Tuner problem, bass problem, or is it me?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by BlueMiss, Aug 6, 2013.


  1. BlueMiss

    BlueMiss

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2013
    Location:
    MD
    I have a 5-string MIA Fender Jazz Bass Deluxe that is giving me problems when tuning the B. I have used 3 different tuners, and none of them register my open B: a Boss Chromatic, a Korg Pitchblack, and the built-in one on my Ampeg BA115HP. So I end up tuning from the 12th fret. What is wrong, or what am I doing wrong? Help, help, help!
  2. Crater

    Crater

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2011
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    Just tune to the 12th fret harmonic and don't worry about it. The low B note is a very low frequency in the audio realm and some tuners just don't "hear" it very well.
  3. BlueMiss

    BlueMiss

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    Jul 3, 2013
    Location:
    MD
    That's a relief. Thanks, Crater!
  4. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    the sonic research turbo-tuner, aside from being more accurate than any of the others, is also one of the few that can read a B"0" directly, no harmonics needed.
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  6. warnergt

    warnergt

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    Location:
    Vortex of sin and degradation
    I don't particularly like that solution. It makes the (possibly bad)
    assumption that your intonation is good.

    The good solution is to find a tuner that does hear the low B.

    One other note: be sure to turn the volume of your bass all the
    way up in order to give your tuner a stronger signal.
  7. BlueMiss

    BlueMiss

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2013
    Location:
    MD
    Thanks walterw, I was wondering if such a tuner existed.
  8. BlueMiss

    BlueMiss

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2013
    Location:
    MD

    That's a good point, warnergt. One of the things that I was trying to fix was the intonation on that B string.
  9. Blackcloud6

    Blackcloud6

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2013
    Location:
    New Baltimore, MI
    Have you tried a clip on tuner like a Snark?
  10. BlueMiss

    BlueMiss

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    Jul 3, 2013
    Location:
    MD
    I've seen them, but never used them. How do they compare, in quality, to plug-ins?
  11. khutch

    khutch Praise Harp Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2011
    Location:
    suburban Chicago
    No it doesn't. You are not fetting the bass at the 12th fret (which would rely on your intonation accuracy) you are holding you finger lightly on the string above the 12th fret and playing the harmonic. Using the harmonic removes your intonation accuracy from the equation and in fact in the Fender method of setting intonation you are using the 12th fret harmonic as your standard to check the fretted note at the 12th fret against.

    Clip on tuners like the Snark can work well. They read the headstock vibrations so you may have to move one around to find a spot where it will pick up the B note adequately. Even then I generally find the 12th fret harmonic works better.

    Ken
  12. Chewi Manilli

    Chewi Manilli

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2012
    I use a Snark clip-on tuner, and I still have to use the 12th fret harmonic on my E string, so it probably wouldn't do any better on a 5 string. Works great otherwise!
  13. warnergt

    warnergt

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    Oct 25, 2007
    Location:
    Vortex of sin and degradation
    I understand now. You are correct. My mistake.
  14. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2005
    I frequently use a Pitchblack with my 5ers, and it tracks my low B just fine - no need to use the 12th fret harmonic... I would suggest there's something else going on here...


    - georgestrings
  15. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2005
    I had one of the red Snarks - it wouldn't track nearly as well as my Pitchblack, no even my Pitchjack - I ended up giving it away...


    - georgestrings
  16. P Town

    P Town Guest

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    There are two or three different Snark clip on tuner models. I own a few of these, and a gigantic Boss TU-1000. I have compared the Snarks to each other, and they all read about the same. The Boss has a higher resolution, and so a difference of a couple cents will show on the display. One thing I have noticed is that the Snarks work well on all my basses, and guitars, except for one old short scale bass. On this particular instrument, the E string will read E, and A alternately most of the time. Still works, but the bass must be producing some overtones that the other basses do not.

    Over all, the Snarks work well, and I see many people using them.

    It does bug me when people leave them clipped to the headstock while they play. It makes a nice looking instrument look like it has a plastic clothes pin attached to it.
  17. TinIndian

    TinIndian

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2011
    Location:
    Micco Florida
    I use a Korg Pitchblack and I have had no problems tuning my 5s and I tune down a half step.
  18. WardEarth

    WardEarth

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2010
    My SEIKO SAT100 works great. I really like how it has a percentage read out as well as a regular dial, tells you right where your at. My fav tuner so far. And I think you can find it for $20.
  19. BlueMiss

    BlueMiss

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2013
    Location:
    MD
    Thank you for that explanation, Ken. I have played for many years but have never done my own maintenance; always relied on others to do it for me. Trying to become self-sufficient now.
  20. BlueMiss

    BlueMiss

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2013
    Location:
    MD
    AACK. Please don't scare me, this bass was a major investment for me. What are you suggesting?
  21. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2005
    I'm suggesting that unless you have a defective Pitchblack(unlikely), the issue is with your bass, strings, or setup... My Pitchblack will easily and accurately track my low B on an open note - yours should, too... I would say either you have a defective string, intonation is off, or I have seen magnetic pull from the pickup cause incorrect readings on a B string on an EBMM SR5 HH...

    In short, I doubt it's the tuner...


    - georgestrings

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