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Short scale, different setup?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Staceman, May 20, 2005.

  1. Staceman


    Mar 8, 2005
    Everett, PA
    When I got my first bass, a short scale, the action was a bit high on it. Following advice from many that a new bass should be taken to a music store to be properly set up, I took it to a local guy who I was told knew what he was doing.

    Got it back, and the action is much lower than before, seems a little easier to play. I eventually put round would strings back on it after using flats for a while. I now notice more, that the bass is incredibly noisy, with the strings always tapping and banging against the frets, seems no matter how lightly I try to play. Some people tell me that this is what basses are supposed to do, but I think mine is a little excessive.

    I was thinking, are short-scales meant to have higher action than normal, since the shorter strings won't have as much tension as a long scale? And if this is the case, perhaps the local music store guy wasn't familiar with short-scales, and set it up like he would a long one?

    Forgive me if this is really stupid, I'm quite the newbie on the bass.
  2. Staceman


    Mar 8, 2005
    Everett, PA
    Thanks for the reply, your ideas, have given me some ideas-

    The flatwounds did seem more tense. Not to mention, the flats I was using, were not short-scale, but a long-scale set that had an E string small enough to fit in the machine groove. It was an emergency measure, I broke a string, local shop didn't have any shorties in stock, but asked if I wanted to try something that might work, so I did.

    And thus, I'd say your idea about the truss rod needing re-adjusted for the rounds, is correct. Another sign that led me to believe that something was seriously wrong, was how certain notes would make regular fret noise buzz as if I wasn't holding the note hard enough, even though I was pressing it pretty darn hard.

    I don't know how to make the adjustments off the top of my head, but I did bookmark the links offered in the sticky thread in this forum, so maybe I'll give it a try tonight.

  3. Staceman


    Mar 8, 2005
    Everett, PA
    Well, the other night, I made the adjustment, I loosened it about a 1/4 turn. I didn't have time to play it much right afterwards. The next day I played it a bit, and thought that the strings felt a little funny, like they were just a tad too high, so I loosened the 2 screws on each string a whole turn, to lower the strings. Seemed to work OK.

    The next day, I played some more, and it seemed like it was being a little noisy again. The most significant thing I notice, is that when I hold the A string at the 12th fret, the string buzzed, sounds like it's buzzing against a fret towards the top of the neck.

    The site I used as a reference for adjusting the truss rod claims that if things buzz when holding notes above the 12th fret, that the rod needs tightened. But what about if it's only at the 12th fret, and not above? Should I just raise the strings slightly, or should I perhaps tighten the truss rod back up, maybe just an 1/8th turn? (since doing it the full 1/4 would put it back where it was- very noisy)

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