Intonation issue

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by RMisener, Jan 10, 2019.

  1. RMisener

    RMisener Member

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    I am trying to intonate a Faber compensated hard tail bridge. I have put a fresh set of strings on and have stretched them. The neck is set up correctly and the action is adjusted. The bridge is as far forward as it can go on the studs. Currently it is flat at the 12th fret when fretted in the playing position. The open and 12th fret harmonic are in tune. As stated, I cannot move the bridge any further forward to correct the intonation. What can I do to adjust the bridge properly? I have the exact same bridge on the exact same model guitar and it is perfectly intonated.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
  2. EdFarmer

    EdFarmer Silver Supporting Member

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    What guitar? Is it the original bridge?
     
  3. RMisener

    RMisener Member

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    Corsa Little Dog. Les Paul Junior type of guitar. Original bridge.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
  4. testing1two

    testing1two Gold Supporting Member

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    First, make sure the bridge isn't tilting forward under string tension. Next, get a measuring tape and measure from the 12th fret to the point where the high E string touches the bridge. That should be almost exactly 12 3/8". If it's way off in either direction the intonation readings will be false. Once that distance is adjusted correctly check the intonation again and don't rule out the possibility of a bad string.
     
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  5. RMisener

    RMisener Member

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    If the bridge were leaning forward, wouldn't it be sharp?
     
  6. testing1two

    testing1two Gold Supporting Member

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    It depends. If the bridge is leaning forward significantly your scale length will be off and your intonation will be far enough out of range that your tuner won't show it as just "a little sharp/a little flat."

    To find out if your bridge can tilt, slack all the strings and see if the bridge is sitting securely in the stud slots or if it can rock up and down. This loose fit can happen when you use an aftermarket bridge with stock studs or vice-versa. Ideally there should be little or no play at all with just enough clearance for the bridge to slide into the stud slots. There are also locking stud systems that solve this (see Faber Wrap-Lock or the Schroeder Locking Studs).
     
  7. Mike9

    Mike9 Supporting Member

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    For wrap tails I cut the ball ends of old strings off and string through those. It backs the strings windings away from the tailpiece.
     
  8. RMisener

    RMisener Member

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    Bridge is tight in the posts and not leaning forward. Measutes 12 3/8ths from 12th fret to where the High E touches the bridge.
     
  9. B. Howard

    B. Howard Silver Supporting Member

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    What strings? Where did you get them? I have seen Chinese knock off D'addario strings that would not intonate for anything....

    I also find some of these comped wrap arounds to have distinct preferences for string gauges. so my first suggestion is try a different gauge string.
     
  10. RMisener

    RMisener Member

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    Dunlop Rev Willy Nickle strings. 7 guage. Same as on my other Corsa Little Dog. Both sets of strings are fron the same caseof strings
     
  11. EdFarmer

    EdFarmer Silver Supporting Member

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    It looks like the tops of the bridge are flat . . . I can't tell if they are slotted. Make sure that none of the strings are only contacting the bridge on the back side of the flat. This could be caused by the break angle of the string or the amount of "overwrap" used to attach the ball end. The solution, if you haven't, may be to properly slot the bridge.
     
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  12. ahhlou

    ahhlou Member

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    Wow. Those are light strings. If you are confident that there is no slack in the posts, and that the nut is cut correctly, I would take a dremel and grind away some material from the inside of each side of the bridge allowing it to move forward. This would only work if you are only slightly flat. I would suspect the bridge was never designed for 7's...
     
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  13. burningyen

    burningyen Vendor

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    This.
     
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  14. RMisener

    RMisener Member

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    I have the exact bridge on my other Little Dog and use the same strings on that with perfect intonation. I also had a Corsa Fury, again with the same bridge and string gauge, that intonated perfectly as well. Will try to adjust the break angle of the strings tonight.
     
  15. RMisener

    RMisener Member

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    Good enough for Billy Gibbons, good enough for me! LOL

    I have arthritis in my hands. I can play all day without any pain on them.
     
  16. B. Howard

    B. Howard Silver Supporting Member

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    7's are too light for one of those bridges.... Not gonna get much lighter than 9's to intonate proper. That's the problem with the pre intonated bridge designs......
     
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  17. RMisener

    RMisener Member

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    Yet I have 2 others that are intonated.
     
  18. EdFarmer

    EdFarmer Silver Supporting Member

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    That doesn't mean that this will intonate. Small differences get magnified when you have a non adjustable bridge. The studs could be a tiny bit off. The machining of the bridge could be little off. Both? Small errors add up.

    Have you been checking the suggestions that others have made? It doesn't really help resolve the problem with this guitar to keep telling us that you have another that works.
     
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  19. KGWagner

    KGWagner Member

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    I'll pile on for the "spiderwebs won't intonate" POV. Those fixed/compensated bridges/tailpiece units are designed to satisfy the majority of applications they'll see at least close enough to be practical. They're not ideal, but that's the price you pay for simplicity. Stringing up with 7s is outside the majority.
     
  20. testing1two

    testing1two Gold Supporting Member

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    I would at least try a new set of strings to rule that out. There's one other thing that can throw off intonation readings: magnetic string pull from the pickup poles being too close to the strings. Try lowering it and re-checking the intonation to see if it has any effect. Other than that you may want to look into a tailpiece with adjustable saddles (Schaller, Schroeder, etc. I've installed both and I think I like the Schroeder slightly better, if for no other reason than the shape).
     
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