Professional setup?

I think my neck has too much curve in it but when I checked it using the 'rule of thumb' in a book I've got it seemed ok, my bridge is very low though so I was thinking maybe my neck needs straightening and my bridge raising?

Anyhoo, this added to the fact I've never adjusted the intonation etc (we're talking 6 years here) made me think about getting my bass professionally set-up, then I can at least see what things should look like for my own tweakings.
Does anyone know roughly how much this would cost in the UK? What will they do? Is it worth it? Any opinions would be great, thanks,


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:shock: Speakin of flat wound Strings, Iam thinkin about gettin a set for my Hamer 5 string, with the active pickups Iam getting a slide sound when i record with it, How are the flat wounds on a bass??

The only maple fingerboard I've had on a bass was on my first one which was to be frank, nasty in every other way, so the Rosewood on the Aria seems great (the neck is maple with that lovely satin finish on the back). Do you get many ebony fingerboards on bass? not seen many myself.

Ditto with me. I had a righty P-copy with maple 'board. Lousy access of course. Then I got a lefty P-copy (dreaded Hondo II) which was an absolute dog of Baskerville proportions. I was 19 and stupidly almost lifted it off the stand and paid for it there and then because it was the first affordable lefty I'd seen. It started going bow-wow right from the off and, even with my gleaned setting up skills I have to choose between decent intonation and the action of an egg-slicer. I only still have it because I'm not the type who can put that sort of thing on Fleeb with a decent conscience.

I bought an Aria next and it did do sterling service in my twenties. I know exactly what you mean but (apart from the gonky looks) I wasn't keen on the rosewood board and (because I'm weird) the satin neck. I actually like that thick, glossy lacquer for some reason. It's totally out of fashion now and both my fives have nothing of the sort. In fact, this Cort I bought as a porch-five seems to have nothing at all. It has some pretty dirty marks around the headstock join already.

Maple and ebony boards seem to have been swept away by the Indian rosewood. I don't like it. It looks naff and sounds dull in the extreme; wears pretty poorly as well. I think ebony only crops up on the fretless (often, not even then) because it's fairly expensive in its uniform black (coolest look). Those chocolate stripey ebony boards look a bit rubbish. Mustard mitt, I did pickup a '90 Jazz with a rosewood board that doesn't look Indian. Apart from a lovely grain, I do like its tone too - or am I getting mellow with age?

601, I know what you mean about the "SKREEEK" - it's very audible on Mike Oldfield's "Tubular Bells" and it used to bug the buttocks off me. The flats will lose you a lot of attack and can cost you a fair bit of output, too (not such a prob on the active). You could go for the pricey Thomastik-Infelds as they seem to put out a lot more than your run o'mill flats. An alternative is the coated roundwounds. The cheapest coated rounds are the ones that've had your BBQ-sauce coated fingers all over them for a few months. The skreeek level goes down quite a bit after that :)

There are the Elixir nanowebs that I've never tried and draw conflicting ops. I did ask on TBL about nylon-coated rounds, like Fender make. Huge consensus that LaBella make the best ones and US citizens have a big advantage. When I checked a coupla years ago, were selling them at ludicrously cheap prices but they won't sell anything abroad so I can't get them. I'd bet those black strings would look funky on a maple board, too.

1bassleft wrote:

I bought an Aria next and it did do sterling service in my twenties. I know exactly what you mean but (apart from the gonky looks) I wasn't keen on the rosewood board and (because I'm weird) the satin neck. I actually like that thick, glossy lacquer for some reason. It's totally out of fashion now and both my fives have nothing of the sort.

I love my Aria, for the money you can't go wrong (although I totally agree on the 'The Axe of Cheese' looks, I've made a few mods which soften the lines but even so...).
How can you prefer the glossy necks?! My SG has a glossy neck but I sweat like a beast and find myself sticking to it, its like squeegying a window. Not to put too fine a point on it.

How do you tell if your Rosewood is Indian? Mine's quite dark but does have a fairly visible grain, it seems smooth but I think a lot of that is acumulated gunk (what's that? maintainance you say?) To be honest it looks similar to the board on my Framus from the mid 50's (has it's own little thread somewhere) I assume that won't be Indian? The Aria is a touch paler. Amazing how deep you can go into these details.
Looks-wise, I want Ebony, maybe wait till I get my own signature model though :D

Might try those coated rounds, although there might be some visibility problems on my bass! Yeah, I know I should be able to play it with my eyes shut by now (and when I risk it I generally can, looking down is like a comfort blanket, and I don't want to give it up!)

How can you prefer the glossy necks?!

What you say is true, and I am a sweaty git myself. I'm just a bit weird that way. A lot of it is aesthetics over function; there is no way that a satin neck looks as classy as maple with a bit of flame under a glossy lacquer. I do like that friction while moving in the same way I prefer to shovel an unassisted car around a corner rather than twirl the wheel with one finger. HST, pretty much all of my actual playing under lights has been with satin necks. Maybe I wouldn't be so keen in frontline use.

How do you tell if your Rosewood is Indian?

The simple way is to get an idea of when your bass was made and how much you paid for it. If it's younger than your pet dog's dad and you're not still on the monthly repayment plan, it's likely to be Indian rosewood. If I get around to it, I ought to take some pictures of some of my unstrung necks. Comparing the mid 70s Fender and even the Fenix (wonder where that boardwood came from?) with the Cort, Washburn et al is quite striking. Until then, these are some Warmoth pics, although their Indian rosewood pic (left) is far nicer than the typical examples found on average-price guitars. The Brazilian (right) pic speaks for itself.

