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Where's yer action at?

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by Robin Ruscio, Feb 2, 2005.


  1. Robin Ruscio

    Robin Ruscio Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2003
    Denver, CO, USA
    My bridge moved on me when i changed strings recently and i had to reset it to get my action back down, and play with the adjusters. It got me thinking about action. So i'm curious- where is yours at? Also if you know the setup of any famous bassist that would be cool as well. Measure at the end of the fingerboard to the bottom of your E and G strings.

    Mine is at 6.3 mm for E and 3.4 mm G (low), but i'm thinking of pulling it up back to around 7 and 4 or so for a touch more bottom.
     
  2. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    When the weather isn't messing with the heights without my help, I try to keep 'em at 6 or 7mm on the G and 9-10mm on the E. Spiro Starks, LaScala Hybrid, and a big **** eating grin. :D

    On my old Czech bass with the same setup, replace "**** eating grin" with "bucket of bloody bandages".... After a while, had to lower 'em to 5mm on the G and 8mm on the E just to keep the bone from showing. :eyebrow:
     
  3. Alexi David

    Alexi David

    May 15, 2003
    NYC
    Few days ago, put on Lenzner Plain gut G,D,A, Wrapped E, Jargar Dolce Low B. The G is now at 9mm, the E at about 14mm. Geez, that A is huge and floppy. I like the feel, but I think those adjusters will have to go up real soon.......though the gut is still stretching

    I like what Ray Brown said - "If I can slide my finger under the end of the strings, then it's the right height." That pretty much works for me too, only on gut of course.
     
  4. Robin Ruscio

    Robin Ruscio Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2003
    Denver, CO, USA
    man, you guys are some masochistic mofo's. i pulled my E up to 7 mm and my G is just over 4, a little lower then i had it before my bridge moved. Did Ray really crank his action? I played one of his basses on time and it felt low, but that was when i had my action much higher.
     
  5. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    It's always the never-ending "facility vs. sound" dilemma. I can't enjoy the facility if I don't think it sounds good, or could sound better. I'm rarely completely satisfied with the day-day setup, but try not to mess with it too often as this can get addictive, at which time I spend more time fussing over details than playing the damn thing. So I try to just leave it alone unless the weather really whacks it out one way or another.
     
  6. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Average is about 4mm and 6mm here. I was playing Spirocore solos maybe a touch lower than this, as I liked the sound there better, and now have regular Spirocore EA and Original Flexocor DG and probably have them about 5mm and 7mm.
     
  7. Mine is now 8 mm on E and about 4 mm on G string, rounded fingerboard. I pluck sideways, and up to the second joints of my index and middle fingers, so I don´t have to get my fingers under the string.

    Anyhow, I think that one of the most important things in getting the big sound is how you pluck, and how you stop the notes with the left hand. The string height affects more to the volume and attack and decay of the note. Personally, I have noticed that my sound doesn´t get any "bigger" if I raise the action, I only get slower and keeping time gets harder.

    R2
     
  8. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
    My action is generally in the bedroom, occasionally outdoors...
     
  9. Alexi David

    Alexi David

    May 15, 2003
    NYC
    I was SO waiting for him to say that! :D
     
  10. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    Outdoors! You go, boy! Must be a little cold right now, though...

    My string height is currently at 5-8 mm.
     
  11. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA

    I hope not this time of year. Frostbite can be quite painful.

    I have mine around 3-4mm at G and about 7-8 mm on the E. I tend to crank it down a bit, play a few weeks, a little more, a few more weeks. Eventually my teacher will notice and have me jack it back up stupid high.

    It's been a while since I have seen him, so it's really down there right now.

    Maybe is it is the amazing work of Nick Lloyd, or perhaps my dumb luck, but I can get it pretty low without having problems with buzzing.

    Although this time of year, you might wake up one day, grab the bass and it will clatter like crazy. So, you crank it up high and start the process all over again.
     
  12. Robin Ruscio

    Robin Ruscio Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2003
    Denver, CO, USA
    this is in line what i have been rediscovering over and over again myself.
     
  13. AMJBASS

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    I have mine set at 8mm for the G, 12mm E. Depends on what strings I am using. I currently have Obligatos on, and I just think they sound better with the action higher. Plus, they are lower tension that the Helicore Hybrids I had on before. I don't know if I will stay with the Obligatos though....
     
  14. Yeah, me too.
    I seem to get back to the most comfortable string height no matter what I try. I have Spiro Orchestras, though, and that´s a relatively stiff string. With lower tension strings I´d have to crank up a bit, I guess. I like it how they sound on my bass, so I haven´t changed for a while.

    R2
     
  15. Pete G

    Pete G

    Dec 31, 2001
    Northern Virginia
    With the Pirastro Permanents I'm now using, I'm at about 4mm on G and 6-7 on E.

    When I had Velvet Compass 180s on previously (for a brief period) the strings were a mm or two higher.
     
  16. Same here..8mm G string, 12mm E string, it's the only way I feel comfortable getting around the instrument and achieving the sound I want ..I used to have it ridiculous at like 12mm for the G a while back...those were the days!!
     
  17. Ike Harris

    Ike Harris

    May 16, 2001
    Nashville TN
    Just put on some Helicore Arcos to do some orchestra stuff and had to do the same routine of cranking down the bridge from where the Obligatos worked better at a higher action. I'm a little bummed at the smaller amount of sustain but the bowing does respond a lot quicker with these. I've been with Oblis for a number of years now but it's time to look around.
     
  18. That seems kind of low. What strings are you using?

    R2
     
  19. Alexi David

    Alexi David

    May 15, 2003
    NYC
    I had the same question - how do you get a sound from your bass? (not saying that condescendingly :) ) I'm assuming you use fingertips like EB??
     
  20. AMJBASS

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    I am thinking about checking out Corellis, so the action will likely go down a bit. On the Christopher I am playing right now, I am not getting the definition or clarity I want with the Obligatos.