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Bass Guitar Neck Setup

bass clef image

Bass Neck Setups: How to do your own!

A proper neck setup is critical to any guitar or bass, as it will greatly improve the instrument's playability and longevity.  The following procedures should work on most modern basses or guitars, but you may need to tweak some of the measurements to suit your own preferences since everyone likes their instrument setup in a different way.

Also, your bass may or may not have all of the adjustments that is listed here.  Expect to have to adjust your bass every time you change string sizes, and if it's a standard wooden neck, also expect that your bass setup may change with changes in the weather.

To adjust your own truss rod, neck tilt, bridge height and intonation, get a couple of tools ready. The  method described here requires the following items:

  • capo
  • feeler gauge set
  • good ruler with small increments
  • allen wrenches
  • a couple screwdrivers.

Note: This information originated from the bass player's mailing list, The Bottom Line. Specifically, Issue #133, February 9, 1992. The original author was John Galt. I have made changes to the following version for clarity's sake, and do not intend infringement on an otherwise exceptional piece of informative text.  Images were scanned from a current Ibanez manual. This text should be used as a guide only, do not take it as absolute rules to go by. If you are not comfortable with this procedure, then by all means, get a qualified technician to do your setup!!!

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