Intonation: 34" scale inherently problematic for B string?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by PhilMan99, Jan 15, 2006.

  1. PhilMan99


    Jul 18, 2003
    US, Maryland
    I've been having problems setting intonation on my B string. I use "flats", but don't have any reason to think "rounds" would be different. I've had this problem with both TI and La Bella.

    Without getting into specifics of my case, I'm wondering if the 34" scale is inherently "bad news" for the B string; I know the 35" scale is often cited as the solution to the "floppy B string".

    Any folks with lots of experience out there with both 34" and 35" scales (maybe with lots of string types...) that can comment on my (untested) theory that 34" scale tends to compound B-string intonation problems?
  2. I have owned at least a dozen 5 or 6 string basses in the past couple of years. I have done minor setup on pretty much all of them, & never had a problem intonating 34" B strings. IIRC, 2 or 3 of the aforementioned basses were 35"; theses were no easier or harder than the others.
  3. tadawson


    Aug 24, 2005
    Lewisville, TX
    MusicMan has some of the best B strings out there, and they are all 34"

    - Tim
  4. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    I have owned quite a few 34" fivers of various quality including Fender (x3), G&L, Warwick (actually a sixer), Pedulla, Tobias, Fernandes and Carvin. I now play 35" exclusively. Both my Basses are Modulus, Quantum and a Genesis fretless. In addition, I have experimented flats although I prefer rounds.

    IME, there is nothing unique about a 34" bass that makes intonating more or less a problem. The only real, observable and repeatable thing that I have absolutely confirmed in the past few years is that an exposed core string is MUCH easier to properly intonate than is a regular, full thickness string.

    I can't pretend to know why, but it has absolutely been the case for me, every time.

    I have tried all sorts of regular core strings. Flat, round, nickel, steel. I have intonation problems almost always.

    I now use SR2000 on the fretted Q5 and D'Addario Half Rounds on my fretless. Both intonate perfectly.

    I also used SR2000s on the last two 34" basses I owned, G&L and Fender. They each intonated perfectly as well.
  5. Juneau


    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    Ill give a +1 on the exposed core strings being easier. Some bridges are just problematic with a string that large. Also, you might just try rotating your string some in the saddle, so a different part of the string is touching the saddle point. That helps sometimes on problematic intonation. Also, set your intonation from high strings to low.