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Weird looking bridge after setup

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by PionFou, Nov 3, 2005.

  1. Hi,

    I changed strings today on my MIA Fretless Jazz, from low tension D'Addario nickel rounds to higher tension Rotosound flats. After all is done, my bridge saddles look like this.

    Could you tell me if there is something wrong with my setup? My neck is not flat, the intonation is ok, even though it needs a little tweaking, but the bridge seems off.

    I have always been told that the bridge saddles should be in a diagonal line and that the distance from one saddle to another should roughly be equal to the gauge of my strings.

    This is one of my first setups, even thoug I've been playing for a while. Figured I could do it by myself... oh well :meh:

    Have I done something wrong?

    Thanks for your imput!


    Attached Files:

  2. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    You obviously need to adjust intonation.
  3. Well, thats the beauty of it, the intonation is fine!!
  4. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    What are these strings ? SH signature ?
    Do you use standard tuning ?
  5. I just have to bump this one. I intonated my bass the other night and the arrangement of the saddles seems random at best (hipshot 4-string trem with TI Jazz Flats, fretless). I wanna know if this is ok, considering my intonation seems fine too.
  6. Platypibri

    Platypibri Technician, Kaman Music

    Jun 28, 2005
    Riverside, CA
    The real question is, is it in tune? If you can play chord tones against open strings and they are in tune, great. But don't trust that it's in tune because your lines sound good up high. The ear is highly adaptable.
  7. The strings are RS Jazz Bass 77LD. The gauge is 45-65-85-105. It is in tune within 2 cents at the 12th "fret".
  8. The ultimate test is whether the intonation is good...is it in tune up and down the neck? There are a lot of variables to take into account when you're talking about strings. One of he main purposes of adjustable bridges is to allow you to set the intonation. If the intonation is good, that's all that matters IMO.
  9. Audiophage


    Jan 9, 2005
    Apparently no one actually read you say that its almost exactly intonated. The only thing that I can see is that its a bit blurry.
  10. Akami

    Akami Four on the floor

    Mar 6, 2005
    I had the exact same thing happen last year and I've been doing setups for decades.

    Just now seeing your picture is only the second time I've ever seen this and if I hadn't had the same experience just last year I would have told you that it was impossible for your intonation to be on!
    If I remember correctly mine looked just about exactly the same as your picture.

    So, we just went with it, until I changed strings again, upon which it was way out and I re-intonated it, which made it look normal again!

    Go figure! :D
  11. fretlessrock

    fretlessrock Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2002
    In general the bridge should show a normal compensation angle, but if yours doesn't you might at least want to know why.

    I would check out the condition of the nut, and check for intonation issues in areas other than the 12th fret vs. 12th harmonic. You could have worn nut slots that are causing you to compensate at the bridge. If you have a good tuner then check the tuning in the 1st position against the same tones in the middle of the neck. Like E on the D string vs E on the A string. And nut problems will often show up as weird/inconsistent tuning at the first fret.

    Just an idea. And you can keep your 2 cents! :p
  12. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA

    In my 20 years of playing and various full-time and part-time stints as a tech, I have never once ever heard this.

    If the intonation is right, it's fine. If not, adjust it. If there was a "right" place for the saddle to be, they wouldn't go to the time and expense of making them adjustable.
  13. Ostinato

    Ostinato Guest

    Feb 7, 2005
    Toronto ON
    The spread looks unusual, but he is using flats. That may (or may not) have something to do with it. It kinda reminds me of the way the old Tele bass bridge would be setup with flatwounds.
  14. I took the bass to my local Fender dealer today. The tech told me that my bass was set-up fine: neck, height of strings, intonation, everyting is in order so I got nothing to worry about.

    So I learned something today...

    Thanks for the replies!!

  15. Rene


    Mar 8, 2004
    Looks like this because of the radius of your fingerboard.
    you must have a 9 or 12 inch radius on your fingerboard
    and the quality of the strings will do that too sometime the gauge of the strings is not right on so the intonation looks weird
    If you want to know more about intonation go to this site
  16. tadawson


    Aug 24, 2005
    Lewisville, TX
    For what it is worth, the saddle spacing being equal to the string diameter thing, is published in the Fender bass setup instructions available on line.


    So, right or not, it does come from what ought to be a credible source, and other than one set of goofy strings I had that caused the same basic thing that happened to the originator of this post, most of my setups at least look pretty close to that when done. (Fender actually says to use this as a starting point for setup, not as a final config.)

    - Tim
  17. You, Me, and Baby makes three! :D

    It would be a ridiculous amount of work to chase microscopic precision in each nut slot and bridge notch just to get the saddles to match an imaginary and truly arbitrary "perfect" alignment. :rollno:
  18. But what it doesn't say is that the saddles should, in any way, remain aligned like that after intonation. Read further down where it says simply to lengthen the string when sharp and shorten it when flat.

    The only condition indicated by unstaggered saddles is to much internet "research" and not enough practice. :D
  19. ddnidd1

    ddnidd1 Supporting Member

    I'm facinated. How does fingerboard radius affect intonation?
  20. tadawson


    Aug 24, 2005
    Lewisville, TX
    Uh, I did . . . . . . .

    I was just attempting to point out where folks may have heard this from . . . .

    - Tim