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Does my guitar need to be set up... again?

krunk

Member
Messages
17
Hey guys, this is my first post, so sorry if I post this in the wrong place or do something wrong.

Anyway, I recently had my electric guitar (Les Paul Studio) set up about two months ago because of an intonation problem on the second fret of my G and the second and third frets of my B string. After I had the guitar set up, the problem seemed to be fixed. However, about a week later it seemed to me that the problem had come back. Since I had just had my guitar set up, I thought I was just hearing it wrong or something. So for a while I just put up with it. Last week I had my weekly guitar lesson and my guitar teacher mentioned something, and said that the tuning sounded wrong. So I tuned up and then tried it again and low and behold, the intonation sounded wrong. Now I know that I am not hearing it wrong. Do you guys know what the problem could be? I just had my guitar set up, so the intonation should be perfect, right?

By the way, my band and I am scheduled to record in the studio June 1st, so I really want to have this problem fixed by then.

Thanks for any help or advice you can give me! :D
 

examiner

Member
Messages
157
Lots of things can cause intonation problems (weather related changes to the neck, new strings, etc.). Adjusting intonation on a LP is a pretty simple screwdriver/tuner job...have you tried that?

Is it intonated good up around the 12th fret or just on the lower frets? If the whole string is off, adjust the saddles (towards the neck if flat, away from the neck if sharp). If it's just a problem on open chord shapes, it may indicate a nut problem (hows the action near the nut?) or possibly a fret crowning problem.
 

doublee

Member
Messages
4,434
Thats the reason all guitar players should learn basic set up so you can do it whenever needed and not have to call $omebody and wait...
 

krunk

Member
Messages
17
Lots of things can cause intonation problems (weather related changes to the neck, new strings, etc.). Adjusting intonation on a LP is a pretty simple screwdriver/tuner job...have you tried that?

Is it intonated good up around the 12th fret or just on the lower frets? If the whole string is off, adjust the saddles (towards the neck if flat, away from the neck if sharp). If it's just a problem on open chord shapes, it may indicate a nut problem (hows the action near the nut?) or possibly a fret crowning problem.
The intonation is fine at the 12th fret. And yes, I only have problems with open chord shapes. How would I test the action near the nut? What do you mean by that? And what is fret crowning? Thanks for your help!
 

Rosewood

Member
Messages
1,862
I think examiner is talking about the nut slots, either not cut correctly, strings binding in the slots, strings not contacting the front edge of the nut, etc. If you noticed a change since the setup let the tech take another look. If a setup is done properly it should last a good while with only minor truss rod adjustments to keep it dialed in.
 

examiner

Member
Messages
157
Here's a good explanation of how to check your action at the nut
http://www.frets.com/FRETSpages/Musician/GenSetup/NutAction/nutaction.html

Here's a good thread discussing somebody else's similar problem:
http://www.tdpri.com/forum/archive/index.php/t-149818.html

Fret crowning is the final step of filing a thin "point" (for lack of a better word) on the top of your frets to ensure each string contacts each fret in the proper position. If your frets are really flat and not properly crowned, sometimes this can cause intonation problems.

Ultimately, it may just be that you have good ears and what you are hearing is one of the many intonation compromises that must be made with an electric guitar neck. What I mean by that is no guitar neck is going to be spot on intonated from the nut to the last fret. Physically impossible.
 

krunk

Member
Messages
17
I am a classically trained pianist and have been playing for seven years, so it most likely could just be my ears. However, my guitar teacher could tell a difference in the intonation, so I don't think that is the problem.

I checked the action at the nut, and it seems to be a little high, but okay. Would that change anything? I have only been playing electric guitar for about seven or eight months, so could it be that I am pressing too hard on the string which causes the pitch to change?
 
Messages
704
Try not to press down too hard. I've heard guys do this a zillion times. The intonation could be right but pressing down too hard and causing it to go sharp could be the culprit. You need just enough pressure to sound the note and no more



plexi
 

krunk

Member
Messages
17
Yeah I try to do that, but it seems like I have to barely press down. Could it be a combination of both? Could it be that a fret is to high or something so it is more sensitive to pressure? If I play the same thing on my friend's guitar, it sounds fine...
 

examiner

Member
Messages
157
Could it be that a fret is to high or something so it is more sensitive to pressure? ..
unlikely...a high fret would most likely give you fret buzz which would drive you crazier than an intonation problem. (unless it's the first fret and your nut is cut high)

Everybody's trying to save money these days, but it may just be best at this point to take it to a good tech......play it for him and let him hear what you are hearing. Your playing style and fretting pressure will impact intonation, so that's why I really recommend playing for him (if it's only a few open chords). A good tech will setup a guitar according to your playing style.

A guitar that's no fun to play is a guitar that ends up under the bed. Hopefully you can get it sorted out, good luck!
 




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