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New strings are high!?!?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Gintaras, Jun 24, 2007.

  1. Gintaras


    Dec 11, 2004
    Kent Island, Md.
    I just bought a used Carvin AC40 and did not care for the Tapewounds. I had a set of barely used DR Stainless Flatwounds and wanted to try them. Liked them much more but the action is higher and I assume that these strings have more tension? I am typically use the Gary Willis online manual to adjust the relief. This time i do not have an adjustable bridge so I cannot lower the strings and use his method to check the relief. I am guessing that I need to loosen the truss rod to lower the string but not really sure. I did read the truss rod section but did not seem to find the answer. Can somebody point me in the right direction?
  2. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    Using the trussrod to adjust string height is almost exactly wrong. The trussrod is for adjusting relief, not string height. Measure the relief as outlined in the sticky at the top of this section. Then we can see if you need a truss rod adjustment or a bridge tweak.
  3. If you own a Carvin AC40, it's imperitive that you learn to adjust your trussrod....

    Easy to do on the Carvin, but absolutely essential...the thin mahogany neck require tweaking at least twice a year, and if you're changing strings....Oh yes, you need to adjust your trussrod...

    fortunately, on the AC40, the neck responds easily to a tweak here and there...

    BTW...I love the LaBella Tapewounds on my AC40, not for everyone, but I think they're a perfect match for the bass...
  4. Gintaras


    Dec 11, 2004
    Kent Island, Md.
    I held down the first fret and and below the last fret and then took a business card. It was tighter fit at the first 5 frets and became looser as I went towards the body. From what I read this means that I should loosen the truss rod??? Also to mention again that the strings were higher after I put on the new strings.

    You mention that the bridge might need to be adjusted. If so then it goes to the luthier since it is a non adjustable piezo bridge and I haven't reached the level of expertise to be filing down the saddle.
  5. Gintaras


    Dec 11, 2004
    Kent Island, Md.
    it seems that everyone loves the tapewounds on this bass but me!?!? Not that I completely disliked them but really like the sound of the DR flats that I just put on. I have just had this bass for 8 hours so there is still a lot for me to learn. I am looking forward to going to the weekly acoustic jam on tuesday and see how it sounds.
  6. Lorenzini


    Dec 31, 2004
    Los Angeles
    Just so you know, if the string is higher at the 12th fret, in other words, more than 1 business card fits...
    You need to TIGHTEN the truss rod.
  7. Gintaras


    Dec 11, 2004
    Kent Island, Md.
    I tightened the truss rod last nite and it was tighter fit at the middle of the neck then at the head. After sitting overnite the gap is even tighter but still has the same scenario that the center of the neck is tighter than at the head. Should I be loosening it?
  8. Gintaras


    Dec 11, 2004
    Kent Island, Md.
    I believe that you are right and that I have a backbow. It is tighter in the middle but looser up at the headstock when using a business card. It seems that I have tightened and caused a backbow. I just went to look at the bass and seems to have definitely settled into a backbow. I was under the impression that after changing strings that the tension was higher and caused my action to get higher. I believe that I need to loosen the the truss rod but will wait for a reply.

    Since this is non adjustable piezo bridge then a stop at my luthier's might be the next stop for some saddle shaving to lower the strings!?!?!?
  9. BTW...if you do need to lower the action, which you shouldn't...there's probably already a shim under the bridge saddle that you can take out...mine has one...

    if you need to raise the action, you can probably cut a strip from a business card or thin sheet of nylon and slip it under the bridge...

    the action on my AC40 is fairly low...about 3/32" at the 12th for the E string....compared to my Yamaha RBX170 its quite high, but I like the action there on this bass.

    also...very important....Carvin trussrods are two-way rods, that means, loosening them too far and you're actually forcing them to bow forward...
  10. Gintaras


    Dec 11, 2004
    Kent Island, Md.
    I have the bass settled down and everything seems to be working ok. I have gotten used to the action being a little on the high side for me but really not a problem. The neck relief seems to be fine know and the bass sounds great with the DR Stainless Flatwounds. I seem to be the only person that did not like the tapewounds on the AC40. Since this bass is new, I might revisit the tapewounds in the future after getting some time with the bass.
  11. Gus,

    If you like the flatwounds, stick with them...

    I'm glad you like your AC40...it's a very cool bass...you'll find it's very touch sensitive and you can really be quite expressive with it...

    hmmmm....I'll have to pull that bass out of it's case tonight and take it for a spin...(I haven't touched it in in nearly a month ;( )
  12. Gintaras


    Dec 11, 2004
    Kent Island, Md.
    Just got back from an acoustic jam and first time out for this bass. 3 guitarists and me. The tone of the bass was very nice an smooth. I can see why the posts on this bass keep mentioning this bass in a acoustic type setting. Also thanks for mentioning the possibility of a shim under the saddle. I would like to lower the action and see how it works.

  13. the other thing you can do is sand the bottom of the saddle down, to lower the height...

    get a piece of wet-dry sandpaper (240 grit, i'd say), fix it to a piece of plate glass with some carpet tape (double-face tape that is flat, no foam)

    remove the saddle, mark it carefully all the way around with a pencil to where you want to sand it (alternatively carefully apply masking tape to mark the line)...

    then in a figure eight motion, holding the bridge with your fingers, sand away a bit of the underside of the saddle...be careful to do this as evenly as you can, and don't take away too much...

    place the saddle back in...string it up, tune it, and see if you like the new height...

    if you're too nervous to do this...try getting a backup saddle from Carvin before you begin.
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    Primary TB Assistant

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