Dismiss Notice

Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Buzz Feiten tuning system

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by nonsqtr, Jun 2, 2004.


  1. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Can someone please explain (in a nutshell) how this system differs from an "ordinary" tuning system? And what exactly is included in "the system", is it just the tuners, or does it include any other components? My MTD 535 owner's manual (all two pages of it) recommends a certain tuner (a Korg 7-something-or-other) that has a special "Buzz Feiten" mode. That scared the heck out me. Is Mike telling me that this bass won't tune like an ordinary bass?
     
  2. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    I ended up buying the little Korg tuner. It's actually a nice tuner but pretty spendy.

    There are some formulas..+/- cents that will get you in the ballpark. I just saw this posted somewhere, recently. Most likely here on TB.com. But this is just for the intonation setup. You tune your bass normally once the intonation is setup.
     
  3. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    congrats on the MTD 535. They absolutely wonderful basses. As for the BFTS. It is a combination of 2 things. First the nut, or in the case of the "0" fret, is moved closer to the bridge by a few mm, secondly when intonating the bass you offset the intonation by +/- 1 cent depending on the string. It allows the bass to play better in tune throught the range of the insturment. For someone like me who does a lot of chord/melody, looping, etc I have found it very helpful. The BFTS system gives the bass a sweeter sound when playing chords or playing with a piano.

    As Jerry J said. Use a tuner and tune your bass normally to the open string. The only adjustment is during the intonation process

    Mike Dimin
     
  4. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Thanks guys. That would be a 1/2 though, based on the kindness of my erudite TB colleagues. :)
     
  5. elros

    elros

    Apr 24, 2004
    Norway
    Proprietor, Helland Musikk Teknologi
    As far as I have understood it, the Buzz Feiten system somehow compensates for the thickness or stiffness (or both?!?) of the string... I don't really know.
    But I do have that tuner - the Korg DT-7. It is very nice. And, (once again) as far as I have understood it, the special BF function is only used when setting up the instrument - adjusting intonation and such. After that, you can tune your instrument like any other, using a normal tuner.
    AFIK.
     
  6. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    It compensates for the the fact that the string has more tension at the ends near the witness point than in the middle

    Mike
     
  7. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    Hi Mike,

    Sorry but this is a little confusing, the way you phrased it. The string has the same tension throughout its length.

    When fretted, the tension changes differently depending on where you fret it (1st fret v. 12th). I think this is what the BFTS takes into account.
     
  8. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    Pick up your bass, I think that you can feel more tension on the string at the witness points and less in the dead middle. I know if I ever have to play "popcorn bass" (fast, staccatto 16th notes) - I do it closer to the bridge as the string tension there is more consistant and tighter

    Mike
     
  9. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    Mike,

    When the strings are sitting there and you are not touching them, the tension is the same from the nut to the bridge. It's a physical fact.

    I am making a mostly semantic point here, it has probably already gone on long enough. :) I know what you mean. Thanks.
     
  10. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    agreed - here is what Buzz says:


    The Reason - Standard intonation is not pleasing to the ear
    Guitars are designed and built using a standard formula for intonation and nut placement. Each string is intonated only to itself resulting in what is called 'equal temperament'. Piano tuners abandoned equal temperament long ago because it simply is not pleasing to the ear. Instead, piano strings are 'stretch tuned' to make them play in pleasing intonation anywhere on the keyboard. The resulting 'tempered' tuning is superbly musical, and most important, in tune.

    The Solution - The Buzz Feiten Tuning System
    Inspired by the piano's tempered tuning, the Buzz Feiten Tuning System is a revolutionary intonation model for guitar that intonates each string not only to itself, but also to every other string. Furthermore, to eliminate sharpness in the first three frets, the nut is moved a prescribed distance closer to the bridge. The result - play any note, any chord, anywhere on the neck and you'll be in tune. And, it doesn't change the way your guitar looks or plays.