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Properly sitting a bass on its back with a rest

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by jesterbass, Oct 27, 2018.

  1. jesterbass


    Apr 20, 2007
    Hello forumers, inquiring for your sagely advice. My question is about making measurements on a neck, for example height of a string above a specific fret. But the question is more general as you will see. Question is, if I have to sit a bass on its back with a rest so that the headstock does not touch the surface, where do I put the neck rest so that the difference in relief from playing position is minimum? If I place it under the first fret there is more relief. If I use a higher fret there is less relief, perhaps even less than playing position. The effect is real and pretty significant. Of course I realize this will change according to bass but I suspect around 5th fret would be pretty much ok. Any input with this? Thanks!
  2. JKos


    Oct 26, 2010
    Torrance, CA
    @jesterbass ,
    I'm curious to hear others thoughts on the optimum position for the neck rest. I take measurements in playing position so I don't have much for you.

    Perhaps you can find your own best position by measuring the relief in playing position then moving the neck support to where the bench measurement matches.

    - John
  3. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    You’d always want to measure neck relief and string heights while the bass is in the playing position AFAIK.
  4. If you're talking about setup or relief clearances, I always do it with the bass in my lap as if I were playing. But I do this knowing full well a real tech or the setup guy at the factory did it with the bass on a bench. But I do it with it in my lap.
  5. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    What difference does it make? As long as you are consistent in placing the support in the same spot (e.g. under the seventh fret) you will get consistent results. Do they vary from the playing position? Yes, yes they do. They also vary form string set to string set, and bass to bass. The purpose of taking those measurements is so that you can duplicate the setup in future. As long as you are consistent in how the instrument is supported, it matters not where that support is initially located.
    To answer your question I suspect that the position of minimum difference is contingent upon where you measure your relief. That is the area you want least affected. So if you capo the first, fret the 14th, and measure under the 8th, I suspect the 8th is where you want your neck resting. If you have the neck resting lower than that, there is unnecessary weight adding to the string tension that will increase relief; resting the neck higher than that will do the same thing, but to a lesser extent. Keep in mind, my eyes are brown...
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2018
  6. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    i make the final string/saddle/truss adjustments (fine-tuning) from the playing position, mostly. it's where any 'final' adjustments end up. the bench is for the global stuff...the measurements. playing position is for the delicate, personal stuff. :)
  7. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    I’ve always done setups on my bench with the headstock hanging over the edge so the neck is not supporting the weight of the body. Not because i thought it made the set up better but because when i first started doing my own set ups the table i used was too short to accomodate the entire bass, leaving the headstock hanging out in space off the end of the table. Once i got used to doing it that way i just kept doing it like that and so far so good. I do pick up my bass and play it after an adjustment so i base my settings off how it feels while playyng, i just make them with the bass lying flat and the headstock hanging off the end of whatever table/workbench i’m using.
  8. bigmikebass

    bigmikebass Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2009
    Fairview Park , Ohio
    In my experience, I have found that the only adjustment I notice a difference from the bench to playing position is intonation. Must be due to fretted pressure or the way the string tension works in playing position. Just my two cents though.
  9. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    If you want your setup to be the ssme each time, do it the same way each time. Whichever you prefer.

    If you do it flat on a bench and then remeasure in playing position, there will be a change though, but as long as you’re happy with the final result, it doesn’t matter.
    fhm555 likes this.

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