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Alembic Club » Alembic Basses & Guitars » Archive through December 03, 2011 » Calling Epic V owners re: bridge adjustment « Previous Next »

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Username: stev1em

Post Number: 10
Registered: 6-2009
Posted on Friday, October 21, 2011 - 4:39 pm:   Edit Post

I have just lost a sale on my Epic V because the action, for the prospective buyer anyway, was not low enough, even though the bridge is adjusted fully down to the wood on the treble side.

This fellow was concerned that he wouldn't be able to lower the action any further,he brought along his Orion V for comparison which had the bridge up a good few millimetres than mine but the action was pretty much the same (as was the string sizes 40-125).
He was very concerned that there was a big problem with my Epic because of this and it has left me a little worried because I didn't (and still don't) think that there is anything wrong with it.

I have never had need to touch the set up and it is as it came from the factory (I have had the bass from new).
I play finger style and I must say that the action seems pretty low to me and the neck isn't out nor intonation either so I haven't even considered lowering it at all.

I have checked a few pictures of other Epics (on Ebay at least !) and they all seem to have the bridge screwed right down on the treble side.

Is this the norm for factory set ups on Epics or have I got cause for concern??

Should he have been comparing it to his Orion V-they seemed very alike to me or perhaps it is an unfair trial with the Epic satin finish on the neck altering the "feel" compared to the slick polyester of the Orion??

Thanks for looking.
Username: piers_williamson

Post Number: 4
Registered: 3-2011
Posted on Saturday, October 22, 2011 - 2:43 am:   Edit Post

I had a similar issue albeit with a second hand (left handed) Epic 5 fretless. I inherited a monstorus action and lowered the bridge as far as it would go. When I later took the bass in for a professional set up (big up Martin at the Bass Gallery in London!), the curve in the neck set up was pointed out to me. Once adjusted, the kneck profile was a lot straighter and the bridge could be elevated slightly. I now have a really low fretless growl action.

It's a great bass with a fantastic fretless tone!
Senior Member
Username: terryc

Post Number: 1724
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Saturday, October 22, 2011 - 7:09 am:   Edit Post

stev1em...Alembics are tough basses and they can be set up by yourself. I think the guy was bulling you, I mean how low do you want it??
Anyway go the link below, it is Joey's set up instructions for Alembics and it is the Golden Scroll for set ups.
Read it once
Read it again(print it out if you need to)
Read it again with your bass in your lap.
Make sure you have the right tools
Do the setup slowly without distractions(kids, wives, girlfriends, TV etc).TAKE YOUR TIME!
But if you are still unsure then go to a setup/luthier.
In the 30 odd years I have been playing I have always set up my own instruments mainly 'cos it saves me money and it is satisfying after it is done.
Best of luck
Senior Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 1775
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Sunday, October 23, 2011 - 4:00 pm:   Edit Post

To a certain point, you can raise/lower your action just by neck straighness alone (bearing in mind we are talking a few thousandths of an inch, which you CAN feel).

Of course, as well there is no accounting for how one neck that's fine for you may feel to someone else, as it's very subjective.

Typically, when things begin to fall in line (correct neck relief, proper heights at the nut and 24th fret, and your bridge height, all these factors total up), the action will be lower without the bridge height adjustments running out of travel, even though it may look very close.

Lots of us have had in our time a bass that was just fine just as it came out of the box, was stable enough that it never really needed adjusting to suit us, and it never got touched. Eventually, they will need some fine tuning, whether we do it ourselves or take it to someone qualified to work on it.

However, any experienced player would know that a bass that was a little high-actioned for our taste but with no obvious wood or hardware issues could easily be adjusted to suit, so I think that for whatever reason, this 'buyer' decided to look for the OUT door . . . .

J o e y

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