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Maintenance on my bass


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#1 donslow

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Posted 29 January 2017 - 09:37 PM

So in recent times I've started to teach myself how to maintain and setup my basses to as close to pro level as I can, I think I'm getting somewhere and am pleased thus far with what I have learnt

This is where you guys come in, the bit(s) I get stuck on

Frets!!!!!

Can anyone help me out and explain, in English, what the difference between levelling and crowning is and how to do each properly?!

Another thing that gets me, I've seen videos on how to level frets which seems simple enough but I'm confused, they say to run a flat edge to see which frets are higher than others but I wonder, if the neck needs a bit of relief to be setup properly, the straight edge wouldn't land on all frets regardless of how high or low they would be, as the Frets where the relief lies would be lower, does this mean a truss rod adjustment to straighten the neck is in order first?!

Any useful lessons / tips / advice will be greatly appreciated

Many thanks in advance

#2 HowieBass

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Posted 29 January 2017 - 10:15 PM

Ideally you get one of the straight edges that has indents for the frets and use that to check that the neck/fretboard is straight by adjusting the truss rod. Then you can go about levelling the frets. Once the tops of all the frets are at the same height it's time to crown and then polish the frets. Then you set the relief after the bass is restrung.
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#3 Andyjr1515

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Posted 29 January 2017 - 10:40 PM

It's quite a big subject, donslow, so probably need to answer in stages.

Ref the basic definitions, levelling is where you file down high frets - or high spots on a fret or frets - so that they the same height as the other frets down the fretboard.

In doing this, the bit that you file off is the top of the semi-circular profile - you start off with a nice rounded hill shape and you end up with a flat-topped hill! Crowning is simply recreating the rounded hill shape, without taking any more off the height.

And yes, if you are levelling across the whole fretboard, you are absolutely right that you need to use the truss rod to straighten the neck before you start. Otherwise, you will be filing down frets that are only 'high' because of the curve of the neck. If the neck is as straight as possible to start with, you are now only filing down frets that are higher than their adjacent ones.
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#4 donslow

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Posted 30 January 2017 - 06:31 AM

 Andyjr1515, on 29 January 2017 - 10:40 PM, said:

It's quite a big subject, donslow, so probably need to answer in stages.

Ref the basic definitions, levelling is where you file down high frets - or high spots on a fret or frets - so that they the same height as the other frets down the fretboard.

In doing this, the bit that you file off is the top of the semi-circular profile - you start off with a nice rounded hill shape and you end up with a flat-topped hill! Crowning is simply recreating the rounded hill shape, without taking any more off the height.

And yes, if you are levelling across the whole fretboard, you are absolutely right that you need to use the truss rod to straighten the neck before you start. Otherwise, you will be filing down frets that are only 'high' because of the curve of the neck. If the neck is as straight as possible to start with, you are now only filing down frets that are higher than their adjacent ones.

Mostly as I suspected so many thanks for clearing that up

Are there any recommended tools / equipment for doing this job at all?! There seems to be such a myriad of options, it's easy to get lost

#5 Grangur

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Posted 30 January 2017 - 06:37 AM

PMed
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#6 MoonBassAlpha

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Posted 30 January 2017 - 02:11 PM

Crimson guitars do a range of tools for all sorts of guitar tasks, as do many other companies, with the added benefit that he does a load of tutorials on youtube on how to use them. He has an easy to watch manner, and is happy to share mistakes he has made so you don't have to!
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#7 donslow

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 04:05 AM

Cheers guys for the advice and offers, hopefully I'll get my teeth into this and then find an excuse to buy another bass.......to practice on of course ;-)





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