View Full Version : Gotoh Wilkinson Trem Intonation Trouble
05-25-2011, 04:41 PM
Hello all, could use some loving TGP help today.
I've spent the morning working on the intonation on my Gotoh Wilkinson VS100 and it has been giving me a head ache! This is my first time trying to do this myself and i'd rather keep it that way as I value to learning experience and i figure that it is something that as a guitarist i should know how to do.
I spent the first hour or so fishing around the net for a manual on adjusting the intonation with the tremolo bridge but i can't find the thing anywhere. I found literature about the bridge and lots of reviews about these bridges but no step by step process.
Here is my problem,
Several of my 12th fret harmonic notes to my open strings are slightly sharp compared to to the open notes. For example, after i tune my open E and open A to pitch, when i hit my 12th fret notes they are both slightly sharp. I want to fix this!!! It is driving me up the wall.
So here is what i have been doing.
First i loosen up the individual hold down screw for the string. (about a half turn). Then i have been turning the intonation screws but every time i tune in my harmonic notes, i tighten back up the hold down screws and my open notes are now flat.
Does anyone have this bridge that they could give me some advice, I scoured older threads but could not find an answer to my specific question.
Any ideas would really be awesome and highly appreciated.
Here are some references,
(about half way down the manual)
Thanks a lot fellows!
05-25-2011, 04:55 PM
First off do you have a GOOD tuner? This is very important unless you can set it by your ear and MOST folks can't do that ACCURATELY enough.
If so pluck the open string and tune to pitch. Then FRET it at the 12th instead of the harmonic. Fret carefully and don't push on the string too hard.
If the fretted note is sharp move the saddle back away from the nut, if the fretted note is flat move it toward the nut.
Many beginners simply move the saddle adjustments too far . These are very small adjustments unless it's WAY off.
This is very beginner basic and start there and then if there's no resolution there could be other issues but that's later. New strings are important and make sure your action and neck adjustments are to your liking.
Oh and make sure you're not letting the neck rest on anything, adjust in the playing position
05-25-2011, 04:57 PM
When you say 12th fret harmonic are you fretting the string at the 12th fret? Also how old are the strings? Old strings can sometimes give false harmonics etc. Always slacken the string before adjusting the saddle. It makes it easier to adjust. It also will help prevent any stripping of the screws etc.
05-25-2011, 05:15 PM
If I'm reading correctly, you are getting the intonation correct with the adjusting screws and then it goes flat when you tighten the locking screws? Depending on the string height, the locking screws can pull the saddle at an angle.
If this is the problem, I would not try to get the intonation correct and then lock the screw down. If the harmonic is sharp, I would move the saddle a little, tighten the locking screw, check the intonation and keep doing this until you get it right. Should only take a couple tries.
05-25-2011, 05:39 PM
Sorry, let me try to clarify a few things.
First, I am using a Plant Wave Chromatic Pedal Tuner and i've always thought it tunes just fine.
Second, the string are brand new gibson humbucker strings; i just put them on about a week ago.
Third, to clarify about what note i am holding. Lets say I tune the open string to E. Then pressing down on the 12th fret, I get an E that is slightly sharp. I am not referring to a harmonic where you lightly press on a string. Sorry to confuse, I only said "harmonic" because I thought that an E played at the 12th fret (vibrating at n frequency) was a harmonic frequency of an open E on the E string. Sorry for the confusion.
I'm going to give that last post a try and i'll post how its going,
Thanks for all the feedback though guys!
05-25-2011, 06:04 PM
It's an iterative process, especially if the bridge is allowed to float at all.
Here is something you can try:
Figure out how much you want the bridge to float, strictly based on playability and available arm motion. You adjust the claw tension and re-tune, but don't get too fussy about it. Just pretty close. When you've decided how much rise you are going to want off the body, measure it.
Then what you can do is take business cards or playing cards, whatever you have, and place them under the bridge on the face of the instrument so that you have a nice firm shim that is at the right "float" height.
Next thing to do is tighten down that claw a couple turns on each screw.
Now what you have done is immobilized the bridge at the height you intend to use it.
Now you can tune very precisely and re-intonate, without the bridge moving all over as you loosen and tighten strings to move saddles or to tune.
Once you have it all dialed and intonated, you loosen the claw, the same amount you tightened it, and confirm your bridge height. Do not re-tune the guitar with the machines, tune it by adjusting the claw.
By the way, when you intonate, check all the notes on each string with your tuner. If the low notes tend to be sharper than higher notes on a particular string, your nut needs attention, and should be re-cut a little deeper, by a pro, so that you don't make a new problem up there.
If the nut is cut right and you have odd notes that are out, what I do is move the saddle a little flat if anything, away from the neck and err in that direction to resolve the problem. Most of us can vary pressure or bend a little, to raise a flat note, it's a lot harder to flat a sharp one on the fly.
This is my way to do it, especially when setting up a new guitar. If you don't hold that bridge height constant, you can really dump a lot of time into a Strat bridge to get it up and working. Make sure you have the strings you love on there, and try to use the same guage and the same brand, with any floater, or you need to re-set, but often it can just be a little tweak to the claw. You'll get it.
05-26-2011, 11:53 PM
Got it! thanks guys!
All it took was some patience and very careful fingers. Thanks for all the advice, she's playing great now!
vBulletin® v3.8.5, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.