Just got my bass back from a setup job...wow!

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by BassGuyNL, Dec 7, 2000.

  1. BassGuyNL


    Jul 20, 2000
    The Netherlands
    Hopefully this will help answering many questions from relative beginners like me about set up, how much to spend, DIY versus luthier, etc.

    After playing for two years (Jazz, pizz only)on a decent, playable but shallow sounding bass, I decided to shop for a better one. I found one at Rene Zaal's shop, in Bemmel, The Netherlands, for 5000 guilders (about US$2000).
    After trying several basses in his shop, we (Rene, me and my bass teacher)concluded that the one he called me about would be the one: great volume, great sound, great lows, but setup adjusted for arco playing. Rene lowered the strings (Kunstler seilseiten, or something like that)and sent me on my way. However, the action was still too high for me and I found the strings very tight, compared to the Thomastik weichs on my other bass. Every time, after playing my brand new bass for 15 minutes, I went back to my old bass. It took a while before I could get myself to invest more money to get it right. In the end, I went back to the luthier, had the strings lowered, had the bridge made adjustable with wooden adjusters, replace the strings (brand new) with Thomastik weichs. Total costs: 500 guilders, so that's 10% of the bass' price.
    Now, this baby sounds and plays like a dream. The weichs make me feel right at home. I can actually play in thumb position, and produce that "mwaaahh" sound instead of the "plink plonk" sound of my old bass, and that even without enduring the pain I was getting used to on the side of my left thumb.

    The moral of this story and hopefully an answer to those questions of my fellow beginners:
    1. Yes, you do need to save up a certain amount of money before you start shopping
    2. Yes, yo do need to take your bassteacher with you
    3. and most importantly: Yes, it will take even more money to make your newly acquired bass perfect, but it will be worth it every $.

    Hope this helps,

    Anton Visser