Questions about pro set ups and fret-leveling.

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Asa Samuel, Jul 5, 2008.

  1. There is a shop near me that will set up my bass for about £20 but what does a set-up for this price usually include? Would i have to specify that i want a lower action and what do i do if its not right for me?

    I also wanted to know how much of a different fret-leveling can make to fret-buzz, how i would know wether i needed it doing or not and how much it would cost?

    If it helps, its a squier precision special bass.

    Thanks very very much on any info you can give :)

    Bass Junkie
  2. Widdershins


    Aug 28, 2007
    Usually include? That depends on the shop. In my opinion it should include:
    • Setting relief
    • Setting string height
    • Setting intonation
    • Setting pickup height
    • Give the instrument a general "once over" to make sure nothing is broken.

    Good question on what if you don't like it. You'll be better off in the long run learning to do that list yourself. The cost of the tools is far less than £20.

    If your frets aren't level you'll get buzzing in "strange" places. By that I mean, whether it's relief or string height the buzz that happens on a leveled & properly setup neck is predictable and usually easy to spot. A good indicator is if you get one string or all strings buzzing only on a small zone in your neck. There's a lot more going on here than I make it seem though so don't immediately think "I need a fret job".

    Edit: You can check level by using a fret rocker. It's a small piece of metal that spans 3 frets at a time. If the 'rocker' rocks back and forth then one of the frets isn't level with the other 2.
  3. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician
    I would add to that adjusting the nut as required. Often the nut slots are not cut deeply enough on stock instruments.

    In my shop, we also do some additional things:

    -A general cleaning of the instrument
    -Clean the pots if they are at all scratchy.
    -Shim the neck to maintain a good break angle at the bridge if required.
    -Re-tension the tuners if they have adjustable tension.
    -Re-tighten all fittings which tend to work loose over time.
    -Trim the fret ends if they are protruding at all.

    I don't think these extras are usually covered in a setup though, so it's worth asking what you get for your money.