1. Welcome to TalkBass, the Premier Bass Player Community and Information Source. Register a 100% Free Account to post and unlock tons of features.

Intonation and Moving Saddles

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by wishface, Mar 5, 2014.


  1. wishface

    wishface

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2012
    I've been having a go at the intonation on my bass, most of the trings are sharp and so needed lengthening (as is my understanding). However the low E (4 string bass) is now pretty close to the back of the bridge and I'm worried this puts more tension on the string. Is this natural?
     
  2. megafiddle

    megafiddle

    Joined:
    May 25, 2011
    It's normal for the heavier strings to be longer, with their saddles set back further.
    The saddles take on a characteristic pattern, with each saddle a little further back,
    going from lighter string to heavier string (from G to E). That small amount of extra
    tension is also normal and not a problem.

    -
     
  3. lz4005

    lz4005

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2013
    There is no extra tension.
    Tension is how many pounds of pull you have to exert by cranking the tuner to get the string to pitch. It will be exactly the same.
     
  4. JustForSport

    JustForSport

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2011
    ++^^
    B's are usually the furthest back, yet are lowest in tension from 'standard' sets.
     
  5. Register to disable this ad
  6. wishface

    wishface

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2012
    Truss rod adjustments are meant to be made before adjusting intonation. Is there a particular reason for this and can they be safely made afterward?
     
  7. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2004
    Location:
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    They can be made any time. If you make them first, you will not have to re-do much.

    Frankly, I've never found minor truss rod adjustments to change intonation at all.
     
  8. megafiddle

    megafiddle

    Joined:
    May 25, 2011
    The E string has a normal length that is longer than the scale length. So in that sense,
    it has no "extra" tension. It has a tension that is normal for that string gauge and length.

    The extra tension I am referring to is the extra tension that an E string would have when
    it is intonated, compared to an unintonated string set equal to scale length.
    In other words, an intonated string at 34.25" will have a little more tension than a string
    at 34.0", when tuned to the same open pitch.
    In fact, the tension would be 1.01476 times higher.

    -
     
  9. wishface

    wishface

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2012
    Not to change intonation, I just have a little bit of buzz and the B 9th fret D string is not sustaining so it's just catching on the fret. I was going to put some relief on the neck to sort this because I don't really want to alter the action.
     
  10. ddnidd1

    ddnidd1 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2003
    Location:
    Southern California Coast
    If you change the relief, you change the action.
     
  11. wishface

    wishface

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2012
    I mean that I don't want to raise/ tower the Saddes independent of neck relief.
     
  12. wishface

    wishface

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2012
    I don't know what that means.
     
  13. lz4005

    lz4005

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2013
    Make sure the string has a good bend over the bridge saddle. Thick strings can have wonky intonation if they don't have a sharp enough angle there.
     
  14. 96tbird

    96tbird This Indian movie is really boring man.

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    Location:
    Manitoba, Canada
    I agree with gkgrow:l witness the strings. You'll be moving that E saddle forward and get it intonated easily. Once you do it right the first time, you'll be a pro. There is no magic involved, just physics.

    Next, learn a full setup and DO IT!
     
  15. wishface

    wishface

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2012
    I'm not sure I follow; the string is already in a straight line.
     
  16. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2006
    Location:
    NY & MA
    The straight line mentioned is looking at the string from the side, not from the top. With a poor witness point the string can actually bend upward over the saddle ever so slightly causing intonation problems. With a good witness point the string makes that bend over the saddle more sharply and can help minimize intonation problems.
     
  17. wishface

    wishface

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2012
    Is there a clip of this online?
     
  18. wishface

    wishface

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2012
    how much pressure are you meant to exert? This seems like something that could be damaging.
     
  19. 96tbird

    96tbird This Indian movie is really boring man.

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    Location:
    Manitoba, Canada
  20. mrbell321

    mrbell321

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2012
    Location:
    N. Colorado
    That may be true... I'm not sure...

    but sharp bends put high stress points in the string and on the bridge. Those are points that won't last. They'll smooth themselves or be the point where something breaks.

    BTW, that b-string doesn't look like it's under tension...
     
  21. JustForSport

    JustForSport

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2011

Share This Page