Good set up = Good Playing

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foal30
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Good set up = Good Playing

Post by foal30 » Thu Jan 04, 2007 12:29 pm

I got my Jazz Bass back and I'm so happy because while Abscence makes the Heart grow fonder, the real deal is that a quality set-up and some basic "housekeeping" of your instrument can make a huge difference to the comfort factor of playing and to our projected sound.

Action raised (very slightly), neck tweaked, intonation sussed, heck even a bit of a clean(?!), and this instrument is waaaaaaaaaay better.

Anyone here have a maintainence ritual, reccomended luthiers/fixit men, basic tips etc to get the best out of the "psychical" attributes of their indstrument? If I knew then what I knew now....

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beagle
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Post by beagle » Thu Jan 04, 2007 2:50 pm

sooo true. I gather you sent yours out to be done? I tend to give mine a clean and neck / saddle height adjustment a tweak as required each time I change strings which is roughly every 6 months. makes a huge difference. Amazing how grubby it gets.

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timi
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Post by timi » Thu Jan 04, 2007 7:23 pm

I am amazed when I see how many people have high end instruments that play like *BANNED* because they do not get them setup.

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beagle
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Post by beagle » Thu Jan 04, 2007 9:43 pm

timi wrote:I am amazed when I see how many people have high end instruments that play like *BANNED* because they do not get them setup.
Yeah very common huh

As a teenager I worked for an importer and setting up the guitars & basses was one of my jobs so I got to experiement on lots of instruments in pretty bad condition setup wise.

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BrendonM
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Post by BrendonM » Thu Jan 04, 2007 10:15 pm

Whenever I buy a secondhand bass I always get it setup properly straightaway. I have found Weirs in Hamilton to be really good with basses, Stu normally does mine. When I lived in Wellington I ALWAYS got Ray Mercer to do my maintainence - he is such a talented luthier, the results speak for itself.

I totally concur, that feeling of everything being set optimally to your requirements (or the best of the instruments ability given its quality and design) is just amazing. It certainly puts the focus on the player... :lol: and the playing,

Whenever possible I change strings monthly on my gig basses and clean the neck & frets while I am at it. In my active basses I try to remember to change batteries regularly but of late it seems it has been done, on the night . :roll: ...ahem... which is OK as long as remember to pack a spare set...
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Dan
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Post by Dan » Thu Jan 04, 2007 11:38 pm

I've never taken my basses to anyone, I take care of them myself, however I get my amps and speakers serviced around every 4-5 months. You'd be surprised how many screws come loose and things get knocked around.

And BrendonM, you only change strings monthly? Yikes I go through 2 sets a week on average! String winding gets bloody tedious but I gotta have the crispy sound. Mind you, my old fender sounds better with old strings........

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timi
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Post by timi » Fri Jan 05, 2007 3:39 am

BrendonM wrote:Whenever I buy a secondhand bass I always get it setup properly straightaway.
I do with new ones too.

I would do my own setups but I don't/won't adjust necks. I do my own action/intonation between setups no problem.

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BrendonM
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Post by BrendonM » Fri Jan 05, 2007 6:34 am

Wow DanAntunovich it is so refreshing to hear that you change your strings so regularly - I used to change weekly when I was gigging regularly but since starting back after a 6 year break I have hooked up with some other dudes who also have full on day jobs and we only gig once a week normally so there is'nt as much call for it, although I did 4 gigs over the weekend and now that fresh crisp tone is a little deadened...

Great to hear your Fendeer sounds great with older strings as I want to buy a Fender Jazz Delux next. Now that I am older and earn better money I want to invest in a bass that I can grow old with :)

Credit to you and timi for doing your own setups. I will do minor adjustments to get things right for me but I still rely on a store or 3rd party for a full service so then if it is not right I can take it back until it is :) in saying that I do take note everytime with the vision to relinquish the dependance.
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BrendonM

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Post by foal30 » Fri Jan 05, 2007 11:41 am

Yeah I send my gear out, pretty lucky here in Christchurch with quality of repair men, ie: knowledge and speed.

Major work is over the hill to Peter Stephens operation.

I've never liked Fender bridges to be honest, in fact I'm scared of them.
Steinberger , any fool can look after proper (even me!).

As far as others set-ups (or lack of) I sort of think that tuning is non-negotiable , ie: the instrument needs to be in and stay, but pretty much everything else is personal quirk.

nothing like changing key above the 12th fret eh?!

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BrendonM
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Post by BrendonM » Fri Jan 05, 2007 3:17 pm

nothing like changing key above the 12th fret eh?!
I laughed my ass off when I read that... ...thanks I needed it :)
I have had the odd bass which used to do that, I totally agree about tuning being focus and the rest being personal quirk, although ultimately it all needs to be as right as possible. If you are drag racing, extreme sporting or anything full on you need to know your gear is at its best and the same respect should be applied to ones music.
cheers
BrendonM

Fender Jazz Deluxe 5 String, Ibanez, Takamine & Westone Basses.
Fender / Peavey Amplification with Ashdown cabinets, Zoom effects.
YouTube - http://www.youtube.com/BrendonMo
Bebo Group - http://www.bebo.com/javamusic

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beagle
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Post by beagle » Fri Jan 05, 2007 7:14 pm

My musicman sterling has a 3-way selector which seems to have developed a glitch in one position. it's going on 12 years old now so I think it's due for a service. can anyone recommend a repairer in auckland?

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timi
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Post by timi » Fri Jan 05, 2007 7:59 pm

beagle wrote:My musicman sterling has a 3-way selector which seems to have developed a glitch in one position. it's going on 12 years old now so I think it's due for a service. can anyone recommend a repairer in auckland?
Before you do that, get a can of this from Dick Smith.
Image

Spray a little bit into the switch and rock it back and forward a few times, I bet it will be as good as new.

Also works for scratchy pots and cleaning jacks.
I have a can permanently next to my mixing console, the stuff is seriously magic.

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Dan
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Post by Dan » Fri Jan 05, 2007 10:10 pm

beagle wrote:can anyone recommend a repairer in auckland?
When i get home i'll throw up the number of the guy I use for my speaker/amp stuff.

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Jazzbass
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Post by Jazzbass » Sat Jan 06, 2007 7:23 am

I've never had any of my gear set-up, or repaired whatever by anyone other than me. In the'60s I made a couple of my own basses too.

Many bassists can't play on my gear because I have a very light touch and have very low action, which for the more aggressive player just does not work.

I tend to change my strings every 2-5 years. For the music I play (mainly oldies r'n'r) bright is not 'right'. Even in the '70s when I was playing heavy rock and using Rotos, I couldn't wait to get rid of that bright sound.

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Dan
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Post by Dan » Sun Jan 07, 2007 2:11 am

Jazzbass wrote:
I tend to change my strings every 2-5 years.
Holy hell! Even though I don't have an overly heavy touch, I'm sure I'd easily have strings break on me inside 4 months!

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