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Just got finished doing my first real setup on my J-bass

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by natrab, Jun 10, 2004.


  1. natrab

    natrab

    Dec 9, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    It plays like a dream now. I fixed the action, got the strings in the sweet spot and did a perfect intonation (almost). I'm really proud of myself as I've been playing bass for a few years now and have never done my own setups (let alone on my baby).

    While doing intonation I noticed something odd. On my D and G strings, the open notes were not in tune with the 12th fret harmonic. Could this have anything to do with the string retainer thing on that headstock that only holds those two strings? Or something else?

    Other than that everything went smoothly (the action fell into place with a little less than a quarter turn of tightening the truss rod). However, the tool that I always thought was the trussrod tool turned out not to be. I'm talking about the big long hex wrench looking thing with the red rubber handle that came with my Fender. I just ended up using a regular hex wrench to adjust the truss rod *shrug*.

    My bass has never played better and it's all thanks to Talkbass (and that Gary Willis site).

    I love you guys :bawl:
     
  2. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    If your intonation is off, you need to adjust your brige saddles forward or back to accomodate. You should use a good tuner, and make sure that the harmonic and the fretted note at the 12th fret are exactly the same. Tune, adjust bridge saddle, retune, adjust bridge saddle, ad naseum until it's right.

    And we love you too. :bawl:
     
  3. natrab

    natrab

    Dec 9, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    Yeah, that I did. My question was between the open string and the 12th fret harmonic. If those are off, how do you correct it?
     
  4. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    Oh... hmm... Probably means that your setup is too low. The open string could be buzzing on a fret (even though you probably can't hear it doing that) and changing the tuning. Sound's weird, but the same thing happened to me when I was first setting up my Stick. The string was too low, and for some reason caused it to go very flat.
     
  5. It's physically impossible for the open string and the 12 fret harmonic to be out of tune. They are the SAME note from the same open string. The harmonic note only has the fundamental frequency removed from the mix.

    Do NOT rely on your ears for this. Always use an electronic tuner.
     
  6. natrab

    natrab

    Dec 9, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    I was using G-tune for all of this. It said the twelfth fret was about 2 cents sharp to the open, but it could have been computer noise or something. Maybe it's what Mr. Strange said. Anyways, I just set the intonation in between the two readings I got and it sounds fine now.

    Btw, there is no way that tool would fit in the end of the trussrod (mine's a bullet trussrod). Not sure why it came with my bass. Heh.

    Thanks for the input guys.