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Lowering Action?

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by Mousing, Oct 15, 2001.


  1. Mousing

    Mousing

    Jun 14, 2000
    Hiya.
    Is there an easy or inexpensive way to lower the action on a bass? I have bridge adjusters but they're all the way down.
    Any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks in advance,
    - James.
     
  2. jimclark68

    jimclark68

    Dec 16, 2000
    Morganton, NC
    If you don't have far to go, you can use needle files to lower the action slightly, then sand the top of the bridge to even things up. I'm new to the double bass, but I've been working with my action quite a bit to find the right height for me, and I've had good luck with the needle files.
     
  3. Tim Ludlam

    Tim Ludlam

    Dec 19, 1999
    Carmel, IN
    James:

    Don't you have a credible bass luthier somewhere near you? I just think that fiddling with your bridge (e.g.,lowering your action) is loaded with potentially bad outcomes. Have your bass professionally set-up.
     
  4. As soon as you start filing down bridge grooves, you're risking screwing up the bow angles, rendering the bridge useless. I think it's a bad idea.
     
  5. erik II

    erik II

    Jul 11, 2000
    Oslo, Norway
    Dr. Moderatus Higdon, doesn't this belong in Setup? :)

    James, it is always best to have a luthier do the work on your bass. But that will not be the most inexpensive way. If you are a just a little bit technically inclined, and have access to the right tools, it is IMO quite safe to do this kind of mechanical work yourself.

    If you are satisfied with string positions and bridge curvature, you should leave it as it is, and rather shave some wood off the bridge feet. See this thread:

    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?threadid=23781
     
  6. As soon as you start filing down bridge grooves, you're risking screwing up the bow angles, rendering the bridge useless. I think it's a bad idea.
     
  7. Tim Ludlam

    Tim Ludlam

    Dec 19, 1999
    Carmel, IN
    James:

    Don't you have a credible bass luthier somewhere near you? I just think that fiddling with your bridge (e.g.,lowering your action) is loaded with potentially bad outcomes. Have your bass professionally set-up.
     
  8. Mousing

    Mousing

    Jun 14, 2000
    Hiya.
    Is there an easy or inexpensive way to lower the action on a bass? I have bridge adjusters but they're all the way down.
    Any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks in advance,
    - James.
     
  9. erik II

    erik II

    Jul 11, 2000
    Oslo, Norway
    Dr. Moderatus Higdon, doesn't this belong in Setup? :)

    James, it is always best to have a luthier do the work on your bass. But that will not be the most inexpensive way. If you are a just a little bit technically inclined, and have access to the right tools, it is IMO quite safe to do this kind of mechanical work yourself.

    If you are satisfied with string positions and bridge curvature, you should leave it as it is, and rather shave some wood off the bridge feet. See this thread:

    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?threadid=23781
     
  10. jimclark68

    jimclark68

    Dec 16, 2000
    Morganton, NC
    If you don't have far to go, you can use needle files to lower the action slightly, then sand the top of the bridge to even things up. I'm new to the double bass, but I've been working with my action quite a bit to find the right height for me, and I've had good luck with the needle files.
     
  11. Zap.
     
  12. jimclark68

    jimclark68

    Dec 16, 2000
    Morganton, NC
    Well, I should clarify my first reply with my situation. I starting tearing into my bridge with a couple of things in mind: 1) I am a DB beginner hack who plays very simple Appalachian folk music, not to be confused with the very fine and accomplished bassists at this site who have greater needs from their basses than me, and 2) I am going to have a luthier work on my new DB once the holidays have passed, so I didn't mind learning a little on my own knowing that the bridge was most likely going to need adjusting anyway. The DB is just a hobby for me at this point. But, I was a jazz major for a while in a past life, and I always had a pro work on my sax.
     
  13. I'm sure your luthier won't mind you "having a go" yourself - after all, your money is as good as anyone elses, and you'll most probably learn something from the exercise, even if it's only that you really need a good luthier to do good work on a Double-Bass.

    Puts me in mind of a notice at my local car-mechanic's workshop:

    Our Rates:

    $60/hour, to work on your car;

    $90/hour if you watch;

    $120/hour if you help...

    ;>

    - Wil
     
  14. Martin Sheridan

    Martin Sheridan

    Jan 4, 2001
    Fort Madison, Iowa
    Bass Maker
    Most shops won't charge that much to lower the height of the bridge.
    However, your problem could be one or more of the following: bridge height, too much curve in the fingerboard, strings coming off the nut too high, or one or all of the preceding.
     
  15. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Good point.