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chrisanthony1211

String Height

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1 hour ago, ped said:

As little or as much as I like - certainly no unwanted buzz or snagging. Tone wise I love a bit of clank/zing behind the notes when I want it. I haven't got many recent recordings but the setup of this bass hasn't changed in over ten years so you can hear my sound here. 99% sure this was using the strings in the pic above, too.

 

To me it just sounds nice and growly. 👍🏻

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Getting away from the more obvious Squire/Entwistle thing - and Geddy of course (listen to him unplugged!) - it’s one of the reasons I love Stu Zender’s tone on early Jamiroquai. Listen to the first album and you can hear the strings buzzing away. Flea on Blood Sugar too. 

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14 minutes ago, 4000 said:

To me it just sounds nice and growly. 👍🏻

Thankyouverymuch

Agree with your comment re Zender and Flea. A bit of clank/buzz underlying a note gives it great definition and helps cut through imo. Otherwise it can sound a bit ‘buh’ 

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5 minutes ago, ped said:

Thankyouverymuch

Agree with your comment re Zender and Flea. A bit of clank/buzz underlying a note gives it great definition and helps cut through imo. Otherwise it can sound a bit ‘buh’ 

To me it adds aggression and character. But obviously it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. 

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Agreed. Good example of Flea’s clicky sound in this tune. Shows how it can sound really smooth and velvety

 

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Here’s one of  mine and I get no buzz or clank and very little string noise, if I played aggressively I probably would ,but I’ve got a fairly light touch and I get a nice deep clean tone.

1F056468-9625-4014-9E82-C594201B7836.jpeg

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On 02/03/2020 at 13:19, Reggaebass said:

Hi Ian, I’ll post a few pics later when I get home, you can’t really see on this one, but when I had this made I asked holger at Sandberg for a low action, it came at 1.25 mm with no buzz 

94730CB9-DB3D-4DA1-AA7E-4DC842E47FF1.jpeg

I think a lot of people would love to have action that low with no buzz or clatter, there's a knack to double timing on the B, like you said - very careful, but I'd still be looking at no less than 3mm.

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19 hours ago, 4000 said:

To me it adds aggression and character. But obviously it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. 

I think Steve Harris has got the most fret clatter ive ever heard. I could never work out what that sound was until i started playing bass! 🙂 

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Posted (edited)

A photograph doesn't quite work as well on a fretless to indicate string height as it lacks the helpful reference of the fret shape.

Since reading this thread I've become a bit obsessed where was a few days ago it was adjust as low as I needed and forget 😂 

Turns out my action has gone up a bit today as the neck has moved in the weather to give slightly more relief.

IMG_20200304_140341472_HDR.jpg

Edited by Woodwind
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1 hour ago, Ian Hinrichsen said:

I think Steve Harris has got the most fret clatter ive ever heard. I could never work out what that sound was until i started playing bass! 🙂 

John Entwhistle too, he whacks the strings down against the frets with his fingertips, playing over the end of the fretboard, something I like doing when I want an aggressive sound.

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I've just set up my new Casady bass, I used Jack Casady's intstructions and adjusted the neck dead level, then 1/8" between E string and 12th fret, slightly less for the G. Intonation is fine and it sounds/feels good too. I've not gigged it yet (only a week old) but have played along with with live GD CDs which are as a long as one of our sets, can do two back to back without any problem.

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A bit off topic but it relates to fret buzz/clank in a way.

At the studio we rehearse at there is a a 4x12 which sits on another cab. Both hard wired together. One of the 12. Inch drivers is majorly buggered. It buzzes a lot. Horrible sound from that cab. The thing is, when the band are playing its not audible at all. 

Now i don’t obsess too much about a little buzz when fretting. It’s not audible at all with the band, but having the action to my liking  does make a difference

Dave. I had a JCB for a while last year. Really nice bass and i loved its unique tone, but it felt very uncomfortable to play sitting down, which is how I practice at home. It wasn't the neck dive, but the edge of the body digging in to my forearm. 

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3 minutes ago, dave_bass5 said:

 

Dave. I had a JCB for a while last year. Really nice bass and i loved its unique tone, but it felt very uncomfortable to play sitting down, which is how I practice at home. It wasn't the neck dive, but the edge of the body digging in to my forearm. 

 

I tend to practice at home standing as I find that sitting uses my arm & hand muscles differently. I do get the edge of the body digging in to my arm problems, but put up with it (so far!) as it sounds so good for the music I play.

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6 minutes ago, FinnDave said:

I tend to practice at home standing as I find that sitting uses my arm & hand muscles differently. I do get the edge of the body digging in to my arm problems, but put up with it (so far!) as it sounds so good for the music I play.

Yeah, standing isnt too much of an issue, although i did have to buy an extra wide strap. I play with a pick and rest my hand on the bridge, so couldn’t wear it the way JC does. Agree though, worth the slight discomfort for the tone it produces. I also got a black bridge for mine. The original one popped off less than 10 mins after i got it. A known issue by all accounts and i was ready for it. Had a tube of superglue handy lol. 

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Interesting, I am a pick player as well, but on the JCB tend to play quite close to the end of the neck rather than near the bridge, so my forearm prevents the bass from tipping forward (though it does leave marks in my arm).

