The Bass Garage is a full-service bass custom shop at 13th Street Guitars. We are experts at repairing and setting up your bass. 4 string, 5 string, 6 or more strings. We work on them all. We do custom modifications - Pickups, hardware, bridges, custom woodwork such as routing the body for added electronics, etc...
We are the only Fodera Factory Authorized Service Center outside of their factory in Brooklyn, New York.
Factory authorized for Stuart Spector - we can also special order instruments for you.
We are also an Ibanez service center, and can get those hard to find parts and electronics!
We stock a wide selection D'addario, Ernie Ball, and Fodera Bass Strings. (at competitive prices)
We equipped with a Plek Station Robotic Fret Working Machine. Combined with our talent and experience working on so many basses, we now have the precision to deliver the best playing bass possible.
Most Setups are $75 - We'll get the action how you like it - nice and low if that's your thing, or slightly higher to get in there more for slapping, popping, or your particular style. We work with each player to attain the best possible setup for their needs. If you need ultra-clean tone, we'll give you that. If you want to play super fast - we can give you that, too. 4-String, 5-String, 6-String or more - we can take care of you.
Our Complete Setup includes: Cleanup/polish, Restring (strings extra), Cleaning/polishing of frets and fingerboard, oiling unfinished boards (such as rosewood), Adjustment of the truss rod for proper neck relief, adjusting/leveling the bridge and saddles for action and radius, slotting the nut to attain proper string height and eliminate binding, improve intonation & tuning stability, accurate saddle intonation (to make it play in tune all over the neck), adjust pickups, tighten and clean hardware
A good setup usually means the difference between a bass that plays well and one that doesn't. Often times people will not buy a bass because it is setup poorly. Even most inexpensive basses can be setup to play right. We will make your bass play better than it ever has.
We use Peterson Strobe Tuners to ensure the best possible intonation. Strobe Tuners are highly accurate devices that can fine tune far better than your everyday tuner. You can hunt and peck and find somewhat decent intonation points. We will set yours to the optimum point, making it play in tune all over the neck. Chords up high will ring out beautifully. Harmonics will hit right where you expect them. You'll always be in tune with the rest of your band.
The second most common problem we encounter with basses beyond the setup is the frets. Most manufacturers do not put a lot of effort into ensuring their frets are perfectly level before the bass leaves the factory. This applies not only to cheap imports, but also to expensive American made instruments. You may not understand why your bass buzzes in certain areas or has a dead note or two. It could very well need the frets dressed. If it has several years of play on it, then it likely has wear on the frets that can be eliminated. The fretboard and neck is made of wood. Wood can expand, contract, and twist. These tiny changes lead to detrimental effects on your frets. We can identify these issues and repair for them.
We are now using Plek Technology to perform fret dressing. Plek is a computer controlled robotic fret working machine. It allows us to set the action low without getting fret buzz or losing tone and sustain. The level of precision we are working is just not possible to do by hand. All fret dressing and refrets will be Plek'd. Plek jobs include a setup in the process, as the strings will be adjusted to work perfectly with the frets.
If your frets are so worn they need replacing, we can do that. If you just want to put in different sized frets to change the feel of your bass, we've got you covered there, too. Refrets start at $400 and include Plek planing the fingerboard while the frets are out, installation of new fret wire, and then the full Plek Fret Dress and Setup. The price can vary depending on the type of neck, finish, and binding. We carry Dunlop and Stewmac fret wire in several sizes. We can also special order any size you like if we don't have it on hand.
Plek allows us to shape the fingerboard with a compound radius or any straight radius you prefer. It also allows us to cut the perfect amount of fall-away right into the board. So we not only Plek your frets, we Plek it before the frets go in! If we do this on a maple fingerboard, it will have to be refinished afterward. We do refrets without refinishing if you prefer - for vintage instruments, relics, etc... when you want to preserve the aged look of the fingerboard.
We can make a custom nut to fit your bass. Many basses come with plastic nuts which rob the guitar of some tone, sustain and in some cases, tuning stability. The plastic of many nuts acts as a damper to the transmission of string vibration into the neck. We install Bone, Graph Tech Tusq or Black Tusq. We use the Plek machine to craft most nuts. It gives us precise control over string spacing, slot angle/depth, as well as shaping the top of the nut to match the radius of the neck perfectly.
Sometimes we're asked why we can't just put on a $10 or $15 pre-made nut and be done with it. The reality is even those pre-made nuts that are made to drop-in do not drop right in. You'll notice the instructions for all of them state that there will be some sanding required to make it fit properly. You also end up with varying string heights because the slots haven't been cut to perfectly match the radius of the neck. We have to charge for the time spent to make it right.
We can replace your Bass pickups to tailor your tone to your style of playing. Sometimes the right bass just doesn't make the sound you're looking for. We can help you with that.
We stock Aguilar, Seymour Duncan and Dimarzio Bass Pickups. We can special order anything we don't have on hand. Check with us first and you might just get the best deal or get the pickup you want without having to wait.
We do custom electronic installs and repairs all the time here at 13th Street Guitars. From simple output jack replacement to highly customized preamps and effects systems, we've got you covered. Prices vary greatly depending on what we're getting into. Feel free to call or email us with your ideas. (or just come on down and we'll talk) Basic pickup installation is $30. Most electronics projects or repairs start at $30 but can go up depending on parts needed and number of complications involved. We carry Aguilar, Seymour Duncan, and Dimarzio pickups, and preamp/EQ systems.
We do custom woodworking, routing, and other modifications. Routing a pickup cavity into a bass would be about $40-$50. (for example) We install battery boxes, extra pots/switches, or just about anything else you can come up with. Bridge conversions, string-through conversions, neck conversions, etc... Just ask. We've probably done it before. If not, we'd probably be excited to try something new.
We can convert your fretted bass to fretless. We remove the frets, fill the slots, seal it up. We then process it in the Plek machine to a custom radius and perfect level/bow, etc... Then we either finish it or leave it unfinished depending on your preference. Maple must be finished to keep it clean, but woods such as rosewood, ebony, wenge, etc... can be left unfinished for a softer, natural feel and sound. Fret marker colors are usually white or cream on dark woods and black on light woods. We don't just fill the slots with wood putty and let the neck twist or bow. We use solid plastic in the slots. We are experts at this process and produce much better playing fretless basses than anything we've put our hands on. (and we get rave reviews) If you're looking for a fretless conversion or a fretless setup, you came to the right place.
We do broken headstock and neck repairs all the time. Filling or drilling holes, custom tuners, fixing torn out strap buttons and strap locks (so they never come out again!), etc...
Any Questions? Give us a call at 714-596-5050 and we'll help you out.
Don't feel overwhelmed if you don't know the proper terms, etc...
We're here to help.