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Problems setting my fretless up

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by LiquidMidnight, Apr 2, 2002.


  1. LiquidMidnight

    LiquidMidnight

    Dec 25, 2000
    Hello. I've had my fretless for about 4 years, but a couple of months ago, I decided to lower the action to get some better "mwah" out of it. I set the saddles completely flat. Totally loved the mwah sound, but it screwed my intontation all up. I thought maybe my intonation was off. I set the action up higher today. The intonation is back to perfect but it totally killed the great "mwah" sound I was getting.

    I was wondering, should I lower my action back to where it was, and then intonate it with the bridge springs? Should I leave my action where it is, and leave without the great mwahness I had? I've never intonated a guitar and I would be scared to try on a fretless. How would I go about this?

    Thanks for all the help.
     
  2. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    Anytime you change the action, you have to reset the intonation.

    If your fretless has lines, it is no more difficult than setting the intonation of a fretted bass. If it doesn't have lines, you can measure exactly half the scale length from the nut and place a capo there to set the intonation.


    Chas
     
  3. ZuluFunk

    ZuluFunk

    Apr 14, 2001
    Pennsylvania
    I was always under the understanding that you would have to adjust the saddles fwd or back if they were moved up or down.

    Sometimes, changing strings can screw up your intonation.

    I say, set the action where you want it and then do your intonation from there. You should be able to get that done pretty easily.
     
  4. LiquidMidnight

    LiquidMidnight

    Dec 25, 2000
    Thanks for the help guys. Not to bug you Chas, but how would you go about setting it with the capo?
     
  5. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    No prob.

    You'll need:

    1. a small piece of masking tape or similar. (easy to remove)
    2. A capo.
    3. A tape measure
    4. A pencil or pen
    5. an electronic tuner
    6. whatever you need to move the saddles, probably a small phillips screwdriver.


    Steps:

    1. stick a piece of masking tape on the side of the fingerboard around where you think the 12th "fret" would be. Use 3"-4" to make sure you hit the right spot.

    2. If your bass is a 34" scale, using the tape measure, measure exactly 17" from the witness point (board-side edge) of the nut up the fingerboard. Place a pencil mark on the tape so you will have a reference as to exactly were the half scale point is.

    3. Tune the open strings to the correct pitch.

    3. Place the capo so that the leading edge of the capo lands exactly on that pencil mark. Make sure it fits snug.

    4. Play the string and check the tuner. If the intonation is correct this note will also be in pitch. If it is flat, Loosen the screw in the back of the saddle. This should push the saddle forward toward the neck. You sometimes have to actually push the saddle forward with your finger after loosening the screw. But the idea is to move the saddle forward.
    If the note is sharp, tighten the screw so as to move the saddle back away from the neck.

    5. remove the capo, re-tune the open string to correct pitch, replace the capo and check it again. repeat the process until the two match.

    Another tip:

    After you get the capo on, measure down both edges of the neck to make sure it is on square.

    Also, if your fretless has sidemarkers on it and they are where they are supposed to be on a fretless, the capo should line up with the 12th position marker. However, often factory built basses will have them in the same place they would be on a fretted, which is only going to confuse you. You should check with a tape measure to be sure.

    Chas
     
  6. LiquidMidnight

    LiquidMidnight

    Dec 25, 2000
    Thank you, thank you, very much Chas. I'm going to print that out and do that in a little bit.
     
  7. Only if you have written consent signed by all 23,000 members, correct copyright fee of 3 lemons and a lollipop for me. Cherry flavour.. i am very picky. lol

    Good to hear it worked out ;)

    :D:D

    Merls
     
  8. LiquidMidnight

    LiquidMidnight

    Dec 25, 2000
    Don't you mean 3 carrots? :confused:
     
  9. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA

    Perhaps you should go back and read the TB policy on publicly questioning the ruling of a moderator. If Merls says citrus, then citrus it is. :D
     
  10. ZuluFunk

    ZuluFunk

    Apr 14, 2001
    Pennsylvania
    Did you get your intonation fixed yet?
     
  11. El-Bob

    El-Bob Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2006
    Hamilton, ON