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New Fender setup woes


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4 hours ago, gjones said:

Back in 2018 I bought an Fender Elite Precision, from Guitar Guitar. It was in a sealed box, straight from the factory. 

When I removed it from the box the setup was fine and because of the little Musicman like truss rod wheel, at the end of the neck, the action was really simple to adjust.

I'll get me coat......

I dunno why they didn't stick with that.

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5 hours ago, skej21 said:

I recently bought a Fender Original 60s Precision in Surf Green from PMT (Initially ordered a LPB but Fender were pushing the delivery out until 2022 and almost beyond within the 2 months of placing the order!)

It arrived, I have the Stew Mac heel access truss adjustment tool so didn’t need to remove the neck to adjust, slapped some new flats on and switched the scratchplate over and in about 20 minutes had it playing beautifully. 
 

There are so many factors between it leaving the hands of the person setting up (factory temperature, shipping conditions, shop conditions, how the setup applied differs from the buyer’s preferences etc etc).
 

One HUGE issue that people don’t even consider is that managers in these shops are often non-musician managers. Where I used to work, we often hired young, cheap part-timers who were flexible and in the days when senior staff were off during the week they would receive new instruments and either put them from box to shop floor, or attempt “setups” before putting instruments on the shop floor which (inevitably) played terribly (particularly because having a bass player who knows what a nice bass plays like AND can set one up well is rare!). It’s easy to see how poor setups can creep on to the shop floor if the retailer has a lack of experience or a decent technician. 
 

I think it’s always difficult to point the finger at the manufacturer and claim it’s an “issue” because ultimately the buck stops with the store. They should be giving all instruments a once over and making sure they apply some expertise to counteract the changes the instrument is forced to go through during shipping etc.

 

7099CCC9-6557-451E-B4F8-0333A317B0BE.jpeg

That's an awesome pic. 😍

Do you have a link to that heel adjustment tool? I just had a look and couldn't find it. 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, sirmuppet said:

That's an awesome pic. 😍

Do you have a link to that heel adjustment tool? I just had a look and couldn't find it. 

Thanks!

Sure it’s this: https://www.jp-guitars.co.uk/sales/tools/electric_guitar_tools/tele_truss_rod_crank.htm

I know it says “tele” but it’s all the same 👍
 

£14 might seem a bit steep if you only do a small number of instruments/adjustments but I do setups on a few of my basses and those of friends and it’s probably saved me £15 minutes of time (and also saves you taking the neck off, which can causes chips etc quite easily on nitro instruments!), so was worth it IMO!

Edited by skej21
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7 hours ago, gjones said:

Back in 2018 I bought an Fender Elite Precision, from Guitar Guitar. It was in a sealed box, straight from the factory. 

When I removed it from the box the setup was fine and because of the little Musicman like truss rod wheel, at the end of the neck, the action was really simple to adjust.

I'll get me coat......

Do you mean like this:

1649951243_Peaveytrussrodwheel.png.2d7f7ba42134246e5cc81dbf865dff1b.png

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25 minutes ago, skej21 said:

Thanks!

Sure it’s this: https://www.jp-guitars.co.uk/sales/tools/electric_guitar_tools/tele_truss_rod_crank.htm

I know it says “tele” but it’s all the same 👍
 

£14 might seem a bit steep if you only do a small number of instruments/adjustments but I do setups on a few of my basses and those of friends and it’s probably saved me £15 minutes of time (and also saves you taking the neck off, which can causes chips etc quite easily on nitro instruments!), so was worth it IMO!

Perfect. I had a 62 reissue and ended up drilling out an angle so I could get a screw driver in there (Tip of Geddy Lees tech I saw). Now have a 60 reissue and might need a setup when I change strings. With this, I won't even need to take the neck off! £14 once would pay for itself as hate taking the neck off. 

