Intonation: Can't intonate low-B!?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by PhilMan99, Jan 14, 2006.

  1. PhilMan99


    Jul 18, 2003
    US, Maryland
    I just got a new set of La Bella "Deep Talkin'" 760LM (Medium Flats) strings for a 6-string for my Ibanez SR496. The bridge is not "through the body", but is a really cheezy plastic/metal allow.

    Got 'em on (tension wasn't as bad as I feared), but I can't get the low-B to intonate! The 12th-fret harmonic on the "B" string sounds almost like a "C", per my tuner; at any rate, quite sharp.

    I lengthed the string at the bridge, even removing the spring in the bridge for that string so I could move it further back (lengthen the string more). The string is "tapered" (less windings near the bridge), and I've lengthened it so far I'm getting past the "messy" windings near the ball at the end of the string (the messy windings are touching the bridge)!

    My TI Jazz flats had a bit of an intonation problem, but nothing like this!

    The rest of the strings intonate fine.
  2. The Clap

    The Clap

    Jan 5, 2004
    Scottsdale, AZ
    You could try using an extender on the tailpiece. It will allow a different part of the B string to pass over the bridge, and hopefully you'll be able to intonate the string properly with the regular range of bridge adjustments.

    Pass the string through a hollow metal washer that's maybe an inch long before going through the tailpiece to make the extender. This may not agree with the tapering of your string, but it's certainly something to try. Also, B strings are just difficult to intonate by nature, so don't worry about intonating it up at frets that you don't actually play the B string on (I hardly ever play it above the 10th fret, for example, so I don't worry about my intonation at the 15th).
  3. DavePlaysBass


    Mar 31, 2004
    I usually intonate so D (3rd fret) and G (8th fret) are close and let everything else land where it lands.

    I have a tapered Sadowsky Nickel 125 that has the same sort of issue. 12th fret is pretty sharp and the saddle position does not seem to have a whole lot of effect on it. I am going to try a non taper next time.

  4. You may want to try the following...

    First reset the bridge saddle (with the spring installed) back to the position it was in before you started making adjustments.

    Next, tune the string for the harmonic at the 12th fret. This will be your reference note. Once that is "mostly" settled (on my StingRay 5 and acoustic Ovation 5 the B likes to bounce around a bit) compare the fretted 12th fret note to that reference harmonic and then make your adjustments.

    If they don't match, adjust as needed, retune and compare again.

    Get the harmonic tuned first then check it against the fretted note.

    Hope this helps!

    ps - I'm using the same 760LM's on my StingRay and the 760FL'son my Ovation.