Intonation screw too short

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by BassAndReeds, Feb 27, 2018.

  1. BassAndReeds


    Oct 7, 2016
    I own a 5 string bass (second hand, not that it matters) that I’ve gigged 3xs on so far. So it’s new to me. I didn’t adjust the action, change strings, or intonate the instrument when I got it.

    So I go to adjust the intonation last night. Some adjustments needed. But I come to find the A string intonation screw is too short to properly tune the A string. So now I gotta go to my local hardware chain and get some longer intonation screws. The other strings are tuned perfectly now.

    Has anyone else had this issue with their basses? The retail price of this bass is over $1000. I’d think they could put proper length $0.10 screws on a bass for that price.

    (This also happened on a guitar I purchased new for $600, so second time I have to do this)

    UPDATE: New strings fixed the issue
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2018
  2. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    I suggest contacting the builder.
    Bassbeater likes this.
  3. BruceWane


    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    Hmmmm..... normally the A string should intonate at a slightly longer string length than the D and G strings, IOW the bridge saddle for the A would usually end up further back than the D and G, and slightly further forward than the B and E. A fairly even progression from the B to the G.

    Like you see here.............

    This is assuming all the strings are the same type going over the bridge. It's not uncommon to have a tapered B with the rest of the set standard. Tapered strings intonate at slightly shorter string length than full core strings. It's an easy way to fix a common problem with B strings where you can't get the saddle far back enough to get to good intonation - switch to a taper core and it'll intonate further out.

    So anyway, from what you're describing, one string/saddle that's wanting to intonate way out of whack, I'd suspect a bad string. Possibly just twisted, so try loosening the string enough to let the ball end freely rotate to where it wants to settle, then retune and try setting intonation again.

    Also - are you using a fresh set of strings? I generally don't bother even trying to do intonation until I put a fresh set on a new-to-me bass. Doesn't hurt to try, but setting intonation with old strings can be a bit wonky. And I'd still definitely re-check once you do get a fresh set on.

    Also might check that there's not anything weird going on with the nut - possibly a little chip out under that string that causes the witness point to be moved back towards the tuner.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2018
    stigbeve and Lofreck like this.
  4. ddnidd1

    ddnidd1 Supporting Member

    Yep - the most likely culprit is a bad string.
  5. Or a string from a different set.
  6. BassAndReeds


    Oct 7, 2016
    New strings fixed the issue. Thanks everyone.
  7. serggusak


    Jun 26, 2019
    Had that problem with E and B after putting flatwounds on a new Sire bass. With 2 different new sets of strings.
  8. JIO

    JIO Be seeing you. Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    The Mission SF/CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    I should post something on the Luthiers Corner like, "Trouble Shooting - 101"...
  9. JW56789

    JW56789 Guest

    Feb 18, 2017

    FYI, occasionally, you'll find fives where the engineering or production (or the parts budget . . . ) was not careful and you can often wind up with a low B saddle that will just make it. Yamaha counters this on some of theirs where you see the bridge with the B saddle screw and track that just sticks out past the other four as a remedy.