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Intonation offsets for Buzz Feiten

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Giraffe, Aug 6, 2005.


  1. I recently acquired a Peterson VS-II and a six string MTD. I searched the site for the intonation offsets for a six string bass with the Buzz Feiten tuning system, but I came up empty. Peterson can't provide them, and Buzz Feiten won't. Can anybody help me out?
     
  2. Bassist4Life

    Bassist4Life

    Dec 17, 2004
    Buffalo, NY
    The only reason you would need to deal with Buzz Feiten is if you are adjusting the intonation. You should tune an MTD like any other bass. Korg has a tuner that is designed for Buzz Feiten intonation adjustments. Did a salesperson suggest that you purchase a Peterson VS-II tuner? Just curious.

    Joe
     
  3. Bassist4Life

    Bassist4Life

    Dec 17, 2004
    Buffalo, NY
  4. I just need the intonation offsets, which are the adjustments you make in the intonation of each individual string. The open strings are tuned normally, but the octaves are intonated a cent or two sharp or flat to make the system work. The offsets are not built into the VS-II, as they apparently are in that Korg tuner. The folks at Peterson said they had been asked or instructed not to give up the offsets, thereby forcing players to take their basses to specific shops that have a relationship with Buzz. Curiously, I think the offsets are built into the less expensive Strobostomp, but not into the VS-II, which is a bench type tuner. The offsets are all over the internet, but I am too stupid or lazy to find them!
     
  5. Bassist4Life

    Bassist4Life

    Dec 17, 2004
    Buffalo, NY
    I just did a really fast search and I didn't come up with anything. It wouldn't take all that long to send Mike and email. He's a really great guy and I'm sure that he would be more than happy to help you out.

    Joe
     
  6. Hey, Joe! Thanks for helping me out on this! I appreciate your searching for the offsets. I finally found most of them at a forum on the Peterson site.

    String Offset/fret
    G -1/12th
    D -1/12th
    A +1/12th
    E +1/7th
    B +1/7th

    Unfortunately, the post I found doesn't extend to the C string of a six string bass. I am going to try to measure the offset on the six string I have to see if I can back into it that way. This thing sounds unbelievably sweet now, but I can't tell how much of that is the bass and how much is the BFTS! By the way, the Peterson is so much more precise than my Korg DT-10 and DT-3 tuners that I'll never settle for an LED/needle tuner again. I was never dissatisfied with the Korgs before trying the VS-II, but now I'll never use them for any serious application again.
     
  7. I'm an intonation fanatic and have found the offsets for the BF tuning to have minimal impact if any on the total intonation of the instrument. I've talked to Mike Tobias, Glen Kawamoto at Austin Bass Exchange, and gotten second hand info from the guy who supposedly designed the BF system.... each person (each of whom I totally respect) gives totally different instructions for both setting the intonation and tuning (i.e., use the offsets for everything... use the offsets for intonation and then tune regularly... don't use the offsets at all :confused: ).

    The biggest advantage of that BG tuning system is the simple movement of the nut, which I think does help with the first 3 or 4 fret intonation. The offsets have (IMO) 'angels dancing on the head of a pin' impact. I surely could be wrong on this, but in my experience, I wouldn't worry about it.
     
  8. The size of the offsets would tend to support that position. One cent is half of subtle! I have heard of guitar players using a lot a higher position chords who had to deviate from the formula before they found a combination that worked for them. The folks at Peterson contend that you can hear one tenth of a cent, but I don't know if I can, and I wonder how many others can with a drummer and three horns cooking at the same time.

    I have been noodling around with solo chord melody playing on my MTD six string, and I think I will record a test with that bass and a similiar sounding instrument without the BFTS. I still believe that it's all in the details, and even if you can't hear the difference each individual detail makes, when you add them up, the total effect is different.

    I think I'll go play fretless for a while!
     
  9. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    I, too, am a bit of an intoantion nut. I find the BFTS to be of great help when 1.) I am playing my chord melody/looping arrangements, 2.) when playing with piano players, 3.) soloing (especially since I do a great deal of soloing in octaves), and 4.) chord comping. It is much less noticable when I'm just grooving.

    Mike
     
  10. Mike, do you happen to know the intonation offset for the C string of a six string bass?
     
  11. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    C -1 at the 12th fret

    ( or on a 5 string with a high c, like mine :D )
     
  12. Thanks for the help, Mike! I kind of stumbled on this MTD 635, and playing chord melody on it is very satisfying. The tone on the higher strings in the higher positions is remarkably clear. I double on guitar, and the lack of beating when playing chords and octaves on the higher strings in the upper positions of this bass has me contemplating a BFTS conversion on one of my guitars. The guitar playing community seems to be a lot more sold on this system than bassists, at least at this time. I guess time, and some more playing and experimentation, will tell.