Intonation Shuffle

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by bigsnaketex, Feb 8, 2013.


  1. bigsnaketex

    bigsnaketex Supporting Member

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    So tell me, how do YOU intonate your bass?
     
  2. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings Supporting Member

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    One string at a time... unless I'm feeling frisky :D
     
  3. Scott in Dallas

    Scott in Dallas

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    With a screwdriver and the inTuna app on my iPhone.
     
  4. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Non Serviam Supporting Member

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    Using a Peterson Strobo-Stomp, with the simple (and admittedly imperfect) method of comparing the 12th fret note to the harmonic.
     
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  6. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

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    Same here. I also check the 5th fret once intonated. Tip: make sure all parameters are within spec before attempting to intonate: nut slot depth & shape, relief, witness points set properly, string height (should be close, anyway).

    Riis
     
  7. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

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    ^^This...open string, 12th fret, harmonic. That's all. It's plenty close enough for my playing.
     
  8. Stilettoprefer

    Stilettoprefer

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  9. Hobobob

    Hobobob Don't feed the troll, folks. Supporting Member

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    I get drunk and throw screwdrivers at my bass. That's usually when I pass out. Works every time :)
     
  10. Nashrakh

    Nashrakh

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    As mentioned, open, 12th fret, harmonic.

    A bit trickier on a fretless mind you :bag:
     
  11. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member

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    Sort of.

    Open or harmonic, 12th fret.

    Open is preferable, since you don't spend all night playing bass by chiming 12th-fret harmonics.
     
  12. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

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    99% of the time I settle for open string and 12th fret.
     
  13. mongo2

    mongo2

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    This, and then I check it the 19th fret as well.
     
  14. megafiddle

    megafiddle

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    By ear, against a major chord from a properly tuned keyboard or guitar.
    Keeping the open string also tuned against the chord.
     
  15. JoeWPgh

    JoeWPgh

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    I do mine by ear. 5th fret harmonic to the 12th fret and it's harmonic on the next lower string. For the G, I use the 10th fret on the A string to the G's 12th fret & harmonic
     
  16. geddeeee

    geddeeee

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    I would never use the harmonic on the 12th fret. Too many overtones give a false reading on your tuner. You'll be there far longer 'chasing' the intonation!!!

    Stick with the tried and tested fretted 12th and open string. Checking on the fretted 19th is also a great way to make sure that the intonation is spot on.
     
  17. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

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    If your strings are in good shape, the 12th fret harmonic is the exact octave of the open string. You are simply eliminating the lowest fundamental. There are no more overtones with the harmonic than the open string.

    An advantage of the harmonic is that it's a higher frequency than the open string. Almost every tuner works by counting vibrations and comparing them to a quartz. Usi g a higher frequency for your reference in effect gives the tuner a higher sampling rate. That will give better accuracy than sampling 55 Hz for the reference and 110 for the fretted test note.

    John
     
  18. geddeeee

    geddeeee

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    Thanks for the theory lesson.. LOL!!

    I've been playing 32 years and I did start off with the harmonic method. As I got better equipment and a strobe tuner, I found that I spent three times as long trying to get the intonation right. Even after I nailed it, the intonation seemed slightly 'off' when playing.
    I switched to the 'fretted' method, and I seem to have better intonation.

    I only ever intonate with brand new strings and when I have changed gauges.
    If I am fitting the same gauge, there is no need to bother with the intonation. It's usually spot on.

    If the harmonic method works for you, then great... Each to their own.

    Cheers!!
     
  19. bigsnaketex

    bigsnaketex Supporting Member

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    I was just wondering. I find getting my basses intonated correctly a bit trickier than my guitars. I start with open strings and 12th harmonic - then I check the fretted 12th. Then I move to the 3rd and 15th. Then the 5th and 17th and it seems I always end up "splitting the difference". I've only had one bass in my entire life that was spot on up and down the fretboard.
     
  20. BritFunk

    BritFunk

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    Friends,

    Maybe I'm just uptight (or delusional) but on my 24-fret basses I check the 12th fret harmonic against the 12th fret note to get things close, then check the 12th fret harmonic against the 24th fretted note. I have found that many times a little more tweaking is in order to be certain the notes are all in tune.

    It might be overkill and/or might not make any difference in the real world, but I play chords pretty often and the bass just seems to play in better tune all the way up the neck using this technique.

    YMMV.

    ~ Kurt
     
  21. Hobobob

    Hobobob Don't feed the troll, folks. Supporting Member

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    This is why the Buzz Feiten system was invented.
     

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