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Setup Tips/Tricks!

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by superheavyfunk, Mar 19, 2013.


  1. superheavyfunk

    superheavyfunk

    Mar 11, 2013
    Toronto
    Care to share your setup tips/tricks with the world?

    Today, I discovered that a Canadian dime, stacked on top of a nickel is the PERFECT size for setting up the string height on my Precision bass at the 17th fret. Whodathunkit? :eyebrow::cool:

    (dammit. posted in the wrong forum again. :bag:)
     
  2. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Bearded Dingwall Enthusiast Banned

    Yes, that's great for your P bass, but what about mine?
     
  3. superheavyfunk

    superheavyfunk

    Mar 11, 2013
    Toronto
    According to fender specs, précisions are supposed to be 3/32 at the 17th, which is almost exactly the same as the height of those two coins stacked on top of one another. Check it out for yourself.
     
  4. superheavyfunk

    superheavyfunk

    Mar 11, 2013
    Toronto
    Also, it works well on both my CV50 and my '79 P.
     
  5. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    Colorado
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    Store your bass in a room with a constant 35% humidity all year long and you will need fewer setups.
     
  6. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    FMIC's specs leave the relief and action too high for my tastes, so the factory specs are at best a starting point, not a rule.

    My tip? Always pre-bend a neck and hold it under tension when adjusting a truss rod. Then you're only using the nut to hold it in place, not compressing the wood in a small area.

    John
     
  7. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    The Fender setup guide is a good compromise for minimizing string rattle but having fairly low action. You can get them a little bit lower, though. I don't mind a little rattle now and then so I set mine a little bit lower than their recommendations. Everyone's tastes are different.

    My only tip is make sure you measure stuff. That way, you can duplicate it if it goes out of whack. Might even want to write stuff down if you're really anal ;)
     
  8. punkjazzben

    punkjazzben

    Jun 26, 2008
    Australia
    - Use an electronic tuner, not something on your phone or your trusty old rocker's ear, and use the correct tools, including a precise metal ruler.

    - Strings, truss rod, string height, pickup height, intonation - in that order.

    - Press lightly when comparing harmonics and fretted notes so you don't produce a false sharp reading.

    - While setting up, recheck the witness points after every adjustment, especially when moving bridge saddles back and forth.

    - Give your fretboard (not maple ones) a drink of lemon oil regularly to prevent shrinking wood and exposed fret edges.

    - Use a polish cloth or any lint-free cloth (the type you'd use on a pair of glasses, for example) to clean the finish and fittings. Keep that baby mint! I do it before and after every gig, during any setup, and if its been a while, I'll make sure to get rid of any dust that's built up.

    - When changing strings, you want a minimum of three wraps around the tuning post, and wrap from top to bottom. On a Precision Bass, an extra wrap or two is needed on the A-string to avoid intonation issues and the dreaded rattle (sounds like a broken truss rod). Make sure the string does not overlap itself, as this can cause slipping when trying to tune up.
     
  9. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Good stuff so far, although I know folks who like to let their stuff get a little grimy and dull looking. All the parts on my basses seem to operate better when they're clean, though ;) But don't go overboard on oiling your fretboard. Some folks do it too much, and the wood gets soft over time as a result.

    There are some posts that won't let you get 3 wraps around them, at least on the thicker strings. But at the bare minimum, you should do at least two. And the advice about the A string goes for all non-angled 4-on-a-side headstocks such as Fender Precisions, Jazz Basses, and any similar designs. Jeff Berlin used to install a second string retainer for his A string on his Fender basses, but wrapping it as low as it can go also works.
     
  10. AwesomeWithAQ

    AwesomeWithAQ

    Nov 25, 2012
    I clip my strings 10cm past the post for 2 1/2 wraps on my G&L. I assume that would be the same for most in-line 4 tuning pegs.
     
  11. superheavyfunk

    superheavyfunk

    Mar 11, 2013
    Toronto
    That same amount, or near enough, works well for vintage-style fender tuners as well.
     
  12. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    Is there a tip to achieve this in some degree without using a humidifier?
     
  13. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    A. 35% is pretty dry- I try to keep my stuff right around 50% RH. Lower than 45% is dangerous for solid-wood acoustic guitars!

    B. When you set intonation, hold the instrument in playing position. If you lay it down the weight of the headstock can be enough to throw the intonation off.

    John
     

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