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unlined fretless bass setup question

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by duckbutter, May 30, 2005.

  1. duckbutter


    Mar 30, 2005
    I have an unlined fretless bass, the 12th fret seems to be in line with the 12th fret side markers...and was wondering if the setup method for it would be the same ting as the Gary Willis setup method?
  2. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    On a fretless, the most important issue of intonation is that all strings should be equally intonated. That is, the right place to fret the sixth fret (for example) of the third string should be exactly above the corresponding spot of the second string.
    So what you need to do is find out a way to assure that you intonate to a truly vertical line.
  3. I intonate my unlined basses (actually any fretless electric bass) by lining up the 12th fret harmonic and the fretted note, and looking for consistency across the strings. I want to fret in the same spot relative to the side dot and the string that I am using for a reference. Usually I start with the highest string, like the C on my E to C basses, and then get the other strings to intonate the same way. I really don't get the bass intonated correctly until I get some playing time in on it, but that gets me very close.

    There are a lot of methods where you use a straightedge or credit card to find the sweet spot of the harmonic, then press down to fret the note. Since I don't usually play my bass by fretting it with a credit card I tend to use my fingers and ears to tell me if it is properly intonated. Only being half sarcastic there.
  4. Cerb


    Sep 27, 2004
    Mine is no where near finished, but once it is I plan on using a capo to make sure the notes are in line. I figure that with that method there is no chance of me losing my spot with a credit card or straightedge.

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