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csmallett

Stingray set-up: Do I adjust truss-rod or saddles first?

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After fitting different strings you need to let the neck settle for a day or so before doing anything else.

Was the action OK before you changed the strings?

Without knowing what make and gauge of flats were on before it is impossible to say with 100% accuracy, but there is a good chance that the pervious strings were higher tension and now the truss rod will need adjusting the compensate for the new strings.

 

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10 minutes ago, csmallett said:

Ah, don't give me another variable to worry about! ;) No obvious sign of shimming at the neck joint though. 

 

Thanks guys; I'd much rather be over cautious than risk any damage. 
I'm in Stafford. Bit of a drive but I might get a quote for a set-up from PMT in Birmingham; I figure at least if anything goes wrong I'm protected by a big-box music shop. 

Yep, always give the neck time, most truss rod errors come from either turning the bloody thing the wrong way (seriously) or moving it too far because the early adjustments don't appear to have worked. My gut says that PMT might not be the obvious choice but I'll let others who know better clarify :)

Good luck

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3 minutes ago, Beedster said:

Yep, always give the neck time, most truss rod errors come from either turning the bloody thing the wrong way (seriously) or moving it too far because the early adjustments don't appear to have worked. My gut says that PMT might not be the obvious choice but I'll let others who know better clarify :)

Good luck

Yes. Possibly the last place on Earth I would hand my Stingray over to. I might, after careful consideration, let them have a go at setting up a couple of my ‘air guitars’, but they would probably fnck that up! 

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6 minutes ago, hiram.k.hackenbacker said:

Yes. Possibly the last place on Earth I would hand my Stingray over to. I might, after careful consideration, let them have a go at setting up a couple of my ‘air guitars’, but they would probably fnck that up! 

Ha ha, a slightly less ambiguous perspective :)

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In the meantime, I'm going to start a "How many times should I wind a string around the tuner?" thread just to see how many of us can agree and disagree at the same time :)

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1 minute ago, Beedster said:

In the meantime, I'm going to start a "How many times should I wind a string around the tuner?" thread just to see how many of us can agree and disagree at the same time :)

On this note, I was actually surprised that the Ernie Ball FAQ page says "Once" ;) 

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3 minutes ago, Beedster said:

In the meantime, I'm going to start a "How many times should I wind a string around the tuner?" thread just to see how many of us can agree and disagree at the same time :)

I would advise everyone to follow this example - skip to 12:55

 

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Related question here.

I have just bought my first 5 string, and am having trouble intonating the B string after putting new strings on. I have adjusted the bridge saddle back quite a way  (lengthening the string) and it doesn't seem to make any difference.

Could it be anything else? The string gauge is 125 - too light maybe...? or is this normal for a B?

Cheers

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14 hours ago, Heathy said:

Related question here.

I have just bought my first 5 string, and am having trouble intonating the B string after putting new strings on. I have adjusted the bridge saddle back quite a way  (lengthening the string) and it doesn't seem to make any difference.

Could it be anything else? The string gauge is 125 - too light maybe...? or is this normal for a B?

Cheers

While 125 is bit on the light side IMO, plenty of manufacturers supply sets with this gauge low B so it must be to some people's tastes.

So the note fretted at the 12th fret is still sharp compared to the corresponding harmonic? If not then you are moving the saddle the wrong way. If it is (and the rest of the saddles aren't close to the back of their limit) you've probably got a duff string. Got in touch with the shop and/or the manufacturer for a replacement.

BTW what make is the string?

Edited by BigRedX
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5 hours ago, BigRedX said:

While 125 is bit on the light side IMO, plenty of manufacturers supply sets with this gauge low B so it must be to some people's tastes.

So the note fretted at the 12th fret is still sharp compared to the corresponding harmonic? If not then you are moving the saddle the wrong way. If it is (and the rest of the saddles aren't close to the back of their limit) you've probably got a duff string. Got in touch with the shop and/or the manufacturer for a replacement.

BTW what make is the string?

Thanks for your response. I think I've sorted it now - the existing set up was worse than I thought (see earlier comments bout PMT).

Strings are Rotosounds.

I found this video helpful:

 

Edited by Heathy

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On 22/10/2020 at 12:14, hiram.k.hackenbacker said:

I would advise everyone to follow this example - skip to 12:55

 

Ha ha, he's such a guitarist with those windings (and playing), quite like him though :)

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8 minutes ago, Beedster said:

Ha ha, he's such a guitarist with those windings (and playing), quite like him though :)

Can’t knock his enthusiasm 😂

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9 minutes ago, Beedster said:

Ha ha, he's such a guitarist with those windings (and playing), quite like him though :)

My skin was breaking out in cuts, scratches and gouges just looking at that restring!  

