Tuesday, 18 August 2015
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Hey Sheldon, A quick question for you. We've been pretty active this year and most recently I've started to notice that my intonation is maybe drifting a bit up the neck. No surprise, given that I've had the original setup since 2008 without needing more than a quick trussrod adjustment here or there. With a bunch more gigs on the docket before we lay off to record our album at the end of Sept through the middle of October, I thought it would be the perfect time to tune the Rastaburst back into ideal shape. I'm not going to hand it off to anyone (don't trust 'em!), but I'm comfortable fine tuning myself. -I have new sets of your nickel/steel strings on their way, when I switched over a couple years ago, I didn't do any changes to my setup beyond the truss rod. Do you suggest any other adjustments? -Beyond the usual considerations any tricks in adjusting the bridge saddles beyond loosen strings, loosen allen, readjust and repeat? -While I'm going through the motions, anything else I should cycle through? I don't think I need fretwork and my nut hasn't ever been a problem. I have my pickups lowered minimally from stock to protect the covers a bit, but that's it. As you know, I'm still loving this bass, I've long since gotten rid of the rest and play no others. Probably why the finish is disappearing from the back of the neck.
6 years ago
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#28540
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It sounds like you've got everything covered. The nickels will need to have the saddle positions adjusted for intonation. I like to set at the 12th then fine tune at the 19th. I prefer the neck to be as straight as possible with minimal buzz in the open through 7th frets. I also prefer the bass to play clean up to about 75% of your maximum attack and letting the frets buzz a bit on the last 25% to add some snarl when you dig in.
6 years ago
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#28541
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[quote="Sheldon Dingwall":ogyrupzu]It sounds like you've got everything covered. The nickels will need to have the saddle positions adjusted for intonation. I like to set at the 12th then fine tune at the 19th. I prefer the neck to be as straight as possible with minimal buzz in the open through 7th frets. I also prefer the bass to play clean up to about 75% of your maximum attack and letting the frets buzz a bit on the last 25% to add some snarl when you dig in.[/quote:ogyrupzu] That would explain why there's a bit of drift, given I've been using the nickel strings for quite a while now. I'll definitely set it for open/12th then readjust at the 19th. I keep the neck pretty close to as flat as I can, only giving in when I get noticeable buzzing down at the 1-5 range (in the band setting). And I've honestly never touched the saddles to adjust height. I may try to squeeze the setup a little lower if I can manage for recording. In a live setting I probably hit a little harder although people tell me that I don't appear to ever dig in. In further news, I find that the nickel strings have lasted better longer with good tone across a busy hot summer season. I used to switch out strings in 2-3 week intervals with the steels under heavy conditions. I don't seem to rust out neck bolts any longer either.
6 years ago
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#28567
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Just a quick update. Sat down last night, destrung, and did a nice complete cleaning. I changed out the batteries (every 6 months whether they need it or not, old ones get held for my pedal tuner). Cut and restrung with a new set of Dingwall nickel strings, stretched and seated them. On checking intonation, I found that compared to the standard steel set, only the E and B strings would need intonation adjustment. I did find that the white allen marked for intonation was too small for the screws and the blue allen was correct (saddle screw allen). Unfortunately the screws were tightened down so much that it was impossible to back out any of them...the wrench actually was flexing rather than the screw moving. Since it was the B and E and they only were a hint out of intonation and since I don't usually play those strings that far up the neck I decided to just back off and live with it, most likely it won't be noticeable. Also, I'll note that my neck is set so flat that there is no light between string and fret at 5-7 when using the string as a straight edge and holding the strings down at 1 and where the neck meets body...but I have no buzzing down low at my standard right hand playing action.
6 years ago
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#28568
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Hi Bill, I assume the flexing wrench was for the saddle lock down screws. It's good that you stopped before stripping them. For cases like this a torx wrench will be the best tool. It will bite into the screw better than a hex wrench.
6 years ago
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#28585
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Yeah, it was the two screws on the top of the saddle, that clamp it down into place. I didn't need to adjust the string height nor the truss rod. They have certainly effectively 'locked down' the saddles. Again, I'm not too worried because only the E and B strings showed to be out of intonation and it was what I would consider a minimal amount, so totally livable for me. What I'll do is when I do decide to make the adjustment, go and get a torx to have on hand. I'm still sort of stunned that the neck is dead flat without buzzing though. The new nickel strings sounded great for our two shows this weekend...I forgot how much I love the way they feel when they're new.
6 years ago
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#28586
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[quote="BurningSkies":2ub8td44]I'm still sort of stunned that the neck is dead flat without buzzing though. [/quote:2ub8td44] Funny you should mention this. Took my Z2 to the Bass Centre here in Melbourne yesterday, and Guy (one of the owners) said exactly that, in fact he thought the low action was "outrageous". I totally agree, all I had to do after receiving "Stormy" in May was a very small truss rod adjustment (1/8th turn, maybe) because the neck recovered from the shock of transport and went into a slightly more reclined (i.e. slight backbone) position. Haven't touched anything since, everything is simply perfect! Still the original stainless steel strings on it, still sounding absolutely amazing. Regards, Michael
6 years ago
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#28588
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[quote="drbass":l0turdja][quote="BurningSkies":l0turdja]I'm still sort of stunned that the neck is dead flat without buzzing though. [/quote:l0turdja] Funny you should mention this. Took my Z2 to the Bass Centre here in Melbourne yesterday, and Guy (one of the owners) said exactly that, in fact he thought the low action was "outrageous". I totally agree, all I had to do after receiving "Stormy" in May was a very small truss rod adjustment (1/8th turn, maybe) because the neck recovered from the shock of transport and went into a slightly more reclined (i.e. slight backbone) position. Haven't touched anything since, everything is simply perfect! Still the original stainless steel strings on it, still sounding absolutely amazing. Regards, Michael[/quote:l0turdja] I really like Sheldon's Nickels, but until they were available, I enjoyed the steels and had no complaints. I could probably bring the action down at the bridge a little bit, but don't really have that need. I'm basically running with the 'stock stetup' from the shop that my bass came with in October of 2008. I lowered the pickups slightly, but that was mostly to protect them rather than for any tonal change. And I have adjusted the truss rod seasonally when needed. As things dry out in the fall, I'm guessing I may have to loosen it or have backbow since it's dead flat right now. The part of the design that works just as intended, I have often made those adjustments on the fly in rehearsal or at gig time if needed. So easy to make that small adjustment if you have to. Looks like it plays pretty effortlessly here: https://www.facebook.com/RootShock/vide ... =2&theater
6 years ago
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#28590
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I'm gonna be restringing my ABZ6 soon with some fresh nickels, the current strings are super dead but up until maybe 2 weeks ago I really dug that sound... Now I figure I deserve to hear it with some fresh strings. I love that I can give the truss rod a tiny little adjustment every now and then without having to do a major setup.
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