Setting intonation

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by tjclem, Aug 13, 2009.


  1. tjclem

    tjclem Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    What tuner are you using? I have been using a TU-2 and it seems to give me strange reading when doing the "B" string. Telling me to move the saddle much further back than the "E" string one. I was just wondering what tuners other builders are using......t
     
  2. It is very common to have to move the B string saddle considerably further back than the others. Tuner's probably just fine.
     
  3. Skelf

    Skelf

    Apr 15, 2005
    Moffat D&G Scotland
    Builder AC Guitars.
    I use a Peterson strobe tuner having found the usual instrument tuners not quiet accurate enough. The B string saddle is usually a fair bit further back than the E.
     
  4. tjclem

    tjclem Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    Interesting there are a lot of Peterson tuners. What one do you like? How do you measure to place your bridges?
     
  5. ehque

    ehque

    Jan 8, 2006
    Singapore
    Again: Sonic Research Turbo Tuner.

    I actually have to tune standing up because the tuner can pick up variations in tuning from the position of the bass (and the weight of the neck).
     
  6. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    Conn strobotune, I think from the late 60's or early 70's....have had it for 25 years, works like a charm, there's a bunch of strobes on Ebay($70-$200 range) , including 2 Peterson 490's quite cheap, both under $50 right now.
     
  7. NKUSigEp

    NKUSigEp

    Jun 6, 2006
    Bright, IN
    I think the TU-2 uses the same guts as the TU-12H which is what I used. It was a great pedal above a low C but after that, it was worthless. I had to hit the harmonic over the 12th fret to set the intonation which wasn't extremely accurate. Close but not for someone paying you to do it.

    And as stated above, it's not uncommon to have to move the bridge saddle a good distance to get it set right. I'm now using a Kort DTR-1000 and haven't had any problems whatsoever.
     
  8. I'm a strobostomp fan myself.
     
  9. Beej

    Beej

    Feb 10, 2007
    Vancouver Island
    I used to use a "Matrix" needle guage tuner, very old school, but better visual accuracy than modern digital ones. After many many moons of finicky intonating, I now just do it by ear...
     
  10. tjclem

    tjclem Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    anybody know about the Peterson 450 strobe tuner?
     
  11. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    450 is one of their higher end models, and is quite good., Not sure of exact specs, but a repairman here that I know, uses one.
     
  12. fourstringburn

    fourstringburn Supporting Member

    Jun 30, 2009
    New Mexico
    I have a question in line with this thread, I have heard when you set the intonation, have the bass laying on a flat surface so there is no undue stress on the bass. But I also heard you should set the intonation while holding the bass in your usual playing position because ultimately that's when the end result of your intonation comes into play.
    Both statements sound reasonable, but which is more correct?
     
  13. tjclem

    tjclem Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    Thanks I will be buying it........t
     
  14. ehque

    ehque

    Jan 8, 2006
    Singapore
    A lot of things will affect your intonation more than the position of your neck when you are playing, but some tuners are accurate enough to detect it. I personally set my intonation in whichever position is comfortable to me, since intonation is a "close enough" business anyway, but i tune with the bass in position.
     
  15. Son of Magni

    Son of Magni

    May 10, 2005
    NH
    Builder: ThorBass
    I use a Peterson R450, the rackmount version of the 450. It is very nice. Has a little trouble locking on to a low B though.
     
  16. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    Intonation is best, and most accurately set on the bench, your playing position should not effect it when you play if set properly.
     
  17. tjclem

    tjclem Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    I got the 450 home today looking forward to trying it out.......t
     
  18. lethargytartare

    lethargytartare

    Sep 7, 2004
    Chicago
    Since you can vary the pitch slightly sharp/flat depending on how hard you press when playing, you just want to intonate with the note fretted as closely to how you will fret it when playing (sounds obvious, I guess). As was said -- it's still pretty much a "close enough" situation, and if you can put the right amount of pressure with it on a bench or in your lap, have at it.

    Cheers!
    ltt
     
  19. tjclem

    tjclem Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    The way the machine is built it seems you almost need to calibrate it with a known pitch before using it. Otherwise how do you know for sure that the Zero on the veneer knob really is correct?
     
  20. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
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