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String / Intonation Problems

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by PaulF, Mar 9, 2005.

  1. PaulF


    Nov 17, 2004
    Hi all

    I've just decided to try out some lighter strings on my bass (35-105's).

    I was hoping to help reduce the issues caused by my bass having what I feel is a fairly high action and being 'hard work' to fret notes quickly.

    Unfortunately I've had to raise the action a little higher when putting these strings on to avoid fret buzz (which when I think about it makes sense - they probably vibrate more vigorously being lighter, and so need more clearance from the frets).

    I've also had to adjust the intonation slightly (which again is what I expected) - most of the strings needed about 1/2 to 1 turn on the bridge screw to bring the 12th fret fretted note in tune with the harmonic.
    BUT - the A string is giving me real problems - I must have given it at least 3 or 4 (and possibly more) turns on the screw - but the fretted 12th note still remains sharp. I've double checked that the bridge is moving when I adjust the screw, but I just can't get it in tune. :confused:

    Is there something else I should try, or is it time to take it to a 'professional'

    Any ideas / suggestions would be welcome.

    cheers !

  2. mwm70


    Oct 27, 2004
    I had the same problem on sunday when I checked my intonation. My buddy who went to luthier school was helping me and noticed that when I was fretting the A string at the 12th I was bending the string down pulling it sharp. Might be the cause, he also said from what he remembers a difference of 4 cents (? not sure of term) is indetectable by most peoples ear.
  3. You can compensate for pulling the string sharp by intonating slightly flat. But I prefer correcting the problem.
  4. PaulF


    Nov 17, 2004
    Thanks for the idea's guys....

    I checked again last night, and was very careful in how I fretted the note - I pretty sure it's not my fingering that's causing it.

    I guess I'll have to get it to a local shop for a 'proper' set-up to see what they can do with it.