Help me with my G string!

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by jakestyle, Mar 28, 2015.

  1. jakestyle

    jakestyle Member

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    Hey guys, I'm having a hell of a time with one of my guitars (an LTD EC-400VF, a Les Paul-style guitar). My G string goes incredibly sharp when I fret it, and I've checked the intonation, and it's spot on at the 12th fret. Am I missing something? The guitar has large frets, but I play with a fairly light touch, and it's only the G string that's the real problem, all the other strings don't have this issue.
     
  2. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    Hey Jake -

    The G string nut slot is probably too high - that throws the intonation off all the way to the 12th fret and beyond.

    Try this: Fret the G string on the 3rd fret - a Bb. Then tap the string down between the nut and the 3rd fret while looking at the string's clearance over the 1st fret. The space you can see between the bottom of the G string and the top of the 1st fret should be so small that you can barely see a space at all. If you can see a distinct space, the nut slot is too high.

    It's a couple minute job for a good tech to fix - go see your tech (GRIN).

    Hope this helps, Dana O.
     
  3. Steve Foley

    Steve Foley Member

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    Just curious, what measurements do you all find work best, between 1st fret to bottom of strings? I'm usually around .009 or .010 on the high e, progressing to around .016 or .019 on the low e. With some guitars, this can get a little touchy, to keep out of the buzzing zone.

    What say you?
     
  4. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Member

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    I had the exact same problem with a "needs work" guitar I bought on eBay recently. It took filing the nut slot down a bit to correct it.
     
  5. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    Hey Steve -

    On nut slot depth I'm not much of a measuring guy - maybe Walter or David Collins or John or Boris or one of the other pros will chip in here. I do it by eye, the way I described it in post #2 above.

    I agree that the big strings need a tiny bit more clearance. Theoretically the clearance over the next fret should gradually increase as you move up the neck, but I generally go for as low as possible with the string still ringing clean at the nut.

    That said, the lower you can get the slots the better the intonation through the entire neck.

    Thanks, Dana O.
     
  6. Steve Foley

    Steve Foley Member

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    Dana Olsen,
    Agreed - the lower the better for intonation. No matter what the measurements, I always go back to the fret the third, observe the first technique.

    I just always seem to take it one micro millimeter too far :eek:. I've done tons of nuts, mostly with good success - just trying to capitalize on the findings of others, to avoid having to "redo". I'm a "bigger, better, faster" guy.... if good is good, what can I do to make it just a little better... often to my detriment :(.
     
  7. swiveltung

    swiveltung Member

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    I'm usually less than .005 on the high E and maybe .010/.015 on the low E. This is with the string fretted at the 3rd fret and measured at the 1st fret.
     

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