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Traeger in general

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by Damon Rondeau, Apr 10, 2005.

  1. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    The hotly-discussed tome has been in my hands for a few weeks now and I've got a few general impressions, maybe others have some too.

    • it truly does cover a lot of ground -- there may not be complete information on anything you'd want to know, but there likely is some information. I've already found cause more than once to use it as a quick reference; I'm sure it will get much more of that sort of use. It's an ideal library book for that reason. Too bad most DB players have to maintain their own library....
    • it's got an index, glossary, specs list and supplier/reference lists -- this stuff sounds basic but it's missing or really sucky in many practical publications, especially those self-published or published by small houses
    • diagrams plentiful and mostly good, photographs not so plentiful and not so good.
    • it's got a confusing layout -- I don't really grok the way the book is laid out conceptually. To get Traeger's overall picture on setting up and fitting a new bridge, for example, you're going to more than one place in the book. This is when you really need a good index and we're lucky to have one here.
    • the parts where the focus is strongly on "optimal sound" should be consolidated and moved into a separate section, IMO -- as we've seen all too often around TalkBass, the idea of an optimal sound is an invitation to an argument. Why start it willfully by embedding optimization into the fabric of every section? In any kind of practical manual such as this it's common to see a "tweaking" section. I think this would be a better book with more tweaking info, even. The user of the book should be able to easily distinguish between the way a thing must be done and why, and the way a thing can be done and why.

    As a bass player and successful-so-far bass tinkerer who lives in a bass-sparse part of the world, I plunked my money down for what appears to be the closest thing we have to a comprehensive text on bass setup and repair. For the most part I feel that's what I've got. Any flaws it has aren't hidden and serious; rather, they are typical of the genre and they are minor.

    I am much better off with the book than without it, I'm quite sure of that. Very happy to have it along.
  2. M_A_T_T


    Mar 4, 2004
    This is starting to sound like a very interesting book to me... :)
  3. Very well put, Damon. I will add that I found the chapter by Carleen Hutchins to be very interesting. If you take out the "optimum sound" asides, it is pretty much repair manual / owner's manual, and my bass didn't come with one, so it is truly a welcome addition to my library. I think it would give any player a better understanding of the instrument so that many pitfalls could be avoided. I give the Traeger book my highest recommendation.
  4. I have many years of experience in hobby woodworking, but this doesn't automatically mean that I have the knowledge necessary to repair and/or modify my CCB.

    My current interest is learning about the fingerboard, nut, and bridge setup, and I'm interested in hearing comments from the experts and bass tinkerers on Traeger's coverage of these areas.

    Fingerboard profiles are of particular interest.
  5. I haven't seen any "new" basses with the nut/ fingerboard relation that you have described. Deep scoops like that tend to go with gut strings and slap style.

    Traeger has more on bridge set-up than fingerboard, but both are pretty well covered. FB;- He favors a maximum camber in the center point lengthwise of the FB of about 1/8 inch and recommends an adjustable bridge to bring up string height if your playing style requires more room under the strings. Of course if you only play 15151515 and nothing else you could settle for the ideal camber for that and skip the adjusters if your bass doesn't do backflips when the humidity and temperature change. My all plywood bass is extremely stable and I've found no need for adjusters, but the FB is the pits. In any case the curvature should be evenly spread from end to end. I've read and answered your other posts about this as well as I could, and it seems from what you describe that your bass has an excessive amount of camber concentrated at the nut end. So does mine, but not as bad as you've described. As soon as my "new" bass arrives, this one is going in the shop for many things but the FB will be one of the main things to fix.

    Traeger also covers installing a new fingerboard, assessing the old fingerboard's suitability for recambering, etc. He shows a photo of all the tools and decribes how to use them.

    Just an aside here: Jeff Bollbach has a very good explanation of how he dresses a fingerboard also, and he covers some of the pitfalls of the process. If you look at his website, the luthier rant section is good reading too. There is another forum that Aaron N. participates in and he has a series of photos showing how he approached the same task. I think it is the musical instrument maker's forum, but I don't have the link. You can most likely google it up.

    Did you try/succeed in locating Mark Richard in Asheville? I think he could help you. He has decades of experience.
  6. Sorry, 15151515,

    I missed your other post. I might be able to turn up something on Mark Richard if I can find some of his former bandmates here. I'll be on the lookout. He hangs with the bluegrass/newgrass crowd. Just on a whim, you might try the open mike in Black Mountain and ask some folks there. Also there is another luthier in Black Mountain, but I don't know much about that shop or if they work on basses.
  7. I've come back to find,
    The stars misplaced..

    A book on set-up and repair? Under a hundred bucks? And it's done really well?

    No way.

    Well hallelujah.

    I betcha' Bob B. and this forum had a little something to do with the content. I remember when it was described as geared toward luthiers and would be very expensive. Not for the DIY bass player. But nooo..

    happy dance icon here.

    Thanks again to Mr. B. for sharing so much.

    Tim Tyner
  8. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    I'm really enjoying the book myself...it's kind of like a treasure hunt. Helluva lotta info for a hundred bucks, especially consider what the cost of that knowledge would be if you'd acquired it while watching your bass being repaired....