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string height vs. pickup height

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by jeronimoski, Oct 11, 2013.

  1. jeronimoski


    Sep 27, 2011
    Hi all,

    So this has been bothering me. My five string bass obviously has a curved fretboard. Specs say to measure string height from the 17th fret from the bottom of the string. 2.4mm for the b/d/e strings and 2.0 for the d/g strings. I did accordingly. Now since the fretboard is curved, when I run my fingers over the strings with my right hand, it is obvious that my a string is higher than all the rest cause of the curved fretboard. It makes it a bit difficult to play cause I have to raise my plucking fingers as I go from b to e to a and then down when I go to d and g. Is this normal?

    Which leads me to a bigger question. The manual states that I should measure pickup height 2.8 for bass side and 2.0 for treble side. It is impossible because my b string height is lower due to the fretboard curve, so i cannot get my b and e strings to be 2.8mm away from the pickup at the same time. What gives? How can I set up exact pickup height specs if the freboard is curved therefore causing the strings to be at different heights above the pickups...therefore making it impossible to meet those pickup height specs????
  2. jeronimoski


    Sep 27, 2011
    For example, my b string is 2.6mm away from the fretboard at the 17th fret. So is my e string. However, my b string is 2.9mm away from the pickup when I depress at the last fret, but my e string is like 5mm away from the pickup. What gives? Is this how it is supposed to be?
  3. Jeronimoski, may I suggest that your setup work is involving a bit too anal an adherence to book specs. If the A string seems a bit high, lower it. If it plays better to you and doesn't buzz, then it IS better. There is no single correct setup for any instrument. The specs they give you are their suggested starting points. Adjust to suit.

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