Intonation & the G-String

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by Gearhead, May 11, 2005.

  1. Gearhead

    Gearhead Member

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    Heh all,

    The intonation on the G string has always driven me a bit batty, but I got a Heritage 2 months ago that is a bit whacky. I can intonate it open and 12th, but then the Ab and A are WAY low. So much so that I can hardly stand playing any open chord with the G ringing (such as C) and a D using the same intonation.

    What gives? Any ideas?
     
  2. The_Whale

    The_Whale Member

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    I'd guess something is fishy with the nut.
     
  3. justonwo

    justonwo Member

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    Hmmm . . . I would have guessed that the nut slot was cut too high, but that would cause the first couple of frets to go sharp. I assume by "way low" you mean flat? If your neck is adjusted with a lot of relief, and the nut's cut too LOW, then it's possible for those lower frets to go flat. In any event, I would check the nut first.
     
  4. Gearhead

    Gearhead Member

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    DOH! I read what you said, checked it out, and I meant to say way high (meaning sharp). As I fret it higher up, it get's less and less high, until at the 12th fret it's spot on.

    The nut was not cut deep enough? What would be the best way to deepen the cut?
     
  5. The_Whale

    The_Whale Member

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    Oh it's sharp!

    Have you made sure that it just isn't a bad string?

    Also, you don't need to set the intonation at the 12th fret, why not experiment with setting the intonation at a lower fret?

    I like to cut the nut with a string. I "saw" the nut with a string, however "real" nut files exist to do the job properly.

    make sure that the slot rises, the highest part of the slot should face the fretboard, you want to make sure that the string vibrates from the edge of the nut.
     
  6. justonwo

    justonwo Member

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    I'd recommend taking it to a luthier. It's a simple job for them to do. If the lower notes are sharp, the nut slot is most definitely too high.
     
  7. Gearhead

    Gearhead Member

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    Now that I know, I did think about a luthier, but all the good ones around here are backed up by weeks. So I gave whale's suggestion a try.

    It works! Took it slow and careful, and it's still a bit too high, but is more manageable. Will give it a final go when I get enough gumption to finish it off.

    Have actually had similar probs with other guitars on the exact same string, but just lived with it. Would tune it so the open was a tad flat so and open D was only a week sharp. Now I know what to do!


    Thanks!
     
  8. Helix

    Helix Member

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    When you talk to the luther ask him what he thinks of earvana nuts. From what I've heard (mostly from earvana, so...) that all 'normal' nuts go flat or sharp going up and down the fret board by at least a few cents, and earvana dosen't claim to fix it, but they say their nuts make it alot less.
     

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