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FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Set up help for SX short scale bass

Mick Reid

Australia

American-made in Oz!!
Aug 26th, 2017 04:51 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I'm acquiring a used SX P-style short-scale bass for a friend's daughter. (it's about 7 years old and been in the cupboard for 6-1/2) (the guitar, not the kid!!)

I've offered to go over it and do a setup but can't find any specs (or even a range to shoot for).
I should also add that I've not done any work on a bass since I've been doing my own modding/building/repair.

I'm fine with making any and all adjustments, just don't know what measurements to set it to.

It's a 30" scale, 20 fret instrument, so basically looking for nut action; neck relief; string action recommendations.

TIA

(This message was last edited by Mick Reid at 06:53 AM, Aug 26th, 2017)

themaestro
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Wichita, Kansas

Drums = pulse, Bass = heartbeat
Aug 26th, 2017 06:33 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I don't measure stuff. I just set to what works for me. See how low you can go without buzzing, increase clearances to taste if it feels too low.

I might measure nut clearance, but as long as there is still space at the first fret when you press down on the 2nd fret, I call it good. For the truss rod, a small gap in the center when fretted at 1st and last.

As for string height at pickups, too high if they start woofing or warbling. Adjust height on ends or adjustable poles for balance across strings.

I believe the factory specs are just a starting point. Every bass is different. I play a lot of different basses with differing setups. It's just not a big deal to me. Close enough is good enough.

Cal-Woody

USA/California

Why do I keep fixing things that work?
Aug 26th, 2017 06:40 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I wasn't sure if the Fender Bronco bass specs would be a good starting point. I think it shares some of these same aspects.

Peegoo
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Activity does not

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Aug 26th, 2017 06:48 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I usually go by eyeball, feel, and playability.

But for starting points:

Set the neck relief at .012" at the 8th fret. Capo lightly on fret 1 and lightly press a string to the 17th fret. Measure relief at the 8th fret. Remember to always set the relief going clockwise on the rod. Never get the neck right by loosening. Always "tighten" into the sweet spot.

String height at the 12th fret should be 5/64" - 6/64" on the low string and 4/64" - 5/64" on the high string. Middle strings are...in the middle.

Nut height: a good number is .020" for all strings at the 1st fret.

Remember to check all three indices whenever you tweak one of them, because they are interactive--one affects the other.

Edited to add: once you get the above stuff dialed in, then do the intonation for each string.

The SX brand is pretty cheap stuff, so it may be a good idea to get that neck perfectly straight and check for high/low frets before proceeding with the above.

(This message was last edited by Peegoo at 08:51 AM, Aug 26th, 2017)

Mick Reid

Australia

American-made in Oz!!
Aug 26th, 2017 06:53 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Thanks maestro.
Yeah, done enough work on 6 strings to know it's a case by case basis, and you're right re: factory spec = starting point.
The action seems really high to me but I'm not a bass player (at all) so just looking for that starting point.

I'd be very surprised if it has ever been set up outside of the factory.

I only played it enough to check that it works mechanically and electronically and overall "health check".
Pickup, pots all work fine. There is some relief in the neck, no twist. Tuners are smooth. Hardware all clean. No fret wear.

For 50 bucks with a little SS practice amp & guitar stand, it's hard to go wrong here.


Peegoo
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Aug 26th, 2017 08:16 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I'm no maestro; I'm a goober with tools and a bit of experience and confidence, just like you :0)

Most all guitars never get any experienced attention after they are unboxed. You're doing yeoman's work, brother.

vomer
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Broke Down

in the Brassicas
Aug 26th, 2017 09:05 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I got mrs v's Bronco out to check, and it measures very close to what Peegoo said, and the action is at 5/64th. Except the G buzzes if it's plucked hard, so a harder player might want to take that up a little.

I love this little Bronco. Even though it's an Affinity model, I've got no complaints. I bet you won't want to let that SX go when it comes time to hand it over!

Bubbalou

USA

THE LOW END OF UPPER TEJAS
Aug 26th, 2017 03:34 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"I'm no maestro; I'm a goober with tools and a bit of experience and confidence, just like you :0) "

I like your humility 😉


Mick Reid

Australia

American-made in Oz!!
Aug 26th, 2017 04:13 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"I'm no maestro; I'm a goober with tools and a bit of experience and confidence, just like you"

Sorry Geno, we must have been typing at the same. You must have hit 'submit reply' a little quicker!!!

My "Thanks maestro" reply was actually directed to 2nd poster "themaestro" - LOL!

But, thank you too! And, I appreciate your goober-ness! (and the others')

:^)


FunkyKikuchiyo

VT

Aug 26th, 2017 08:29 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

If you haven't gotten to it yet...

bear in mind that the right action on this will look high... it just how short scale goes. It also will buzz if you try playing it like you'd play a long scale bass. You kinda have to acclimate yourself to them. They're an odd animal.

Of course, if it is being setup for the daughter (you said it was hers initially... is it being repurposed in life?) being a bit low might be fine for a beginner.

Peegoo
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Activity does not

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Aug 26th, 2017 10:56 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

themaestro is the maestro!

Not moi!

Mick Reid

Australia

American-made in Oz!!
Aug 27th, 2017 01:56 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Thanks again everyone. I got the bass this morning and spent some time with it on the bench this arvo.

The string action was pretty much double the recommended height you's provided, so just lowering that has made a huge difference!

Nut is crap plastic, but nut slot depths are spot on.

Relief was a little more than I'd like after lowering the action and did have to compromise to get it buzz-free for now. I'd say there's a little more going on there than just set up. The good thing is the truss rod *does* work! I lubed it and should be good & smooth for awhile.

Pickups are as balanced as I can get, but the E seems a bit weak to my ears. Will play around with it a little more tomorrow morning.

I'm doing this pro bono so don't want to get too involved with it. It's merely a test to see if the kid is *truly* interested in pursuing the bass. If she sticks with it, her Dad will upgraded to a better class of instrument. (he's a bass player)

Thanks again for all your input and advice. My first "bass job" - woo hoo!!

]edited for stupidity[

(This message was last edited by Mick Reid at 04:59 AM, Aug 27th, 2017)

Peegoo
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Aug 27th, 2017 10:08 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Very cool, Mick. One of the reasons many kids (adults too) lose interest in learning guitar or bass is because it's hard to get good tone, and it hurts to play. The setup is the reason.

Even if a guitar receives a "Free 1000 Points of Light Inspection and Adjust-a-men-tay" by the supplier, the instrument will often need attention after a few weeks as things settle in from handling.

Rock on!

wrnchbndr
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New Jersey

I'm back with the otters again
Aug 28th, 2017 04:29 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I don't use specs or measure anything either. Things don't work that way when it comes to getting the most from a stringed instrument. Every instrument is different.

rockstar_not

USA

Thank God for guitars!
Aug 29th, 2017 06:29 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

My experience with SX is that build quality is better than Squier with better finishing of frets but setup is very bad. My SX bass had the saddles set nearly straight across and when I tightened the strings, the string tee disc popped off and flew across the room! Was hardly screwed in and proved they had never even tensioned the strings let alone set it up. After several years I put a used Seymour Duncan Basslines pup in the neck position and then I fell in love with the whole package

FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Set up help for SX short scale bass




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