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Set-ups

  Tuesday, 20 September 2005
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I'd like to outline how we go about setting up the instruments. I welcome input from others. I always start with the truss-rod, then nut, then bridge. We measure truss-rod relief on the outside bass string (B-string on a 5 or 6, E on a 4) by fretting at both the 1st and 17th frets, then checking the gap between the string and the 7th fret. For players with a light touch .020" or less of relief is about right. That's about the thickness of a Dunlop .5 mm guitar pick. Players with a heavier touch need to loosen their truss-rods for more relief. Ideally you want the neck as straight as possible. You'll know if the neck is too straight if you are getting excessive buzzing in frets 1 through 7. A little buzz when you dig-in is OK and to be expected. You just don't want to have buzz happening when you are playing normally. Once the neck is adjusted correctly, double-check the nut. Open strings should not buzz. When fretting at the 2nd fret, there should be a slight gap over the 1st fret - not more than the thickness of a piece of paper or two. If you are getting buzzing on the open strings you can either loosen the truss-rod 1/8 turn or have the nut replaced (they wear out and need replacing from time to time). Only after checking the nut and truss-rod do you go to the bridge. At this point if you want to lower your action further, you can lower the saddle riser screws. It's best to do this in measured amounts. I.E. 1/4 turn on every screw, re-tune and play for a bit. You can lower the saddles until you get buzzing in the upper frets 10th and up. The harder you play, the higher the saddles need to be. The lighter you play, the lower they can go. It's best to keep the saddles as low as possible (without buzzing) as higher saddles create more stress on the string leading to breakage. The easiest way to check intonation is to tune the open string, then compare the pitch of the 12th fret harmonic to the fretted 12th fret note. They should be the same. If the fretted note is sharper than the harmonic, the distance between the 12th fret and saddle is too short and the saddle needs to be moved back a bit. If the fretted note is flatter than the harmonic, you need to move the saddle forward a bit. Once the saddle is moved, you'll need to re-tune before checking. If you use Dingwall strings and maintain your truss-rod adjustment, you can go years without having to touch your bridge.
10 years ago
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#19589
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[quote="Sheldon Dingwall":j7nylyiy]As of 2010 tung oil is out as a neck finish. Quality has been declining. Satin polyurethane is now used.[/quote:j7nylyiy] How does the satin poly compare to the feel of the oil/wax? My Super J is a 2010 model and the serial #4208 -- does it have the oil/wax or the poly finish? :D
10 years ago
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#19573
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As of 2010 tung oil is out as a neck finish. Quality has been declining. Satin polyurethane is now used.
10 years ago
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#19568
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[quote="Sheldon Dingwall":3rk0ywqs]On all 2010 and later necks just use a good quality guitar polish. We use and recommend Martin Guitars brand. Skip the wax.[/quote:3rk0ywqs] Did you guys do a different neck finish from the previous Tung oil'd necks? Is that why you'd recommend regular old guitar polish is now?
10 years ago
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#19563
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On all 2010 and later necks just use a good quality guitar polish. We use and recommend Martin Guitars brand. Skip the wax.
10 years ago
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#19530
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So what is the final word? Are you guys using 100% carnauba wax on the necks and that's it? Any particular brands that stand out? I read here about the Trewax...anything that can be had at a local autoparts store (or walmart, etc.)?
11 years ago
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#17232
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[quote="Sheldon Dingwall":sjx0snga]Thanks Bill. That would be great. I'll contact Jesse.[/quote:sjx0snga] Cool. I'll keep my ears and eyes open...
11 years ago
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#17231
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Thanks Bill. That would be great. I'll contact Jesse.
11 years ago
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#17228
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[quote="rollerberg2000":hsx05289]My top wish list is something could be done with the &*((*&^%!!@! spambots infiltrating this forum. Seriously, give Burning Skies or someone on here frequently mod controls so we can blow these bast@rds out of the forum as they appear.[/quote:hsx05289] At the discretion of Sheldon, I’d be happy to do it as a service to the message board…I pretty much check out the forum several times daily anyway, and would be happy to keep things cleaned up for the residents. Always happy to donate my efforts.
11 years ago
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#17227
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[quote="rollerberg2000":2m3eynyw]My top wish list is something could be done with the &*((*&^%!!@! spambots infiltrating this forum. Seriously, give Burning Skies or someone on here frequently mod controls so we can blow these bast@rds out of the forum as they appear.[/quote:2m3eynyw] +1 It'll keep getting worse otherwise imo.
11 years ago
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#17226
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My top wish list is something could be done with the &*((*&^%!!@! spambots infiltrating this forum. Seriously, give Burning Skies or someone on here frequently mod controls so we can blow these bast@rds out of the forum as they appear.
11 years ago
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#16791
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I actually prefer strings that have been played then soaked in alcohol to brand new. They feel played in but still bright and with plenty of the upper range for me. I leave one set soaking while I have one on my bass and rotate them back and forth every few months. I also have one brand new set in the wings at all times, just in case. The two sets I'm rotating right now are from a year ago October, when I first received the Rastaburst.
