Thursday, 04 January 2007
  0 Replies
  5.4K Visits
0
Votes
Undo
  Subscribe
[b:1nml1ad3]Action Set Up [/b:1nml1ad3] 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. 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. .................................................................................................. [b:1nml1ad3]Pick Up Set up[/b:1nml1ad3] We set the treble end of the pickup to within about 3/32" (2.4 mm) from the G or C string when fretted at the 24th fret. We set the bass end of the pickup at about double that. You can dial it in further by plugging into a recording device and using the input VU meter to gauge how much to lower or raise the bass end of the pickup to balance with the treble end. The shape of the magnetic flux field extending above the pickups looks a little like an upside-down guitar pick. So the closer to the string the pickup sits, the larger the magnetic sensing area the string cuts through creating a bigger tone and more output. Conversely the further away the pickup is the more the output drops off and the thinner the tone. If the bass end of the pickup is too high, you'll notice a pronounced "warbling" sound on the bass strings when played in the upper frets. A little "warbling" is normal. As long as it's subtle, you're OK. We set the treble end at approximately 3/32" clearance under the most treble string when fretted at the last fret. Then we plug into a VU meter and adjust the bass end so that the most bass string has as close as possible (usually within 3 db) an output compared to the treble string. I try to pluck the string with a similar touch and at a similar position relative to harmonics i.e. roughly parallel to the pickups. The pickups are suspended by silicone tubes on the adjustment screws. What can happen is the tube gets bunched up on the screw threads and won't push the pickup up when loosening the screw. The fix for this is to remove the screw completely while holding the pickup in place, then carefully re-install the screw. If done right, the tube will still be centered with the hole in the pickup so the screw will feed right into the tube. ............................................................................................... [b:1nml1ad3]Nut Set Up [/b:1nml1ad3] Nut height is critical to both feel and proper tuning in the lower frets. The way to check nut height is to reference it to fret height relationship. Because the neck has a slight amount of relief (curve) each fret is positioned at a different point on the curve, so therefore at a slightly different height relative to the plane of the string. You can see this by fretting the 1st and 3rd frets simultaneously. Look closely and you will see a slight gap between the string and the 2nd fret. Now fret at the 2nd fret and compare the clearance over the 1st fret to the previously observed clearance over the 2nd. Assuming your truss rod is adjusted properly and you're not getting buzzing in the 1st fret positions, the clearance over the 1st fret should be at least as much as over the 2nd and no more than double. Any more and you'll have tuning issues. Any less and you'll have buzzing. Using the appropriate nut file, file at about a 10 degree angle. Check your progress every few strokes. 5 strokes too many can ruin the slot. (I do this way too frequently) Also check to make sure the bottom of the slot is as perfectly round as possible, pluck the string a few times and feel for vibration behind the nut and wiggle the string back and forth to see if there is any movement of the string in the slot. Both indicate too wide a slot. If there is still height to play with, you can use a smaller file to put a slightly smaller radius at the bottom. I hesitate to jump in here and give advice, especially after a post by Sheldon, but after ruining too many nuts myself, I started using feeler gauges (the kind that one would use to adjust spark-plug gaps in cars. The set of feeler gauges that I use has a series of pieces of metal that slightly resemble knife blades about 2.5 " long. I find the two consecutive blades whose combined thickness is just slightly greater than the height of a fret from the fret board (the reason I need to use two is that no single gauge is thick enough). Then I hold these two feeler gauges tight against the fret board and tight against the nut, while filing at an angle (now I know this angle should be 10
8 years ago
·
#25807
0
Votes
Undo
Eh, I ended up using a strip from a business card folded in half, maybe a hair over a centimeter wide, at the very back of the neck pocket to give me a little extra neck angle. I had to cut out gaps to allow the neck screws through, but it worked like a charm. I don't think it's a plausible risk that it would create a hump in the neck (I certaintly haven't ever had an issue with a guitar), but if it somehow could I don't think it's going to be an issue here since I believe it's smaller than the length of fretboard after the last fret. Would a custom-carved wooden shim the exact size of the neck pocket from Sheldon's shop be cool? Yes, but getting the appropriate allen key set cost me more in shipping than the set of keys themselves, so I don't think it'd be worthwhile from a cost perspective, shipping it across the border. :lol:
8 years ago
·
#25779
0
Votes
Undo
I got a shim kit from Sheldon for my SJ4. It really does the job. There were two wedges of different thickness. So you can use one or the other or both. The good things about them is that they are harder than a business card and they conform exactly to the shape of the neck pocket. No part of the neck is left unsupported so there is no chance of developing a slight hump at the end of the neck, which would really mess up the action. Also, if you try all the sizes, you might find that you want more tilt that you would have considered if you were just layering business cards. If I remember correctly I chose the single thinner shim because the thicker shim options made the saddles very high, which affected the tone. Now my bass has super low, rattle-free action and the saddles are just right.
9 years ago
·
#24810
0
Votes
Undo
I second the setup vid. After 12 years I'm still confounded why I have more than 1/4 inch of air under my E and B strings consistently.
9 years ago
·
#23541
0
Votes
Undo
I took my non-dingwall to a local "guitar tech" and explained what I wanted. They didn't understand what intonation is apparently because it was worse than when I started. I took it back there three times (THREE!) and it never got any better. Finally I did my own based on what Sheldon wrote here. It was leaps and bounds better than what they did. I should have saw it coming. When my brother and I went in there for the first time, we asked if they had a full time guitar tech, and the answer was "all of us are techs. If we hire someone and they don't know, we teach them." Sketchy. . . :? I was not impressed with their service. I bought my combustion out of Edmonton (5 hour drive) rather than them. I know it looks intimidating, but if you give it a shot, you'll find it's not that bad. Failing that, find a reputable tech. There are bound to be some in your area.
