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Out of Alignment After Move

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by tubatodd, Feb 14, 2018.

  1. tubatodd


    Oct 31, 2004
    Birmingham, AL
    Last month, my wife, the 2 dogs and I moved to a new home. The day before the move I packed all of my basses into the hard cases and gig bags (a couple of which are double bags) that I have and transported them to the new home myself. They were placed in my new media/music room and remained in their cases for about a month. After about 2 weeks, I grabbed my Squier VM Jazz bass and put it on a stand in my living room. I did this so I would play a bit each day. I noticed when I got the bass out, the action was nice a low and played great. Bonus! I also grabbed a random gig bag for rehearsal 2 weeks ago. Inside it was my Sterling by Musicman Ray34. The setup was good, but it was about 1/2 step flat. I tuned it up (which caused the action to not be as low) and it did fine in rehearsal.

    Fast forward to Monday and I start getting the new media/music room organized. Up until then, the room and rest of my basses were untouched. On Tuesday morning, I unpack my basses. I placed the basses on the same rack that they've been on for years. Tuesday evening (yesterday), I decide to plug in one of my basses and see how the acoustics are in the new space. Bass #1 (Cort A5), string action SUPER low, buzzing on the first few frets. Bass #2 (G&L L2500), same thing. Bass #3 (Lakland 44-01), adjusted fine and playable, but MAJOR fret sprout along the edge. The neck on #3 was Pleked years ago and has always been absolutely perfect. I have several other basses, but I didn't have time to check them all.

    So for basses 1 and 2, it seems there isn't enough neck relief now. For bass 3, the wood must have contracted to allow the fret ends to sprout. Sooooooooooooo, has the wood contracted for ALL of my basses?

    What's going on? Do I need to let the basses acclimate to the temp and humidity of the new home and acclimate to being free of the cases? I've never had basses have their setups be this far off before. I can adjust them myself, but wanted to see if it is best to leave them for a bit or can I just do it now.

    Potentially Relevant Information....maybe.....maybe not??

    The new home, while not being way up in the mountains, is at a higher elevation than my previous home. Also, at some point during the month, I accidentally turned off the furnace for the second floor. So for a few days at most, the temp of my music room got down to near 50F. I promptly got that resolved and the upstairs has stayed a steady 65F.
  2. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism

    Just do some setups. The basses may adjust a little over the neck couple days but that is expected, they're made of wood. Just adjust and tweak as needed. Fret sprout is not uncommon and nothing to lose sleep over. February is the driest time of the year, at least around these parts, so the wood shrinks. Just dress the ends (or have it done by a pro, do not learn on your Lakland.)

    If you are not 100% on your setup technique, I recommend Jerzy Drozd's Ultimate Setup Guide. It is the best free resource online, in my experience.
  3. Gravedigger Dav

    Gravedigger Dav Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Your problem is humidity level. Heating systems take moisture out of the air. The problems you describe are all humidity related except being a half step flat. I suggest you get a humidifier for your music room.
    Rich Fiscus, JRA and lz4005 like this.
  4. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
  5. Chicory Blue

    Chicory Blue Secretly Queen of the Moon Supporting Member


    It’s ghosts.

    tubatodd and btmpancake like this.
  6. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    i think Gravedigger Dav nailed it for you. let them acclimate, if not already, and do your set ups. no biggie. good luck in your new abode! :thumbsup:
    Gravedigger Dav likes this.
  7. tubatodd


    Oct 31, 2004
    Birmingham, AL
    The basses have acclimated I suppose, but they are still out of alignment. It's setup time. At a few of them are fine or very close.
  8. tubatodd


    Oct 31, 2004
    Birmingham, AL
    The G&L is the most out of setup.
  9. songwriter21

    songwriter21 I have an obsession for wood. The musical kind. Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2005
    Sponsored by Hipshot
    I can't say this enough...if you want a lot less headaches, then (in addition to humidifiers like others have said) when you're not using your basses, KEEP THEM IN THEIR CASES/BAGS. Do you want a pretty instrument gallery, or more playability woes?
  10. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Mar 3, 2021

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