String height

Discussion in 'Bass Area; The Bottom Line' started by polifemo, Jan 11, 2008.


  1. polifemo

    polifemo Member

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    Beeing a professional classical guitarsist I´m used to a much higher string action when compared to the setup of most electric guitars. (I of course play electric as well)

    I´ve just bought a 4 string bass to use in my studio when doing demos.

    The action is set to about 5 mm from the top of the fret up to the strings at the 12:th fret. *
    My question to you bass players is: Is this a "normal string action"?

    I tried out several basses with really really low action and they were a pleasure to play, but I must say that I like the sound of a higher action better.

    When looking at a Tribal Tech video I get the impression that Gary Willis is using a low string action as well as a rather light right hand touch.

    If I´m right, is this a "trend" among bass players?


    * On my classical guitar I use a higher action than this. (Usually about 6 - 7 mm from top of fret to the strings at 12:th fret)
     
  2. David Collins

    David Collins Member

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    A more typical string height at the 12th would be at or slightly below 2mm on the g, and at or above 2.5mm on the e. That's extremely averaged and generalized of course. Pop/slap funk can often be setup almost laying on the frets and upright players who also play electric can want them way way up high. Depends on if you're playing with a pick, with your fingers tips up by the neck, or more of the sides of your fingers down toward the bridge. Lots of variables as to what makes it right for you. Of course those numbers at the 12th are rather meaningless until after the truss rod is adjusted and nut height is set.
     
  3. tkozal

    tkozal Supporting Member

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    The neck radius on a bass can also impact the action, flatter boards can have lower action, boards with tight radii need work on the bridge saddle heights...strings also impact, what are you using?
     
  4. polifemo

    polifemo Member

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    I´m new to "the world of electric bass" but I believe that the strings are 045 - 105.
    The bass itself is an (asian) Warwick copy.
     
  5. tkozal

    tkozal Supporting Member

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    flats or rounds?

    You may want to have a guy set it up for you, take it to someone, and tell him what you are looking for. Play some other basses, and check out the different actions (obviously you cannot do this at a place like GC! :))

    Then tell the guy.

    eg. I have a Fender 62 RI jazz that has a 7.25 radius and flats...different action than a G&L2000 with a 12" radius (more like the classical geetars you are used to) and rounds.
     

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