No problem with the bridge on this (new) one nor with the second hand one I had a few years ago. Hoping that state of affairs will continue!

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I own some basses that have been set up by professionals and the action is very low. I also own some that have been set up by me and are therefore not so low.

I like playing the ones with a low action, because there's a tiny bit less effort necessary to play them but I don't feel there's a huge difference in tone.

I know some pro bassists that have great tone and their basses have an action like a longbow.

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22 hours ago, dave_bass5 said:

Yeah, standing isnt too much of an issue, although i did have to buy an extra wide strap. I play with a pick and rest my hand on the bridge, so couldn’t wear it the way JC does. Agree though, worth the slight discomfort for the tone it produces. I also got a black bridge for mine. The original one popped off less than 10 mins after i got it. A known issue by all accounts and i was ready for it. Had a tube of superglue handy lol. 

I always had problems with neck dive on the JCs (my neck and back are knackered so I really notice it), but never had a problem with the binding, but then I’m used to my Rics. As I sit down to play nowadays, I’d probably get on fine with the JCs now. Nice basses. 

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29 minutes ago, 4000 said:

I always had problems with neck dive on the JCs (my neck and back are knackered so I really notice it), but never had a problem with the binding, but then I’m used to my Rics. As I sit down to play nowadays, I’d probably get on fine with the JCs now. Nice basses. 

I did get used to it, but after an hour sitting down I’d end up with a red mark on my forearm. Never played a Rick but i can imagine it can feel that same, although I’d happily put up with it for a Ric 🙂

 

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OK, not read the whole thread, but from a height perspective, I always liked things rattly...as low as it goes so long as the note plays.  The fretbuzz just contributed to my overall tone.

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After doing a lot more fret work and setups.  

.009 neck relief measured at 7th in the normal way and 2.2mm to 1.8mm string height measured at the 15th fret is approx what most players like. And pretty much any bass can be setup like that after the required fret or fret board work and even relatively inexpensive instruments can go lower, it's all in the fingers if you can make it work or not. Pickup heights can be very different. 

In terms of tone if you have very low action remember you can adjust the pickup down, If you prefer. Larger pickup to string distance I think gives a more rounded tone, to the expensive of volume, gain and some harder to explain tone nuances. Although basses setup with either higher or lower action also get a slightly different tone due to the way the strings interact with the fret board. Neither way is better than the other. Just different. 

The flatter the fret board radius generally the easier it is to get low action. 7.25 vintage radius I've struggled to get low actions with no matter what I've done. 

Guitars .009 relief, 2mm to 1.5mm action. Less variation between players. However my sample size is much lower than bass setups. Could be a pick thing.  

 

 

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This thread inspired me to drop from 5mm E at 15th to 2.2-ish - very pleased with the results.  I'm hearing a lot of difference moving the pickup height - Nordy MM style - I've dropped it backdown as it seemed to be getting a bit boomy when I raised it - I guess that's another thread!

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On 03/03/2020 at 18:14, 4000 said:

To me it just sounds nice and growly. 👍🏻

Very nice tone. Love a bit of growl in the low notes.

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10 hours ago, Twincam said:

 

"...The flatter the fret board radius generally the easier it is to get low action. 7.25 vintage radius I've struggled to get low actions with no matter what I've done..."

 

 I'm curious on your thoughts as to why this would be the case.

I've heard/read this before and on the face of it it doesn't make sense. The radius effects string to string height relative to each other, but string to fingerboard/fretboard height is unique.

I can see how plucking on the G and D string pulls the string into the radius, so with a tighter curve it could choke more, but then A and E etc are being pulled away from the radius (obviously this is reversed for plectrum downstrokes )

 

Is this what you mean by struggling to get a low action? that the tone becomes too inconsistent?

I've never played a tight radius board so  I'm from a position of ignorance.

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Just now, Woodwind said:

 I'm curious on your thoughts as to why this would be the case.

I've heard/read this before and on the face of it it doesn't make sense. The radius effects string to string height relative to each other, but string to fingerboard/fretboard height is unique.

I can see how plucking on the G and D string pulls the string into the radius, so with a tighter curve it could choke more, but then A and E etc are being pulled away from the radius (obviously this is reversed for plectrum downstrokes )

 

Is this what you mean by struggling to get a low action? that the tone becomes too inconsistent?

I've never played a tight radius board so  I'm from a position of ignorance.

I've thought about this and I honestly can't give a trully satisfactory answer. If you look at fender setup specs a 7.2 radius relief and string heights is much higher than for flatter boards. So they obviously also think this. And in practice I've had a few fender 7.25 radius basses came my way, and indeed they never setup as well as I would normally get a 9.5 radius. I can get them better than fenders specs but never better than the 9.5 basses. They seem to choke up easier and intonation seems harder to get right despite nothing being wrong with the instruments and being able to be adjusted in the same way as any other bass. 

I do have the theory that when you pluck the string side ways that there a slight interaction with the more extreme radius and the vibrational arc. That just isn't there with a flat board. 

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It's to do with string bending. Curved boards choke off more easily if you do a big bend.

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