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What a differnce a good setup makes ...

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by RustyAxe, Sep 4, 2008.

  1. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    I bought a used Tacoma Thunderchief acoustic bass guitar over the weekend. It's a late 2001 pre-Fender model, with just a little road rash, but in otherwise great condition. I did my complete inspection, and found it to be structurally sound, but the action at the 12th fret was nearly 7mm. Twice the factory setup. I called a guy, 30 miles away, who is highly recommended in this area to schedule an appointment. He told me to bring it in. He did a complete setup while I waited, and with each adjustment, he retensioned the strings, and handed it off to me to play and comment. It was great to watch him work (seemingly effortlessly) and chat with him about it. In addition to the kind of thorough going-over that I gave it (checking for structural integrity) he:

    • checked and adjusted truss rod
    • checked fret height
    • checked and filed nut slots
    • checked and lowered saddle
    • checked and filed bridge string slots
    • removed and shimmed (3 times) the neck

    What I got back, after an hour of work, was a new bass. Plays like butter, yet no buzzing unless I dig in with three fingers (!). I couldn't be happier with my new treasure.

    On the same trip he also did a thorough setup on my eight month old Martin D-35 which sounded good, but the factory string height was a bit high. He did much the same as he did to the bass (minus the neck shims, of course). It's now one of the smoothest playing and nicest sounding D-35's I've ever played.

    Setting up a Tacoma Thunderchief - $50
    Setting up a D-35 - $36
    Getting to play and approve of each change - PRICELESS!
  2. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    I completely agre on the virtues of a good set up!!!
    ...thought I'd chime in :):hyper:

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