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Should I adjust the action on my own?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by xvertirx, Jul 18, 2002.

  1. So I have a bass with the strings too high. I want the action lower. My local music store charges $75 to do this (they also polish the frets and check the electronics which I really don't need/want to have done) I would rather keep the $75 for my new bass which will hopefully be a modulus flea bass, music man sterling or stingray, or a spector bass. So what are your thoughts on this?
  2. If you have no idea how to do it, you probably shouldn't. Check out the "Set Up" forum and see if it looks like something you can handle and make your decision from there.
  3. bah..i say do it. the only thing you can adjust that might damage the bass is the truss rod. other than that, if you keep track of exactly how many turns you give all the parts, if you ruin the setup, you can always put it back to the way it was before you touched it.......

    this really should be in the setup forum......

    go there and do a search. you'll find step by step instructions on what you can adjust without endangering your precious bass.

    it's your bass, it makes sense to learn how to adjust things. i ripped mine apart just to see what's inside.....then the next night (during a rehearsal for a musical) i ripped out the pickups (jazz bass) and put new foam under them so they would sit closer to the strings. sounded like a new bass. i've never been so excited about playing.

    it's not hard, and worth learning. then if you change styles (or string gauge) even slightly, you can make the proper adjustments without paying large amounts of money.......
  4. TRU


    Apr 12, 2002
    Northern Europe
    Yes you should. This goes to the same category as changing strings. Every player should know or learn how to change strings, tune, and adjust string height and intonation.
  5. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I agree - the Fender website explains how to do this in step by step manner and expect people to do it to their basses - also Gary Willis's webiste has a good guide which he expect people to use on his signature bass, but applies to any bass really.
  6. monkeyfinger

    monkeyfinger Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    You should definitely learn to do this. Just remember to use small adjustments. 1/4 turn on the truss rod at a time. If you are making large changes to the string height, more than say an 1/8", you should let the neck settle overnight and do it again. The wood needs time to adapt to the change in tension and relief.
  7. I agree, too. Learn to do it yourself.

    Make sure you've decent tools for the job, first. Truss rods adjustments usually require an Allen Key (hexagon wrench). Likewise (but smaller size) for bridge saddle height. If you don't have these things take your bass to a tool supplier and ask him for the correct ones.

    A couple of screwdrivers are likely to be useful, too. Buy good quality ones (with some of the $75 you're now going to save :D ) then check previous threads in Setup and elsewhere, as others have advised.

    Give it a go....slowly, gently and with the care and attention that you naturally have as a bassist for your bass.

    There, job done.

    :D :D


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