Q: What measurement do I use for neck relief on my 5 string bass?
A: On a 5 string bass you would start with the gauge labeled bass .008. That is most common measurement for bass guitars. If you get some buzzing, go to the gauge labelled classical .010 to create a larger pocket for the low B string and other strings to oscillate.
Q: Why use the 1st fret and the 12th instead of the 15th fret for measuring and adjusting the relief in your neck?
A: We respect the different ways manufacturers and repair techs approach neck relief. With Master Guitar Tech Geoff Luttrell along with other top repair techs we developed our KISS method using the 1st and 12th fret and measuring at the 6th fret to accommodate most all guitars using a common measurement. The relief of the neck at the 6th fret is in the middle of the span between the 1st and 12th fret.
Q: Can I use a regular capo at the first fret if I do not have a pick capo?
A: The pick capo allows you to hold the string down on top of the 1st fret with just enough tension and is easy to slip in without worrying about where it sits on the fret and how much tension is on it. Yes, you can use a regular capo but you need to make sure it is holding down the string directly on top of the 1st fret using the least amount of tension otherwise you will get an inaccurate reading.
Q: How did you find out which is "most common"?
A: Our Collaboration with Master Guitar Tech Geoff Luttrell and his 20+ years, two high volume guitar shops setting up 10,000 plus guitars, teaching 100's of students in his setup workshops, in house Plek experience, plus we asked a handful of other top repair shops the most common setup measurements and this was the unanimous measurements for a a great sounding and playing guitar. We realize there are many different opinions plus these can dialed in more for the type of player and playing style. As most repair shops know most guitars come out of the factory way higher so they don't buzz and both new and old guitars need to be setup periodically for the best playability and sound.
Q: I have done all the proper steps in the KISS method and my instrument has fret buzz, dead notes, intonation problems, or other playability issues. What could this be?
A: The KISS setup method is based on doing all the steps in order and having level frets. For example, if you do the String Action Height adjustment only and you have fret buzz, it may be because you did not adjust your Truss Rod. Make sure you follow all the steps in the setup process. You can find the proper steps in our Setup Hub https://www.musicnomadcare.com/How-To-Advice/Setup-Hub/The-Setup-Flow/
For worn or un-even frets you will have to compensate for that until you are able to get fretwork done. To achieve clean notes and no buzzing without fretwork, you will need to raise the action until you achieve no buzz. More relief in the neck and higher string action can solve this but is harder to play and can lead to intonation issues. Another cause for buzzing can be that your nut slots are too low or were cut too low. If you are having any of these issues, we recommend you take your guitar to a qualified repair shop.