When to get a set-up?


I’m wondering when I ought to get a set-up for my bass, which I’ve had since April. Is it something I should have just automatically done when I bought it? There’s definitely some ringing when I play, but that could very easily be my beginner fingers. Thanks.


Getting a set up is something to do anytime you have a question about the instrument, or change something - like putting different gauge/tension strings on.
Go for it!
And check out tutorial videos for bass set ups, because it is the kind of thing you’ll want to be able to do yourself someday… (said the guy who doesn’t do a great job setting up his own bass… and doesn’t have a tutorial video to link to here…)


I agree with @Gio! Also depending on the weather where you live, sometimes this amount of time (April to November) is enough for the bass to get moody about the temperature and shift around a bit.


I just took a class in bass setup. Was excellent! Most of the tools are available (with the exception of nut files) at a hardware store.
Tools you will need:

(1) set of T- Allen Keys (metric and imperial).
(1) Screw driver set
(1) Jewelers screw driver set.
(1) Engineers Ruler
(1) Side-cutters fir string snipping.
(1) Needle Nose pliers - string snipping and string straightening.
(1) small C-wrench
(1) set luthier nut files.
(1) chammy cloth/ panel wipes/ dust cloth
(1) good digital tuner for adjusting the tonality at the bridge.
(1) 3 in 1 oil/ lemon oil
Very, very fine steel wool - 000 to 0000 gauge.
A roll of paper towels or rolled up bath towel (to serve as a neck rest.)
Drafting tape or painters (lo-tac) tape.

I just did a set up for the new Warwick I bought when I switched the rounds over to flats. It plays beautifully. Learning to do a set up is a great way to learn how a bass works.


Nice list @bsickels! I should really learn more about that someday. I mean, I can do a lot of the things, but my confidence level overall is not amazing. Where was your class?

I would add to your list, not only should you get a “good digital tuner”, but you should get a really really good tuner if you want to intonate your own instrument. Peterson strobe tuners are the way to go for that application, been the industry standard for a long time as far as I know. Accurate to +/-0.1 cent.

TC Electronic says that the Polytune 3 has similar accuracy, but I dunno, the Peterson just feels more like the tool for the job for intonation, or super fine tuning in the studio.


Funny you should mention the Peterson tuner. That is exactly what I have. It sets the intonation beautifully and helps to trouble shoot any adjustment problems. The class I took was offered at our local guitar shop by a local luthier. Great class, but there are a lot of similar classes on UTube. When I purchased my Warwick, for example, , I found their website had similar videos directly related to their products.