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! :)

E string won't intonate?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by 76JazzRay, Apr 16, 2009.

  1. 76JazzRay


    Mar 30, 2009
    I've got an issue with setting up my 1976 Fender Jazz. I adjusted string heights/action (no neck adjust) and began to set the intonation. All strings came right in without much saddle movement except the E, it was sharp at the 12th. So I kept moving the saddle back but ran out of adjustment. Didn't seem to help a lot either as the 12th was still sharp and now the string itself was too high.

    So I thought maybe it was a bad E string. Put on new strings and same things more or less, E still sharp at the 12th. One additional piece of data, the new strings are a heavier gauge. I checked intonation on the other strings and they've moved a bit sharp at the 12th now also.

    I've read that the neck could need to be adjusted (flatter). Also thought maybe the heavier gauge has caused a bit more bow in the neck thus explaining the other strings now being sharp at the 12th.

    I know this is long but I'm seeking advice on what to do or what could be the issue.

  2. phall2112


    Dec 31, 2008
    My geddy does the same thing ever since i had a new nut cut for it.
  3. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging!

    Jul 29, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    I ran into a similar problem on one of my fivers; the solution was to reposition the bridge - took about 10 minutes.
  4. Brado


    Oct 19, 2005
    Buda, TX.
    Push the low E down onto the saddle. Sometimes, the string doesn't take on the pivot/ there's a gentle arch instead of a clear "start" to where the playable part of the string begins....if you seat it well to the "bend" that the saddle will make, it will ensure that you're dealing with the actual distance from the nut to the saddle. It will also clean up the fundamental of the string...Every now & then, you will get a string that won't intonate. That's out of your control. Assuming that your strings are fine, try the above. Hope that helps.
  5. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    If you are changing string gauge, *always* set the relief first.

    Relief, then action, then intonation.
  6. lug


    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    Yep. If you can't get it to work, you can try taper-core strings. That's sure to work.
  7. 76JazzRay


    Mar 30, 2009
    Didn't set the relief but it looks/feels to me like the neck should be a bit flatter. And I have pressed on the saddles to ensure good contact.

    I may just send it out locally figuring if they can get it set right, I can keep it that way. I'm alittle nervous about tightening the truss rod. :help:
  8. 60bass

    60bass Supporting Member

    Apr 24, 2005
    Charlotte, NC
    Have you checked the relief? Capo first fret, fret string at last fret, measure distance from fret top to string at 8th fret. Fender specs are .014 (7.25 raduis neck), .012 (9.5 radius neck). Unless the neck is way off, you should only have to move the rod a little bit. In your case tighten it up to flatten out the board. Just loosen all the strings, give the rod a small turn clockwise to tighten, tune it back up and check it. Just do a bit at a time till you get it where you want.

    Wait a minute, I just noticed you said a 76 Fender Jazz. Is yours a bullet truss rod, 3 bolt tilt neck bass? If so you also have to dial in the neck tilt as well. For that you need to follow this procedure:

    <<< edited correct procedure for 3 bolt neck bass >>>

    Loosen large lock screw two full turns, the other screws need not be loosened. Insert 3/32 allen wrench through hole in neck plate. Turn clockwise to raise neck closer to strings. Counter clockwise for reverse. It’s more of a personal thing about where you want to set the neck angle. Just remember you want to end up with a string height of 6/64 th’s to 7/64 th’s at the 17 th fret if you want to stay at Fender specs.

    <<< end edit >>>

    It's really no big deal but I can relate to your being a little nervous. I was the same way early on too till I got used to doing it. If you do decide to try it just remember that if the rod feels tight in ANY way, stop and take it to a Luthier.

    Hope this helps.

    Keep Low :bassist:
  9. HogieWan


    Feb 4, 2008
    Lafayette, LA
    A string too high will be more sharp than a lower string as you tighten the string more to pull it down to the fingerboard. As was already said, Relief, action, then intonation. When I initially set up an instrument (new instrument, diff strings, etc), I will do that process without worrying about getting just right, just get it close and not spend much time on it. Play it for a few days, then do it all again, taking your time. Another week, and you may want to tweak it all again.
  10. 76JazzRay


    Mar 30, 2009
    Thanks for all the help gang! I wasn't able to get this right so I sent to a local shop for a setup. Also discovered the hex opening on the bullet was stripped. So off to the shop for a setup and new hex nut! :D

    Can't wait to get it back.


Share This Page