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Username: jand

Post Number: 4
Registered: 12-2011
Posted on Saturday, December 17, 2011 - 1:49 pm:   Edit Post

Hello there,
When i introduced myself i mentioned that my Epic had few technical issues with it. After having a close inspection, i narrowed it down to following:

I've noticed that there's some fret buzz on the G string. With low action (well, i'll call it a sloppy low action, could need some improvements but i'll wait to do that when my new strings will arrive) it's in pretty much every position up to 14th fret, then it's normal. With higher action, it's only in the area of 10-11 to 14th fret. When looking down the neck i can see a small "bump" in that area. Now, i mentioned in the introduction thread that the strings installed when i bought the Epic were d'addario 50-105. When consulting with information on their website i saw a big discrepency in tensions, with low E being around 40 lbs (if i recall correctly) and D G being at 55-60 lbs. They were tuned to standard E tuning for a long time, but when i found out the tension of this set i tuned down to D standard for the time being. The question is, is it possible that higher tensioned strings compressed the fingerboard, creating an uneven fret level in that area? Frets themself seem to sit tightly in the fingerboard, so i assume it has to be more then them lifting. Are there any solutions to this problem without just giving it to a tech? Problem is, that guitar techs in Poland are hit or miss. Some of them do wonders, some of them will damage your guitar even more... Would love to hear your thoughts on this matter.

Also, one more thing that bugs the hell out of me. I've notices that E string is buzzing, but in some wierd fashion. It's not buzzing on adjecant frets, but rather... "clacking" further down the neck. Not to mention that the string itself feels... wierd. As if it didn't make good contact with the fret itself, although i know it's otherwise (I press down the string right behind the fret with enough the strength so it should sound clean). I know that the description is vague, but it's hard to put a finger on the issue. Maybe i'll be able to provide more info when i change strings.

I'll be waiting eagerly for any responses.
Thanks in advance,
Jan D.

PS. If any of my descriptions is worded badly, or vague, please say so, i'll try to rephrase it if possible.
Senior Member
Username: ajdover

Post Number: 965
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Saturday, December 17, 2011 - 3:13 pm:   Edit Post


Your English is excellent. Much better than my Polish for sure!

I would recommend you try setting up the Epic using the instructions found here:,, and here I've used Joey's method (the first link posted) and can tell you that it works. Now, if you want very low action, the second set of links might be of more help, but Joey's post is a great place to start.

I have an Epic, and I use DR Hi Beams, .40-.100 on it, and the action is relatively low, with no buzzing at all, up and down the neck. I used Joey's method to set up my Epic (and for that matter, all of my basses). One thing I'd add to Joey's instructions is to get a capo and also some feeler gauges (available at a hardware store, automotive supply store, etc.). I use them because it gives me a number (in thousands of an inch or in mm) of where my action is. That way I know how far off I am, and what I need to do to get it where I want it. I generally have between .015" and .017" of relief in all my necks, measured at the 10th/11th fret, and that works for me. You'll probably have to play around with it a bit to see what works for you.

If you have any more questions, don't hesitate to ask. I think you'll find that the folks around here are pretty helpful.

Best regards,

Username: adriaan

Post Number: 2882
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Saturday, December 17, 2011 - 3:19 pm:   Edit Post

Sounds like you're fighting a set of strings that is not to your liking. I'd try with a lighter set.
Username: jand

Post Number: 5
Registered: 12-2011
Posted on Saturday, December 17, 2011 - 3:27 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks for the tips, i've read most of the setup guides on these forums so far. Thanks for clearing out the only vague part i found regarding famous Joey's post on setup which was the "medium pick" part :-)

I'm still unsure about the buzz at 12th-14th fret on g string though. It's not related to action. More as if the fretboard raised/compressed in that place. Well, i'm coming to conclusion that checking it with a fresh set of strings with more balanced thickness and after a proper setup is a good idea (talk about a convoluded sentence O.o).

I just hope i won't end up having to level the frets :|
Jan D.
Senior Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 1787
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Saturday, December 17, 2011 - 4:11 pm:   Edit Post

Jan, just install your new strings, tune to pitch, and play it for a few days. Most Alembics will move somewhat as you adjust the action, but in my experience, it takes a few days for the neck to settle out to its last few fractions of an inch (or millimeter in the EU) and stabilise. Then, go through my post and I believe things will settle down. I wouldn't be that concerned about the strings that used to be on there, or that tuning.

Don't be surprised if you have to adjust several times to get it where you want it. As I say in my post, I RUINED mine the first few times until I finally understood what I was doing. The great thing about Alembics is that IF you write down how many turns you moved things, you can always reverse what you did to get you back in a playable state !

But once you learn this, it's a terrific gift to yourself to be able to get your bass exactly right for YOU !

I'm always amazed that on the web it's 'one world', without borders. Terrific that you are in Poland: My father's original last name (before his mother remarried and he was adopted by Daddy Wilson) was Cruzhinski, so there you are . . .

Best of Luck and Happy Holidays,

J o e y
Username: jand

Post Number: 6
Registered: 12-2011
Posted on Saturday, February 16, 2013 - 8:16 am:   Edit Post

It's been a while since i've posted here, but a couple of things happened in the meanwhile. First of all, i decided to have my Epic properly set up. Sadly, it turned out that i chose the wrong place for the job. The set up was plain horrible. Strings were sky high; for god knows what reason, they changed the radius on the nut and bridge to 14" and the fret leveling was decent... unless you don't want to lower the action. So after paying them about 130$ i ended up with below average repairs and set up which completly doesn't fit my playing style (even though i stated that i want low action). Not to mention the wierd muffled E strung buzz is still there. All other strings are loud and nice, but E sounds dead. Not to mention it goes out of tune quite easily, for some reason.

Well, that's the bad news, the good news are, that i pretty much got the hang of doing the set up myself. Right now the bass has really low action, with fairly low tension strings (warwick yellows .100-.040). But i'm still thinking about finding someone who can do a decent repair (frets and the botched radius switch) and figuring out why E string is the way it is.

Anyway, enough of negatives. I have to say, i pretty much got over being somewhat underwhelmed by the bass. Without going on too long, i'll just say that this bass rocks in a band setting. I have no clue why, but it sounds brilliant when playing it along other instruments. All i need is a proper set up, and it's a definite keeper :-)

So, here's the question. Does any of you know anyone in Poland who has expirience working with Alembics? This time i would like to have it repaird by someone who doesn't feel like experimenting on someone else's treasure ;)
Bah, i was even considering going to the Plekhouse, but it's way to expensive.

Well, Thanks for reading my stream of thoughts,

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