Slap Setup Question

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by pringlw, Mar 1, 2010.

  1. pringlw


    Nov 22, 2008
    Seattle Area
    Quick question on slap setup.

    I just picked up a gorgeous second hand Lakland USA 4-94. Looks amazing and sounds amazing.

    The setup was not how I like it (action too high) so I played around with it and got it to a better place. Fingerstyle, its now great.

    However for slapping - particularly on the D & G strings, I'm not getting the easy "zing" that I get out of my Musicman Sterling. E & A are fine, but I can't get the loud, ringing slap sound out of the D & G strings.

    I know its not the bass - Laklands slap just fine. But I'm trying to figure out what to change. My Musicman has Rotosounds on it (don't know what's on the Lakland).

    Any hints would be helpful. Should I think about switching the Lakland to Rotosounds? Is it possible the string gauge isn't right? Is it likely to be a setup issue? I know its hard to judge if you haven't seen - and I can play with all these things but I thought that someone may have some good advice that could save some time.

  2. chris.gotfunk


    Mar 21, 2007
    Ashburn, Va
    Are you slapping the D and G or popping them? If you are slapping them, I have found that if those strings are too low, you really lose the a** on them when slapping. My Sadowsky has the D and G a bit higher than normal because of that. The other thing to possibly consider is the magnetic interference on the strings if the pickups are too high and the strings are really low. Yes, I know it is a minute thing; but it can have a drastic effect on it.

    By all means, I have no clue if I am right, but this is from my personal experience.
  3. guroove


    Oct 13, 2009
    Buffalo, NY
    I say try what has worked for you on the other instrument. If you liked the zing of Rotosounds on the MM, try those on the Lakland. Is it more of a sound issue, or is it a playability issue as well? I know I couldn't stand the way my bass felt to slap on when I had a .070 D and a .050 G, so I had to go back to .065" and .045" on my D an G strings.
  4. pringlw


    Nov 22, 2008
    Seattle Area
    This is when slapping - its not an issue when popping.

    The magnetic interference is an interesting theory as with my Musicman I took the pickups down a lot to physically get them out of the way of the strings when slapping. I haven't done that with the Lakland. Perhaps the p/ups are crowding the string.. I'll play around with that.
  5. chris.gotfunk


    Mar 21, 2007
    Ashburn, Va
    As stated above, it may also be a string issue. One thing I have learned over 20 years of playing as that certian basses coupled with certain styles just sound better with string "X" when slapping, but for fingerstyle, that same bass may sound better with string "Y". I try to find that happy medium on my gigging bass since I do a lot of slapping and fingerstyle.

    After some thinking, it could be a few other things too. Check the wrapping of the string around the post. If there are too many wraps that could cause an issue. It could be a dead string (which happens relatively often). Another option to try is instead of stringing through the body, try stringing through the bridge. You may get a better response that way as well. I have owned at least 5 Lakies, but I never cared for stringing through the body.

    Anyway. I hope we are giving you enough food for thought. :D
  6. Yeah, I seemingly got better sustain when I used the bridge and not thru body. ?

    Anyway, first step with a bass new to you is a setup, your preferences, and your preferred strings.

    imho, I keep my steup pretty low as if I go too high the volume between finger and slap becomes too great, and I do interchange often.

    BUT, YMMV.
  7. chris.gotfunk


    Mar 21, 2007
    Ashburn, Va

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