Intonation Issue

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by guitarman1956, Feb 25, 2008.

  1. guitarman1956

    guitarman1956 Supporting Member

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    Put a new neck on my 97 Fender Lonestar. I'm having a devil of a time getting it to intonate. No matter where I move the saddles, the tuner always reads sharp. Any ideas on what I can try next? Here'z what I've done:

    Proper neck relief
    moved saddles all the way forward and back very slowly
    adjustment of the claw to insure the bridge is level to the guitar surface
     
  2. Chiba

    Chiba Gold Supporting Member

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    Sounds like the neck is the wrong length for the body to me.

    OR you're simply doing something wrong. Can you describe how you're setting the intonation??

    --chiba
     
  3. guitarman1956

    guitarman1956 Supporting Member

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    911
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    Sure: First, the neck is a official Fender liscensed neck. My procedure is:

    tune the string
    harmonic at the 12th fret, to tune
    press the string at the 12th (always sharp)
     
  4. Hargrett

    Hargrett Member

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    Hi, Guitarman1956- I'm new here, so please pardon the edits and all! Here's another possible cause of your guitar's sharpness: If the strings don't leave at the very front edge of the nut, the intonation will likely be sharp. Maybe check the nut slots to be sure they're angled correctly and that the string leaves the nut at the front edge... I do this by marking the bottom of a slot with pencil lead so I can see where I'm cutting, then run a nut file lightly through the slot, angled slightly back toward the headstock... I want to end up with all the lead removed except for the tiniest bit at the very front (fretboard) edge of the nut.
    It's real easy to go too far and have to replace the nut, so if you're not absolutely sure of what you're doing, don't file on your guitar... take it to a luthier (and I'm no luthier). Hope this helps.
     
  5. Hargrett

    Hargrett Member

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    Another thought... maybe a pickup is too close to the strings and a "wolf tone" is driving your tuner crazy? Just a wild guess!
     
  6. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    Good suggestions all around.

    I agree - lower the pickups, check the nut slots to see where the strings sit in the slots; as Hargrett wrote, the strings have to sit cleanly on the front edge of the nut.

    Also check the action at the nut. All that said, from your description it sounds like the scale length is off somehow. What brand strings? Some folks have intonation issues with the DR round core strings ...

    Around how sharp is it? If there's nothing obvious, it's time to visit your local tech and ask 'em what they think.

    Good Luck, Dana O.
     
  7. guitarman1956

    guitarman1956 Supporting Member

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    911
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    Location:
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    Hey everybody: I just visited my local luthier. He has determined the neck needs to be moved away (make it longer) from the guitar. His answer is to put an 1/8 inch shimmy (maple) in the heal to extend the neck by 1/8".
     
  8. NoahL

    NoahL Member

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    my question is, why is the neck too short to begin with? is it a manufacturer's error? who'd you get it from?
     
  9. Chiba

    Chiba Gold Supporting Member

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    1/8" could just be aggressive sanding. Sounds like your tech figured it out.

    (Though... really... I did first :))

    --chiba
     

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