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setup as art form

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by nonsqtr, Apr 23, 2004.


  1. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Do you understand your setup in more than just technical terms? For those of you who are fussy about your setups, do you view them as being an essential part of the bonding process between the performer and the instrument? Do you eventually achieve one perfect "feel" through your setup, or do you find that it always ends up being a series of compromises?
     
  2. gruuv247

    gruuv247 Guest

    Sep 18, 2002
    Burlington, NC
    :cool: There is such a thing as a perfect feel (for you of course) After recieving my Bass after construction, it took me over a year to acheive the perfect feel.. Some of my mistakes were not having correct neck relief,, (there is no way to achieve a "consistant feel" throughout the neck without the right relief.). the best way I found to set relief is the ole buzzing rule. Buzzing on frets close to body= to much relief,,, buzzing near headstock= not enough relief. Fine tune till there is no buzz,, if there is a buzz throughout the neck, action is to low,
     
  3. I see setup as more of as a science than an art form.

    Your playing is the art form part.
     
  4. gruuv247

    gruuv247 Guest

    Sep 18, 2002
    Burlington, NC
    Just take your time and RELAX,, it is EXTREMELY easy to frustrated setting up a bass (especially with limited experiance),, make small adjustments,, don't be afraid of it and don't rush it :bassist:
     
  5. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Gruuv247, you and I seem to have had some similar experiences with setup. I just got a new bass, it's a beautiful instrument and I'm totally in love with it, but I'm having a heck of a time dialing in the right setup. I'm using the approach you mentioned, which is taking one's time, making small adjustments, and trying to dial "up" into the adjustment instead of dialing down. So far it's taken me almost two months, and now it's "pretty close".

    Some basses don't seem to care about setup very much, you just intonate and raise the saddles to a "reasonable" height and you're good to go. Other basses are a lot more finicky. This new one has one particular setting where it gets the monster sound, and that's the one I'm trying to dial in. It has several other settings where it sounds "adequate", but it's sounds so wonderful when it's "right on" that I've spent a lot of time trying to get it perfect (i.e. where the feel matches the sound, and my fingers can create exactly the sounds I want).
     
  6. Figjam

    Figjam

    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    To me, having a bass setup to my likings is more important than having an extremely AMAZING bass. I would rather have a decent bass that feels great than a $2000 bass that plays like a wooden plank.
     
  7. gruuv247

    gruuv247 Guest

    Sep 18, 2002
    Burlington, NC
    :oops: Even with making small adjustments (kind of like an EQ) you can end up getting everything out of whack. If you feel what you have done is make it worse ,, return the bass to it's starting point by (as in any setup page) measure the lowest string (B or E) to 3/32 and then highest to 2/32. feel the top and bottom strings and make minor adjustments till they "feel" solid together (through slapping or playing both strings at the same time). You'll know when it feels right. then proportion the strings respectfully in the middle (A and D right around 5/64 ths) ("A" alittle above 5/64ths,, "D" alittle below) this will give you a fresh start for minor adjustments. And remember neck relief is ESSENTIAL. BE PATIENT!!!!!! :p
     
  8. Jeb

    Jeb

    Jul 22, 2001
    USA
    I do my own setups and have found that you can get so involved trying to acheive the "perfect" setup that you lose sight of the fact that its not so much the instrument that is the work of art, its what you do with it thats important. The instrument is a tool and the setup is the calibration. Thats how I look at it.

    I mean there is a line between what is a comfortable, playable instrument and what is obsession with perfect setup.

    I remember spending so much time with feeler gauges and rulers and such that it took away from why I bought the instrument to begin with. I bought it to play it. The more I play it, the more familiar I become with it and setup adjustments are now made without as much dependency on tools. I'm a better player now and I like my instruments better.
     
  9. permagrin

    permagrin

    May 1, 2003
    San Pedro, CA
    Also, how you set up your bass will affect how you approach it. If you set up a bass with very little relief and very low action, you'll do it so you can pluck lightly, play smooth and fast; give it a little more room to dig in more, play more aggressively.

    Hope my point isn't lost here....
     
  10. Figjam

    Figjam

    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    hows the Hohner man?