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Would someone help with my setup please.

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Cochise, Mar 4, 2005.

  1. Hi,

    I am the proud owner of a Warwick Corvette standard 5 active with a bubinga body. I played several in the store and picked the one I liked best. The action was way too high for me but there was just something about this one that felt right. Anyway, I got home and called up the Gary Willis setup site, determined that I would do all the work to this bass myself. I am more than capable of doing this ( I build race motors for my drag bike, so how hard can a guitar be...?).

    So here's what I have done so far.
    1 Check neck relief:0.85mm with feeler gauges (capoed at !st fret and held down at 24th fret on B string)

    2 Lower bridge plate to get the following string heights at the 12th fret:
    B2.27mm E2.4mm A2.17mm D1.82mm G1.52mm.
    Because I lowered the bridge plate I have avoided messing with individual string heights and therefore the radius of the strings across the bridge is left as set at the factory. As I understand it the factory do a pretty good job of this anyway.

    3 Lower the bass side of the pick ups because the bass string output was hotter than the treble output (on the VU meter on my amp-Ashdown ABM500Evo2)

    PUP Height:
    Neck- B String 5 mm
    G String 2 mm

    Bridge B String 2 mm
    G String 1 mm

    I know I am getting there with my setup, but my B string buzzes slightly above the 12th fret (I've never had a 5 before, do you play there anyway?), and according to my VU meter the bass strings are still hotter than the treble strings. Would this be because of the way my amp is eq'd? (guitar set flat). Are you supposed to use a volt meter or ammeter to get an equal output from all the strings, and if so what would be the allowable tolerance between strings?

    Can anyone see anything that I have done horrendously wrong?

    Thanks for reading my ramblings-any advice, hints or insults if constructively phrased, gratefully received. :help:
  2. If your B string is hot & buzzes, try raising it. Remember also that factory setups are raely done in the same climate as where the bass is either sold or played. Start w/proper setup as proscribed by Warwick, but let your ears & hands be the final judge of what's right- within reason, of course.
  3. Yeah, I see your point. The strings get progressively less hot from the bass string to the treble string. Maybe I need to raise the bass side of the bridge plate rather than just the B string, but that will raise the action. I intend to learn to slap on this bass, so what would be considered an action low enough to do this comfortably? Is there a trade off between a low action and inconsistant string output? Also, I thought the pups were too close to the G string, but lowering them will reduce the output further. I will fit a new battery to the bass as I'm not sure how old it is. The other thing I'm not sure about is how accurate the VU meter is in my amp, so I may be worrying over nothing. If the worst comes to the worst I measured EVERYTHING before I adjusted anything so I could go back to factory setup and start again, but I still can't see I've done anything wrong. Keep your thoughts coming, guys and gals, and thanks in advance as ever...
  4. My experience is very low action is hard to slap cleanly- mind you, I'm a pretty sloppy slapper. It's hard to 'diagnose' your issues w/o seeing your bass, but you might try raising the bass end of the bridge plate til individual string vol/output is more consistent. A bigger string will have have greater excursion(swing back & forth farther when vibrating) & greater mass & therefore greater effect on a magnetic pickup, so it should be physically farther from said pickup(than the smaller/thinner strings).
    A more knowledgeable bass tech should have much more insight on this than me, or at least be able to explain it more clearly. Hopefully someone will chime in soon!
  5. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    Where did you measure the relief? If my math is right 0.85 mm = .033 inches which is a huge amount of relief.
  6. I noticed that too Sean. But I also see why he got that.

    Cochise, IMO you shouldn't check your relief that the 24th fret. Reason? The trussrod doesn't do much after about the 14th or so because of neck stiffness. Where I do mine is at the 14th fret so I get a reading at the 7th fret - right in the middle of the bow of the neck. Do your adjustments reading it there and you'll see a difference.

    Remember, Relief is not string height. Relief numbers will usually be counted in the thousandths of an inch - not tenths.
  7. I don't read this post the way you do - Cochise capo'd at the first fret and pressed the string at the 24th fret, so he would be measuring relief at about the 12th.

    FWIW I have just bought a s/hand 4 string Corvette fretless, and restrung it as BEAD. The B string rattles slightly, but not enough to be picked up by the amp. I don't know why, on a bass of reasonable quality, but I had to shim the neck to get the string height down.
  8. Re the neck relief, I checked the Warwick website and it says .020" so I am some 13 thou too big. In fact I had already tightened the truss rod a little, so I have given it another 1/4 turn and retuned to pitch. Apparently Warwick necks can take a little time to settle after rod adjustments, so I'll have to wait a few days I guess. Thanks for all your help, more questions will undoubtedly follow
  9. Mottlefeeder, You got it! Capo at the first fret, press down on 12th, then take reading at biggest gap between the string bottom and fret top. The Warwick manual for this bass says that it should be between the 4th and 8th frets. Thanks for your input
  10. I've just re read the Warwick setup page on their website and it says that the max relief should be .020". I've checked mine which now measures 0.010" , and the bass feels loads better to play, mainly thanks to you guys! (hey, I'm just doing what you say, although I understand what I'm doing and what I'm trying to achieve).

    The bass is now restrung with La Bella Slappers (relief set after restringing) and I've checked and adjusted the intonation. So I think that only leaves the pup height. I've seen it mentioned that if they are too close to the string they can mess with the intonation, but the farther away they are the thinner the sound and the lower the output. So is it trial and error or are there any guidelines.

    Talking if intonation, to get the G string intonated I have had to placd the saddle behind the D string saddle instead of in front, but the intonation is spot on. I've never seen this before, does it sound right to you?

    Thanks for reading and taking time to reply.
  11. I'm not a string expert, but my understanding is that the thicker the string, the further out from its fixing point it starts to vibrate, which is why string length usually increases with decreasing pitch. However, if the string set you have uses different string-core sizes, and then overwinds them, that could affect how the string vibrates, which would affect the intonation. I'm guessing here, but it sounds posssible.
  12. You might be guessing...but you've totally convinced me! Thanks