Re: What's the $ in setting up?

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Posted by John on July 12, 2000 at 08:19:46:

In Reply to: What's the $ in setting up? posted by Julia on July 12, 2000 at 05:27:33:

" why do the manufacturers produce an instrument which is not 'set up' ready for use? or is the setting up different for each player? Can anyone explain?"

There are several possibilities, some of which you have anticipated. Basses are shipped crated, with bridges and strings removed. Before they hit the sales floor, the neck and fingerboard will need checking for movement (slight, if it is a quality instrument, shifts or "sets" the neck has settled into will need to be addressed-- fingerboard planing, perhaps); the bridge and strings must be mounted and fitted. These are standard. And if the bass is just set up for the sales floor, the setup will be "generic." If the player knows, or has preferences in strings, fingerboard clearance, bridge height (or adjustable bridge), these are adjustments which need to be made. All of these adjustments will (or should be) made by an experienced luthier, which means labor costs.
And, these adjustments may shift slightly as the bass "settles in" and the woods adjust themselves. A double bass is an organic construction which breathes and responds to environment- heat and humidity especially. Keeping a bass tuned is a continuous process. That's the maddening, as well as charming aspect of bass owning/playing. It's a relationship. Good luck with yours.

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