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My First Setup-a little help please

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by baddarryl, Apr 8, 2009.


  1. baddarryl

    baddarryl Supporting Member

    Oct 26, 2008
    Cape Fear!
    Hi All. I got this Peavey as shown in this other thread: http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=531168

    I have been doing some reading and seen tutorials about setup and was wondering if this bass had a 'neck tilt' adjustment screw. I don't know if it needs tilt adjustment yet but if it did and it didn't actually have a screw what is the best to wedge in there? Matchbook? Etc etc. Before I even get to that, what is the ideal 'tilt' to be set at anyway? Is there a way to measure or check this before I start adjusting the truss rod? Thank you.

    I read about the 'neck tilt' here: http://www.geocities.com/Hollywood/6203/page33.html
     
  2. JohNLA

    JohNLA

    Feb 18, 2009
    Here is how I set mine up and I am not a luthier. That said, hopefully if I say anything to stupid a real luthier will step in.
    I got my Foundation with a good bow in the neck and way high action.

    I adjusted the truss rod to straighten the neck. To make sure I got it good and straight, I did so with it off the body.
    Re-string, tune and adjust intonation. Checked for bowing and it was still straight so I have not had to adjust the truss rod again.

    Adjust bridge saddle height to get the action low. Do this until you get fret buzz and then back up a bit.

    Loosen strings and 4 neck blots.

    The 'neck tilt' adjustment screw should be a hole on the neck connection plate for a small allen wrench. Turn it until the neck starts to rise. A small adjustment goes a long ways.

    Re-screw the 4 neck bolts and tune and adjust saddle height.
    Good Luck:)
     
  3. lethargytartare

    lethargytartare

    Sep 7, 2004
    Chicago
    My advice, start with simple principles, and build on them as needed.

    Neck tilt: First, neck pitch and neck relief have nothing to do with each other. Second, only worry about the pitch of your neck if your bridge saddles are bottomed out (that is, as low as they can go), and your action is still too high for your liking. In that case, adjust pitch.

    To adjust the pitch, do as johnla said -- loosen neck screws, adjust the nut a small amount. If your neck does NOT have a screw adjustment, you shim the neck -- use pretty much any very thin material. I use fine sandpaper; things I've FOUND in my guitar and bass neck pockets include guitar pics, matchbook covers, wood, stickers, electrical tape, unidentifiable stuff...I make a strip that's about 80% of the width of the neck pocket, and about 1/8th - 1/4th of an inch wide, and put that either just behind or just in front of the furthest back neck screws (those closest to the pickups). Tighten everything up, check action, repeat as necessary.

    When you reinstall the neck screws, be very careful to get them back into their original grooves so you don't progressively strip out the neck holes (read around these forums for info on that).

    Other setup notes
    -- a TON of info is on these boards -- read up like crazy and you'll get tons of pointers, advice, approaches to problems, etc.
    -- a perfectly flat fretboard is not always the right result and is not always possible -- some folks like more relief than others. so view that as a process where you try to get it to a position you like when you play it.
    -- you should only have to take the neck off the body to adjust the truss if the truss nut is at the heel (if for no other reason than to spare the mounting holes unnecessary wear)
    -- when adjusting the saddle heights, set them to match the radius of your fretboard -- so the middle two strings should end up a bit higher than the outer two

    Good luck! Post your results!

    ltt
     

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