Can a setup be set too low?

Morning everybody, I had a repair issue with my bass so I decided to get it re-strung and have a setup done while it was there. But now I’m having a lot of issues with string buzz. I used to be able to left hand mute without any issues but now when I let off the pressure the strings rattle like crazy. Is it possible they set it too low or something? Should I take it to a local shop (set up was done at Guitar Center) and have them look at it? Or am I just strumming weird since I had been used to the old set up for so long?


Hi @Luther it’s a bit hard to give you advice without some pictures. Can you share some images picturing the action height?



Let me know if these aren’t helpful I took a video but the forum doesn’t allow that sort of thing


FYI you can post videos on YouTube and link it here.


Hi Gamer,
The immediate answer to your question (Can she be set too low) is “Yes”. And since you say that you had no problems before the work was done, I would tend to lead in that direction.
But it could also be tecnique. Did you change string type or string gauge? That may require you to get “Used” to the different strings.
While there is a range, string height is subjective. Some Players like a higher or lower setting. Rather than posting pictures or videos, measure the string height at the 12th fret. For standard, middle-of-the road action, set the “E” string (on a 4 string) to about 7/64″ and the (G string ) to about,5/64″."
While the “Standard” heights work for me, I like a slightly lower setting. Good luck and let us know how things turn out. :slight_smile:


Yes. Extremes, either high or low, can make your instrument more difficult to play. Beyond that, it’s about personal preference.

You should be able to take it back to them and ask for an adjustment at no additional charge.

If you enjoy playing with a higher action that’s what’s most important.

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What was the issue that made you decide to take it in @Luther? Still hard to tell how it’s set up from just looking at the photos, but before addressing the action on the strings, I’d look at the truss setting first. I don’t follow the online guidelines for setting any of my bass’s or guitars up since they all kinda play a little different (and I play each one different too) so my set up procedure is a bit unorthodox. First, be sure that the strings are in tune so that there is proper tension on the neck to start with. The main thing that I shoot for is a distance of about a credit card thickness under about the 7th or 8th fret wire when I capo the strings at the 1st fret and at the 14th fret.

Once the truss is set, retune and set the intonation on each string. Once that is done, start playing each string and use an allen wrench to adjust each of the strings so that you can get the lowest action with the least fret buzz. Remember that your attack on the strings will play into this adjustment so if you are an aggressive player, you may need a bit more height on each of your strings. Once satisfied, retune, recheck intonations, and keep that allen wrench at hands reach for the next day or so to perform any fine tuning…

Another thing I do is I take gap measurements on each of my strings once I have a good set up made on each instrument and log it into my files so that I can easily check set up the next time I replace strings or a bridge or nut or something. Each of my bass’s all have different measurements…

Keep on Thumpin’!


Guy at Guitar center said the setup was meant for a guitar, not a bass and did some fiddling. Took it home and I’m still having rattle issues. I may take it to a local shop, and confirm if they have a little bass expertise instead of guitar. I never had any issues with this until I got the setup and new strings. Maybe the strings are too loose or something idk. But I’m getting frustrated.

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Actually, I did some noodling it’s not as bad as I was thinking once I actually get going on it. So probably will be okay. But it definitely needed that adjustment at first. Now it’s sounding way better at least. So long story short, double check your set ups at the store.