9 years ago
·
#23539
0
Votes
Undo
N-P- I'm an accountant. I'm good with calculators, not Allan wrenches-lol
9 years ago
·
#23538
0
Votes
Undo
Just thought you'd be willing to fix it, no prob.
9 years ago
·
#23537
0
Votes
Undo
So, should I show this to the pro Luther that I just paid $30.00 to? I really just want to pay to get a real setup done. I don't want to do my own setups. everyone to their own.
9 years ago
·
#23536
0
Votes
Undo
Unbelievable. [url=http://garywillis.com/pages/bass/bassmanual/setupmanual.html:2rhzjk6o]This here[/url:2rhzjk6o] is a pretty neat tutorial on how to setup, by Gary Willis. Didn't see much bs there, you know, magic tricks and shortcuts; just pure what to do and why. May not be the perfect setup tutorial, would like to see Sheldon's approach, but bassists who have tried my basses always complimented the setup of my basses. Anyway, you'd do good to go through that tutorial and at least fix what's broken until you wait for a proper tutorial from Sheldon... I can't imagine how bad the situation is when you're waiting for an ABZ [i:2rhzjk6o]because you're hoping for a better setup[/i:2rhzjk6o].
9 years ago
·
#23535
0
Votes
Undo
Don't know if that's going to happen. She's a girl and although a very accomplished musician(Jazz degree in double bass performance) when it comes to setups she still doesn't get it. I think the setup wasn't very Good to begin with and things just multiplied. The fender has a a warped neck and the engineer likes it better. I have an ABZ on order. I hope we have better luck with it.
9 years ago
·
#23534
0
Votes
Undo
[quote="aqsw":11978t9u]My daughter took her SJ to a local " luthier" for a pro setup before she hit the studio this week. He charged her $30.00 and it's worse than it was before. He doesn't speak english real well (He's Russian). He told her that with the fanned frets that you will never be able to tune it properly. I wanted to go down there and tune him up properly but my daughter wouldn't let me. Now she's in the studio recording with her Fender!!! I'm pissed!!![/quote:11978t9u] Sorry to hear that. Please have your daughter pm me here and explain what does she need to achive, i.e. intonation, neck relief, saddle heigth, low action, and I will pm her back with a step by step guide that either she or you can carry out yourselves.
9 years ago
·
#23533
0
Votes
Undo
My daughter took her SJ to a local " luthier" for a pro setup before she hit the studio this week. He charged her $30.00 and it's worse than it was before. He doesn't speak english real well (He's Russian). He told her that with the fanned frets that you will never be able to tune it properly. I wanted to go down there and tune him up properly but my daughter wouldn't let me. Now she's in the studio recording with her Fender!!! I'm pissed!!!
9 years ago
·
#23522
0
Votes
Undo
Any word or progress on the setup video?
10 years ago
·
#20412
0
Votes
Undo
[quote="Sheldon Dingwall":2tz6j47c]How many would like to see a youtube video on setups?[/quote:2tz6j47c] that would be really great!! Pleeease do it! Thank you Sheldon!
10 years ago
·
#19891
0
Votes
Undo
[quote="Smallmouth_Bass":2562kev5]Is that a calculator watch?!![/quote:2562kev5] Where the heck did you find that photo? And yes, I defiantly wore a calculator watch until just a few years ago. I still miss it sometimes. No geek jokes please :lol:
11 years ago
·
#16118
0
Votes
Undo
So, the action by the 24th fret is considerably higher than at the nut. I know it's supposed to be that way, but not by this much (?). I don't have a string action gauge, but I can get 2 Dunlop Jazz 2 picks on top of each other under the B at the 24th fret, but it's just the way I want it between the 1st and 5th fret. What to do?
12 years ago
·
#14071
0
Votes
Undo
[quote="singlemalt":nl96neaj]I dropped my new Super PJ off at my local luthier today, along with the set up specs in this thread. He does an awesome job and I'm looking forward to getting it back set up to specs and strung with the DR Hellborg strings. My question is about the pickup height on the PJ. The Specs say 3/32 from the G string on the treble end when fretted at the last fret. Is it really THAT close? Also, what is the setup on the P pick up? Treble end closer, and bass end lower, but what happens in the middle? I've never had a P pick up. I'll do these adjustments my self, but I'd like to have a baseline to start. Thanks![/quote:nl96neaj] 3/32" is right. Use the VU meter to balance the output of the neck pickup set on each string. This is a nice feature of the P pickup design - each string can be adjusted separately.
12 years ago
·
#14069
0
Votes
Undo
I dropped my new Super PJ off at my local luthier today, along with the set up specs in this thread. He does an awesome job and I'm looking forward to getting it back set up to specs and strung with the DR Hellborg strings. My question is about the pickup height on the PJ. The Specs say 3/32 from the G string on the treble end when fretted at the last fret. Is it really THAT close? Also, what is the setup on the P pick up? Treble end closer, and bass end lower, but what happens in the middle? I've never had a P pick up. I'll do these adjustments my self, but I'd like to have a baseline to start. Thanks!
  • Page :
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
There are no replies made for this post yet.
Be one of the first to reply to this post!