New

Set-ups

  Tuesday, 20 September 2005
  0 Replies
  2.2K Visits
0
Votes
Undo
  Subscribe
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
·
#19530
0
Votes
Undo
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
·
#17227
0
Votes
Undo
[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
·
#17226
0
Votes
Undo
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.
12 years ago
·
#13867
0
Votes
Undo
I used to boil, but I'm pretty sure that repeated heating eventually breaks down the strings. I noticed more broken G strings, even with stainless. I use the alcohol method. Mark
12 years ago
·
#13863
0
Votes
Undo
[quote="BurningSkies":2oh0yd7h][quote="TheGrandEnigma":2oh0yd7h]I don't think you can get everclear here - it's illegal. Closest we have is B-151 (151 proof). Seems to me you may as well get the cheap stuff and save the expensive stuff for drinking - it may burn, but it's good! :D I've always just boiled strings. I don't know if that's the best way to clean them, but it seems to work for a short while. Not too concerned about rust on stainless strings --> I don't live by the ocean.[/quote:2oh0yd7h] I've done both, and I can positively state that the denatured alcohol route is much better than boiling (its been about 15 years since I boiled, but I DO use denatured alcohol regularly).[/quote:2oh0yd7h] I'll give that a try, thanks for the tip. :)
12 years ago
·
#13847
0
Votes
Undo
[quote="TheGrandEnigma":1w15sa7q]I don't think you can get everclear here - it's illegal. Closest we have is B-151 (151 proof). Seems to me you may as well get the cheap stuff and save the expensive stuff for drinking - it may burn, but it's good! :D I've always just boiled strings. I don't know if that's the best way to clean them, but it seems to work for a short while. Not too concerned about rust on stainless strings --> I don't live by the ocean.[/quote:1w15sa7q] I've done both, and I can positively state that the denatured alcohol route is much better than boiling (its been about 15 years since I boiled, but I DO use denatured alcohol regularly).
12 years ago
·
#13842
0
Votes
Undo
I don't think you can get everclear here - it's illegal. Closest we have is B-151 (151 proof). Seems to me you may as well get the cheap stuff and save the expensive stuff for drinking - it may burn, but it's good! :D I've always just boiled strings. I don't know if that's the best way to clean them, but it seems to work for a short while. Not too concerned about rust on stainless strings --> I don't live by the ocean.
12 years ago
·
#13838
0
Votes
Undo
[quote="guitarded":3c1x96w0]You can also use Everclear (grain alcohol) from the liquor store, but it's very expensive compared to the denatured stuff. On the plus side, you can drink it, but be very careful. It's powerful stuff! Mark[/quote:3c1x96w0] Haven't had a sip in 5+ years :) I'm gonna give it a shot with the alcohol I have here, as soon as my strings get dirty. I think it'll work perfectly.
12 years ago
·
#13837
0
Votes
Undo
You can also use Everclear (grain alcohol) from the liquor store, but it's very expensive compared to the denatured stuff. On the plus side, you can drink it, but be very careful. It's powerful stuff! Mark
14 years ago
·
#5706
0
Votes
Undo
[quote="Dragonlord":2lzd5o1h]Well, I'm bumping this thread as I recently got my used tung oil finished, honeycomb color Prima. It came with no papers/instructions on how to maintain the finish, so I'd like a simple answer with brand names and exact product names, as I will most probably have to order the products from the USA (for example kiwi shoe polish). I just want the bass to remain as it is, I love the smooth feel of the neck, don't want a wax that makes it any stickier. Thanks! BTW, would you recommend the Warwick beewax for any parts of the bass (if you're familiar with it)?[/quote:2lzd5o1h] How does Warwick wax feel on necks? If it is working for your Warwick and it's not making it sticky feeling it will be fine for your Prima.
14 years ago
·
#5705
0
Votes
Undo
"Welcome back" bump!
14 years ago
·
#5653
0
Votes
Undo
Well, I'm bumping this thread as I recently got my used tung oil finished, honeycomb color Prima. It came with no papers/instructions on how to maintain the finish, so I'd like a simple answer with brand names and exact product names, as I will most probably have to order the products from the USA (for example kiwi shoe polish). I just want the bass to remain as it is, I love the smooth feel of the neck, don't want a wax that makes it any stickier. Thanks! BTW, would you recommend the Warwick beewax for any parts of the bass (if you're familiar with it)?
15 years ago
·
#1847
0
Votes
Undo
Great suggestion Guitarded, Thank You!
