same gauge... you'd probably feel a subtle difference.

    If you change gauge or string type you'll probably have to adjust a few things... follow a guide here or on a site... It's pretty easy to figure out.
  3. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    Would it be much farther off? The action now is as low as it can possibly be without fretbuzz. I woudn't mind it a drop higher. I really want to change the strings and could deal with slightly higher action but I'm not really confident in my ability to adjust it myself.
  4. mdogs

    mdogs Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2010
    Constant state of flux
    It is impossible to say what the effect is going to be, you need to change the strings and see. Every bass is different, welcome to the real world...
  5. PlungerModerno


    Apr 12, 2012
    Don't sweat it... What type of bass is it? you can go into detail if you have any queries about setting up a bass. To be honest it's not much harder than changing strings. If it's a decent P bass copy (or real P of course) it should have a working, stable neck.

    Unfortunately with used instruments there can be unknown horrors... Have you checked the truss rod? The bass may work for now but you will need to adjust the truss rod eventually, might as well learn now! :D
    If you search online you can probably dig up some setup specs (or this very forum has loads of step by step guides). It's as simple as checking the truss rod (be careful to check if it's metric or imperial... ) with the correct tool, then switching strings one at a time, then setting saddle height (radius) then relief, then intonation... then check them all again. I am careful with each step so it takes me the bulk of an hour. I'm a bit of a noob but I haven't messed anything up yet!

    +1,000. If you have an incredibly stable necked bass you may not need any adjustment... bar intonation.
  6. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    Ugh, it's all so intimating!! I'm very much a noob. It's a Fender MIM p-bass (2002 I think). You can learn to do just about anything on youtube these days, but I love this bass and I'd be mortified if anything happened to it/ It all seems fine but the strings I think are as old as the bass.
  7. Winfred


    Oct 21, 2011
    Even if you take the old strings off, clean'em, and put them back on, you'll notice a slight difference in feel.

    You can either change them, clean them, or leave them on forever and just wipe them off as best you can.

    You'll be fine dude. A Precision is a tough mother. She can handle a string change. You'll get used to it too. :)
  8. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    I came across this bass, sitting there used and lonely. Plugged it in and i loved everything about it. And I'm a short-scale, hollow body kinda guy but this thing just spoke to me. The strings are filthy though.
  9. guroove


    Oct 13, 2009
    Buffalo, NY
    If you get the same gauge and tension strings as what's on there, there won't be any change. Just change the strings, and if the action changes, look up how to adjust the string height. If you can't figure it out from a tutorial or a video, take it to a professional.
  10. PlungerModerno


    Apr 12, 2012
    Maybe... but probably not, old strings feel different to new ones (more flexible). (EDIT: It's the newer ones that feel a little more flexible)

    You can figure it out, If you are willing to part with the cash you can of course take it to a pro... I'd strongly recommend learning to setup your instrument yourself for a few reasons: (a) save a little dosh
    (b) learn to figure out when and why it's 'off' and how to fix it
    (c) be able to fix minor issues when they arise (the tech mightn't be to hand in your hour of need :crying:
    (d) It doesn't take long, and it's like winfred says... the bass should be able to take this, and you playing it for at least 20 years (with some TLC of course).

    Don't fret*. watch some vids, here's an entertaining resource I used to develop an understanding: http://www.youtube.com/user/davey4557

    There are also great guides to read: http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f18/all-basic-setup-questions-answered-here-125382/
    and http://www.tunemybass.com/bass_setup/
    and http://www.fender.com/en-IE/support/articles/bass-guitar-setup-guide/
    and http://www.bassplaying.com/diy-bass-setup-guide

    You'll be fine. I was. Imagine how people managed before the internets???? :eek:

    Enjoy your bass, and the new string 'twang' when you get them on.

    *Mmmmm Puns.
  11. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    Much appreciated. I guess I'll put my testicles back on and do it myself.
  12. PlungerModerno


    Apr 12, 2012
    Well only if you want to... You are responsible for your gear, and your knowledge of it. You're very welcome.

    P.S. don't attempt to re-attach them by yourself. Get a proper surgeon. If there's one thing not to be cheap on it's a surgeon. :eek: :D
  13. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    If you feel the strings need to be changed, then change them. Will there be a difference in the "action"? Maybe, maybe not. If there is a change will it be for the better? Maybe, maybe not. Will the difference be noticeable? Maybe ... you get the picture.

    Change the strings. Keep the old ones. Once the new strings are on and properly tuned you can then decide if the action is significantly different and if that's OK. If not, you can always put the old strings back on while you decide what to do. And one thing you can do in either case is learn to do the basic adjustments yourself. If you like the action the way it is, measure it. Then you can always put the action back to those exacts measurements regardless of the strings you choose to put on the bass. You won't hurt anything as long as you don't force anything.

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