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intonation and string diameter

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by thumbzilla, Jun 9, 2007.


  1. thumbzilla

    thumbzilla

    Apr 28, 2006
    Mentor, Ohio
    I have a Squier P-bass Special 4 string. I have the E string downtuned to D because alot of the music I play calls for low D. I am working on intonation--my Es and Fs were very sharp. I have the string as long as it will go and am still somewhat sharp, about 40 hz on my electronic tuner.

    Will going to a .125 string, tuning it up to D, and then adjusting intonation help?

    Thanks awfully...
     
  2. rsautrey

    rsautrey Inactive

    Jul 27, 2000
    A couple of questions for you first:

    1. What is the current gauge of your D tuned E string?

    2. How high is your basses action?

    3. How hard do you fret the strings?
     
  3. thumbzilla

    thumbzilla

    Apr 28, 2006
    Mentor, Ohio
    E string is .100 (stock on this bass).

    Action is medium, I guess. Enough so there is no fret rattle. I never measured it...

    I fret hard enough to get the pitch and no buzz. My notes are alive.

    I was talking to a friend and he pointed out that the bridge saddles also have up/down adjustment. Never noticed that, but seems like that would raise/lower the action not change pitch.
     
  4. SGT. Pepper

    SGT. Pepper Inactive

    Nov 20, 2005
    Phila,Pa.
    A couple of questions?
    1. Do you just downtune just the E string?
    If so you can get a 115 or a 120 and drop to D with no problem. A slight neck adjustment may be necessary {straighten}. I know guys who use a 120 for low B tuning with no problems so going up two whole steps to D should be great. In fact, you could probably get away with a 115 guage.
    2. If you are downtuning the whole bass to D tuning D,G,C,A, you would definitly need an entire set of heavier strings and a complete set-up. GHS boomers come in a 55-115 set and D'Addario comes in a 55-110 set,
    EXL230.gif
    or you could buy a light 5 string set and just ditch the G string,
    EXL220-5.gif
    I don't know if you are drop tuning just the E string, or the whole bass to drop D. If it's just the E all you need is a single, 115 to 120 would be fine. I hope this helps. God Bless! :)
     
  5. I recently did a drop-tune job for a client (www.aroarah.com) who is leaving on tour. She needed her 4-string bass optimized for permanent drop tuning.

    I installed GHS Boomer Heavy (0.050~0.115) to compensate for tension lost from drop tuning. These heavy cables gave her back a good amount of what was missing. I did notice that setting intonation using my TU2 required significant saddle position changing. All the strings intonated as sharp at the 12th fret, so I had to push the saddles much farther away from the nut.
     
  6. thumbzilla

    thumbzilla

    Apr 28, 2006
    Mentor, Ohio
    This all good, thanks. I downtune only the E string. I arbitrarily said .125 because both the Squier and Fender P-bass Vs come stock with a .125, which I guessed was B.

    I have thought about drop tuning the whole thing, Sarge, but I am just getting automatic on this! So my reasoning is correct: heavier and tighter rather than lighter and looser.
     
  7. thumbzilla

    thumbzilla

    Apr 28, 2006
    Mentor, Ohio
    Went today and bought a .125 string to go in the E position. It was what they had. Put it on and have got much closer to intonation goals. I now get a little green on the electronic tuner for E, F and G on my downtuned "E" string. Or should I say uptuned B string? I realize I'll never get everything perfect, but it at least they are in the ballpark and won't make my bandmates cringe (I hope).
     
  8. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
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