New basses and string action

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Golem II, Aug 2, 2002.

  1. Golem II

    Golem II

    Jan 4, 2002
    Macon, GA, USA
    I guess this post might partly belong in the "setup" section, but it mostly regards buying a new bass so I figured it'd be more appropriate here.

    Is it just me, or does it seem like music stores never bother to set up their basses so their string action makes them remotely playable? For example, I just saw a Peavey Cirrus at a local store with noticeable fingernail scratch marks just above the G-string... apparently the action is so low that people come in and try to slap/pop it, and end up scratching the body when they pop. Do they not WANT to sell this bass, or what?

    Anyways, I'm thinking of getting rid of my Yamaha RBX 5-string and buying a more high-end 4 string... trouble is, I can't make a logical decision as to which company/model to buy because the Guitar Satan and other stores around here only set up the basses they really want to sell (which at this point seem to be limited to Ibanez, Zon and Musicman.) I remember playing a Lakland and a Fodera and finding that their strings were set so low that they were resting on the frets, making the basses crap out on every note. The Fodera (I think it was a Monarch) even had a muddy low B, which I had hoped wouldn't be a problem once you got above the realm of $500 basses that tack on a low B FoR aLL tEh 733t fIeLDY wannaBE's.

    I'm beginning to suspect that proper setup is more important than I've always thought, and that the reason I have found certain 4-strings much easier to play than my 5-string is simply because their strings aren't a mile high off the fretboard like mine are.
    So, while I'm gonna keep saving up for a high-end bass, what do you think? Would I have an easier time if I moved to 4 strings, or should I stick with 5 strings and devote more time to finding a decent luthier?