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My double bass arrives tomorrow and I have to set it up. Any advice?

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by J_Bass, Nov 12, 2018.


  1. J_Bass

    J_Bass

    Feb 7, 2008
    Porto, Portugal
    Hello guys.

    My double bass arrives tomorrow and it comes with the bridge loose and I don't know if the strings are on the bass or not.

    Also I don't know if the tail piece is also loose or not.


    Any advice on how to set it up?

    I was thinking of putting que stock strings myself and let the local luthier install the new Spirocores. I want to do a professional set up, but I don't want to wait until that to play the bass.


    Thank you for the help.
     
  2. Carl Hillman

    Carl Hillman

    Jan 1, 2010
    If the bridge is loose, there's a good chance that the soundpost is rolling around inside the bass.
    It is inadvisable to put tension on the top without the soundpost in its correct position.

    I know this isn't what you want to hear, but wait and let your guy set it up for you.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2018
    Dabndug, lurk and J_Bass like this.
  3. J_Bass

    J_Bass

    Feb 7, 2008
    Porto, Portugal
    Thank you for the valuable advice.

    If the sound post is vertical, can I put the strings?
     
  4. If the bridge was fitted to the curvature of the top too, then yes.
    If the bridge is a blank and not set up got his bass (feet thick, strings too high when bridge is mounted with very low tension on the strings), then bring it to the luthier.
     
    Phil Rowan likes this.
  5. Carl Hillman

    Carl Hillman

    Jan 1, 2010
    If it is in the right place to support the tension, then sure. (The "right place" generally would be on the G string side of the bass, and within a few centimeters of where the foot of the bridge rests.)

    Here's basic information if you really want to try to do it. But, just to let you know, there's an art to getting all the different parts in their places working together. You may get the strings on and sound out of the bass, but don't get discouraged if it doesn't sound good.

    Things to Know About the Bridge on Your Upright Bass
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2018
    J_Bass likes this.
  6. Um...one to one and a half soundpost diameters from the edge of the bridge foot should be plenty.
     
    J_Bass likes this.
  7. Not assuming it applies here, but for the sake of other readers at least, my Englehardt shipped by truck, standing vertical in a purpose-built cardboard box, with soundpost in place and strings on, but with a cardboard riser in place of the bridge. The bridge was wrapped and trapped flat under the tailpiece, also wrapped. There was enough tension on the strings over the spacer to keep the post in place, with the strings set to either side of the fingerboard for travel.

    From a manufacturer the first position for a post will always be a rough standard, and a good setup has to include some attention to post position relative to string choice and playing style.
     
    Chris Fitzgerald and J_Bass like this.
  8. J_Bass

    J_Bass

    Feb 7, 2008
    Porto, Portugal
    Thank you, guys. Let's see how the bass arrives, I know it comes in its own crate.
     
  9. J_Bass

    J_Bass

    Feb 7, 2008
    Porto, Portugal
    It arrived!

    Like @Steven Ayres said, it arrived in a Cardboard box, with air pads and more cardboard.

    The sound post looked in place and the strings were already on it, with the bridge under the tailpiece.

    Thanks again for all your great advices, it really helped!

    Here are some pics:

    IMG_20181113_110308.

    IMG_20181113_095912.

    IMG_20181113_100150.

    IMG_20181113_100127.

    IMG_20181113_105548.

    IMG_20181113_104107.


    I put some graphite on the the grooves of the the strings, on the bridge, as I read here some days ago.

    In some pictures it looks like the paint is full of cracks but it's just reflection.

    The sound looks very good (to me and comparing with my 1/2 rental) for now. I will take it to a Luthier to install an adjustable bridge, Spirocore strings and do any other setup that is needed.

    The string height is 0.9mm on the E and 0.7mm on the G.
     
    Acoop, geoffbassist and Reiska like this.
  10. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Congratulations! You must have been losing your mind hoping it would arrive in one piece.
     
    J_Bass likes this.
  11. J_Bass

    J_Bass

    Feb 7, 2008
    Porto, Portugal
    No doubt, Chris! Even worse when I saw some tear on the outer box. But everything was ok.
     
  12. dhergert

    dhergert Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2018
    Blue Zone, California
    Yes, a huge congratulations!!! It must be very exciting there now!

    What delivery company delivered it? I've often wondered who delivers big packages like that from Asia to Europe.

    Edit: Just guessing it is from Asia, please correct me if I'm wrong there.
     
    J_Bass likes this.
  13. J_Bass

    J_Bass

    Feb 7, 2008
    Porto, Portugal
    It's from Thomann, the bass is the Thomann 33. It's made in Romania, by Hora.

    I got a call from the company responsible for the delivery. The instrument comes in its own package. It was delivered by Kuhne + Nagel.


    Yes, thank you! It's a huge difference from the 1/2 sized rental bass.

    This one sounds like a real double bass, much more powerful. I can only imagine what a serious vintage bass like the ones I see here must feel like. Wonderful instruments.
     
    dhergert and CaseyVancouver like this.
  14. J_Bass

    J_Bass

    Feb 7, 2008
    Porto, Portugal
    The rest of the package arrived.

    Hercules stand and Spirocore strings. Did I mess something up?

    IMG_20181115_000358.

    IMG_20181115_000405.

    IMG_20181115_000449.

    IMG_20181115_000423.
     
  15. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Looks in order to me. All you need are some adjusters (some will argue that you don't even need these) and you should be good to go.
     
    J_Bass likes this.
  16. Steve Boisen

    Steve Boisen Your first second choice™ Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Tampa Bay, FL
    I have nothing against adjusters, but I never felt I needed them on my laminated Kay bass. I rarely touch them on my current basses, but where I live the humidity is pretty constant.

    - Steve
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2018
  17. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Don't know about the OP's locale, but here in the midwest the humidity is all over the place. I'd be in trouble without them.
     
  18. J_Bass

    J_Bass

    Feb 7, 2008
    Porto, Portugal
    You mean bridge adjusters? Yes I bought it, but the bridge with it came uncarved. I will wait until next week to see what my teacher thinks of the instrument and how it is set up, to take it to the Luthier.
     
    geoffbassist likes this.
  19. Hey J_Bass, very nice! The strings look neat and straight in the pegbox and the bridge seems to be in proper place and in 90 degree angle to the top as far as can be seen from the pics. Good work.
    You might do all right for a while without the adjusters, if the bass feels comfortable to play and there’s no buzz in any position of the fingerboard.
    When taking the bass to your luthier for the assembly of the new bridge with adjusters, you might want him to check the soundpost at the same time, and also check the nut, so that the strings are not too high at the nut end of the fingerboard.
    Other than that, the bass looks nice and ready to rock, congrats! Have fun!
     
    Chris Fitzgerald and J_Bass like this.
  20. J_Bass

    J_Bass

    Feb 7, 2008
    Porto, Portugal
    Thank you!
     
    arto alho likes this.

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