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Intonation problem

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Rick Martin, Dec 23, 2004.

  1. I've got the intonation set nice on three of the four strings on my Jazz bass. The E string saddle is all the way foward (towards the neck) and the open E is in tune, but the 12th fret is way flat, almost to D#. The first fret F is in tune, but the notes start getting flat as I go up the neck. What's up with this? I put on a new set of strings and no improvement.
  2. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    If you have pushed the saddle all the way forward and it is still bad, you may have problems. I'm sure you have done this, but:

    1. Make sure the saddle is actually moving forward. Often the screw will just back out of the bridge instead. You may have to push the saddle forward with your finger or the screwdriver.

    2. Try raising the action a bit. If the action really low and the saddle is far forward, you end up with a really flat break angle over the saddle and a poor witness point for the string. If you raise the saddle a bit, it may clean things up.

    3. Measure everything to see if the bass is square. If the neck pocket was not aligned in the body correctly, or if the bridge was somehow crooked, you may have a problem. The distance from the last fret on the neck to the bridge should be exactly the same on both the E side and G side of the neck.

    4. If everything seems OK but it still doesn't work, try an exposed core string. Some strings just won't intonate on certain basses. Exposed core strings tend to intonate much more accurately.

    It is more common on fivers with the B, but it can happen with an E string.
  3. The saddle is definitely all the way foward and the distance from the last fret to the bridge is exactly the same on both sides. I tried raising the action and that didn't help. I've never heard of exposed core strings. Can you give me an example?
  4. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    Exposed core. Some call it taper core. Basically, windings don't go all the way to the ball, only the core rides on the saddle.

    My very favorite strings on the planet are Dean Markley SR2000. They are taper core.
  5. Problem Solved! The luthier at Warmoth suggested lowering the pup heights and that did the trick. Perfect intonation. This bass is a Warmoth project and I got the feeling that they were going to do whatever it took to solve this for me. It turns out the solution was quite simple, but once again a big thumbs up to Warmoth.
  6. bwbass


    May 6, 2002
    Happy to help! This is an issue with the magnets interfering with the string's vibration and causing false harmonics.

    Enjoy your project!