Thanks for sending me the link. Much appreciated. 😊

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1 hour ago, sirmuppet said:

Perfect. I had a 62 reissue and ended up drilling out an angle so I could get a screw driver in there (Tip of Geddy Lees tech I saw). Now have a 60 reissue and might need a setup when I change strings. With this, I won't even need to take the neck off! £14 once would pay for itself as hate taking the neck off. 

Thanks for sending me the link. Much appreciated. 😊

No worries!

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On 04/06/2021 at 16:34, Chienmortbb said:

Do you mean like this:

1649951243_Peaveytrussrodwheel.png.2d7f7ba42134246e5cc81dbf865dff1b.png

Yes, Fender didn't have it for long. Within about about 3 years, they reverted to the previous type.

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On 11/05/2021 at 19:16, Old Horse Murphy said:

So I thought that I'd order one of the new Fender Professional ii P basses in the lovely Surf Green colour they've brought out. I got a good deal and it duly arrived this morning as arranged. 

Upon opening the case it looked absolutely stunning and when I picked it up it was a very comfortable weight. The action however was awful and the strings were way above the fingerboard. 

Now I've had new Fenders before and I know they generally set the actions high in the factory and usually after a bit of adjustment to the saddles and the truss rod gets it to whether I want it. This one however, already had quite low saddles but I duly took them down a bit lower to such an extent that they were pretty much bottoming out. The action was still pretty high.

I thought I'd check the truss rod out and when I went to give it a bit of a tweak, it felt like it had already been maxed out and I felt uncomfortable in trying to turn it any further. Usually when I've had new Fenders in the past the truss rod has been no more than half-way screwed in and there's plenty of play either way.

I contacted the retailer and there's no issue in returning it but I was really disappointed on how this arrived and was very surprised that a bass would have been set up this way at the factory. The retailer confirmed it hadn't been sent out to anyone prior to being sent to me and hadn't been looked at by any of their staff, so it all seems a bit strange to me. 

The only new Fender (a Jazz) I ever bought needed the neck replacing straight off because the truss rod was maxed out and wouldn’t straighten the neck sufficiently. 

That’s one advantage of places like the Bass Gallery , or the old Bass Centre. I’ve often picked up a bass I was interested in in those shops and asked them to tweak the setup and they’ve been perfectly happy to do so. In fact a couple of times Martin has taken a bass off me and tweaked it anyway! I also remember buying my Dolphin Pro II from the Bass Centre; the action was enormous when I picked it up. I explained that I used very low action and was there any chance they could drop it, and lo and behold it came back from Chris 15 minutes later near perfect. 

 

Edited by 4000
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  • 4 weeks later...

That replacement P looks very nice, light too?, Fenders body contours are smoother than the Squires but my CV when it arrived was beautifully set up from the factory (the shop didn't touch it, apparently), and bear in mind the poor thing had travelled thousands of miles from Indonesia.

That neck thing you had sounded like soft wood with someone maxing everything out to get it right.....this type of QC thing can happen anywhere....its very difficult to predict how wood is gonna behave under pressure.

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On 10/06/2021 at 21:07, 4000 said:

The only new Fender (a Jazz) I ever bought needed the neck replacing straight off because the truss rod was maxed out and wouldn’t straighten the neck sufficiently. 

That’s one advantage of places like the Bass Gallery , or the old Bass Centre. I’ve often picked up a bass I was interested in in those shops and asked them to tweak the setup and they’ve been perfectly happy to do so. In fact a couple of times Martin has taken a bass off me and tweaked it anyway! I also remember buying my Dolphin Pro II from the Bass Centre; the action was enormous when I picked it up. I explained that I used very low action and was there any chance they could drop it, and lo and behold it came back from Chris 15 minutes later near perfect. 

 

Yeah - I vote:

Visit shop ('proper bass /guitar' place that does setups etc.)

Choose bass

Play bass

Play bass some more

Buy bass only if it's set up and play in a way you like (also confirm that truss rod is not maxxed out or near to it)

I know that it's not always easy to get to a good retailer and you don't get the advantage of distance selling rights but for something as tactile as a bass it has to be worth it ?

