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Prince_phil

Bass action dilema..

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Hi

Ive got a lovely old German flatback bass which sounds amazing (and much better than my playing). Trouble is that the action is sitting a bit high (15mm E 11mm G) and seems to be a good bit higher than most guys on here. I recently had it repaired by a really good luthier and she was saying that the fingerboard wouldn't be able to take the strings being lowered any more than they are and that replacing the fingerboard would be the only option to get the action lower. The fingerboard is already pretty thin and wouldn't take any re-profiling. Trouble is this would be really expensive and the bass isn't worth loads so Im not sure its worth doing! She did fit a new higher saddle which has eased the string tension slightly and said that the best option might be to look into lower tension strings- it seems that the G string is currently the hardest to play.

Has anyone any advice on what to do or string recommendations? Its currently fitted with D'addario Helicore Hybrid, low tension. I currently play both pizz and arco so I wouldn't want to go super low- maybe another 2-3mm.

I was wondering about the possibility of bridge adjusters so I could lower the action to the point at which it might start buzzing and raise it slightly from there but not sure this is a good idea!

Any advice appreciated!

cheers

Phil

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I've seen a couple of double bass ebony boards going for sale on eBay for less than £100. Would it be worth looking at getting one of them fitted?

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[quote name='6feet7' timestamp='1504003057' post='3362008']
I've seen a couple of double bass ebony boards going for sale on eBay for less than £100. Would it be worth looking at getting one of them fitted?
[/quote]

I was quoted £450 for a new ebony board to be flitted, I don't know what the cost of the new board was, but as suggested above £100 is a good price and if you can get it fitted for about £200 and set up it would still be money well spent.

When I bought my first DB the action was very high and hampered my progress - once I got it set up properly it was a joy to play. I spent at least £500 on that bass and I have spent almost the same on my current DB and I still consider it to be money well spent.

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[quote name='6feet7' timestamp='1504003057' post='3362008']
I've seen a couple of double bass ebony boards going for sale on eBay for less than £100. Would it be worth looking at getting one of them fitted?
[/quote]
A good luthier might insist on sourcing the fingerboard blank from a source they trust - not all blanks are equal quality, or sourced responsibly, so best to ask the luthier in question before making any third party purchases.

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People don't seem to realise that buying an instrument is only part of the expense. Any instrument, but in particular a double bass, ALWAYS needs a setup to suit the purchaser's playing style/requirements. If it's a German flatback, then it's worth spending money on. Double bass is not an instrument for those faint of heart or light of pocket. Just finding the strings that suit best can do serious damage to the credit card. Go ahead, get the luthier to fit a new board, don't cheap out on it. You will regret it in the long haul. Be aware that not all ebony is equal, there is good and there is not so good.

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