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Thread: Fender FM60E 5 string electric mando intonation...

  1. #1

    Default Fender FM60E 5 string electric mando intonation...

    I have one of these Fender 5 string electrics and never played it much because of the intonation. I tried a very thick C string which may have helped a bit. I also took the spring out from the bridge saddle and that helped a bit more. I figure that the only way to get this to intonate better is to get a shorter bridge saddle but cannot find such a thing.Click image for larger version. 

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    Appreciate if anyone knows where I could get short bridge saddles or has some other solution.

  2. #2
    '`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`' Jacob's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fender FM60E 5 string electric mando intonation...

    A slightly smaller C string should help. Its thinner core wire would require less compensation.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Fender FM60E 5 string electric mando intonation...

    Well, the C string it came with was thinner and much worse.

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    Registered User Tom Wright's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fender FM60E 5 string electric mando intonation...

    Quote Originally Posted by Merula View Post
    Well, the C string it came with was thinner and much worse.
    Gauges for the C should be between .048 and .056. I liked the larger one for my 5-string but use .048 for 10-string. For some players, light strings deflect too easily and bend sharp, but normally lighter strings play flat compared to heavy.

    Where is the intonation bad? Is it mainly the low frets? Have you checked the nut height? If the nut is the issue, the bridge can't achieve correct intonation in the first few frets

    If the other strings are ok your compensation looks typical and should be fine.
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    Default Re: Fender FM60E 5 string electric mando intonation...

    Mine came with a C string that was way too light (I got it used, so I don't know who to blame). Wouldn't stay in tune, couldn't set intonation. I ended up with a .044" on it and the intonation is good with the saddle spring totally compressed, i.e if I needed to move it back any farther I'd have to take the spring out. Taking the spring out of mine would gain me ~3/16" more adjustment range, which seems like a lot. What gauge string are you using?

    I guess you could remove some material from the back end of the saddle, but it seems to me there should be a simpler solution.

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    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Question Re: Fender FM60E 5 string electric mando intonation...

    I use an .050 for C on a standard Mandolin scale .. round wire wound ,

    (but not on a FM60.. )
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    '`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`' Jacob's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fender FM60E 5 string electric mando intonation...

    On two 5 string electrics, the spring has been removed from the C string saddles and the bolt shortened.
    One still requires a string .002 smaller than would be preferred to have proper intonation.
    Haven't found double wound electric guitar strings in a suitable size.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Fender FM60E 5 string electric mando intonation...

    A couple options. Try one or several combinations of one. 1. Thinner string, focus on thinner core wire. 2. Replace with flatwounds. 2. Move the bridge back 1/4" which allows all the saddles to come forward and gives you more adjustment. 3. Adjust the intonation at the nut hence increasing the string length. 4. Get a shorter saddle. 5. Adjust action. 6. Try a different tuning such as GDAEB.

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    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fender FM60E 5 string electric mando intonation...

    I string FM60Es with 50/38/24/14/10. FM60Es are fairly consistent, but I suppose it's possible that the bridge placement is off and the instrument would benefit from moving the bridge a little closer to the endpin. Also, different people have different ears, and some will tolerate variances in intonation more than others. Flatwounds can indeed make a difference.
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  10. #10

    Default Re: Fender FM60E 5 string electric mando intonation...

    Thanks all. I think having a very thick string has made it high in the nut so I'll try the .50.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Fender FM60E 5 string electric mando intonation...

    I had quite a time getting mine to intonate as well. I took it to my tech who:

    - shortened the C-string spring so the saddle can move back further (as noted eariler), and
    - did some work to get the action at the nut and bridge down as low as it would go

    It's tricky but doable with a lot of patience.
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    Registered User Irénée's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fender FM60E 5 string electric mando intonation...

    I have one too... It's a wonderful (and rare) instrument

    Click image for larger version. 

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    (I will check, I had the Fender advices somewhere...)

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Fender FM60E 5 string electric mando intonation...

    If you do all this and your still need to move the saddle back, the best course would be to find an electric guitar tech with a box full of parts. One option that just might work would be a saddle from a Mustang or Jazzmaster--though I'm not sure....

    Click image for larger version. 

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  14. #14
    Registered User Irénée's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fender FM60E 5 string electric mando intonation...

    As promise... You will find below the "FM60E 5 string" gauges official adviced by Fender tech service in France (it's same every where)

    Fender FM60E 18frets - scale : 35-35,8 cm (with compensation)
    Gauges : 0.09 – 0.14 – 0.24 - 035 – 0.46 => Fender advices

    Click image for larger version. 

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  15. #15
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fender FM60E 5 string electric mando intonation...

    If you can get an .046 string to intonate correctly on the C course of one of these puppies, you're a better man(dolinist) than I am.

    I've had good results with 50/38/24/14/10, but your kilometres may vary.
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  16. #16

    Default Re: Fender FM60E 5 string electric mando intonation...

    Thanks for everyone's help. I did widen the slot at the nut and got some flat wound strings from emando.com. It's much better now - not perfect but quite playable. I was close to selling it and I'm glad I didn't now.

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