15 years ago
·
#1844
0
Votes
Undo
[quote="Texas Bred":idn70bgf]Would you suggest something other than fine steel wool [/quote:idn70bgf] I don't use steel wool for the reasons Sheldon mentioned. I use 3M Scotchbrite pads periodically on my wood fretboards. They are much easier to use and last longer. Mark
15 years ago
·
#1841
0
Votes
Undo
Hey Sheldon, You do know that I just bought the ABII-5 Namm bass from Gary @ GuitarX in Denver. Did I do right by not having him install the OBP-3? Would you suggest something other than fine steel wool and what exactly do you recommend for your ABII necks and satin bodies? I would like to get a little glossier finish look to the body. Thanks
15 years ago
·
#1840
0
Votes
Undo
Hi Texas Bred, Martin polish was my favorite for years. I can't remember why we quit using it. It might have been supply, it might have been because they changed the formula. The finish on the ABII is oil and wax. I can't predict how the water in the Martin Polish will react with the wax. My guess is not well. If you do try it, start with a small amount on your cloth and test in an out of the way place. When steel wooling frets, tape over your pickups and truss-rod access slot to prevent steel wool dust from getting under the pickups and sticking to the magnets.
15 years ago
·
#1838
0
Votes
Undo
Sheldon, I've been playing bass for about thiry-five years, rythym guitar for a little longer. Country, Bluegrass, Gospel and Blues were my early beginnings. Anyone that has played Bluegrass knows there are some very very picky musicians in that group. They are extremely thorough and meticulous about the sound and care of their expensive Martin's, Gibson's, and Guild flattop guitars. Fiddlers were the same. A good friend of mine, from that group, is Matt Deathridge. He is a longtime knowledgable and picky luthier. He builds his own guitars and violins. They usually sell for $10,000.00 and up. (He is also known nation-wide) He also repairs guitar and orchestral instruments of high dollar and reputation, such as Stadivarius, etc. He told me a long time ago that "C.F.Martin & Co." guitar polish was the best way to keep the body and neck of any instrument cleaned and polished. He also supplies me a small 2oz. bottle of very very expensive oil (can't think of the name or type) used in keeping the fretboard cleaned and conditioned. It's very hard to find anymore and he can only seem to get it from Germany. The old luthiers used it for centuries on fretted instruments. I've always cleaned and conditioned my instruments using his advice and my instruments have always looked and played great. For fretboard cleaning and conditioning, every few months, I use a soft small cotton cloth and a very fine steel wool for cleaning the frets and the board. This oil is excellent and keeps the fretboard in great shape. As soon as I can speak to him, I'll find out what type of oil it is. I also keep my bass in it's case at all times except for when I take it out about one or two hours before playing it. That usually gives the instrument enough time to aclimate to the room or outside environment. As soon as I quit playing, I immediately take a clean dry cotton cloth and wipe down the body, neck, each string fully, hardware, and the fretboard. If I use the guitar polish on my satin finished DW ABII-5, will it give me a slight glossier look to my bass. Thanks
15 years ago
·
#1822
0
Votes
Undo
[quote="hmagman":3iksmy9s]Sheldon, does your setup guidance apply to all of your bass guitar product lines? I just received a new SuperJ and I was hoping to use this information for a setup starting point. Thanks, Harry[/quote:3iksmy9s] Yes. A general rule of thumb is if there is buzz in the lower frets adjust it out with the truss rod (loosen). If there is buzz in the upper frets, raise the saddles. If you're finding your action too high and there is no buzz in the lower frets, tighten the truss rod until there is buzz in the lower frets and then back off the rody by 1/8 turn. Then you can try lowering the saddles.
15 years ago
·
#1820
0
Votes
Undo
Sheldon, does your setup guidance apply to all of your bass guitar product lines? I just received a new SuperJ and I was hoping to use this information for a setup starting point. Thanks, Harry
15 years ago
·
#843
0
Votes
Undo
Hi Sheldon, I just bought one of those ABII's from Quest Musique a couple of weeks ago and am really impressed. It sounds great (now my amp can't keep up). I am finding it buzzing at the 7th fret, mostly on the B but the E as well. I have never been adventurous enough to touch the truss rod on my former basses but I would like to have this one "perfect". I think it's time I did this myself but I'm scared to death of screwing something up. I read your first post of this thread and it seems straight forward. Are there any pitfalls that you can warn me about now before I do anything? Also, after reading the thread, is it corect to say that buzzing should be handled with theh truss rod adjustments and then tweaked with the action for playing style? I have also has some trouble on the 15th fret of the B, almost dead in response. Any ideas on that? Thanks for the help, Wes
There are no replies made for this post yet.
Be one of the first to reply to this post!