Strange analogy, but it's a bit like walking from a hallway with original, stained floorboards into a dining room with that laminate stuff put down. Apart from the figuring (lack of), if you hold an Indian-board neck angled down and concentrate on a fretspace, you'll see holes and what looks like someone has dragged a fine needle along various parts of the wood. As you look further down the neck, they really strike you as apparent all over the place. Do the same with Brazilian and you'll notice fine holes, but not that "micro-gouge" look and, as your eyes carry on down the neck, it all disappears and looks like a smooth blend. I'm sure that that Indian open pore structure is what sucks all the attack out of the note and smudges it. As I say, none too hardwearing and string rub in the first three fretspaces shows up pretty soon.

Looks-wise, I want Ebony, maybe wait till I get my own signature model though

Atchly, have you seen the lefty self-design on Bulsara's "Show us your guitar" thread? As a lefty, I've spent a few moments designing in my head the basses they won't make for me. I've been meaning to do this, but didn't want the tumbleweed reaction from guitarists in the main category. The "Designs upon a bass guitar" thread; where peeps can describe (or put up pics of) the features they'd like on their bass if made to their spec. I have a few in my head, watch this space.

(ps, I often have a glance or several at my neck when playing. Can't help it. I used another lefty's Wal once on stage. Very nice, but the lack of fret markers really wobbled me... must... concentrate... octave is... up there... somewhere...")

Yeah, I've got the fine-needle-scrapey holes on the Aria. I suppose we're all allowed one fault...or several hopefully!

Neckwise: Even aesthetically I prefer the satin, there was a perid of glossing things that were esentially crap, I think I grew up in that period, it's kind of inbuilt to question what an inch of laquer is hiding, and unless you mimic Jimi for a living who see's the back of your (guitar's) neck?
Also, have to argue the car analagy (very quickly, don't worry mods) I too, like to feel like I'm driving a car as opposed to simply directing it (currently looking for a mid to late 80's Mini to tweak etc, If I was in the States it'd be a Challenger/Charger but I like to match the tool to the task and I live in the pennines!) However, that doesn't mean I want to actually fight the car, nor do I want to drag my thumb up and down the neck.
Groove-wise there's a lot of cases where I'd rather play, say, 12\5 on the E than change between D and A strings, a satin neck allows both, IMO.

Also, just realised (I've taken an arm of my computer chair so I can play while things load "Dedication, thats what you need...") that I swap 50/50 between rock and classical grip...rock grip on a glossy is just impossible!

Wasn't implying you're a Citroen Saxo driving hairdresser, Tim :) It was a slightly poor analogy because I went for cars rather than motorbikes. I would've said I actually like that Laverda Jota fight in a bizarrely hair-chested sort of way. I know I'm the mad basket; completely at odds with what's usual.

The funny thing is, I do all those things you mentioned; swooping up the neck to stay on the E-string (in certain riffs, the tonal difference from playing on the A or D string is so bad that even a guitarist notices :wink: ) and I'm high-% rock or "baseball bat" grip. I switch to a "modified" classical only when the pinky is making placement on the low BEA strings. Yet I don't find the "braking" effect of the gloss a problem and (it gets weirder) I have an awful time with the Jazz neck because of my grip.

I much prefer the clunky Precision width and profile. The US Jazz has that "V" that forced me into a classical grip and I felt pretty uncomfortable with it. I don't mind the nut-width too much, but it only works out on guitars like the Aria and the Fenix that don't have a "V" profile. Lots of barmy bad habits and I'd never be someone's tutor, but I like this opinion on classical grip - - if only for the humour.

:lol: Totally agree with his POV.

I was about to write something about almost always using rock/baseball bat grip...then I looked at my avatar, :oops: That said (or at least 'smilied') I'm pretty sure I can name the song from that photo, and I also no that by the end of it I could barely feel my thumb (mainly due to technique, I tend to bend my slightly double jointed thumb backwards in this grip as you can see)

And I can see the tendons from here :lol: . I was going to say, that's a "modified" grip. I slip my thumb back from its proper, behind "Toby Tall" posn but, because my thumb don't bend (least likely slapper since Mother Theresa) it's just tilted oddly at a straight angle.

I'm not proud of myself, I can understand good-technique players shaking their heads. On rare "covers" duty, playing the verse on Skunk Anansie's "I Can Dream" is just not do-able on baseball grip so I maintained the cod-classical. It was my forearm that was burning up. On the record, the bass plays with only drums for a few bars over a held feedback from the guitar, then the vocals come in, finally guitar joins.

Us playing it, the guitarist held the feedback for a bonkers length of time and the singer wouldn't come in until he shut up. I practically stopped breathing by the 16th bar. B@$t@rd guitarist was grinning like an idiot; not because he liked the feedback, he knew how much it was hurting me. I really ought to undo some bad habits.

It's not normally that bad, I believe I've just slid(?) up with the ring finger so I can play a little ghost note with the pinky and then back down with the index...I hated that song.

Personally, I wouldn't even atempt a Skunk Anansie song, it's like a rally driver deciding he can race F1, may look the same from space but...

Well, I got it done, figured it was best to get a shop to set it up initially to give me a starting point. Intonation is sorted for the first time ever! and the action is playable at the 12th, yay. He said he'd raise it slightly if I wa getting too much buzz, but I've decided to perservere with it for a bit as its highlighting some obvious right-hand (1BL read left-hand) issues which I want to clean up. Also started actually learning scales and chordal watsits and do-daas all going very well but my little finger is wondering what just hit it!!!

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