guitar intonenation--

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guitar intonenation--

Postby Rowbear39 » Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:44 am

I thought I knew how to tune a guitar, but---I'm having a devil of a time intonating a Warmoth tele I have--it was put together by a pro but when I get the intonation right at the 12 fret on the low E string, Harmonic, then fretting on the 12th, then the tuner indicates that my G note on the 3rd fret, the A note on the 5th fret, and on up the fretboard all register a bit 'sharp' on the tuner scale--what gives?--can anyone give me a clue as to what's wrong?--is the string too long or short when I 'tune' the 12th fret correctly?--and I am being careful by laying the guitar down with just the body touching, no pressure positive or negative on the neck joint--I am using a plug in Seiko tuner that I think is pretty accurate, but the results are sure not making me happy--I know a guitar is never 'really'' in tune, but I want it better than its turning out---frustrating to say the least---HELP__if you can--any hints are welcome! :(
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Re: guitar intonenation--

Postby Norm » Mon Mar 04, 2013 1:43 am

It would be easier, I think, if you were to look it up on YouTube and look at more than one YouTube clip to make sure you understand the process than it is for someone to take the time to detail it here

btw the correct spelling is

intonation

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_q ... LdqZ1Hd4E4
...that's how it looks to me...The opinion expressed above is my own and does not necessarily reflect the views of this station. Your mileage may vary...

Audio samples: http://www.youtube.com/user/acountrygent/videos
That should do it.
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Re: guitar intonenation--

Postby George Beasley » Mon Mar 04, 2013 7:59 am

Is the nut slot cut properly? Ideally, the space between the top of the 1st fret and bottom of the unfretted string should be the same as the space between the second fret and string when you are fretting at the first fret. If it a bigger space, then you could be pulling the notes sharp when you fret.
Thanks,
George
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Re: guitar intonenation--

Postby Rowbear39 » Mon Mar 04, 2013 4:31 pm

ya I caught the typo too late--I got it right in the article--I have listened to all the Youtube posted videos on setting intonation---nothing I haven't tried already--thanks for the tips--the scale is 25 1/2--should I measure that from the inside of the nut to the bridge saddle?--would that help?--its longer than 25 1/2 when I measured it, but not sure if that makes the difference--does anyone else have the problem of being 'in tune', and having the 6th string G note on the 3rd fret sound sharp?--or the A at the 5th fret?--according to the tuner?--and also my ear--which I know is getting older every day!---thanks for all the tips--I will give it a 'go' again today---Bob
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Re: guitar intonenation--

Postby Norm » Mon Mar 04, 2013 4:59 pm

You know, of course, that guitars will never truly play in tune. Tune it to play right when you play an E chord then your G chord sounds off and so forth. That's just the way it is.
Having said that, there are other factors that might affect the issue.

IF you feel you have the intonation accurately calibrated at the 12th fret then it might be a matter of how hard you actually press the strings at the offending frets, particularly if you're using a light guage set (starting with .10's for example). It is possible to seriously affect the pitch of light strings by pressing too hard.

If you live near a good guitar tech you might have him give it a look. Not being personally attached to the guitar gives some clarity. If the guy really knows his business and reccoments a setup, go ahead and have it done.

I would. I had my gentleman refretted once. The guy did a beautiful job. I took it home and still didn't like it so I went back to his shop, found one he had done that I liked and said "Make mine feel like this one does."


Came out perfectly.
...that's how it looks to me...The opinion expressed above is my own and does not necessarily reflect the views of this station. Your mileage may vary...

Audio samples: http://www.youtube.com/user/acountrygent/videos
That should do it.
Norm
 
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Location: redwood city ca

Re: guitar intonation--

Postby Rowbear39 » Mon Mar 04, 2013 7:15 pm

thanks guys--I will take all the suggestions to heart, and I am learning a lot along the way!--Bob
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Re: guitar intonenation--

Postby bill raymond » Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:07 pm

The speaking length of an open string is always some longer than the scale length to accommodate the rise in pitch of the fretted string; it's called "compensation". Also, you can't always depend on the scale length being exactly twice the distance from the nut to the 12th fret, as some makers also compensate by moving the nut closer to the first fret than theoretically calculated. Compensation at both ends of the string (such as is done by the Feiten method) can make the guitar intonate better. Chet put a small nut under his 3rd string on his Gretsch CG just in front of the nut to improve its intonation.
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Re: guitar intonenation--

Postby albertgen » Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:34 am

I remember reading something about that from Paul, I believe Paul did the same thing. I think he glued a narrow little fret right in front of the zero fret on the 3rd string. But you are right they don't play perfectly in tune,in one chord they sound right and in another chord they don't. Al
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Re: guitar intonenation--

Postby Norm » Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:41 am

Excerpt:

_________

Due to the nature of fret spacing it is impossible to tune a guitar perfectly. Guitarists learn to “temper” their tuning by adjusting the tuning to sort of an average/close enough tolerance. Even so, a guitar that sounds in tune when an E chord is played will sound out of tune, to a sensitive ear, when a C chord is played. There is a remedy of sorts. The remedy Paul describes was also done by Chet on his 59.

You will notice an odd thing underneath the third string at the nut. I have always tried to solve tuning problems with guitars that I have owned. Here’s a neat trick. It’s pretty simple. It’s a tuning mod on the 3rd string I use based on an old idea from back in the 70’s.
You get a one-sixteenth brass rod at the hardware store and file one end of it where you have a flat side then cut about 1/4 inch off of it. Put it under the 3rd string up against the zero fret. Note the third string at the 2nd fret to see how much distance you have between the string and the first fret. You keep filing until the string is almost touching the fret then put a small drop of super glue between the zero fret and the brass rod to hold it into place,.
Intonate the string and there you have it. I can tune my guitar in E and it will be almost perfect, then go to C and the third is right on the money.

__Paul Yandell cgp
...that's how it looks to me...The opinion expressed above is my own and does not necessarily reflect the views of this station. Your mileage may vary...

Audio samples: http://www.youtube.com/user/acountrygent/videos
That should do it.
Norm
 
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Location: redwood city ca

Re: guitar intonenation--

Postby craigdobbins » Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:04 am

Paul gave me a little length of piano wire that I use under my 3rd string. It works great. You do need to position it just right, though. I've thought about having a tiny fret installed there.

You really don't need it with a wound 3rd, but with a plain .016 like I use on my CG, it makes all the difference. Some guitars tune up great without it. A friend's 59 CG tunes up perfectly with a plain 3rd. I also have a custom 1962 Tennessee Rose HT (it's still a Tennessean to me), and it tunes up great with a plain .017 or a wound .018 or .020. It's just the nature of the guitar...

One more thought- the bar bridge on a Gretsch (whether stock or TruArc) has a little bit of play. (The studs in the holes at each end.) Also, the pinned bridge on a CG usually has a bit of play. So, it's good to snug them up now and then- it does have an effect on the "tarnation." I usually push mine back toward the tailpiece (it only moves a tiny bit), but it improves the intonation, because things move around.

Craig
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