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Measuring action & relief

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by tbone0813, Dec 30, 2005.

  1. tbone0813

    tbone0813 The faithless say farewell when the road darkens.

    Aug 6, 2005
    Grand Prairie, TX.
    What does everyone measure their relief & action with? I've seen some tools at stewmac.com that seem to be very helpful in setting up your basses action & relief. I seem to struggle with getting my action even, and was curious as to how everyone else gauges their setups. :eyebrow:
  2. Digital1955


    Jul 27, 2005
  3. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    I do it by feel.
  4. tbone0813

    tbone0813 The faithless say farewell when the road darkens.

    Aug 6, 2005
    Grand Prairie, TX.
    Do you typically set your action to the same radius as your fretboard?
  5. Blues Cat

    Blues Cat Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 28, 2005
    Katy, Tx
    Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner
    I do it by feel too, then use the StewMac String Guage to find out what I like. My action starts @ a 2/32 G - 3/32 B.
  6. fretlessrock

    fretlessrock Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2002
    The StewMac action gauge, the rectangular one, is really useul, as are the radius gauges. Feeler gauges are good when you have tight measurements like at the nut, or shallow relief. I do most of mine by feel, but measurements are great for documenting a good setup. It is a lot easier to get back to a known setup if you have measurements.

    You can go nuts with gauges and tools, but unless you are doing repairs you can get away with only a few basic ones.
  7. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    For action, I use a 6" steel ruler. From the top of the 12th fret to the bottom of the string, the measurement should be 3/32" for me. Then I lower the G string and raise the B by 1/64" each.

    For relief (which should be set before the action) I press the A string at the first fret, press the strings with my right elbow at the 24th fret and gently tap the A string with my right hand around the 7th fret. It should move down just a tiny bit.