1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

a string intonation problems

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by ameuseall, Jul 18, 2004.

  1. ameuseall


    Nov 1, 2003
    I need some help. I have a "63" Kay and the A string doesn't intonate properly. I come from electric bass where if you fret F on the D string, C will be in the same position on the A string, but mine is sharp when the A string is tuned to pitch. What can I do? Any advice will be appreciated.
  2. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    Welcome to TalkBass/Double Bass. Indeed DB is very different from BG, but you're right: something is wrong here!

    1) do not use "fret", use "stop"

    2) either your double bass is not tuned properly or you can't hear F and/or C, and don't stop the strings properly


    4) fill up your "public profile
  3. Olie...You're starting to sound old and .....Well, like me! I'm proud of ya!! :eyebrow:
  4. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    I wish it was true. Actually I've been a cranck ever since I was born. My only hope is that I'll mellow down with age ! :) , NOT like you ! :D
  5. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    But you got to realize that amuse all has too many a problems, and also that his "any advice appreciated" was very inviting...

    dang, he didn't even come back to thank me !!! Were those 4 pieces of advice so bad ? :eek: :D
  6. How old/ trashed are your strings? Sometimes a bad string will generate wierd overtones and beats that will make it hard to discern the actual pitch of the note played.

    Other than that, if the strings are tunes a perfect fourth apart, the stopped notes will sound a fourth apart also. Double basses don't have compensated bridges like slabs.
  7. Scot

    Scot Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2004
    Pacifica, CA, USA
    That problem seems weird to me because even on the electric intonation problems are typically not appearant until you get higher up on the neck. Could it be that his fingerboard needs work or the bridge isn't installed correctly? If the problem is really his bass and not his tuning, strings or technique I would imagine that he needs to hook up with a good luthier.

  8. I agree with Eric that your strings might be bad. Keyword though "MIGHT". But 9 times out of 10 with an upright bass its user error. I would say if your strings are older strings replace them. Then sit down with a tuner, a very nice tuner not one of those $10 things, and go over the notes and find them on the bass so your not totally using your ear to where you think the note is but exactly. If your ordeal is still goin on then I would take it to a luthier.
  9. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    I don't see what a luthier could do about this. It's got to be either the strings or the GIGO factor. How could any defect in the bass itself cause this? It's not like there's a fret in the wrong place.

    DISPOSEALL, if you're still reading this, try getting the bass to an experienced player and see if the problem is still there. If so, and you manage to rule out the string possiblilty, contact Fox Mulder at the FBI and let us know what happens.
  10. While I seriously doubt that this is the problem, I've had problems in the past with a BG nut slot being too high, causing notes close to the nut to pull sharp. You wouldn't expect this on a 41-year-old bass, though...

    I've also had intonation problems with old dead strings.

    Cheers, Tim
  11. What I'm saying is that anything beyond that I would have no clue lol so maybe take it to someone who does. I have heard that with some older basses that if you have high tension strings that it can actually move the top of your bass and move your bridge. But from what I have heard it would affect all the strings. So you got me.
  12. MikeM


    Apr 21, 2004
    This could happen if the nut slot on the A string tapers toward the bridge. That would give you a longer effective length on that one string. Not saying this is the problem but its a possibility.
  13. Scot

    Scot Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2004
    Pacifica, CA, USA
    Or the bridge isn't set straight compared to the nut. I'm starting to assume that it must be user error (tuning?) since the poster hasn't replied after the initial post.