Anyone have any hints or tips on how to deal with the intonation on a fretless accurately. I've done it plenty of times on fretted basses, which is dead easy, so I know how it's done.
Doing it accurately with no frets is a bit of a different potato. Surely it can't just be a case of holding down the sting and hoping you're not too far out?
Last year I bought a brand new MIM Precision from GAK but I'm having an issue with the E string tension...
Basically, the E string does not carry the same tension as the other three strings, and as a result sounds much more dead than the others and seems to dull much quicker. This means that when you play the E string it doesn't react or 'bounce back' the same way as the others do. This is noticeable with all techniques but mostly recognisable with fingers and especially with the open E. For example if I'm playing a simple riff that involves open notes and fretted notes, it will often feel like I'm playing out of time because the string doesn't react in the same way as the others.
Playing in a covers band this is really noticeable when I drop to D or have to pedal an open E note, and when I play through my 410 I notice just how dead and lacklustre the E sounds. It's like someone's secretly muting the E string for me. Just doesn't cut through the same.
Raising the action does alleviate the problem slightly but by the time it becomes comfortable, it has thrown the feel of the whole bass off and I feel that having to adjust a brand new £600 bass to a stupid set up just to alleviate a problem shouldn't have to happen.
Also, tuning the E up to F or F# greatly alleviates the problem and increases the tension, but I'm not entirely sure what to do with that information!
I had this same problem with a Squier 60s CV bass a few years back, and ended up selling the bass after I got nowhere with the issue. I also had a similar problem with a MIM PJ passive Deluxe which I bought off here second hand, though I fixed that issue with a new bridge eventually (something I will try next).
When I previously took a bass with this problem to a tech, the responses have been a mixture of "no problem here" to "it's your technique not the bass" and I even had a local tech phone me up to tell me it was because I bought a Squier (from the shop HE worked with) and then took the time to explain the differences between Squier and Fender.
The things I have investigated:
New strings (I've owned it 6 months and replaced the strings frequently- always D'addario XL170s (45-100s) I have heard that people regularly do just get dead strings but this has happened so consistently now that I feel I can eliminate that as an issue)
A proper set up (as of now I had the bass set up professionally a week ago with new strings by a chap I trust and have used before, though I'm not saying he's perfect)
The pickups are owned from new Fender 62RIs (which I also had in the 60sCV which had the same problem, but as I had the problem before the pickups I think I should eliminate them as a problem, though I'm happy to change them if needs be).
My technique- I do dig in hard, I was bought up on RHCP lines so think a bit of Flea, but never had any issues on any other basses regardless of strings, set up or any other components. (I own several other basses- G&L L2000 Tribute, Lakland Skyline 44-01, 3x Ibanez ATKs, Fender PJ and have played other people's basses too)
I've played plugged and unplugged and the problem is definitely apparent without amplification but definitely exacerbated with a large amp. It is made better when I use my compressor, though.
Next things for me to try are:
New bridge (Northwest Guitars are out of stock currently) unless anyone can recommend anything else?) They're sub £20 on there and I have had success with them previously.
New string guages... thicker? thinner? different brand? should I have to adjust my string preference just because a bass doesn't get along with them?
Apologies for the essay! I'm all ears for any responses! Thank you!