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Fretless Intonation

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by fenderx55, Dec 1, 2006.

  1. fenderx55


    Jan 15, 2005
    Hey, I'm trying to set the intonation on my unlined fretless and I just realized something. After 2 years (on and off) of playing this thing, I never thought about where to play the 12th fret with my left hand: between the dots or on the first one.

    Little help?
  2. pixelpounder


    Aug 26, 2006
    Chitown area
    most unlined boards you play on the dots.
  3. DopplerShift


    Apr 19, 2005
    Chicago Area
    Yeah but he's talking about the 12th fret where there are two dots.

    I've wondered this myself, but it seems to me that you play on the second dot. But improper string intonation will obvioiusly change this. And to make it harder most luthiers use the 12th fret to check intonation, so I guess it depends how it's set up (on the dot or in between).
  4. Have you got a mark at the fifteenth "fret"? If you do, you could just use that for reference and let the twelfth sort itself out.
  5. Garage Amps

    Garage Amps

    Oct 13, 2006
    Measure from the nut to the 5th fret dot marker. Since that's an interval of a fourth above the open string, doubling that length will get you to where the octave should be. (On a 34" scale neck you should have 8.5" to the 5th fret and 17" to the 12th.) You'll probably find it puts you between the double dots. Strike a harmonic and adjust the saddle so you get the same note when stopping the string there.

    But depending on how you like to play and how high your action is and what your strings are and who built your neck, that may or may not work out the best so far as the accuracy of all the other dot positions is concerned, and you might find that intonating a different position for the octave works overall better for you.

    -- GA
  6. UBU


    Nov 15, 2006
    Directly in the middle of the two 12th fret side dots.

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