Setting Up Your Bass Guitar
Monday 1st of June 2009 01:24:59 PM
By: Jake Farey
See how to set up your Bass Guitar. Use our in-depth guide and little care to setting it correctly without resorting to expert attention
This month's project is a Columbus bass from the mid-to-late '70s. These basses were actually made by Ibanez at their factory but sold as budget instruments, and they're not nearly as despised as they were a few years ago. In fact, spend a few minutes on the web and you'll find out that some people are quite keen on them.
Before starting any work it's a good idea to examine the whole instrument to get a clear picture of exactly what needs doing. The problems here start with the fact that the bridge has completely frozen up! I tried soaking the whole thing in thin oil to loosen all the seized threads, but after 30 years of sweat nothing will budge, so we’ll need new saddles and adjusting screws.
The nut has been adjusted badly over the years, and a new bone one will make this bass play and sound better. The frets are neglected, so a quick fret stone is also needed. Columbus pickups were never the best, so we'll add a set of Seymour Duncans. The only other problem is the neck join: the neck won't move over enough to align the strings centrally, so I'll take a little wood out of the neck pocket.
First we'll do that neck join. Keep the old G and E strings; we'll need these to set the neck alignment correctly. Having taken the neck off, we need to remove a little material from the left-hand side of the neck join, a job for which we can use either a sharp chisel or, if there's only a small amount of material to remove, a sanding block (which will minimise the chances of mistakes). Remove a little at a time, and keep checking. You'll be taking the neck off a few times, so put some wax on the neck screws to help them go in and out. This will also stop them from chewing up the timber.
1. Setting Up Your Bass Guitar
2. Setting Up Your Bass Guitar| New pickups
3. Setting Up A Bass Guitar | Fretboards
4. Setting Up A Bass Guitar | Set Action
5. Setting Up Your Bass Guitar | Picture instructions