The bridge, fingerboard, soundpost, nut, tailpiece, tailgut, endpin, and strings each play a part in how the bass sounds, responds, and plays. By changing or modifying each of these parts we can make the bass produce a range of possible sounds and be easier to play.
Some common issues that are caused by setup problems include:
Hard to press down strings/difficult to play
Non-responsive or "dead" sound
Strings out of line with fingerboard
Not sounding like it used to
There are several things the player can do to adjust the setup including adjusting the bridge height, moving/resetting the bridge to the correct position, changing strings etc. For a step-by-step guide on how to reset your bridge, check out this article I wrote for Strings Magazine.
Some of the other setup elements are best left to a trained luthier, such as planing and dressing the fingerboard, cutting a new bridge, making soundpost adjustments etc.
I believe that working with the player to determine their ideal setup is the best for the player and the bass, so they can work together to make beautiful music. That's why for each setup I do a comprehensive evaluation of the bass and involve the player in establishing their preference and what they hope to get out of their bass.
If you feel that your bass could use some adjustments or even just a checking over, feel free to set up an appointment to bring your bass to my shop. You can fill out the form here:
"My bass sounds way better than before!"-Jakob H.
"I can't believe I didn't do this sooner..."-Greg K.
"He makes my instrument sound not like garbage"- Sara N.