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Setting intonation

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Morphgarth, Jan 1, 2014.

  1. Morphgarth

    Morphgarth

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    Hi friends. I'm trying to set the intonation on my Fender p bass. I've got the open strings tuned EADG. fretting the 12th fret is giving me G on every string!!!! Is this just because I've got a crap electronic tuner or am I getting this fundamentally wrong? I was expecting it to be the note as per the open string but a big sharp or flat???

    Any help for a newbie gratefully received. Thanks.
  2. wvbass

    wvbass

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    This is not possible. Something is wrong with your tuner or something is wrong with how you are using your tuner.
  3. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings Supporting Member

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    First... you might want to post this in the setup and repair section. That said, your fundamental understanding of what you were expecting is correct. I don't have a clue why every string would yield a "G" on fret 12. If you simply start on the low "E" string does your tuner say E? If so, as you move up the "E" string, does your tuner move correctly? At what point up the fretboard does it start just saying "G"?
  4. Morphgarth

    Morphgarth

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    That's what I thought. Crap tuner from Argos. That's what you get for a tenner. Thought I couldn't be quite that incompetent!!!!!! :)
  5. Kickass

    Kickass

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    try muting the other strings by resting a finger against them. My tuner get confused. Does your tuner have a bass/guitar setting? Try using "guitar" for the octave notes.
  6. bt3100fs

    bt3100fs Supporting Member

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    If it's your tuner, there are a bunch of iOS tuners, including freebies, that you may want to check out.
  7. BCB50

    BCB50

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    I adjusted the truss on my '75 Jazz yesterday and set the intonation. Which took a few hours because of wait time between truss adjustments to get to .020 on E 7th fret with 1 and 12 capoed. I used a snark tuner set on vib instead of mic. Like Kickass said mute the stings you aren't tuning. It will make the process go quicker and not confuse the tuner.
  8. nukes_da_bass

    nukes_da_bass Supporting Member

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    Check the batteries in the tuner- for $2 worth of paper and acid it might actually work like it should- I find tuners with low batteries give funny readings.
  9. pfox14

    pfox14

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    I think you need to check your intonation by ear. Cheap tuners are so unreliable. Assuming you can get your strings to the proper pitch, touch each string at the 12th fret (don't push all the way down) to get the open string harmonic. Then compare that to the note fretted at the 12th fret. If the fretted note is sharp, you need to move the saddle piece further away from the neck and vice versa. Hope that helps.
  10. Morphgarth

    Morphgarth

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    Thanks very much all. Not sure my ears accurate enough yet!!! Great advice though. I'll grab a decent tuner from a mate tomoro and give it another go. Many thanks for all your help.
  11. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member

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    Intonation setup is an approximation itself. It only gives an accurate note on a single fret, typically the 12th.
    All the others are false or as you say, close enough. There is no need to be super accurate.
  12. mellowinman

    mellowinman

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    This was going to be the most amazing phenomenon I had ever heard about.

    Turns out you just need to get a Korg Pitchblack.
  13. WoodyG3

    WoodyG3 Supporting Member

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    Just asking because this is new to me, how do you intonate to more than one fret on a tempered instrument? I have always assumed that intonating to the twelfth fret is the best way to get as close as possible on all frets up and down the fingerboard.

    Anyway, OP, even a cheap tuner should do better than the results you are getting. A decent pedal tuner isn't too big of an investment, though, and you'll probably only need to buy one in your life. Time to splurge a little.:)
  14. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member

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    You can use a different fret for each string depending on what you use the most. If you get more accuracy in a zone, you get less in others. The reason the 12th fret is most often used is because it minimizes inaccuracies all long the neck. If you choose to be more accurate in the money fret zone, typically by setting along the 7th fret, you get less accurate on upper frets.

    When you're done doing this, there's still only one fretted note than can truly be accurate.
  15. DigitalMan

    DigitalMan

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    Roll off the tone on your bass and your tuner might track better. Hack solution but it sometimes compensates for tuners that miss the fundamental.
  16. wild4oldcars

    wild4oldcars

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    also, kinda obvious, make sure the open g isn't just ringing and that you're muting it. Tuners tend to pick up the highest fundamental pitch being played.
  17. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member

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    A tuner constantly picking up a G can also be caused by a ground loop. 50 hz hum makes a G.

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