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fly135

Adjusting action on Bass: Seeking Advice

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My eBay bought $54 First Act Bass just arrived today. It was listed as a close out and it's looks pretty much new. The first thing I want to do is change out the strings, adjust the action, and the intonation. I saw the article by UGB and wondered why not use an LCD tuner, since that's what I have. It is because they aren't accurate? Are they accurate enough to tune but not intonate? My preliminary check out of the box with an lcd tuner indicated the intonation was pretty close.

My real question is how to set the action. Does anyone have any ballpark recommendations on string height measured at various frets and strings? It looks like setting the height at the bridge is pretty easy. There is an adjustment for each string.

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Set the relief first then adjust the saddles.

It's kind of hard to explain but and lcd display in most tuners isn't 100% linear in it's movement. It sort of moves up or down based on an average of the signal read, not THE signal read. With an lcd display you can tune a hair flat or a hair sharp of the original note and the display reads the same because you didn't move far enough to affect the averaged reading. An analog needle can't do that because it responds directly to the signal. Go a little sharp or a little flat and the needle moves.

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Thanks Guys. Joe those look like good links. Just the information I need. UGB, I know what you mean about the meters. It's just that so many tuners use lcd readouts that I figured that it must be pretty accurate. The Fender AG-6 tuner is only $20 and uses an analog needle. Maybe I can find something like that at Sam Ash.

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Hi Fly, i hope the sites have helped a little, basically what UGB is saying is correct about lcd meters, what happens is the little segments that light up on the lcd meter between the sgment lighting up there can be several meter movements on a needle meter which wont show up on a lcd one, hope that makes some sence lol, confusing myself here.

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tcliff, from what I've read you just check intonation on the open string and the 12th fret. So you only need the EADGBE tuner. My LCD tuner will show tuning even an octave higher. Hopefully the analog meter would as well. But I'll look again for a chromatic one as that sounds more versatile.

Joe, yeah it makes sense about the meter. I'm gonna pick up some strings this weekend and give it a go.

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This is the tuner i use its fairly cheap made by Korg Ga-30 has settings for bass and guitar, seems to work fine, i have noticed its a LCD one, i also use the Korg GT20 which is the Analogue meter, not sure if theres much between them Apart from the price.

http://www.zzounds.com/item--KORGA30

http://www.samedaymusic.com/product--KORGT12

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I tried an experimient tonight with 3 different tuners, went to a friends house and took my bass with me, we used the GA30, GT20 both by korg one LCD one Analogue, also tried his tuner which is a Behringer BTR 2000, fairly good tuner the results were weird to say the least, the Behringer gave some weird readings, when the other 2 were showing 440 - 441 on the more expensive Behringer was displaying very much sharp 443 and higher, from what we could see both Korgs were very similair, not a lot between them. So i guess the GA30 should give you a reasonable reading. I still think overall the analogue meters are just a little more accurate, but each to there own.

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I tried an experiment tonight with 3 different tuners, went to a friends house and took my bass with me, we used the GA30, GT20 both by korg one LCD one Analogue, also tried his tuner which is a Behringer BTR 2000, fairly good tuner the results were weird to say the least, the Behringer gave some weird readings, when the other 2 were showing 440 - 441 on the more expensive Behringer was displaying very much sharp 443 and higher, from what we could see both Korgs were very similar, not a lot between them. So i guess the GA30 should give you a reasonable reading. I still think overall the analogue meters are just a little more accurate, but each to there own.

Tuners only show what the are calibrated for. If the tuner was calibrated high, you will be flat when it shows 440 and if calibrated low, you'll be sharp when it shows 440. The more expensive the tuner doesn't necessarily mean more accurate but it should be more consistent.

That said, you will tune to everyone your playing with or use the same tuner they do, anyway. So, for this application, which ever tuner you use should (if calibrated correctly) do the job as long as it is within =/- 1Hz. So your tuner that shows 440/441 is close enough to the Behringer at 443. 1 Hz isn't gonna be noticeable to the ear, really. If you REALLY want accurate - get a tuning fork.

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I have an LCD tuner...I'm not concerned if it's very slightly flat or sharp...to me if it is dang close I'm happy. Though I guess that is something to look into in case I start doing something where it does matter!

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