When I restringed (re-strung?) my electric guitar, I had to take it back to the store because I belatedly realized that the intonation would have to be corrected.

Now, I have two acoustic guitars and an electric bass guitar that have no adjustable intonations. Is this a problem? Does this mean I will have to stick with the original brand and gauge that was on the guitar when I got it?

(Note: I am particularly interested in an answer concerning bass guitars, as I am currently looking to change the strings on my bass.)

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    Electric bass with no adjustable (intonatable - now there's a good word!) bridge ? What make and model ?
    – Tim
    Commented Nov 12, 2014 at 13:42
  • 1
    Agreed, I haven't seen any basses that don't have an adjustable saddle. I'd love to know the make/model. Commented Nov 12, 2014 at 19:35

2 Answers 2


To directly answer your question:

Same brand - no. Definitely not. Brands don't make a difference in terms of intonation, and different types of strings (rounds vs flats, for instance) shouldn't have a major effect either.

Same gauge - while your bass or guitars won't be affected in terms of intonation by the gauge of the string, it's always worthwhile to make sure that the nut is designed for the gauge of strings you have. (If the notches are too small, the strings won't seat well. If they're too large, you'll get some annoying buzzing.)

If you like the gauge you're playing now, I'd recommend sticking with that. That said, on most electric basses, you should be able to adjust the bridge saddles. Maybe you could post a picture of your bass - we can show you how to adjust it, or marvel at your bass if it has a fixed bridge.


Are you using an alternate tuning? I don't understand how there would be more than minor changes in intonation with changes in string gauge in standard tuning.

If you are using an alternate tuning and it's sufficiently alternate--like you're tuning your guitar in fifths--then you're going to have some problems with intonation for some strings and frets because your frets were placed with standard tuning in mind. Adjusting the bridge saddle isn't going to make the problem go away but it can ameliorate it.

Most acoustic guitars are very very slightly out of intonation even in standard tuning because--among other things--they have only a single bridge saddle which is usually straight. Electric guitars and basses would be the same unless you can adjust each string's bridge saddle, which you can for a very large number of models.

Intonation is easy to adjust on your own. See, for example: http://www.wikihow.com/Set-Your-Guitar's-Intonation


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