Setup pointers, please?

Discussion in 'The BASS Place' started by Grandy, Apr 5, 2018.

  1. Grandy

    Grandy Tele-Meister

    Sep 18, 2010
    I played my Squier Jazz today after quite a while. The action felt a little high. I looked down the neck and there was some relief not much but some. I thought I should tighten the truss rod a bit but I have never done a bass setup, so any advice anyone might offer? Compared to a guitar the scale is longer and strings are heavier so I would assume they would need more room to vibrate. On guitars I keep the action fairly low action and the neck pretty straight. Would a similarly straight neck work on a bass?
  2. Bassman8

    Bassman8 Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Feb 17, 2018
    Centrally South PA
    For what it's worth I prefer to have a little bit a relief on bass necks. If I would check and see a bass neck was perfectly straight, I would adjust it to have just a little relief. I might be wrong on this but it's served me well over the years and I have no issues with action or intonation. Sorry I don't have specs. Oh yeah, I'm talking about Fender 4 sting necks here; 34" and 30". I use roundwounds and like fairly low action but no buzzing in case that helps. Just one guy's perspective.
  3. control voltage

    control voltage TDPRI Member

    Jan 28, 2018
    3rd from the Sun
    If the neck relief seems acceptable to you, but the action is still higher than you'd like, I'd look next at the height of the saddles, and the depth of the slots in the nut. Since it's easy to adjust the saddles, and easy to undo the adjustment if you don't like it, that might be the place to start.

    If you're not sure of what you're doing, filing the nut slots could get you into trouble.

    Old strings can also feel stiff, and make an instrument feel harder to play.

    If you do adjust the truss rod, it's probably a good idea to loosen the strings first, and make small adjustments. For example, turn it no more (quite possibly, less) than 1/4 turn, tune the strings back up, and check the result before making further changes.
  4. slauson slim

    slauson slim Friend of Leo's

    Mar 16, 2003
    By The Levee
    Fender website has bass set up guides, including factory neck relief and string height settings. Useful.
    daddyplaysbass likes this.
  5. jimilee

    jimilee Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Dec 19, 2017
    Bass setups are so personal really, so much in fact that I had one setup professionally, and had to redo it myself, apparently I like it better my way. I like the lowest action I can get, straight neck are the way to go. I like to play it unplugged first to make sure everything is as it should be.
    drumtime likes this.
  6. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Tele-Meister

    Feb 2, 2018
    St. Louis
    I am a bass player and have been doing my own setups as long as I can remember. Most basses need a very slight amount of relief, just like most guitars. The exception being my 4001 which very much likes to be dead flat.

    This is of course if you prefer your action as low as it can go without buzzing.

    And set your basses up without plugging it into an amp. ;-)
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