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
On 09/07/2021 at 11:47, rmorris said:

Yeah - I vote:

Visit shop ('proper bass /guitar' place that does setups etc.)

Choose bass

Play bass

Play bass some more

Buy bass only if it's set up and play in a way you like (also confirm that truss rod is not maxxed out or near to it)

I know that it's not always easy to get to a good retailer and you don't get the advantage of distance selling rights but for something as tactile as a bass it has to be worth it ?

 

 

 

 

I’d agree mostly. Only issue you have (and this is the case for almost any product, ever), is that the selection in-store, especially for basses, is pretty poor. Add to that a good in-store tech who understands how to make a bass play nicely, and all of a sudden your options become extremely narrow. 

Edited by skej21
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There is a great deal to be said for visiting the shop, hanging out a bit, getting to play a load of instruments.

One of the only things I'm looking forward to about going back to the office is being able to troll down to Wunjo's and appal them with my terrible playing on many many basses - you get a real feel for what you like and what sounds good that way.

Edited by bloke_zero
Speeling
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The term "set up" is used way to loosely and I think it kinda scares most shop managers. Its def not about different strings but it is about doing some pretty intrusive machinations. Most shops are staffed by young inexperienced people who -

a, are not mechanically minded and

b,  basically dont know one end of one guitar from another.

Then add tight profit margins etc...and its no wonder new instruments are left as is.

      

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On 09/07/2021 at 18:40, skej21 said:

I’d agree mostly. Only issue you have (and this is the case for almost any product, ever), is that the selection in-store, especially for basses, is pretty poor. Add to that a good in-store tech who understands how to make a bass play nicely, and all of a sudden your options become extremely narrow. 

Yes - and that's why I put a caveat in there 🙂 If I were considering a new (to me) bass then I would have the advantage of being within daily reach of that London so that does put a perspective on it.

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The last time I was in a music shop (Oxford PMT) was to buy an amplifier. They plugged it in and handed me a Jazz Bass (think it was from the Player series) and the neck relief was excessive to the point that it was hard to play. I mentioned this to the person who was serving me, he took it away, tweaked the rod and returned it to me - much better. I was able to try the amp properly and ended up buying it. I wasn't looking for a new bass, but once the neck relief had been reduced, it wasn't a bad instrument at all. I decided against buying a fifth Jazz bass though!

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7 hours ago, FinnDave said:

The last time I was in a music shop (Oxford PMT) was to buy an amplifier. They plugged it in and handed me a Jazz Bass (think it was from the Player series) and the neck relief was excessive to the point that it was hard to play. I mentioned this to the person who was serving me, he took it away, tweaked the rod and returned it to me - much better. I was able to try the amp properly and ended up buying it. I wasn't looking for a new bass, but once the neck relief had been reduced, it wasn't a bad instrument at all. I decided against buying a fifth Jazz bass though!

Whenever I comment in shops, apart from the aforementioned ones, they usually just look at me blankly and walk off. 😂

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41 minutes ago, 4000 said:

Whenever I comment in shops, apart from the aforementioned ones, they usually just look at me blankly and walk off. 😂

I'd like to think that that's the way they would treat any customer, but they probably start rubbing their hands when they see me pulling into the car park!

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On 15/05/2021 at 09:14, uk_lefty said:

Amazing how Sires can be shipped from the far East to Europe, stored for ages, shipped again and arrive perfectly set up... Yet a big retailer selling a Fender for nearly 2 grand doesn't bother to just check it and tweak it. 

To be fair to them, some weirdos would complain if they did. They want a brand-new one unsullied by human contact. 

I've heard first-hand reports of people going to shops, trying instruments, then insisting on taking a factory-fresh still sealed one home with them instead of the one they actually tried out. Its bizarre behaviour but I bet its more common than you'd think. 

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