Post Number: 49
|Posted on Monday, October 04, 2010 - 5:04 am: |
I bought a used Mk recently and it played perfectly when I got it home.
However, over the last week the action seems to have altered radically. It's now virtually unplayable for the first 5-6 frets and buzzes like crazy right up to 12th.
I haven't changed the strings or attempted to adjust a thing with it either.
My house environment isn't ridiculously hot, humid or cold, damp.
It has been hanging on a Hercules suspended type stand so the weight is being supported by the headstock so maybe that's causing this?
I have to say that I've had this stand for 2-3 years & it's never upset any other bass.
Post Number: 2615
|Posted on Monday, October 04, 2010 - 5:42 am: |
Alembics seem to be in tune with the changing of the seasons - sounds like it's time for the autumn touch-up of your setup.
About 1/8th of a turn anti-clockwise (lefty-losy) on both trussrods could already do the trick. Come spring next year, you may find yourself reversing the change.
Do read Joey's Post on Setting Up Your Bass - it covers everthing you need to know in an amazingly short and clear format.
Post Number: 50
|Posted on Monday, October 04, 2010 - 6:52 am: |
Thanks for that - it seems a big change has happened though.
The bass was set up just a few weeks ago by a professional as well which made me think something a bit more than climate change has effected it.
Also, over here in the UK it's been raining for weeks so our fall has arrived quite early this year, lol.
I did take a quick look at the trussrods but it looks like Im going to need a tool that I currently don't have to even think about adjusting them.
Post Number: 2616
|Posted on Monday, October 04, 2010 - 7:02 am: |
As Joey says, "Don't be surprised if you have to 'touch up' this adjustment the next day, it sometimes takes a day or two for everything to settle in."
The tool you need is a 1/4" wrench, which should be pretty easy to come by, seeing that you live in a non-metric country. All the tool sizes are listed here in the FAQ section.
So take a deep breath, and start experimenting to get the feel for this. These instruments were designed to be adjustable. If you get it wrong, you just change things back, and try again.
More power to you!
Post Number: 2171
|Posted on Monday, October 04, 2010 - 11:58 am: |
Molan I'm in the UK got my 1/4 AF spanner from a car spares shop as my bass didn't come with one.
Post Number: 1512
|Posted on Tuesday, October 05, 2010 - 11:20 am: |
I often think that used instruments are more difficult to get the action right than a new one, as you don't really know where the previous owner kept it, how he kept it tuned, what strings it had, how it was stored, just a lot of its history you just can't know.
I'd guess that as it's buzzing from the middle of the neck to the nut, that there's too much truss rod (tightened up to where the middle of the neck is bowing up relative to the ends of the fingerboard) and the nut is too low. I'd guess the previous owner did the usual 'adjustment' of raising the bridge to kill a little rattle and never touched the truss rods, or tightened them up way too much, which isn't hard.
If you're new to these adjustments, remember that a seemingly small adjustment can make a big change in feel. We deal in quarter-turns here or less.
Pick up your bass by the body, hold it out parallel to the floor, and 'sight' down the neck with a good light falling on the fingerboard. Hold it by the body only, do not support the neck or head anywhere. Regardless of the shape it's in, you will see shadows of the strings falling on thefingerboard beneath the strings.
The strings are a basically perfect straight-edge: The shadows will reveal the shape of the setup. Their shape will tell you what the setup is. When mine is right, the shadows are straight with the strings with just a bit of a very slight dip in the middle of the fingerboard, and a slight hump are the top of the fingerboard.
Do NOT do this by laying the axe on a table and picking it up by the head, that's the WRONG way to do this. We are working in clearances of thousandths of an inch here, and virtually all guitars are heavy enough to add a little neck relief doing it this way, so don't you do it.
This is why I never use a neck-hanging stand: I store them in the case, body end down. The stands I use, all the weight is on the body end.
I'd guess you are going to see the stings' shadow arcing up towards the middle, though I could certainly be wrong, hard to guess without holding it in my hands.
I tend to think that these axes could be affected by weather so easily like an old man's bones are just not usually the case. They are planks. There will be the occasional problem child wood-wise, but it's pretty rare. I always use the same strings, keep them in their cases in a typical home, and I rarely have to even re-adjust them, until I get the bug up my ass to try new strings . . . . Now if you leave them in a hot trunk all day, or a cold trunk overnight as you were too tired to bring them in when you got home from the gig, you're on your own.
I would first put on new strings, the kind you intend to run on this from now on, then dive in. VERY light or heavy guage strings may complicate this somewhat. There is no universal or perfect setup: Only what works best for you. We're all different in our technique. The beauty of these axes are their adjustabilty that enables you to easily find YOUR perfect setup. None of this we learned overnight, I chased it for several months at first, until I 'got it'. Now I'll never have to take it to a 'professional' again, only to have it go South on me after I spent that money !
Best of Luck,
J o e y
Post Number: 1513
|Posted on Tuesday, October 05, 2010 - 11:24 am: |
Having noted a 'big change' over the last few weeks indicates to me it's NOT 'soft' wood riding the weather change, but the opposite. Mine are stiff enought that a big adjustment can take days to show up. It's aggravating in a 'right now' world, but that stability is a great thing once you get it where you want it.
J o e y
Post Number: 1371
|Posted on Wednesday, October 06, 2010 - 12:59 am: |
Molan I would advise you to store your bass on a body supported stand, the MK(if it is like mine) is very heavy and although the headstocks are extremely strong on Alembics, gravity at 9.1m/s2 will definitely pull on the glue laminations added to the string tension.
If it is any consolation mine always needs a seasonal adjustment and yes we have had loads of rain after that very hot early summer we had in June.