I've also never heard Money played in 4/4 before!  :)  

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Update to proceedings!

I took the Stingray to a local-ish guitar tech for him to look at as I didn't want to risk my first truss-rod adjustment on something that wasn't textbook. 

He took the neck off to have a look after some nasty fret buzz to find.... A homemade cardboard neck shim! 

After putting it back together it made a huge difference, so he's letting it settle overnight to assess tomorrow. 

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Might I suggest that it is replaced with something that doesn't compress. If it's been there forever, it's probably not going to get any flatter, but it's just something to think about.

https://www.stewmac.com/tonewoods/electric-bass-bodies-and-necks-and-wood/bass-necks/stewmac-neck-shims-for-bass.html

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On 22/10/2020 at 11:30, Beedster said:

Might be worth checking whether the neck has been shimmed? People do funny things with basses :)

Told you :)

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If the saddles were at the top... did the neck go back on without the shim, in order to drop the saddles a bit? So didnt realy need a shim?

Edited by PaulThePlug
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On 24/10/2020 at 22:48, PaulThePlug said:

If the saddles were at the top... did the neck go back on without the shim, in order to drop the saddles a bit? So didnt realy need a shim?

Correct! I'm assuming whoever put it there thought it needed it for whatever gauge of strings they were using, but for mine it doesn't, so the action is nice and low and the saddles are as low as they can go (I might have to raise it a little now, but THAT, I can do myself)!

Thanks for everyone's input on here, I really appreciate it :) 

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Hi

There's a lot of good sense mixed in with a decent amount of confusion in this thread! :D

Let me try to crystallise the bits that are right and the bits that matter:

With a bass, pretty much everything affects everything.  So, more specifically to your particular issue, the tension of the strings affects the bend of the neck which affects the action height which affects the intonation.

And so there is an important sequence when you are starting with an unknown quantity - that is, a bass whose set up is unknown

1.  Fit the strings that you plan to use

2. Tune up to pitch

3. Check the neck relief (simplest way that is 'near enough' is: Hold down the G at the 1st fret; Hold down at the 17th fret; tap the string in the middle (8th fret); there should be just perceptible movement.  Repeat for the bottom E string.  Choose whichever has the least gap. Then: a gap up to the thickness of a business card is close enough - more than that, the truss rod needs tightening; a tiny gap is fine but if the string is hard against the fret at the 8th, the truss rod needs loosening - there has to be at least a perceptible gap) 

4.Now you can check your action height

5. Adjust the action height at the saddles.  Don't worry about them being high on their grubscrews - once they are up on the grub screws, it makes NO audible difference how high they are as long as you haven't run out of thread

6.  If you have, indeed, run out of adjustment, then you may need to add a thin shim to slightly change the angle of the neck.  Let us know the results of steps 1 - 5 before doing this

7.  Once you have set your action height, you can set your intonation.

 

I can explain why it has to be in this order, but this is the order it has to be (which is what most folks above are saying too).

Hope this clarifies.

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On 26/10/2020 at 11:10, csmallett said:

Correct! I'm assuming whoever put it there thought it needed it for whatever gauge of strings they were using, but for mine it doesn't, so the action is nice and low and the saddles are as low as they can go (I might have to raise it a little now, but THAT, I can do myself)!

Thanks for everyone's input on here, I really appreciate it :) 

I had a similar surprise with an Ibanez Blazer : the saddles were very high and It was buzzing when I tried to lower them for a decent action... there was a shim in the neck pocket. I removed it and I was then able to lower the saddles (2.5mm for E string at 12th fret). 

I think that some people put a shim because "I read it on the internet"... even if there's no need for

Edited by chris7273

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1 hour ago, chris7273 said:

I had a similar surprise with an Ibanez Blazer : the saddles were very high and It was buzzing when I tried to lower them for a decent action... there was a shim in the neck pocket. I removed it and I was then able to lower the saddles (2.5mm for E string at 12th fret). 

I think that some people put a shim because "I read it on the internet"... even if there's no need for

That’s what I'm wondering. All depends on the advice they got at the time, but as long as it works! 

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I always adjust saddle height first, then tune, then relief (trussrod), then tune once again, and then finally intonation (with whatever fine tuning that might require).

Edited by Baloney Balderdash

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4 minutes ago, Baloney Balderdash said:

I always adjust saddle height first, then tune, then relief (trussrod), then tune once again, and then finally intonation (with whatever fine tuning that requires).

Likewise

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On 22/10/2020 at 13:09, Beedster said:

In the meantime, I'm going to start a "How many times should I wind a string around the tuner?" thread just to see how many of us can agree and disagree at the same time :)

I usually try to aim for about two, that is one half wound, then one full, and finally one more half.

Edited by Baloney Balderdash
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