Intonating a floating bridge

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by shuffle, Sep 22, 2005.


  1. shuffle

    shuffle Member

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    Hi There~

    I got a new hollow body guitar and silly old me took off all the strings at once and realised the floating bridge.

    I put it all back together and tried my best to measure the distance between the nut + 12th fret : and the 12th fret + bridge. i also adjusted the saddles as i put a different gauge on and i got the 12th fret harmonics equalling th 12th fret.

    Although it sounds fine on the 12th fret -its terrible in other places especially on the first 5 frets.

    How do fix this??? Im stuck...

    and what should be the first steps taken in the future.
     
  2. 6789

    6789 Member

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    Next time tape the bridge in place before removing the strings.
    to intonate it use a guitar tuner (I recommend peterson strobostomp) - tune the low E Open. then press the 12th fret on the low E - if it's not exactly in tune like when it's unfretted, you need to nudge the bridge forward or backwards to get it closer. if the fretted note is sharp, move the bridge back. If the fretted note is flat, move the bridge forward.
    then check the high e string and adjust the position of that end of the bridge being careful not to move the low E bridge position out of place.
    usually the low E end of the bridge is set a little back and the high e end is a little forward.
    after you get used to doing this, it can be done in a few minutes.
     
  3. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    The nut is too high.

    If you don't have the experience to cut the grooves accurately, I'd suggest a pro set-up - this time at least - you can learn to set the bridge position and even adjust the truss-rod yourself; these are things where if you adjust it wrong you can just go back and do it again until it's right - nut work is a bit more tricky and if you get it wrong you'll need a new nut. But once it's done it's done, so it shouldn't cost you more than once.
     
  4. pedalpat

    pedalpat Guest

    +1,

    THE high nut is causing the strings to be streched too much in the first few frets.

    if your going w/ a heavier gauge usually you pull the saddles back (away from the nut)

    edited for bad spelling - whew.
     
  5. shuffle

    shuffle Member

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    Thanks everyone for your replies - All is very helpful.

    The nut is the bit at the neck end of your guitar right?? When you say the nut is 'too high' what does that mean - that the bit is too high from the fret board??

    And 'pulling the saddles back (away) from the nut' - What does that exactly involve - like moving them backwards away from the neck??

    Thanks heaps!
     
  6. 6789

    6789 Member

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    the nut is the piece with the groves that the strings run through up near the tuning peghead. I think saddles is another word refering to your floating bridge. moving back means sliding in away from the nut/fretboard. you'll have to loosen up your strings a bit to move the bridge back and forth. -- loosen, move the bridge, tune up, check intonation with tuner, repeat till it's as close as you can get it. with a floating bridge just get the two E string to intonate and don't worry about not making the other strings perfect. I'm assuming you have a wooden non adjustable bridge. if you have an adjustable bridge you can set the intonation for each string.
     
  7. shuffle

    shuffle Member

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    I have an adjustable bridge - single saddles for each string which can be moved - and the WHOLE bridge itself can also be moved.

    What im thinking is -

    1) Dont take off all strings at once ;D
    2) If the intonation needs fixing - Get the Low and High E strings correct by adjusted the Bridge - (Not Saddles) then from there go on to fix each saddle individually if need be??

    Would this be the best thing to try and do?

    Thanks!~
     

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