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Set-up my AEB to feel more like an upright

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by scuzzy, Jul 20, 2012.

  1. scuzzy


    Feb 15, 2006
    Troy, MO
    I have a fretless semi-hollow bass that sounds remarkably similar to an upright. I have the nut set at around .025 off the fretboard and the bridge is somewhat high. the neck relief is set fairly flat. I am getting a really good mwah sound with no off-color sounds. however, the action is higher than I am accustomed to.

    I have no experience with upright basses. How is a typical action on an upright (or is it as varied as any other instrument?)

    I read that a lot of fretless players have a VERY low action across the board, but I typically pluck around the 20th fret on the fretboard to get a dubby sound and the larger string vibration may not support a lower action. Any tips/advice on the setup? Should I just leave it?
  2. testing1two

    testing1two Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2009
    Southern California
    Upright is a totally different beast so it's really comparing apples to oranges (larger strings, longer scale length, different hand position and playing angles, etc). Bottom line: lower the action on your bass to where it's comfortable and see if/how much it changes the sound. Then find the best compromise between sound and comfort and keep on truckin. Hint: when you lower your action, try lowering your pickups by the same amount as the distance between the strings and the pickups has a dramatic effect on tone.
  3. scuzzy


    Feb 15, 2006
    Troy, MO
    I would love to get my hands on an upright just to see what it feels like. i know with the more dramatically curved fretboard and much longer scale length, you can't expect too much comparison...but a boy can hope.

    It actually has a ribbon "pickup" under the bridge saddle, so nothing beyond string tension on the saddle will really negatively affect the tone. I sanded the saddle down about 1.5mm and it is better. a little more mwah with a lighter touch, and is easier to play. I will hopefully keep my grubby paws off it till i play live. but any and all tips are welcome and appreciated.
  4. 1) get a broomstick, without the broom head, preferred.
    2) glue or duct tape the handle to the back of the bass, pointing down.
    3) cut the broomstick to the correct height to accommodate your height.
    4) enjoy.

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