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Setups often?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by adamsmatthewj, Jan 5, 2014.

  1. adamsmatthewj


    May 4, 2013
    How often are you guys tweaking your truss rod?

    I know this has probably been covered before, but since we are in the coldest most unpredictable weather season (here in the northeast at least!) I am curious how often you guys feel like you're adjusting your setup?

    To me, I feel like I'm turning my truss rod like once every 8 weeks. Idk, my bridge seems to be set very well, decently low and mostly correct radius, and my neck has graphite reinforcement bars, so I feel like I shouldn't have to mess with it. But lately I've been feeling like the action creeps up slowly on me every month and I have to adjust the truss rod down just a bit.

    Thoughts? Ideas?

    I'm NOT a setup expert, I understand the basics well, but any pros out there have some input?
  2. Ric5

    Ric5 SUSPENDED Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    I find that I usually have to adjust my basses at least twice a year due to seasonal humidity changes. Usually spring and fall. If you take your bass out and expose it to a lot of humidity changes and change the strings often then you may have to adjust more. A touring band will have a bass tech who will change string and check the setup of the bass and modify it as needed.
  3. deeptubes


    Feb 21, 2011
    I do mine twice a year as well.
  4. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg Keyboards
    I check mine every time I change strings which is about every 4 weeks. It usually doesn't need an adjustment unless there is a drastic change in humidity.
  5. pfox14


    Dec 22, 2013
    I never adjust a truss rod unless the relief in the neck is off. Maybe twice a year. I only adjust saddle height to change the action, not the TR.
  6. adamsmatthewj


    May 4, 2013
    Yeah I live in upstate NY and right now my basses are going:

    from a heated indoor practice room
    to a car in below-freezing temps
    to a heated auditorium
    that then gets too hot cause of all the people so they turn on the air
    back into a car in below-freezing temps
    Home to the heated practice room

    I don't think it's moving THAT much but it def feels like it is moving.
  7. RSBBass


    Jun 11, 2011
    It varies from bass to bass and from one situation/environment to another. I check it every few weeks. I have one bass that tends to need adjustment maybe three to four times a year. I have another that gets tweaked every five or six years.
  8. MrRubi04

    MrRubi04 Supporting Member

    Dec 30, 2011
    Brewster, NY
    I also have the seasonal/humidity issue to deal with, here in the Lower Hudson Valley of NYS! Even though I try to keep all my basses in their cases (no rhyme intended!), the dry heat in my home is brutal. Just had my P-Bass adjusted, now the Jack Casady has such a bow in it - all of a sudden too! I played it three days ago, and left it on the stand; came back to it and it was like the gremlins were out with allen wrenches that night! So it's going in ASAP!
  9. adamsmatthewj


    May 4, 2013
    Yeah I've heard those Casady's have notoriously unstable necks. Also heard they're one of the coolest axes around when the neck is right!
  10. MrRubi04

    MrRubi04 Supporting Member

    Dec 30, 2011
    Brewster, NY
    Thank you, you're right! I have had this bass since the spring, purchased from a TB member who had modded it just as I would have, and was selling at a price I could not walk away from! Did not need anything at all, played it constantly since then. But I believe the lack of humidity in my home and the northeast winter finally caught up to it! Neck adjusted now, and it it as good as new!:bassist:
  11. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    I don't use a "how low can you go" set up, just a plain ol' bass action.

    The only time I have to move a truss rod is once a year maybe just to make sure it still moves.
  12. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Depends, my Fender's usually only get touched every six months, my Carvin a little more frequently maybe 4 months, and my EBMM is tweaked every week or two in the winter.
  13. Everytime it needs it which in my case could be every few days, it depends on temperature/humidity changes.
  14. I have certain specs that I keep an eye on. When they alter (usually from external influences like humidity, temperature, exposure, string changes, etc.), I tweak them back. Some basses are fairly predictable, others not so much. I have basses that stay stable for years no matter what, and then one day, who knows why, they have shifted slightly.

    Having a short list of specs that you do a quick measure on and check from time to time is a good idea IME.
  15. southpaw723


    Oct 20, 2013
    I'm afraid of truss rods.....
  16. I definitely agree, for me, it's been the key to consistency.
  17. powmetalbassist

    powmetalbassist Supporting Member

    I generally do twice a year (Spring and Fall), but also whenever it happens to need it. I recently had to readjust the trust rod due to a shift from extreme cold to warmer weather and back to sorta cold over the course of 2 weeks. The weather wreaked havoc on my basses, so twice a year is the average, but in between minor tweakes may be neccessary.
  18. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    For me (like others have said), it depends on the weather and humidity changes. There have been years where I didn't touch the trussrod at all, and other years where I made up to 8 adjustments. When I do have to adjust it that often, it always seems to alternating (loosen the trussrod with one adjustment, but then I have to tighten it a bit a month and a half later). I have a Precision bass that I've had for years that I've only adjusted once when I got it, and it has stayed that way for all that time! It really depends on the weather and the instrument I guess.
  19. Technotitclan

    Technotitclan Lurking TB from work

    Mar 1, 2012
    Rochester, NY
    I've only ever adjusted the TR on my 3 basses when I change gauges or brands. But the real winner in my stable is my 2006 Ibanez SR500. I bought it new in August 06 and have only ever adjusted the TR once, when I changed from lights to heavy strings. and I do use a pretty low action. My guess is the the neck woods which is a wenge/bubinga 5 piece sandwich. Its rock solid and never moved on me.
  20. Junk420


    Jul 19, 2012
    Cornwall, Ontario
    After reading this I feel like I have neglected Gerry the Conqueror. I had it set up when I bought it 3 years ago, then had it adjusted for lower action when I had the battery wiring replaced about a year ago. Bass never leaves my house, but just in the last week it has swung from -38 degrees and today it is 6. (Celsius of course)

    I wanted to head over to a pawn shop and pick up a beater just so I can learn to adjust a bass on my own. I'm too nervous to try on my only axe right now. This is a good kick in the ass to get learning.