11 years ago
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#16790
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Well, I was recording something yesterday so I used the opportunity to see how new strings sound recorded, and clean the old ones with alcohol in the meantime. I wanted to keep the fresh set as fresh as possible (as I should do a lot more recording in a few months; this was preparation), so as soon as I were finished I put the old strings back on. I didn't have much alcohol, so I could only soak about 5-6" of a single string at a time. After a few seconds I moved to the next section of the string, etc. While treating a section, I was bending the string in every direction to let the alcohol apply between string grooves. After I finished with a string I cleaned the string with paper towels and let it hang, so any remaining alcohol would evaporate. I repeated the same treatment a few hours later. One treatment took about 15 minutes. The first treatment took [i:kdqd0bc8]a lot[/i:kdqd0bc8] of dirt off. The strings were perfectly clean after it. I was surprised how many specs of dirt were floating in the alcohol as I was cleaning them. As far as I could see, the second treatment did nothing to make the strings cleaner; so I'm not sure if leaving the strings soaked in alcohol overnight would do any better then what I did. Comparing the old, dirty set with fresh strings: I was in love with fresh strings. I'm not sure why, as I was using flats on my non-Dingwall basses. Could be the light gauge, thin strings don't get thumpy over time, just dead. At least I think it makes sense. With new strings, I fell in love with my Dingwall again, as if that could happen. I couldn't put it down. And, all of a sudden, by boosting highs I could make my fretless sound like the dirtiest fretted bass you can imagine when playing with a pick... Just great. And it could mwah like nothing else. Kudos to Sheldon! Dingwall fretlesses are most definitely the best fretlesses out there. Comparing the cleaned set with fresh strings: I expected more from the cleaned strings. They are not that bad (and they were before being cleaned), so it's a great improvement. A weird fact: that piano ring you can hear with a fresh low B came back with cleared strings, but only when playing it open. Fretting the low B string takes the piano ring out altogether (the fretless board kills it), but I'm not sure it did so with fresh strings. Now just to see how long will these cleaned strings keep their status. But, cleaning strings with alcohol is a great alternative to buying fresh strings (which are expensive, and if you're outside US and Canada, very hard to find) and, for what it's worth, I recommend doing so.
11 years ago
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#16529
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I saw that in another thread a few minutes ago as well.
11 years ago
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#16526
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Yeah, that page looked messed up, but it seems like it's ONLY that page. I don't know what to do about your problem though.
11 years ago
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#16523
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I can't imagine it being bad for a day or two of no strings, but I would love to hear Sheldon's take on this.
11 years ago
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#16521
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So, my strings are due to be cleaned. The plan is to soak them in alcohol overnight, then dry them with some paper towels and leave them outside for 2-3 hours for the alcohol to evaporate. Then I'll put them back. What should I do with the bass? I guess I should loosen the truss-rod and bring it back up to tension when I put the strings back and start tuning the bass. I'm not sure that's the proper thing to do. Also, I have no idea how much I'd have to loosen the-truss rod, or if the process could end up doing more damage to the bass then if I lust left it at full tension. An other option would be to take my only spare brand new set and use it to keep the neck at proper position while old strings get cleaned, than pack them back when it's all done. I don't want to use that new set just yet, I might have some recordings to do and I want fresh strings at stand by. Buying a new set, sadly, is not an option, and won't be for some time. Otherwise I'd just buy those nickels and get it over with ;) I'm reluctant to open the new set, but if there is even a slight risk in damaging the bass with all other options, this is the way to go. I won't proceed until I'm absolutely certain what should I do. Thoughts? Sheldon? Thanks, Bo (by the way, is it me or does this thread look all wrong? Everything's narrow and right-aligned. Maybe the new site changed some .css the forum uses? If I'm the only one with this problem I'll post screenshots. It's weird.)
11 years ago
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#16259
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Don't obsess bro. Get rid of the problem and move on to a happy place... [quote="Bocete":1u3658ix][quote="Funkshwey":1u3658ix]Denatured alcohol = 91% Rubbing alcohol = 76% Bocete I would also suspect that the core of your strings are compromised.[/quote:1u3658ix] Quite possibly It said 96% on the bottle IIRC, and it was in an industrial looking package. The alcohol was transparent (as in not colored purple), and I threw the bottle away so I can't be sure which it was. Either way, those strings are useless. Even if the string cores were ok and the strings were playable, I wouldn't think of having rusty strings touch the fretboard. Argh, now that I've imagined rusty strings on the fretboard, I feel sick. The thought won't go away :?[/quote:1u3658ix] :D
11 years ago
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#16257
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The point of denatured alcohol is to spoil it for consumption. Adding water to ethanol wouldn't help this. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denatured_alcohol What type of steel exactly are the strings made of? Is the core a different material?
11 years ago
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#16256
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[quote="Funkshwey":1c3w2bfl]Denatured alcohol = 91% Rubbing alcohol = 76% Bocete I would also suspect that the core of your strings are compromised.[/quote:1c3w2bfl] Quite possibly It said 96% on the bottle IIRC, and it was in an industrial looking package. The alcohol was transparent (as in not colored purple), and I threw the bottle away so I can't be sure which it was. Either way, those strings are useless. Even if the string cores were ok and the strings were playable, I wouldn't think of having rusty strings touch the fretboard. Argh, now that I've imagined rusty strings on the fretboard, I feel sick. The thought won't go away :?
11 years ago
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#16254
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Denatured alcohol = 91% Rubbing alcohol = 76% Bocete I would also suspect that the core of your strings are compromised.
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