Minging intonation

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by timmyh, Sep 29, 2004.


  1. timmyh

    timmyh Guest

    This may be a stupid question, but as I have no idea what i'm doing bear with me...

    The intonation on my strat is pretty nasty, but its a bit random, and i was just wonderin how to sort it out. I could just get it done by a repairer but i have no money... anyway forgive me if i appear stupid. thanx.
     
  2. Hey timmy :D!! Its Doogz, im sitting next to you in economics right now, good lesson :D. Chrissy P says hi!! Anyway, could it be to do with your truss rod?? Im sure many future posters wil be able to sort this lil prob out and correct me (cus im blatantly wrong!!)

    Peace out,
    Doogz
     
  3. Clorenzo

    Clorenzo Member

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    Adjusting intonation is dead easy, all you need is a tuner and a screwdriver. Make sure the action and relief are adjusted to your liking. Tune all strings to pitch. For each string, do the following:

    1 - Play open to make sure it's in tune. If not, adjust.
    2 - Play fretted on the 12th fret. Fret carefully, i.e. without bending at the same time.
    3 - If sharp, adjust the saddle further away from the neck (turn screw clockwise), if flat, closer to the neck (turn screw anti-clockwise). Unless it's really off, don't do more than a couple of turns of the screw at a time.
    4 - This will make the string go out of tune, so re-tune and goto 2 until it's in tune when fretted at the 12th fret.
     
  4. spaceboy

    spaceboy Member

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    oh yeh, this reminds me, what do you do if your 12th fret harmonic is out of tune with the open string?
     
  5. Mark Robinson

    Mark Robinson Member

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    Lower the pickups, change the strings.
     
  6. Ok, heres a reply for tim (i bet he forgets to check tonight). He recently changed his strings so i doubt its that (or pickup height). Cheers for the responses; i think Clorenzo hit the nail on the head as to speak. Ill pass this info on to tim!!

    Doogz
     
  7. timmyh

    timmyh Guest

    ta guys....especially doogz...
     
  8. mc5nrg

    mc5nrg Supporting Member

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    Typical Fender type single coil pickups usually have a narrowly focused magnetic field that can pull on the strings,with the thicker strings being affected by the middle and neck pickups.This effect is commonly called "stratitis" and shows up as weird warbles,wolftones and poor intonation since the string's vibration isn't true.Its not uncommon for the bass sides of the middle and neck pickups to be fairly low,with the bass pickup anhled even lower than the middle on a properly adjusted strat.Certain pickups like Lace Sensors and EMGs don't have this string pull effect but many SC pickups do.
     
  9. Cheers for that. The pickups are humbuckers on tims guitar!!

    Doogz
     
  10. alderbody

    alderbody Member

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    If your setup is messed up you can bring it back to it's original setting using your guitar's scale length.

    What i mean is:

    First, you have to measure the distance between the edge of your nut (the one towards the frets) and the crown of the 12th fret.

    This distance should be equal with the one between the crown of the 12th fret and the point where the 1st string (thin E) touches the saddle.(the point it starts its vibration)

    After adjusting this, check if it is correct by measuring the distance between the edge of the nut and the point on the saddle i wrote before. It should be twice the distance you measured in the first step.

    After finding your guitar's scale length, you can adjust the second saddle (B string) according to the gauge of your strings.
    If your B string is a .013" you should adjust the saddle .013"
    behind the E string's saddle.

    Proportionally, adjust the G string's saddle.

    D string's saddle should have the same distance as the B string.

    And then with the same manner adjust the A and E saddles.

    That's the basic setup.

    After all this is done, then you can fine-tune your intonation using the tuner and comparing the 12th fret "harmonics" with the open notes, always keeping your strings in tune.

    It's useless to mention that this is better to be done with a fresh set of strings and is for Strat type bridges.

    Good luck!
     
  11. spaceboy

    spaceboy Member

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    ... why so?

    nice explanation btw. never knew that one.
     
  12. alderbody

    alderbody Member

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    Older strings gradually lose their mechanical characteristics, therefore the way they vibrate may change.

    This may also be because of dirt and oxidation of the string.

    So it is suggested that every time you change your strings to check on your intonation, cause not every string is the same even if they might be of the same brand, model, gauge.
    Saddles also move slightly with time and use...

    Besides, when the time comes to adjust, you'll be needing something to measure the offset from saddle to saddle.
    Unless you can find a ruler that can indicate a .011" measurement, you need to cut off the spare string to use it as a guide...

    at least that's what i did :rolleyes:
     
  13. alderbody

    alderbody Member

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    I forgot to mention that it is preferred that the saddles should always be parallel to the body.
     
  14. Dave B

    Dave B Exit... Dual Stage Left Silver Supporting Member

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    So what's the tip/trick for a Les Paul style bridge?
     
  15. alderbody

    alderbody Member

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    ...that's something i would also like to know...

    the thing that's bugging me is that the ABR-1 bridge is not parallel to the frets, so i 'm not sure how this method could apply safely.

    i think i'll email Gibson to ask for that.

    sorry, but for the time i cannot help you :(
     
  16. sirN

    sirN Guest

    I do my own intonation. If you plan on doing it yourself, you should look into an accurate tuner. I use a Peterson VS-1. Also, lower the pickups (as mentioned above) so they don't pull on the strings while intonating. It wouldn't hurt to pay a tech to do it the dfirst time for you and maybe if he's nice. he'll show you how while he does it. If it wont intonate, there could be another problem that need adjusting. And for that, I take it to the shop 'cause I don't know much!
     

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