Frets 1-7 on E String considerably flat.

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Bortglomd, Dec 11, 2017.

  1. Bortglomd


    Nov 4, 2016
    I would like to ask that if my bass is playing flat in the first few frets but the open E and intonation at 12th fret is on pitch, is the the result of a nut that is too low?

    My bass is an Vox Sidwinder IV from 68' with a metal nut and zero fret.

  2. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    With Zero Fret, The nut won't make a difference. Are you saying that the Pressed down 12th fret E is intonated? Also, How high is your action? How much relief in the neck?
  3. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    No. How could it?

    The only thing impacted by nut slot (or zero fret) height is how much clearance there is over the 1st fret when you play the open string. Once you fret the string the nut is completely out of the equation.
  4. Weird intonation problem on only one string could be caused by the string. Try a different E string if adjusting the action and intonation will not allow it to be intonated to your satisfaction.
    sissy kathy and RSBBass like this.
  5. Bortglomd


    Nov 4, 2016
    Thanks for the tips! I was thinking of changing the nut but Ill try a different set of strings. Maybe a set of smaller gauge.

  6. Bortglomd


    Nov 4, 2016
    Yes, E on 12th is intonated. The neck is fairly straight, as straight as I like the action to be without buzzing so the action is therefore not too high.

  7. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    The 12th fret harmonic matches 12th fretted?

  8. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    Assuming a proper setup; going flat not only could be caused, but MUST be caused by a faulty string/string installation.

    Before you change strings, ensure you tuned up to pitch and not down. You can check that by the simple expedient of checking the tune of your open and 12th again, without making any adjustments. If they are flat you may have tuned down to pitch. Take it flat and retune; if you over shoot the mark go flat and retune again. Rinse and repeat until you get it right.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2017
    96tbird likes this.
  9. Are you checking the note when the string is still moving?

    You may expect variations in pitch until the string settles
  10. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    i’d suspect a bad string, but also check that the string is actually resting on the zero fret and not being held up off it by the keeper nut thing.
  11. Bortglomd


    Nov 4, 2016
    I ended up switching a string set of lighter gauge and it fixed the problem.

    Thanks everyone!
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