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Author Topic: Intonation  (Read 8082 times)
P. Bass
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« on: September 08, 2011, 09:25:49 PM »

Everyone has varying opinions about proper method for intoning a string. Fretted 12th fret note / open string. Fretted 12th fret note / 12th fret harmonic. Both methods SHOULD be in sync - but not always possible, for some reason. Now moving from string to string with harmonics could make previous individual string intonation questionable. It drives me crazy because flats are even more difficult than rounds to set. I would appreciate some opinions on this subject. Thanks in advance.
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Fran Diaz
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« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2011, 03:06:56 PM »

I use the usual system, but I also make sure that fretted notes are correct all over the neck, strings, especially flats, sometimes behave ina weird way.
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Fran
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« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2011, 10:34:41 PM »

HI

Gotta lose those flats!!

LOL

Rob
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P. Bass
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« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2011, 11:41:35 PM »

HI

Gotta lose those flats!!

LOL

Rob

Yeah, but then my Sadowsky bass would sound like what everyone else thinks it should sound like.  Grin
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PS: In the meantime, I'd like to learn something here. This is the right place for that.
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« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2011, 11:36:50 AM »

Are you using a tuner when you do your intonation?  If so what kind?  In the past I have noticed that tuners that use needles can be problematic due to line of sight.  If you are just a little off you can end up with the problem you referenced in your post.  That being said, if you are not using a tuner try one, and if you are, try a different one.  I really notice that my intonation is off when I tune all the open strings, then I play open D string and F# on the 11th fret on the G string and I can tell it is off.  That drives me crazy!

Well Good Luck, K
 
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« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2011, 12:34:30 PM »

I have never been able to intonate with anything other than a strobe tuner.  I do not find any significant difference in tuning to the open string or the 12th fret harmonic.  Also very important to play the fretting note with normal playing pressure.

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« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2011, 04:12:15 PM »

Thanks so much for the replies people.
I have read so many different approaches to intonation that I suspected it was time to get it right.
I use a little Korg GA-30 tuner which is pretty good but not of the calibre of a decent strobe tuner as you said Roger. Is there one that's "affordable"  Wink. I have to be practical here.  The intonation was perfect on the build when it arrived, but as with any string, adjustment can be required from time to time. With recording, this is no small problem. It's not just the tuner but the procedure that I was concerned about. Thanks again.
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« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2011, 03:18:13 AM »

Thanks so much for the replies people.
I have read so many different approaches to intonation that I suspected it was time to get it right.
I use a little Korg GA-30 tuner which is pretty good but not of the calibre of a decent strobe tuner as you said Roger. Is there one that's "affordable"  Wink. I have to be practical here.  The intonation was perfect on the build when it arrived, but as with any string, adjustment can be required from time to time. With recording, this is no small problem. It's not just the tuner but the procedure that I was concerned about. Thanks again.
B.
 
 

Blair, it's almost impossible to do a proper intonation with that tuner, I got a Korg 'PitchBlack+', probably overkill for you, but very nice for intonation and live use.

Anyway, I remember that when I tried the Chromes they were a real pain to intonate, much harder than the Sadowsky flats.

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« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2011, 05:19:24 AM »

Thanks so much for the replies people.
I have read so many different approaches to intonation that I suspected it was time to get it right.
I use a little Korg GA-30 tuner which is pretty good but not of the calibre of a decent strobe tuner as you said Roger. Is there one that's "affordable"  Wink. I have to be practical here.  The intonation was perfect on the build when it arrived, but as with any string, adjustment can be required from time to time. With recording, this is no small problem. It's not just the tuner but the procedure that I was concerned about. Thanks again.
B.
 
 

Blair, it's almost impossible to do with that tuner, I got a Korg 'PitchBlack+', probably overkill for you, but very nice for intonation.

Anyway, I remember that when I tried the Chromes they were a real pain to intonate, much harder than the Sadowsky flats.



Thanks Fran. I watched a demo on YouTube of the basic pitchblack (not the +) & it looks decent.
Here's a strobe that has my interest also. A....http://www.long-mcquade.com/products/4127/Band/Metronomes_Tuners_Stands/Planet_Waves/Tru-Strobe_Tuner.htm....B....http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exvUY4h0PsM&feature=relmfu
The pedal version has a calibration that allows for adjusting to match modified pitch on a recording(very useful for me w/overdubs). The basic model may also,not sure. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hdb-NH-JE88&NR=1
As far as overkill, a Sadowsky bass justifies a tuner that WORKS I think. LOL.
Would you believe I still have the pitch pipe that I used in high school to tune my '63 Strat & NO I don't still use it. Grin   I remember we tuned down a half step for Beatles songs 'cause we couldn't reach the high notes. Just used "beat tuning" w/harmonics from string to string.
B.
Edit: I agree about the Chromes but what can I do, they're home for me. If the Sad's had the same tension & gauge, I'd change in a heartbeat. The feel & playability of my preference w/flats trumps everything else. I can live w/the tone I've got now but can't live w/ lighter tension or gauge.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2011, 06:11:32 AM by P. Bass » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2011, 05:20:04 AM »

