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fretless intonation...

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by _alex_, Mar 20, 2004.


  1. _alex_

    _alex_

    Feb 29, 2004
    Old Europe:)
    hi there,

    iam having problems in setting my new warwick fretless :bawl:
    when i give the 12 harmonic ,the pressed note is higher so i counterclock wise the bolts in the bridge but i think that i need more room in the bridge space, because its still higher!!!
    any help would be great,and the individual strings bridges dont stand like a regular bass,i mean the individual string adjuster dont stand more further than the others.

    thanks
    alex
     
  2. zombywoof5050

    zombywoof5050

    Dec 20, 2001
    If the 12th fret 'pressed' note is higher in pitch than the harmonic, then you will need to lengthen the string to lower the pitch of the pressed note. To lengthen the string, you need to move the saddle farther away from the nut.
     
  3. Trevorus

    Trevorus

    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    I've noticed that I have a tone of trouble intonating anything with a regular 20-30 dollar tuner. They are just not accurate enough. I got a strobe tuner program for my computer, and it works wonderfully. It's sensitive enough to sense the change in pitch from the weight of the neck. If you lean back, the neck pulls the pitch up, if you lean it forward, then it drops in pitch. This is slight, but can throw off your intonation adjustments. That might help.
     
  4. thats why i always intonate the thing in playing position.
     
  5. Trevorus

    Trevorus

    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    A bench is usually a good way to do it, because it doesn't move, though playing pos can. As long as your referecne point doesn't move, it should be fine in all positions as far as intonation goes.
     
  6. _alex_

    _alex_

    Feb 29, 2004
    Old Europe:)
    hi,

    yes that what happen,but the strange is the saddles are all switched out,i mean in a normal bass the G string is shorter and the E string is longer but in this bass i found according to the tuner the saddles are all twitched.the G is longer ,then the D is the same distance ,the A is a little shorter and as so for the E string,and do believe that this is wrong!!!

    need help here

    thanks

    alex
     
  7. each set of strings will intonate differently, varying between brands and even sets of the same brand. warwick bridges all have the same saddles i think, as a general rule of thumb the g string saddle should be closest to the nut with the rest tapering away from the bridge.

    pics of your bridge would be helpful.
     
  8. pkr2

    pkr2

    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    Actually, a fretless is super easy to intonate because all that can possibly be intonated is the 12th fret position or the octave position. If the octave harmonic of the note is exactly in tune with the fretted note at the 12th fret and the proper strings of the correct length are being used, the instrument is as good as you'll get it.

    On violin family instruments (I'm including fretless bass guitars because the principle is the same), the intonation is not static. Intonation is a dynamic function! That is exactly why the URB is so much more difficult to play than a fretted bass. Intonation without frets is a function of ear training.

    I'm aware that on a fretless conversion that the temptation is strong to attempt to intonate the instrument to the lines left by removing the frets. Big mistake! You can't really see the fret lines while playing without craning your neck around so you can see the board. Even when you look at your fingers you cant actually see the witness point because the pad of your finger is squished (is that a word? :)) out and covers the fret lines.

    If you will do these steps, in this order, you can adjust the scale length and bridge in a very few minutes.

    Assuming that it's a 4 stringer and that the bass is being retuned to standard pitch after each adjustment.

    1- adjust the scale length. Simply measure from the nut to the brige and adjust all the saddles to the right scale length. The proper scale length is determined by measuring from the nut to the 12th fret line. Double this measurement to derive the scale length

    2- leave the G string at the proper scale length. Now shorten the D string by 1/2 the diameter of the D string.

    3- repeat for the A and E strings, shortening each string by 1/2 of its own diameter.

    When you reach this point the saddles will be skewed slightly.

    Now Adjust the saddle on the G string untill a harmonic on the 12th fret is in tune with a fretted note on the 12th fret. Repeat on the remaining strings.

    A trick that may help is to use one of the wedge shaped pencil erasers that you slide on a pencil over the regular eraser to fret the note. It will allow you to see exactly where you are fretting the notes.

    Sorry for the long winded reply. Ask about anything that I've not been clear enough on. Best of luck to you.

    Harrell S.
     
  9. _alex_

    _alex_

    Feb 29, 2004
    Old Europe:)
    hi,thanks for the help ;)
    already did the measure thing,but when it goes to the listing part and with a tuner the fretted is still higher that the harmonic at the 12 fret.to correct this the saddles dont look like a regular bass, i mean that the saddles are not properly aligned like a "stairs" ,the G saddle stays only in tune if i longer the string almost to its maximum!!!as so to the others,plus they get a this odd look of a non good regular bass :eek:
    the bass as a scale with 26 frets but no lines at all,has this some influence?(dolphin pro)

    thanks
    alex
     
  10. pkr2

    pkr2

    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    You are more than welcome, Alex.

    Considering the quality level of your instrument, I would immediately contact Warwick. Please let us know the outcome.


    Harrell S.
     
  11. gabrielcichero

    gabrielcichero

    Jun 11, 2011
    Hi all! I need a little help about fretless intonation.

    I bought a 4 strings fretless bass, and i´m testing tuning it in fifhts CGDA, from the 4 to the first string. It´s sonund very nice.

    It has dots on the side of the fingerboard. So, as i´m learning this instrument/tuning, i need to take some references (for now) from the dots.

    Using a tuner i intonate the 4,3,2 string in the 12th (octave), and consecuently, the note in the 7th "fret" sounded in tune, according to the dot and the tuner.

    BUT, when i did the intonation on the first string (A), the 7th fret sounded a little sharp (in this tunning is the E).

    The question is: the dot is wrong placed?
    what is the best way to find, the points of reference in the 12th and/or 7th position/"fret"?

    Regards.
     
  12. Rick Auricchio

    Rick Auricchio Registered Bass Offender Supporting Member

    The dots are where the frets would be on a fretted instrument, not in the middle of the note as on a fretted instrument. So you finger the string at the dot.

    I doubt the dot is positioned wrong. The problem could be three things: your understanding of the dot position; the string not intoning properly; or your fingering of the note.