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 Post subject: 8 string bass intonation
 Post Posted: Fri Mar 24, 2006 7:50 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 2:00 pm
Posts: 5
Location: Baltimore, MD
Just got my first Rickenbacker and it's an 8 string bass. Anybody got any idea how one would go about intonating this thing properly being as Rick only put one saddle per two strings on it? Anybody recommend any customizations I could do to this thing to address this problem?


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 Post subject: Re: 8 string bass intonation
 Post Posted: Fri Mar 24, 2006 8:03 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2005 1:00 pm
Posts: 2592
Location: The Rickenroom
You would probably have to choose your string gauges carefully, but I'm just guessing here. I know there are not alot of options as to what strings you can put on an 8 string bass, even less for a 12 string bass.

I've never had an 8 string bass, but I do have a 12 string bass. With the 12 string bass, the string sets of three are usually not perfectly tuned to each other to achieve a chorusing effect. The fundamental strings are tuned perfectly and sometimes just one of the octave strings is also perfectly tuned. It depends on the preference of the user. So I'm just wondering if 8 string bass users wouldn't want a slight chorusing effect. If you do, would it matter if the octave strings were not perfectly intonated once the fundamental strings were?

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 Post subject: Re: 8 string bass intonation
 Post Posted: Fri Mar 24, 2006 8:32 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 2:00 pm
Posts: 5
Location: Baltimore, MD
I recently had my luthier work on it and he did a sort of "split the difference" job on the intonation for each set of strings. I don't mind a slight chorusing effect but it seems to me that when I get high up on the neck it get's a bit more than slight. Plus I play a lot of chords, so once again, slight chorusing not so bad but much more than that in a chord and it just sounds horrible.


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 Post subject: Re: 8 string bass intonation
 Post Posted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 11:13 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 18, 2006 2:00 pm
Posts: 6
Location: Washington, DC
I have two 4003S 8 strings, and I've found that splitting the difference on the intonation saddles seems to be the safest setup as far as the bridge goes. But I also made one change on both basses to help with this issue, which is to use Carvin tuning keys instead of the Schaller tuners the bass comes with. The Carvins have a 20:1 gear ratio as opposed to the 12:1 ratio on the Schallers, and I can say from years of firsthand experience that this makes an IMMENSE difference in being able to tune the instrument precisely. So if precise tuning is important to you, I would recommend ordering two sets of the Carvin tuners in whatever color goes with your bass.

Hope that helps,
DL


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 Post subject: Re: 8 string bass intonation
 Post Posted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 11:53 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2005 1:00 pm
Posts: 61
Location: Chicago
The "happy medium" approach is probably the best way to go when intonating with only four saddles. For what it's worth, my tuning technique for 8 string is to tune the bass strings to a tuner and then tune the octave strings by ear. I usually hit both strings at the 12th fret harmonic while doing this.
BTW - those Carvin machine heads are actually Japanese made Gotoh GB7s.


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