Modulus Q5 -- B string intonation

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by atldeadhead, Oct 13, 2003.

  1. atldeadhead


    Jun 17, 2002
    I Hope someone can shed some light on this situation.

    I've recently bought a new Modulus Q5. I took some time yesterday to put on a new set of strings (DR Hi Beams .45-.125) and went to setting the intonation. I was able to perfectly set the intonation on the E, A, D, and G strings. For the life of my though I can't seem to get the B string perfectly intonated. I can get the open B string and 12 fret harmonic to sound in tune, but the 12th fret fretted note is always slightly sharp? I've moved the saddle back as far as it will go and still I'm a little bit sharp. I've also noticed that when I fret the E and D notes on the b string they are also somewhat sharp. At first I thought it might be the new string I put on so I put back on the original B string that came on the bass. Same problem?!?

    Is there anything else I can do to bring the intonation more in tune? Is this something I'm going to have to live with?

    Thanks for your help.
  2. atldeadhead


    Jun 17, 2002
    I've been doing a little research on the net and it appears that this is a somewhat common problem on 5 string basses, weather there cheap o's or boutique axes, doesn't seem to make a difference.

    Some people suggest using a lower gauge string (.120 or maybe lower) since heavier gauge strings are by definition, more difficult to intonate. Maybe next time around I'll try a .120 b and see if that helps. I also noticed that if I was more dependent on what my ears told me instead of what the tuner said that the little bit 'o sharness wasn't really that noticeable. I guess it won't be that often that I'm playing notes above the 12th fret on the B string anyhow. Someone else also suggested trying a taper wound string on the B? I might have to give that a whirl as well.

    Does anyone else have anything to add to what I've discovered?
  3. try pressing down on the string with your thumb just ahead of the bridge saddle, to create a well-defined bend ("witness point") in the string.
  4. I'm fairly certain that a tapered low-B will solve your problem.

    Worked for me when I had that trouble on my Guild Pilot 5.

    Give it a try.

  5. atldeadhead


    Jun 17, 2002
    Thanks for the tip Joe. I've ordered a taper wound B string to match the new set of DR Hi Beams I just purchased. Will probably be here in a day or two. I'll report back what I find out so we can give this thread some closure.

    FYI: I emailed Modulus about this problem a couple of days ago and they still haven't responded back. That doesn't say much about there customer service.
  6. Ditto on the tapered B string.
  7. atldeadhead


    Jun 17, 2002
    Finally got the taper wound B string I ordered. As suggested, this has pretty much cured by intonation problems on the B string. My tuner (Boss TU-2) has a little bit of trouble honing in on the B string, both open and and the 12 fret (bounces around a lot), but from what I can "hear" and see on the tuner everything is much closer to being properly intonated using the tapered string. I suppose I could muck with it for hours on end trying to get the intonation just exactly perfect but I don't have the patience for that. Everything is now close enough for jazz, classical, and rock-n-roll ;)

    Thanks for all the suggestions fellas.

    P.S. I did finally hear back from Modulus. They made reference to bridge/saddle/nut problems that might effect the intonation. What I found interesting is that they never mentioned trying to use a tapered B string?!? I thought this was a bit odd. My bridge, bridge saddles, and nut are just fine. Morale of the story? Better to use as a spring board for trouble shooting rather than get one persons opinion/advice at customer service.

    This website rocks!!
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