New Strings and Action Adjustment Ruined my tuning... help?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Mr. Moustache, Feb 3, 2009.

  1. So I just got some Elixer strings to put and my Schecter Diamond Series (4 string), but found that they were a lot thicker than my last pair of strings and caused a ton of buzzing. So I did the obvious, raised the action at the top of the neck of my bass until the buzzing went away.

    Problem: Now with each fret past #5, it's get about 5 more cents sharp. I'm not very familiar with this bass, so I honestly have no idea what I could do to help solve this problem.

  2. i dont know what you mean by raising the action at the top of the neck or 5 cents sharp.

    if you adjusted your truss rod, you need to retune and adjust your intonation.
    if you raised the bridge saddles, you need to retune and adjust your intonation.
    if you put a paper shim between your nut and strings, it should be relatively close, but again, retune and adjust your intonation.

    if youre not sure how to intonate, its pretty easy. with a tuner, play a harmonic at the 12th fret to tune the string. then play the 12th fret (1 octave of open string). if the actual note is sharper than the harmonic, your string is too short. adjust by pulling the saddle away from the neck and repeat until all is good with each string. i like to double and triple check intonation, because every time you adjust your tuning or saddle, it could pull another string out of tune. i also like to verify that the 19th fret is in tune to the next open string (2 octaves of open string).
  3. JLS


    Sep 12, 2008
    Albuquerque, NM
    I setup & repair guitars & basses
    Heavier strings buzzed more? Odd.

    When you raise the action, you're sharping the string more when you fret it; you need to reintonate, you'll be moving your saddles back.
  4. Your problem is very easy to fix, you did not ruin your tuning. What happened is that the heavier guage and higher action simply changed your intonation. Do a search on how to set intonation and you'll be good to go, all it takes is a screwdriver and a tuner...

    Good luck!
  5. Cents are pitch measurements of some kind. IDK? centahertz? Does anyone out here really know so I can be enlightened as well. I just know I have chromatic tuners that show how far you are out in "cents". Too dumb to grasp the rest.
  6. maybe we just dont have any cents. har har.
  7. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    I see the term "cents" used occasionally, but I hve no clue what it means. I figure that the difference between cents and other measurements doesn't matter. Just tune it until it's in tune or sounds right.
  8. Or you could always return to your old string gauge.
  9. ehque


    Jan 8, 2006
    The distance between each note (say, F and F#) is divided into 100 cents. It's commonly found on tuners but has no meaning otherwise.
  10. I'm just a country boy, but where I come from 100 cents is a DOLLAR, LOL
  11. Sub5ound

    Sub5ound Inactive

    Sep 6, 2008
    Catskills, New York
  12. SamanthaCay

    SamanthaCay Like bass guitar OMG!

    Nov 16, 2008
    Denver, CO.
    Ok let me start by saying I’m a luthier and I would like to be the first one to say what happened when you changed to heavier gauged strings. first off the added tension pulled relief into your neck, or it could also be that your new heavier gauged strings actually have less tension and is causing the neck to back bow. either way the only thing that needed adjusting was the truss rod. my best subjection would be to take your bass to a professional. spend between 30 and 50 bucks and have them show you how to set up your bass and how it works. to know how to do this is a invaluable peace of knowledge as all basses require maintenance.
  13. cents = a little, a fraction
    my 2 cents
  14. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    I disclose nothing
    I had a 73 Rickenbacker 4001 that I put heavier strings on and I could not get rid of the fret buzz untill I raised the action really high. So I went back to the old strings. I had a Schecter that did the same thing.
  15. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Oh, lordy. Then worrying about being a few cents off is really comparable to debating how many angels can dance on the head of a pin....
  16. yea really. 5 cents, huh? if i had a nickel for everytime...
  17. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    I'm sure that somewhere out there, a bass player is obsessing about being 5/100ths out of tune. Bless his pointy little head with the tinfoil hat on it....
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    Primary TB Assistant

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