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New bass owner looking for help on setup

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Crube, Mar 19, 2005.

  1. Crube


    Mar 19, 2005
    Hi everyone, I'm a guitar player but recently I purchased a Washburn XB100 Bantam Series Bass for recording and messing around on. I've had it a few weeks and thought the setup was pretty nice, so no worries there. That is until I attempted to change strings today. All I did was take the old strings off, didn't adjust anything on the bridge etc. When I went to put the new strings on the whole action seemed to have changed(they are the same gauge strings I took off) with buzzing on bunch of the frets, making it unplayable. I've read a couple of articles on adjusting the action and went ahead and heightened the saddles, but all this has done is make the action extremely high on the high up frets.

    Sorry if I sound nieve here but like I say I am a new bass owner - there are 3 screws right above the fretboard on the headstock, is this the equivalent of the truss rod? Should I adjust these screws? Here's a pic of what my bass looks like if that helps:-


    I'm finding this quite frustrating a I just want a reasonably low, even action with no buzzing. I'm hoping you guys can help me out. :)
  2. 6-3-2


    Sep 20, 2003
    I believe the 3 screw you speak off hold down the truss rod cover. That's about all the advice I can give, I still haven't gotten my action right.
  3. Corbis

    Corbis Guest

    Feb 19, 2003
    Wamego KS
    Yeah the 3 on top are for the truss rod cover. It would prolly be easier if you took off your strings or loosened them a bunch so you could get to the cover. After you get that off you should beable to adjust the truss rod.

    Do you have an allen wrench? You'll need one if you're going to mess with the truss rod. You can pick up one up at any hardware store.
  4. Quality


    May 7, 2003
    Long Beach, CA
    yeah, you might just need a truss rod adjustment.
    Try this...Fret the 1st and 9th frets and see if there is any relief in the neck (space between the string and the 5th and 7th frets). there should be a slight bow to the neck here. If the strings are tight down to the neck than the truss rod is probably too tight and no matter how much you raise the saddles, you will get buzz.
    Also depends on your playing style how you set it. Be sure to only adjust in small increments (1/8 turn or so at a time) and re-tune and check.
    I've found it's easier to adjust from a loose condition and not a tight condition though.
  5. Crube


    Mar 19, 2005
    Thanks for your replies, I really appreciate it. I'll give this all a try tomorrow. :)
  6. Crube


    Mar 19, 2005

    Thanks, much appreciated :) Is this a common thing when changing strings that the neck will pull flatter? I don't wanna have to go through this every time I change strings. I couldn't believe the difference - I took off the old strings and just 2 minutes later when attempting to put the new ones on it was like a different bass - an unplayable one :confused: I hope this won't happen every time.
  7. Crube


    Mar 19, 2005
    Thanks again Joshua, you guys on here are very helpful :) Was really busy today so haven't had a chance to even get the bass out but tomorrow I'll be hard at work on it. Hopefully by this time tomorrow I'll have the setup just right.
  8. Crube


    Mar 19, 2005
    OK I took the truss rod cover off but when I put the allen wrench in there it didn't wanna budge. I am really cautious when it comes to this stuff so I decided I'd leave it alone, put the new strings on and experiment with the saddles. Joshua - what you said about only replacing one string at a times is very true in my case, I think the difference in action was definetely a direct result of taking ALL the strings off at once which had an affect on the relief. After experimenting for a couple of hours today I have got the action to be pretty satisfactory, with no buzzes at all. It's still slightly too high for my taste after the 12th fret but I can adjust to this pretty easily, and anyway, my playing style means I rarely go past the 12th fret anyway.

    After all this I've decided the strings are slightly too light for my taste so I'm gonna get a higher guage and go through this whole process again when I restring it. I was frustrated a couple of days ago but I have to say this DIY setup thing is quite fun and rewarding. :)
  9. Crube


    Mar 19, 2005
    Thanks again Joshua, just ordered my new strings - hopefully they'll be here tomorrow and I can get to work on the action etc. I've learned so much over the last few days as a result of this site and simply experimenting. Being a new bass owner, the thought of messing with the setup was very intimidating and daunting for me a few days back. Now thanks to the awesome knowledge on show here I'm confident and at ease about it. Many thanks to you all, if I have any more problems this will be my first stop. :) :bassist: