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.
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
) 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.
I know exactly what you're referring to Fran. There are many new really good tuners on the market that are all very capable. But this strobe is so sensitive that once I manage to get each string perfect, all the strings sync up very well because the frets are positioned to perfection. The nice thing about it is that I can watch the strobe as it slows down to a standstill & the degree of "sharp" or "flat" is based on the speed of the strobe movement not on an LED that is on or off. This is really a new experience for me. The only way to get the bass intoned is to do it while it's on the strap in playing position because if it's lying down the weight of the neck throws out accuracy that will be had while in playing position. SERIOUSLY, even the pressure of turning the tuner key is relevant in that you have to let go of the thing to see how the strobe reads. That's why I find using 5th & 17th fretted notes work best for me so the reading of the strobe will be accurate as if while playing the bass in a fretting position. The open string & 12th fretted note is more difficult for me to do. Once the string is intoned an octave apart at fretted position, I check against 12th fret harmonic & 12th fretted note. Sometimes a minor tweak is needed. I have yet to get the strobe dead still on every position. I really think that's only possible in "Roger's World". LOL
I was told by a tech here that it's a lifelong mission to accomplish "absolute perfect" tuning or build a device that will do it. Can't be done apparently. The Peterson strobe tuner has "sweetened tunings" that may be used for various instruments but I think the standard non sweetened tuning is great for bass. Maybe Roger has an opinion about that.
-- I tune the string at the 5th fretted note.
-- Then I check the strobe reading at the 17th fretted note.
If the 17th fretted note is sharp, I lengthen the string by pulling the bridge saddle back ( turn the screwdriver clockwise. NOTE: Each time a saddle adjustment is made the string must be re-tuned at the 5th fret again before checking the intonation.
-- The same process can be used by first tuning the 12th fret harmonic & checking the fretted note there. If the FRETTED note is sharp, pull the saddle back.(& re-check the harmonic as well as the fretted note)