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Fender recommended string guage, and intonation issues

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by ultra60, Oct 28, 2018.

  1. I have a Fender Jazz that I can not intonate the E string. All other strings are fine. The E saddle is pushed all the way forward, and still get a flat reading.

    I use 45-100. Fender's spec, for this bass, is 45-105. Would switching to a 105 really make a difference?

    What's the reason that Fender recommends 45-105 over 45-100?

  2. What make/type of strings are you using?
  3. Jay2U

    Jay2U Not as bad as he lóòks

    Dec 7, 2010
    22 ft below sea level
    A little higher action could cure the problem.
  4. saabfender

    saabfender Banned

    Jan 10, 2018
    I’ve been enjoying balanced tension sets lately. I think 45-107.
  5. chadhargis

    chadhargis Jack of all grooves, master of none Supporting Member

    Jan 5, 2010
    Nashville, TN
    You may simply have a bad string. Try a different string and see if you get the same results.
  6. Currently using EB super slinky 45-100. Have tried higher action, as well as lowering pickups, etc. Have tried new strings as well as making sure the string is not twisted.

    I'll add that this is a '74 AVRI with a bent plate bridge. I've thought about replacing the bridge to give the E saddle more travel. But figured I'd inquire about gauge first.
  7. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    Lost Wages, Nevada
    I think I'd make sure all my witness points were set, and there were no twisted strings, first of all. If there are no problems there, I'd probably check the nut slots to be sure there was no binding. If everything's copacetic there? I'd bet the E string was a dud. It's possible to run into intonation problems with heavy strings when going to BEAD sometimes, but 45-100s should be no problem at all. Check that all's right with the set up - and the string's not a dud - before you start spending $$'s on hardware...:thumbsup:
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2018
  8. ixlramp


    Jan 25, 2005
    There is no reason for Fender choosing 45-105 over 45-100 other than the personal taste of whoever decided. A 105 isn't essential. Sets from extra light to heavy will all work fine.
    Maybe check that the open note is in tune with the 1st fret, maybe set the witness point at the nut. And how do you intonate?
  9. Pretty sure the string is not twisted, or a dud. I got some great advice here, a few months back, on dealing with twisted strings. I intonate via the harmonic at the 12th, with the fretted note at the 12th. Right or wrong, that has worked for me for years. Witness points are a little foreign to me. About an inch from the bridge, and tuner side of nut, I put a little downward pressure on the strings.
  10. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    There is no "spec". This isn't a nuclear reactor or a jet engine. It's a piece of wood with metal stretched over it.
    saabfender likes this.
  11. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    Which device do you use to set your intonation? Do you do it by ear, or do you use a digital tuner? If you use a tuner, which one? Do you set the intonation based on the initial pitch, or the pitch that the note settles down to after a couple of seconds? Have you checked frets other than the 12th?
  12. Find a longer screw
  13. Here's the latest. I put on a set of 105's and checked the E string. Before setting any witness points, the intonation seemed perfect. After setting the points, the string will not intonate. Obviously a user error here. I put a little downward pressure, on the pickup side of the bridge. I also put a little pressure on the tuner side of the nut. What is the correct way of doing this?

  14. Doesn't sound like you're doing anything wrong.
  15. Another update... One thing I never really mentioned was that in order to get decent action, most of the saddles were really close to the bridge plate.... The E riding almost on the plate. I decided to shim the neck. This has made a difference. The saddles are higher, and the bass appears to play better. The intonation, while not 100% on, is the best I've seen it. I am going to quit while ahead. Thanks for all the input.
  16. ixlramp


    Jan 25, 2005
    Setting witness points doesn't ruin intonation, it just alters it and always improves it. You need to push down firmly and simultaneously on both sides right next to the saddle/nut until you see almost no curve but more of a kink.

    This traditional way of intonating is prone to error because the open note (and therefore the 2nd harmonic) may be out of tune with the frets (this is common). Better to actually use your tuner and check the open note and every fret (or maybe every 2nd fret) across all frets commonly played on that string, and shift the saddle by trial-and-error to find the optimum position.

    Setting the witness point brings the open note more in tune with the 1st fret, check those 2 pitches to see if they are intonated with each other.

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