Is my new bass setup acceptable?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Harvey Charper, Nov 4, 2019.

  1. Harvey Charper

    Harvey Charper

    Nov 4, 2019
    Hi everyone! I'm new here, and my English is really bad, but i will try! I have a new bass guitar (FGN Mighty Power J Standard). My strings are D'Addario Nickel Wound 45 105. I play using pick with medium to hard attack. I don't play live, but i work a lot in the studio. I play mostly rock music and i try to recreate sort of Duff McKagan sound, Foo Fighters etc. I did setup my bass this way: my neck relief is 0,4mm (capo on a 1st fret and finger on 17th fret, distance from top of the 7th fret and a string). My action is 4 string - 3mm, 3 string - 3 mm, 2 string - 2,9mm, 1 string - 2,4mm (form top of the 17th fret to string). I'm satisfied with this setup, but not sure if is it right. So the question is it not to high? here is the audio file me playing Welcome To The jungle and some buzzing notes in the end with hard atack.

    Attached Files:

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  2. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    You are satisfied. That is what is important.
  3. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    if you like playing with your current setup, it's right. any setup that allows you to play so it feels right and lets you get your sound is right.

    because there is no one "right" setup - heck, i don't use the same setup on all my basses. i prefer VERY low action and play fingerstyle. what's right for me wouldn't be right for someone who plays with a pick. and when i play punk and metal, my action wasn't as low, because i use lots of attack and i don't want to buzz like mad. heck, i prefer a different setup for different basses and sometimes for different types of strings.

    note: unless over time your high action hurts your wrist/s or hands, in which case, lower the action or use lighter strings.
  4. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    Numbers don't matter. Does it feel and sound right to you?
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  5. CallMeAl


    Dec 2, 2016
    Ithaca Ny
    Sounds great. Nice articulation! I hear those buzzes at the end, but they would be masked in a band setting. Like the others said, if it feels good I’d let it be
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  6. Vinny_G


    Dec 1, 2011
    Your setting is not bad, it may just not meet your needs completely.

    In my experience, the notes buzzing after the 12th fret are often the result of too much relief. Normally, with an action like this, you shouldn't have this problem. Try to aim at a relief of 0.35 mm (.014"), putting the strings at the same height, and without forgetting to correct the intonation. If you feel that's harder to play than before, it means that you could probably lower your action a bit.

    If these buzzing notes don't bother you and you're comfortable playing, then do not touch anything. :thumbsup:
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  7. Harvey Charper

    Harvey Charper

    Nov 4, 2019
    Thank you all for your help! Now i'm more confident with this. Great community here!
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  8. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician
    This is a common misconception. Relief is controlled by the truss rod, but the truss rod has no effect past the 12th fret. So buzzing past the 12th fret is a consequence of saddles being too low, a ski jump condition, uneven frets or a combination of those elements. If you to deal those conditions and work back from there you may find that you could remove some relief. But it was not the relief causing the problem in the first place.
    Vinny_G, Samatza and Slater like this.
  9. Samatza


    Apr 15, 2019
    Relief and saddle height go hand in hand. If you play hard you need higher action and more relief in general.
    If you have a lot of relief and try to compensate by lowering the saddles you’ll get fret buzz beyond the 12th fret.
    This is why it’s important to understand your playing style and requirements.
    Relief then saddle height then intonation, don’t use the truss rod to adjust the action, use it to set the relief for your playing style. Softer touch, less relief, harder touch more relief.
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  10. Vinny_G


    Dec 1, 2011
    You are partly right. I should have added "with a pretty low action". That said, in my experience, the truss rod can have an influence beyond the 12th fret. With a bolt-on neck on a Fender type bass, it can go until the neck joins the body, near the 15th fret.

    For example, on the instrument I currently play, the notes begin to buzz on all the strings from the 13th fret as soon as I exceed 0.016 of relief (Carruthers method). The problem disappears as soon as I come back below 0.014. But it's because, indeed, I'm aiming for a low action. It's obvious that with a higher action, you avoid this drawback. So, yes it can be the relief causing the problem, in some cases.
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