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Intonation on a Viola bass

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by nil, Mar 18, 2001.

  1. I picked up a 60's Diplomat Viola bass (2 x single p/u's) recently for $200...and it's not a bad POS, apart from the evilly high action (can live with) and the ratty intonation.

    The neck appears straight, there's no bow where the neck bolts to the hollow body (and archtop looks pretty good), the tailpiece is pretty solid, and, with the exception of some slot filing to hold the strings better, the bridge looks "OK".

    BUT, adjusting the saddles has NO effect on intonation - on all strings fretting the 12 gives a higher pitch than the harmonic - and consequently everything's out of whack.

    Can anyone shed some light on what I can do? Initially this one was gonna be defretted and setup as an electric URB thing, but now i'm not so sure - this puppy might (unfortunately) have to go back... :(
  2. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    Nil, the high action is probably whats causing the intonation problem.

    If the action is too high, the string actually will be stretched out of pitch when the bass is noted.


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