1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

RockBass Streamer LX 5 intonation too sharp on low E and B, can't lengthen scale length any further

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by TLBass, Dec 16, 2017.

  1. TLBass


    Nov 27, 2016
    Hello. The two lowest strings on my 5 stringer go about 10-15 cents too sharp up the neck (can't be too certain on the B as the tuner doesn't pick it too accurately), but the saddles can't go any closer to the tailpiece as the intonation mechanism uses springs which can't get any more compressed. What gives?

    I bought the bass a while ago and didn't get to use it too much (I mostly play "regular" guitar) and I don't remember whether the intonation was problematic before. Today I replaced the strings it came with, choosing .045-.135 Elixir Nanowebs. I don't know what kind of set was previously used, but they visually seemed identical to the Elixir set, with non-colored ball ends.

    The saddles basically have more space left for further lengthening of the scale length, but the springs in use just won't allow it. Can/should I somehow trim some of the "excessive windings" of the two springs in question in order to free up more of the intonation space?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. MarkoYYZ

    MarkoYYZ Commercial User

    Jan 31, 2012
    Hammersmith Music
    You've already answered the question - just trim back about a third of the spring to allow the saddle more travel room towards the tail. A spring is such a minor item that it shouldn't be something to be concerned about damaging the instrument or reducing value.
  3. LanEvo


    Mar 10, 2008
    Just pop the springs out. You don’t really need them.
    Caca de Kick likes this.
  4. TLBass


    Nov 27, 2016
    Well, if that's the solution indeed. I was about to ask how can I remove a spring without unmounting the tailpiece as it's blocking the screws from going all the way out, but realized I should rather just unscrew it enough until the saddle is disengaged.

    Are the springs supposed to make the intonation more stable by forcing the screws all the way through the holes at the bridge? Are they even important in that matter?
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2017
  5. TLBass


    Nov 27, 2016
    I had to check what that even means. It said to push the strings down near contact points in order the even out the tensions or something. I tried that now but I don't think it helped all that much.

    Perhaps the B string is OK enough - as I said the readings are a bit inconsistent, but the E still reads around +10–15 cents at the 24th fret.
  6. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    That takes care of things 99% of the time. Failure to set witness point results in wonky action, tuning, and intonation.

  7. TLBass


    Nov 27, 2016
    Well, I used some force but didn't want to make it extreme as I don't know how much extra pressure on the saddle is too much. I don't think it looks too rounded. Maybe a tiny bit – but the saddle is not the edge of a cube so I don't expect it to get entirely angular.

    Anyway, I'm actually supposed to go through some surgery in a few hours and I have yet to sleep... I just didn't want to leave the setup unfinished after wasting a couple of hours on it already. I guess I'll have to leave this for later.

    Thanks for the answers.
  8. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    Try different strings before anything else. Almost always works.
  9. MarkoYYZ

    MarkoYYZ Commercial User

    Jan 31, 2012
    Hammersmith Music
    Some bridges don't use springs, but would normally offer some other means of keeping the saddle in place. With a spring setup, the outward pressure of the spring and the inward pull of the screw combine to keep the saddle in the correct position. Removing too much spring is not as bad as having too much spring and blocking saddle travel, but you still want the spring to keep the screw pulled flush to the back of the tailpiece.

    And yes, to remove the spring for cutting, you undo the screw until it is free from tje saddle, do your cutting, and then reassemble. This should do the trick, but as noted above, you want to make sure that you've properly tried to set the strings up in terms of the witness points, but also by stretching out the strings and breaking them in a little. You could just play it a few days and go at them a little hard, but new strings will always be a little wonky intonation and tuning wise until they settle into their relaxed state, especially the heavier gauges.
    Garret Graves likes this.
  10. jeff62

    jeff62 Supporting Member

    Oct 24, 2005
    Orlando, FL
    How’s the intonation at the 12th fret? Asking because that’s where I’ve been trained to set it and, at 24, it’s possible to see a variation.

    If you do see a variation, you could split the difference in your bridge saddle setting to get close enough for both frets. Or favor one fret over the other. IMO favoring the 12th fret is the way to go, especially if it solves your problem.

    In the end, it’s probably just this particular string that’s having an issue. I’d avoid trimmming the spring because you will lose one end of the flat windings that allow the spring to set nicely against a flat surface.
  11. gricko


    Mar 29, 2004
    if your tuner can not pick low B string, that means it is super bad quality or something is seriously wrong with it and i would not rely on it for any measurement. if it’s any refference point - my 12 years old 10$ korg tuner works just fine w/ low B.
    last 5-10 years there is a huge variety of cheap and precise tuners.
  12. Paulabass


    Sep 18, 2017
    Some saddles can be turned around, adding a bit of length to the string.Not round ones ;)

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.