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Old 01-23-2013, 01:57 AM   #1
mace200200
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New set of bass strings stressing me out.

My uncle always took care of my guitars and basses, but he died about 2 weeks ago and today one of my strings broke. So I don't know what strings he put on my bass (Fender P/J special), so I bought and installed a new set of Daddario strings. I don't want the action to change so I held the new and old strings up to each other and they all look to be the same gauge.

Would I be able to tell the difference between say, a .95 and a .105 gauge string by holding them next to each other or by playing?
Will adjusting intonation change the action of the strings?
When the open string is in tune, How out of tune should it be at the 12th fret before I have to mess with it? My E and A string go sharp 20 cents at the 12th fret, maybe my new strings need to break in for a bit first?

I love my bass and I want it to stay the same as it was the last 3 years I've had it. That's why I don't want the action to change since my uncle won't be able to set it for me again (very sad, he was something like 44 years old). Thanks.
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Old 01-23-2013, 02:41 AM   #2
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Sorry to hear about your uncle, that's far to young to die. What you can do is find a set of calipers and measure the diameter of the old strings, that'll tell you there. If you don't have a set of calipers, your local guitar store should and they could measure your old strings. As far as set up goes, with a string gauge change, resetting the intonation will be in order as well as the truss rod (depending on how different the gauge of strings is).
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:10 AM   #3
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Sorry to hear about your uncle, hope you're doing okay.

Re. this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by mace200200
Will adjusting intonation change the action of the strings?
When the open string is in tune, How out of tune should it be at the 12th fret before I have to mess with it? My E and A string go sharp 20 cents at the 12th fret, maybe my new strings need to break in for a bit first?

Intonation won't affect action no. There are seperate grub screws on the saddles to adjust action.

You don't want your strings to be out of tune AT ALL at the 12th fret.
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Old 01-23-2013, 03:06 PM   #4
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Thanks for the help so far, last night I did a test I found, I put one finger on the first fret and another on the 17th fret. Then I used a credit card and my neck is a little bent. I could kind of get the card under the strings around the 12th fret, and every where else was a little tighter. I live on the lake shore so the temps this time of year can change drastically. On Saturday it was 36 out side, yesterday it was far below zero. Therefore I'm going to leave that alone. I walk about a half mile out side to and from school each day too.

Now as for intonation, I think that's something I'll adjust. I just tighten the screw on the E and A strings (because those two pull sharp) and it'll make it longer and I just tune back up right? Will this make a noticeable difference to the neck, I really don't want to play with truss rods right now.

Last edited by mace200200 : 01-23-2013 at 03:09 PM.
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Old 01-23-2013, 03:11 PM   #5
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That's not a huge amount of relief, it doesn't sound too bad. Remember that there needs to be some relief at all time.

Yeah, tighten them up a little, retune, tighten again if it's not there yet

Remember that the amount of pressure you fret with affects intonation too. Intonation won't mess with your neck, don't worry.
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Old 01-23-2013, 04:42 PM   #6
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Aah that's good to hear, I'm actually not a fan of these strings but I'm going to give them at least a month before I try something else. I also got a hold of digital calipers from my CAD teacher so I can find out for sure what the gauge was on my old set of strings before I look for something else to try.
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:34 PM   #7
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Okay, I did the intonation thing, both my E and A strings are much better now and as good as I could get them (I used my ear for the most part my tuner doesn't work so good). Now, looking at the saddles, I'm worried because the E and A string ones are much closer to the bridge than the D and G (because i cranked on the bottom two, and the top two were perfect). I will try and upload a photo of them.
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:42 PM   #8
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E and A ate the two closest ones does that look alright?
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:58 PM   #9
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Yeah that looks about right
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Old 01-23-2013, 09:07 PM   #10
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Alright that's good, I think I actually want to crank on the E string a but more yet but I was afraid too
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Old 01-23-2013, 09:18 PM   #11
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Yep E string sounds perfect now, my tuner still says differently but it's cheap so ill trust my ear over it. Perhaps I will try with the strobe tuner (i think its called, the expensive kind with the discs that rotate) at school tomorrow.
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Old 01-23-2013, 09:23 PM   #12
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Thanks all you guys for helping me out, it was about time I learned how to work on my own instruments now any way (now that I'm technically an adult and all) maybe my string broke for a reason my babbling aside, it's good to know people are willing I help me out here and to have someplace else to go when I need help.
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