How to set up a 6-String Bass

Wow, what a monster.  I’ve looked at some of these before but I’ve never really tried one out, it just seems so huge!

The basic principles for a setup are the same as any guitar, just scaled up a little.

It’s also got a problem with the nut.  The slots are a little deep so the open strings are buzzing rather badly.

The only real way to deal with that is to replace it.

While the strings are off I gave the fretboard a little oil.

So a new nut from a Tusq blank.

It’s way too long for a start so I took a lump off the end.

and then ground it down to the right thickness, to fit in the slot.

Next get the ends to the right shape, squared off to the side of the neck…

The top needs to be rounded off…

and of course some string slots.

I only cut shallow slots to start with, I’ll bring the string action down once the strings are fitted and the neck relief and bridge heights are done.

First stage then, the neck relief.

2 truss-rods, with all that tension I guess you need 2!

The action at the 12th fret.  With such a heavy bass string it had to be a little higher than normal.

Matching the radius of the other strings to the fretboard wasn’t so easy, none of my tools are big enough!

Back to that nut.  The action is way too high, as planned.

So cut the slots down now.

Finally then the intonation.

I was a bass player in the past, but have never tried such a huge guitar.  It would take some getting used too, but so much more range…All in all, a fantastic instrument..

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