Intonation issues..help please

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by krog, Jul 13, 2008.

  1. krog

    krog Member

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    Greetings, I cannot seem to get my low E and G strings to intonate properly on my mid '70's Gretsch Broadkaster semi-hollow six string guitar. I have already swapped bridges (tune-o-matic), lowered the pickups, changed saddles, changed strings, etc. It has a zero fret so I assume I can eliminate a nut problem (correct me if I'm wrong). Neck relief is flat with no buzzes, and string height is within specs. The saddles are all maxed out to the bottom and the E and G strings are still sharp. I have setup guitars for years with satisfactory results but this thing has me frustrated. Any ideas? Thank you.
     
  2. Mark Robinson

    Mark Robinson Member

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    Is the bridge set directly into the body on studs? If it's on a wooden saddle, can you slack the strings and scoot the base away from the nut? If the bridge is on studs, look in Stewmac, they've got some roller type tuneamatic sort of similar units with elongated stud holes, which might do it. I have one on a Les Paul and you can position it via a pair of opposing set screws which bite the stud. Works really well.
     
  3. krog

    krog Member

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    The bridge is mounted on studs.....what would initially cause this condition? I'll check out Stewmac. Thanks for the tip
     
  4. Rosewood

    Rosewood Member

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    Try fretting at the 2nd or 3rd fret and checking at the 14th or 15th fret and see if you have the same problem. What kind of strings are you using.
     
  5. bluesjunior

    bluesjunior Member

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    You haven't got a flat spot on your zero fret have you?.
     
  6. krog

    krog Member

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    I appreciate you helping me trouble shoot this problem. Here is what I have found in regards to your questions:
    The tuning is "off" all the way up the neck on said strings, and is worse further up the neck. I checked the zero fret and it seems ok. I do have some wear on my frets though, could this be contributing? I use D'Addario 10's. Thanks.
     
  7. Guinness Lad

    Guinness Lad Silver Supporting Member

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    Intonate the guitar so it plays in tune when playing 5ths. For example, A - 6th string, E - 5th string. This should be in tune two ways, by playing the 5th fret (A 6th string) to an open A and by the (non-beating) of a 5th interval when playing the fretted A (6th string) against a fretted E (5th string) on the 7th fret.

    Once these line up, then tune the D string so the 2nd fret note E is in tune with the fretted A on the 6th string. Follow this process up all the strings. If you get the close by ear the guitar will sound good. You don't need a tuner for intonating guitars, using a tuner will drive you nuts as it's more of a feel, sound, sweetness thing then a technical science.
     
  8. krog

    krog Member

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    I tried your technique harryjmic...and it sounds pretty darn close all over the neck, even playing octaves above the 12th fret! I don't quite understand why it seems to work but I guess that's a mute point. I thank you for the tip, I truly appreciate your input.
     
  9. Guinness Lad

    Guinness Lad Silver Supporting Member

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    I don't know why it works either but believe me I've almost been commited trying to do the 12th fret method.
     
  10. GuitslingerTim

    GuitslingerTim Member

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    How is it possible to intonate the 6th string by comparing a fretted note on it to a fretted note on the 5th string, without intonating the 5th string first? The bottom line is, at least one string has to be intonated by fretting a note on it soley, then the process of comparison can begin.
     
  11. Guinness Lad

    Guinness Lad Silver Supporting Member

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    You are correct, I forgot to say this.
     

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