string 2 body clearance (longish)

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by ga_edwards, May 13, 2003.

  1. ga_edwards


    Sep 8, 2000
    UK, Essex
    I was always under the impression that the reason the Stingray was thought of as a good slap and pop bass, is because of the ample string to body clearance.

    I've recently got into Stu Hamm stuff and I'm after getting a cheap 4 string fretted bass, for beating the crap out of, as my 5 string thumb, is a bit awkward to slap and pop on due to the string spacing, and my fretless corvette, doesn't give the desired tone, but the spacing is perfect.

    I thought I'd try one of the OLP stingray models, as I'd heard glowing reviews of them. The string body clearance was bugger all. On both my warwick, you can see the finger board and part of the neck sitting proud of the body. The OLP had barely 5mm. I did check the action, and found it had a flat neck, no relief whatsover. While it tapped well, upon closer listening (this was at a guitar show...noisey), it did buzz a bit. Even so, with a setup, I still don't think the clearance would be that great.

    I find this strange for a bass apparently built to Ernie Ball's specs, and a bass that a lot of kids would want because of Flea's style. So in conclusion I thoiught I could get one, but would end of shimming it.

    Since then..., I was reading an old interview with Stu Hamm, and he said that he put scratchplates on his Kubicki's to reduce the clearance, so that he didn't get his fingers trapped beneath the strings when popping. Which caused me to re-evaluate my technique. And found that my lack of speed is partly down to getting my fingers too far under the strings. So I'm gonna try one again, but try and find one setup properly (fat chance on an OLP).

    Could anyone out there tell me if the string clearance is vastly different on the Ernieball and OLP models? Or has anyone got an olp model and fixed it with a darn good setup, and if poss, give me a measurement they now have between string and body at the end of the neck.

    Cheers chaps
  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    But this is what truss rods are for!!

    So - I have often seen basses in shops where it is obvious that the bass hasn't been set up since shipping and things like varying climate, can mean that you end up with no relief.

    It's very easy to sort this out yourself - introduce relief - and I've mentioned it to assistants in shops and they just said things like "oh we wanted to get them up on the wall as quickly as possible!!" :rolleyes:

    Yeah but what's the point, if they're effectively unplayable?
  3. ga_edwards


    Sep 8, 2000
    UK, Essex
    I realise that a setup would help, but I have checked out the OLP and Ernie Ball models at lunch today. the OLP definitely has less string 2 body clearance, a good 3mm (which does make a big difference), which no amount of truss rod adjustment could cure.