ABG setup

Please put your pickup/wiring discussions in the Electronics section; and put discussions about repair issues, including fixing errors in new instruments, in the Repairs section.
Post Reply
Carl Dickinson
Posts: 78
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2019 5:38 pm
Location: Forest Ranch, California

ABG setup

Post by Carl Dickinson »

I'm to the stage of setting up an acoustic bass guitar (neck and bridge on, frets leveled and crowned, saddle and nut blanks in their slots). Looking for relief and string height off of 12th fret to aim for initially and after it settles in. Neck intersects body at 17th fret. I'm using nylon core Thomastik strings.
Thanks for MIMF being here to ask this :!: :)

User avatar
Bob Gramann
Posts: 1014
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 11:08 am
Location: Fredericksburg, VA
Contact:

Re: ABG setup

Post by Bob Gramann »

I’ve built a few fretless and one fretted ABG. I started out with close to zero relief and 5/64” clearance for the E string at the half way point. I let things settle in for several days. As I recall, after I tweaked the relief to the minimum that was quiet, I ended up with action at the halfway point (twelfth fret for the fretted) between 5 and 6/64” playing clean (I had to change the saddle height to do this). With a 34 inch scale, I had to readjust over a few months as everything finally settled. Don’t deliver the bass too soon—things will move. 6/64” clearance plays clean but feels high. 5/64” buzzes occasionally but feels right. I think I got away with the lower action measurement on the fretless basses. Everything is a compromise. And, of course, the compliance of the top can affect the action height you need. Mine joined the body at the 19th fret. I use roundwound, light gauge phosphor bronze strings. I don’t have experience with nylon core strings on an ABG, but my final action on my nylon string guitars and steel stringed guitars comes out about the same. I just checked my last fretless—it has moved—I will have to lower the saddle again or adjust the neck angle.

Carl Dickinson
Posts: 78
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2019 5:38 pm
Location: Forest Ranch, California

Re: ABG setup

Post by Carl Dickinson »

Thanks Bob. That's just what I needed. The bass is for me so I'll have plenty of time to get it adjusted. It has a Martin neck, fingerboard and bridge on a deep J200 style body w/JJB 220 pickups. I'm looking forward to buttoning it up today or tomorrow.

Carl Dickinson
Posts: 78
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2019 5:38 pm
Location: Forest Ranch, California

Re: ABG setup

Post by Carl Dickinson »

Here's how it turned out. Plays nice and sounds great with the Thomastic strings unamplified. Haven't plugged it in yet. Alaskan Specialty Woods Sitka top with great bear claw and CheChen back and sides.
IMG_20210924_175048_7.jpg
IMG_20210924_175109_4.jpg
IMG_20210924_175206_2.jpg

Post Reply