Intonation on first few frets

Discussion in 'Bass Guitar Discussion' started by chamelious, Aug 12, 2014.

  1. chamelious

    chamelious Well-Known Member

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    On our last album, we had great trouble with the intonation of the low string (Db) on the bass. Problem worst on first few frets. In the end it had to be autotuned.

    What ways can we get around this? Is there a compensated nut out there for bass that would help?

    If the ONLY option is a new bass, what should we look for in the new bass, particular scale length?

    Thanks
     
  2. Murmel

    Murmel SS.org Regular

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    Before anything else I have to ask, was the nut cut properly or was it badly setup? In my experience a properly cut nut usually fixes this 9/10 times.
     
  3. chamelious

    chamelious Well-Known Member

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    Although i can't state categorically yes, it was looked at several times by a local Luther who builds guitars for a living so i can only imagine yes.
     
  4. TemjinStrife

    TemjinStrife Power Metal Cellist

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    Most low strings on bass go sharp when struck initially before settling back in. It's unfortunately the nature of the beast.
     
  5. chamelious

    chamelious Well-Known Member

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    Yus, not what i'm asking about though :) This in an intonation problem.
     
  6. TolerancEJ

    TolerancEJ SS.org Regular

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    Just a thought but have you checked the neck for straighness? Hold down a string at the first fret and the highest fret. At the midpoint, see if there is an excessive gap or if the strings touch the frets. Truss rod turn(s) may be in order.
     
  7. TemjinStrife

    TemjinStrife Power Metal Cellist

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    How big was the string you're using? You can get inharmonicity problems with exceptionally big strings that can cause issues. Older strings can also have intonation issues due to wear and collection of gunk in the windings.

    Also note that the height of the action and even the height of the frets, not to mention how much force the bassist's left hand uses, can cause intonation problems.
     
  8. WhiteWalls

    WhiteWalls SS.org Regular

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    If the open string sounds in tune, and the first few frets are sharp, then the nut slot sits too high, it can't really be anything else, especially if it only happens for one string.

    It is very common and it can be easily fixed by filing the nut slot carefully until the problem goes away.
     

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