Dismiss Notice

Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Warwick Fretless Setup help

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by JAL, Dec 15, 2004.


  1. JAL

    JAL

    Dec 15, 2004
    Cleveland, Ohio
    I apologize if this thread has been created before, but I really need help. My bass is driving me insane! A few weeks ago, i got a nice, shiny new warwick 4 string fretless. I changed the strings on it (to roundwounds), and the action is now weird. I set it back up to factory settings, but it buzzes like crazy everywhere.
    Somebody please help me!
     
  2. JAL

    JAL

    Dec 15, 2004
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Quite familiar with my bassics (no pun intended ;-) )..set up my other fretted bass a billion times. RIght now im at about .3 or so MM of relief when i hold the 1st and 12th fret.. (thanks for replying so quick)
     
  3. JAL

    JAL

    Dec 15, 2004
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Bought it new, sorry i didnt mention it. THe standard black label warwick strings, medium gauge (45-105), and it didnt buzz at all.
    No buzz in lower position, all buzzing occurs above the 5th fret, round equally with each string (D somewhat worse then the rest though).
    Open strings are OK...the nut is the right height.
     
  4. JAL

    JAL

    Dec 15, 2004
    Cleveland, Ohio
    :-/ oops...Ok. THere is relief even holding the 24th fret (last one) and the 1st.
     
  5. JAL

    JAL

    Dec 15, 2004
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Yes!!! Thank you! I got the E, A and D strings nice, tight, "mwahy" and punchy (lord help me i love the warwick sound). The only problem now is the G string. It gets really buzzy and airy up high, with no sustain. But im not very exprerienced with fretlesses, so is that normal and the nature of the beast, or not?
     
  6. I do believe that's a symptom of too-low action on that string. It doesn't have room to vibrate freely.
     
  7. JAL

    JAL

    Dec 15, 2004
    Cleveland, Ohio
    I raised the action slightly and raised the string a bit, sounds better. Do fretlesses generally have less sustain?
     
  8. JAL

    JAL

    Dec 15, 2004
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Forgot; one more question. How high should the string height be on a fretless?
     
  9. I believe there is a trade-off between "MWAH" and sustain on a fretless. A lot of that nice trombone-like tone is actually produced by the strings buzzing on the fingerboard EVER so slightly which will detract from the sustain. Secondly, your fingers and not metal frets are what is holding the other end of the string and this in itsself ALSO has a dampening effect.

    So, yes...fretlesses DO have less sustain than fretted instruments. But a properly set-up instrument, played correctly, should STILL have plenty of sustain.

    Oh how I do love the sweet tones of fretless bass.
     
  10. String height (action) should be a low as you can get it without experiencing the problems you've just described. If the action is too high, the "mwah" tends to die. Fretlesses are a bit more sensitive to action adjustment than fretted beasts. So when seeking optimum string height, make small incremental adjustments.
     
  11. JAL

    JAL

    Dec 15, 2004
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Well, i think im just about there. There is just a little buzz when i play medium-hard, but around normal string pressure causes very little. Im just tinkering with small adjustments, like you suggested. It might be my strings as well; they are Rotosound jazz bass flats, maybe they just arent growly strings. Kinda hesitant about using roundwounds because of the wear rumour.
     
  12. JAL

    JAL

    Dec 15, 2004
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Ok, i got it now where all the buzz is in the upper frets; 12 and up. Tighten the rod slightly? (The action is very low, a few MM away from being flat)