Well I took care of business today & got myself a strobe tuner. Man - what a revelation THAT was! (thanks Roger for the mention)
Couldn't pass up a great deal on a Peterson "Stomp Classic". I do so much home recording & reference pitch adjustment on the overdubs that this unit was a no brainer. I can change from "A-440" concert pitch up or down by 1hz increments. "A-448" is about the highest I need at present. It allows me to match 1 note on the G string to a note or chord on a recording, adjust the tuner strobe to that new note's pitch & then tune the bass to the new tuner setting. That was a huge problem before now. I can even preset a few of the mods. Lots of free software downloads for it also. Many handy features.

NOW for the kicker! I spent a few hours teaching myself how to intonate my bass using the instructions in the manual & after some experimentation I managed to accomplish what I consider perfect intonation of a well broken in set of Chromes (D'Addario flats) !!! With my old tuner it was impossible. I actually didn't believe I would notice the improvement all that much, but WOW! This thing is so sensitive that I learned intonation without having to use any open string as part of the sync.  This bass just keeps gettin' better every day.  Cool
Next thing you know, I'll be fretting my Sad' SBF45 flats. I gotta remember to never say never.  Undecided
Thanks again guys.  
B.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2011, 04:26:02 PM by P. Bass » Logged

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Fran Diaz
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« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2011, 06:01:47 AM »

glad to hear, Blair.

There is a big difference between being 'good for r'n'r' in tune and being perfectly in tune. Especially for recordings.


Well I took care of business today & got myself a strobe tuner. Man - what a revelation THAT was! (thanks Roger for the mention)
Couldn't pass up a great deal on a Peterson "Stomp Classic". I do so much home recording & reference pitch adjustment on the overdubs that this unit was a no brainer. I can change from "A-440" concert pitch up or down by 1hz increments. "A-448" is about the highest I need at present. It allows me to match 1 note on the G string to a note or chord on a recording, adjust the tuner strobe to that new note's pitch & then tune the bass to the new tuner setting. That was a huge problem before now. I can even preset a few of the mods. Lots of free software downloads for it also. Many handy features.

NOW for the kicker! I spent a few hours teaching myself how to intonate my bass using the instructions in the manual & after some experimentation I managed to accomplish what I consider perfect intonation of a well broken in set of Chromes (D'Addario flats) !!! With my old tuner it was impossible. I actually didn't believe I would notice the improvement all that much, but WOW! This thing is so sensitive that I learned intonation without having to use any open string as part of the sync.  This bass just keeps gettin' better every day.  Cool
Thanks again guys. 
B.

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« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2011, 02:29:27 AM »

I use ears with the usual harmonics at 5th and 7th fret. And retune when I change key. Human ears don't work like electronic tuners (at least mine don't).
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« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2011, 04:07:13 PM »

Using my new strobe tuner I have noticed that string intonation requires some adjustment after a couple days on a set of new strings. Is that normal or am I missing something in my method? I even noticed that I get a different reading if I use only fretted notes & harmonics as opposed to open strings in the process. The touch on the neck does seem to have a bearing. 5th / 17th fretted notes seems to be the most reliable.  Thanks in advance.
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« Last Edit: October 19, 2011, 04:10:03 PM by P. Bass » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2011, 10:17:45 AM »

Using my new strobe tuner I have noticed that string intonation requires some adjustment after a couple days on a set of new strings. Is that normal or am I missing something in my method? I even noticed that I get a different reading if I use only fretted notes & harmonics as opposed to open strings in the process. The touch on the neck does seem to have a bearing. 5th / 17th fretted notes seems to be the most reliable.  Thanks in advance.
B.


Hi Blair,

Welcome to my world!

Roger
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« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2011, 01:27:09 AM »

Using my new strobe tuner I have noticed that string intonation requires some adjustment after a couple days on a set of new strings. Is that normal or am I missing something in my method? I even noticed that I get a different reading if I use only fretted notes & harmonics as opposed to open strings in the process. The touch on the neck does seem to have a bearing. 5th / 17th fretted notes seems to be the most reliable.  Thanks in advance.
B.


Hey Blair,

     I understand the physics behind the proccess and how I have tu turn the  screws but every time I intonate an instrument I always need to finetune (pun intended Grin) by trial and error and I won't stop until I see that the fretted notes play in tune all over the neck (1,3,5,7,12,15,17 frets), I can get to do this on all the Sadowsky basses I have worked on, but it's been impossible with many other basses.
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