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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:20 am 

Posting for a mate of mine who has built a 6 string bass from a kit. He has done a great job but the action is a little too high for his liking and he wants to get it "set up" properly. Based in Dundalk with transport so can travel anywhere north of the border or down the country.

Any advice greatly appreciated.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 12:12 pm 

I would say this fella would be worth giving a shout. Did the workshop and found it great.
https://www.facebook.com/TheGuitarWorkshop/

Also was recommend http://www.dolmencustom.com/. Planning on sending them a guitar but have not got my arse in gear yet.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 12:14 pm 

Doing setups is very easy, there are plenty of videos on youtube which go through the fundamentals. If he can put the instrument together then a setup shouldn't be beyond his abilities. "Dave's world of fun stuff" is entertaining, where he's usually going through minor repairs and setups in every video.

If the action is high, first thing to check is the bow of the neck. Is the tension of the strings pulling the neck forward and, therefore raising the action? Hold the 1st string down at the first fret and the last fret and see what the gap is between the top of the 8th and 9th frets and the bottom of the string. There should be no more than 1mm between the string and the fret. If there is more, he needs to tighten the truss rod. Always take care, use a tool which fits properly so you don't strip the truss rod nut, and never force the rod. If he takes his time, takes it easy, this is an easy adjustment to make. You loosen the strings, adjust the rod, allow some time for the neck to settle, re-tune to pitch and measure again. Very simple. The bridge height adjustments shouldn't need explaining. At the other end, the nut should be about as high as it would be if you had another fret where the nut is. Either he can file the individual slots down or, if they're already following the radius of the neck, sand the bottom of the nut until the right height is achieved, then glue into place again. As ever, it's better to take your time and do this slowly so you get it right, but it is a simple exercise.

Truss rod adjustments are the kind of thing you end up doing twice a year, due to the changes in the weather from Summer to Winter, so they're nothing to be intimidated about.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 12:32 pm 

Would you always loosen the strings Juggz when making an adjustment. I never loosen the strings or unlock the nut...and I have never really been happy with any of the adjustments. So maybe this is where I am going wrong.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 12:47 pm 

Not until they're fully slack, but enough to relieve some of the stress on the truss rod if I was going to tighten it. Once you get it right with the strings of your choice, you'll never need more than a small tweak either way for seasonal adjustments. I like to keep my necks very flat, almost no relief at all, so the truss rod is as stressed as it will ever be, so just to help the nut move and minimise the force needed to move it, a little loosen helps.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 1:30 pm 

Moose on here might be handy fella to do a set-up.

Wasn't he working at that in a guitar place in Dublin?


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:14 pm 

Great stuff lads I'll be talking to him later and pass on the advice (link). I'm putting together a 7 string Gibson V style too but I'm just staining it at the moment so I'll be coming back to this advice.

I'll definitely check out the guitar workshop I like the idea of getting hands on practical experience with a pro. Cheers for the advice Juggz do the same rules apply for bass & guitar when trying to get the action right?


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:41 pm 

Yep, the exact same principles apply. The string is a straight line from bridge to nut. Provided the nut is at the right height, which is something you set once only, your two variables are how high the bridge is and how much the neck bends from where it meets the body to the nut once the strings are pulling it forward. Get the neck straight first - i.e. when you hold the string down at the first and last frets, the straight line of the string becomes your guide and the neck should not deviate too much from that straight line. You then adjust the height of the bridge to suit (depending on the quality of the fret job :) ). It is genuinely pretty easy, but it can intimidate people. Once you understand the principles involved, take your time, make small adjustments until you're comfortable, it is a simple and logical process.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:13 pm 

Thanks everyone, I'm the friend DamienK666 was talking about, thanks for all the great advice.

I'd a few guitars/basses over to a guitar tech last night. He said he was more guitar than bass but made suggestions on what to do.The 6-string bass has two truss rods, so was unsure if I should always adjust equally? The nut is a little high which is throwing off the action too. I'd just been afraid to touch it myself in case I overdo, as it seems hard to find a replacement wide enough. But the toughest part that I couldn't do myself. He suggests a shiv. I used a sliver of folded paper to adjust the angle to get it playable but to get action perfect, its not the best solution. Who in Ireland does them? As I'm not sure what angle of shiv I need, I'm afraid of ordering one off Stewmac.

Will try some of the suggestions tomorrow when the temperature is a little less formidable.

Thanks once again for all advice thus far. Thus bass has become my new baby and I'm just overly wierie of screwing it up :D

Ps. Damien has been suggesting I get on here for a while and dont know why I waited... Lovin' the forums so far!!


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 12:08 am 

Welcome to the forum.

It's a shim and, again, it's easy to do

https://www.premierguitar.com/articles/ ... lt-on-neck

As for your nut, just get some fine sandpaper, take the nut off and sand the bottom of it until it's low enough - being careful to take your time and not sand away too much. If you go slow and check frequently, it's hard to get wrong.

Dual truss rods are usually found in wide necks like your 6 string bass (4 string Rickenbackers have them too) and it allows you to fine tune the straightness of the neck on either side, depending on the force exerted by the strings. They don't need to be the same tightness, they need to be tightened so that the neck relief is equal on both sides of the neck if you have a set of strings which don't have the same tension on the bass and treble sides. Understand how the truss rod works and it will make sense.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-8xn3BOew4

Any tech who thinks a guitar is all that different from a bass would not inspire confidence.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 10:23 am 

P2ych0178 wrote:
Ps. Damien has been suggesting I get on here for a while and dont know why I waited... Lovin' the forums so far!!

Don't visit the new gear 2017 thread, you'll end up with a pedalboard and a new amp, a huge hole in your bank account, and a wife you can no longer bring to the jamspace for fear she'll see what you've done.

This thread has also reminded me how badly some of my guitars are set up, taking my Maverick home for a restring and a clean this weekend so I'll be doing all three and following Juggz' instructions above for this too. Thanks lads.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 11:17 am 

StoutAndAle wrote:
Moose on here might be handy fella to do a set-up.

Wasn't he working at that in a guitar place in Dublin?


I do pedal repairs and restoration for Some Neck but I don't really do set ups other than my own stuff and the odd mate.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 11:44 am 

I only leave my stuff into some neck- always good experiences with them


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 12:22 pm 

ochoill wrote:
P2ych0178 wrote:
Ps. Damien has been suggesting I get on here for a while and dont know why I waited... Lovin' the forums so far!!


Don't visit the new gear 2017 thread, you'll end up with a pedalboard and a new amp, a huge hole in your bank account, and a wife you can no longer bring to the jamspace for fear she'll see what you've done.


Ignore him, the New Gear 2017 thread is where we keep all the good stuff :twisted:


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 4:00 pm 

Slightly related to this but probably a much easier fix, just I'm absolutely clueless at changing things around. I play a 5 string, but I'm looking change from B-G to E-C for more chordal and harmony stuff. Would there be much messing around with the bridge and the action to get a decent sound? Or is it just a case of figuring out which gauge strings will work best?


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