Fender Fuzzy Math Intonation

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by James Willie, Feb 17, 2020.


  1. James Willie

    James Willie Serious Business Supporting Member

    Jul 29, 2016
    Lake Texoma
    There must be at least a million articles about intonation. Trying to install a new bridge onto a new body. 34 inch scale. Found this excerpt from the Fender web site.

    Fender Web Article

    Set Your Intonation (Excerpt From Fender)

    You can preset the basic intonation of your guitar by taking a tape measure and measuring from the inside of the nut to the center of the 12th fret (the fret wire itself; not the fingerboard). Double that measurement to find the scale length of your guitar. Adjust the first-string bridge saddle to this scale length, measuring from the inside of the nut to the center of the bridge saddle.


    Now adjust the distance of the second-string saddle back from the first saddle, using the gauge of the second string as a measurement. For example, If the second string is .011" (0.3 mm), you would move the second-string saddle back .011" (0.3 mm) from the first saddle. Move the third saddle back from the second saddle using the gauge of the third string as a measurement. The fourth-string saddle should be set parallel with the second-string saddle. Proceed with the fifth and sixth saddles with the same method used for strings two and three.

    String Measurements (From Wikpedia)

    Gauges of a string's thickness measured in thousandths (0.001) of an inch.
    Equal to 1⁄1000 of an inch.


    String Measurements

    G string 45 thousandth of an inch
    D string: 65 thousandth of an inch
    A string: 80 thousandth of an inch
    E string: 105 thousandth of an inch

    Theoretical math results:

    G string: 34.045 inches from nut

    including string compensation (45 thousandth of an inch)

    D string: 34.110 inches from nut

    including string compensation (45+65 thousandth of an inch)

    A string: 34.190 inches from nut

    including string compensation (45+65+80 thousandth of an inch)

    E string: 34.295 inches from nut

    including string compensation (45+65+80+105 thousandth of an inch)

    Fuzzy math...
    Not 100 percent sure it's computed the way they described.
    Can you help?
    Thanks.

     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2020
  2. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    Your math is correct. For terminology, compensation is the amount that you have move the saddle back from the zero line, to get the intonation correct. In this case, the zero line is 34.0". The compensation is the amount beyond that, 0.045"-0.295".

    Those numbers are a good general guideline for most basses. But the compensation you will need to get the intonation correct will depend on the gauge of the string, the type of string, and the action height.

    When I design and build basses, I usually allow for up to 0.060" on the G and 0.375" on the E; 0.450" on a B.

    Most commercial bridges have plenty of saddle travel, more than 0.750". To set the bridge position on the bass, move the saddles up near the front of their travel, and align the string contact point on the saddle at the zero line, in this case 34.0" from the nut.
     
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  3. kalle74

    kalle74

    Aug 27, 2004
    Lime on white. Couldn't read it.
     
    wcriley likes this.
  4. What Bruce said. Those numbers are a “rough” intonation. Always set witness points and check with a tuner.
     
    themarshall likes this.
  5. James Willie

    James Willie Serious Business Supporting Member

    Jul 29, 2016
    Lake Texoma
    Did not know.
    The lime font color does not show well on light profiles.
    My TalkBass profile is always set to dark mode.
    Thanks for the heads up.
    James in Austin
     
  6. James Willie

    James Willie Serious Business Supporting Member

    Jul 29, 2016
    Lake Texoma
    The biggest fear sometimes is moving forward.
    Just a hobby guy. Do not want to mess up.
    Appreciate your advice. Make me feel better.
    Thanks
    James in Austin
     
  7. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone.

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    NIDM;DR = Not In Dark Mode;Didn’t Read ;) :D
     
  8. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Jun 18, 2021

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