Intonation Issue

Discussion in 'The Small Company Luthiers' started by guitarman1956, Feb 25, 2008.

  1. guitarman1956

    guitarman1956 Supporting Member

    Aug 29, 2005
    Northern Virginia
    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. guitarman_1

    guitarman_1 Silver Supporting Member

    Dec 18, 2002
    Central, Fl
    One thing that may seem trivial, but is the new neck 25.5 inch scale too, or is it a different scale.Could be 25.0 or 24.75.
  3. dankayaker

    dankayaker Supporting Member

    Oct 24, 2003
    Blacksburg VA
    1. Scale length correct ?
    2. Nut cut properly ?
    3. Tuner working ?
    4. DR strings ?
    5. Are strings fretting out ?
  4. Guinness Lad

    Guinness Lad Silver Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2004
    On top a mountain of Chocolate Chips
    A couple things to check:

    1. Nut slots are too high, this will make all the lower fretted notes sharp.
    2. Too much relief, I use less relief now as it seems I get better results intonating the guitar.

    Here's what I do to intonate my guitars.

    1. Set the A string so it measures in tune all along the neck. I use this for my reference for all the other strings, the point is you tune guitars to be in tune with themselves not to be calibrated to each string from an outside source. Until you get past this point your results will always be less then they could be.

    2. Use my A reference by hitting a harmonic on the 12th fret and comparing this to the fretted D string at the 7th fret. The D string should be tuned to pitch using a tuner prior to doing this. The fretted note will either be sharp or flat, adjust the saddle so when this note is fretted it is the same pitch. You can then double check by playing an open D and playing the A string at the 5th fret. If you did it right both strings should be in tune to each other regardless of how you play them.

    3. Do this on all the strings, follow the same idea and double check like stated earlier. If you have any more questions let me know.
  5. plord

    plord Member

    Nov 2, 2007
    Charlotte, VT
    'Splain? How do DR strings affect intonation?

  6. angelo

    angelo Member

    Feb 8, 2002
    far west chicago
    Boy, with a production strat, saddles all the way back should not be sharp.

    Maybe check or get a different tuner?????

    If I can get the open dead on and the 12th fret moving just a touch to the sharp, I am happy (for some reason I like it that way).

    I obviously don't have an answer for you. I guess I am confirming your suspicions that this is a problem. Sorry I can't be of more help....
  7. tmgcustom

    tmgcustom Member

    May 22, 2007
    Try checking your pickup height. If any of them are too close to the strings, it can pull the note sharp. Hope this helps.

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