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Thread: Intonation

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    Bee Bee King Rainmaker's Avatar
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    Exclamation Intonation

    GJ mentioned in an earlier thread that problems will occur if your intonation is out.

    So guys, help us out, how do we set out intonation on our guitars without bringing them to a professional?

    Thanks in advance.

    Bee
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    Toneologist bryvincent's Avatar
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    Default Re: Intonation

    hit the harmonic at the 12th fret, hit the open note and the 12th fret note, it should be the same or close. if the harmonic is sharp adjust the saddle towards the neck, if flat, away from the neck. you can do it by ear but its easier with a tuner.

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    Major General GAS aleclee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Intonation

    Note: These instructions indicate use of the fretted note, not the harmonic. IMO, this is the correct approach, not the harmonic.

    http://www.fretnotguitarrepair.com/E...Intonation.htm
    Last edited by aleclee; 11-13-2004 at 07:44 PM.
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    Default Re: Intonation

    This is one of those things that guitarists constantly debate. Personally, I think that comparing the open string with the 12th fret note is the best way to set intonation. Dan Erlewine explains in his book why the harmonic method is less accurate, but I can't remember the reasoning off the top of my head. The important thing is to fret the 12th fret note using the same pressure you'd use while playing normally. If you fret it too hard or too soft, you may not get the intonation set as accurately as possible. Also, make sure to use the best tuner you can get your hands on when setting intonation. Finally, if you really want to play in near-perfect tune anywhere on the fretboard, try an Earvana nut. They really do work.

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    Toneologist bryvincent's Avatar
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    Default Re: Intonation

    why not both -the harmonic and the 12th fret note compared to the open string. i can get pretty close comparing the three.

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    Bee Bee King Rainmaker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Intonation

    Thanks guys! I'm gonna look into a Peterson Strobe tuner now.

    Bee
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    Default Re: Intonation

    Here's a quick runthrough.

    Put on new strings in the gauge you're going to use, stretch them out and tune them where you intend to keep it. Different tunings or gauges will scramble your intonation.

    Using the saddle height allen bolts, adjust your action so the strings follow the natural radius of the neck, or how you prefer your guitar to play. Adjust the trussrod so that when the first fret and 14th are fretted, there's JUST enough space to slide a thin pick in between the string and the 7th fret (low E). Basically straight with just a little relief. Once the guitar is playing exactly how you like it, with the exact amount of curvature to the neck.....Time to intonate.

    Tune all 6 strings.
    Fret the 12th fret low E and see if it reads flat, natural, or sharp.
    If it's sharp, move the saddle away from the neck. If flat, move it toward the neck.
    Retune all 6 strings and move to the A, then D,G,B,E
    After all the notes are dead center on the tuner between the open and 12th fretted,
    move to the intonation 'fine tuning'.
    Tune all 6 strings, then do the same intonation inspection on ALL the fretted notes from about the 10th fret up to the 20th. Try your hardest to get all those notes to read dead center on your tuner. Anytime you make an adjustment with your screwdriver, retune that string. By the time you're done, all the open notes and the majority of the notes above the 12th fret should be dead on.
    After this intonation job, if any of the notes around the 1st or 2nd fret are bending sharp when fretting open chords, it's possible that your nut is not cut low enough.
    This is a nagging headache to ANY guitar player. Unless you have proper files, it's best to pay a tech around $20 to reslot your nut. If you use any gauge above 10 on a stock guitar, this is mandatory, since fatter strings don't sit in the slot without binding. Essentially, your strings should be about a millimeter above the 1st fret.

    On Floyds, intonation is trickier. First, you're dealing with the saddles being held by allen bolts, instead of the easier strat style bridge. You've got to get the Floyd baseplate flush with the body, so that at normal tuning it doesn't tilt forward.
    Do that by tightening the 2 spring claw bolts on the back of the guitar.
    When the trussrod and action are adjusted the way you like it, follow the same intonation rules above, only you'll have to loosen the saddle bolts and nudge them a little at a time till they're set right.

    Keep in mind, if you change string gauge or use alternate tunings, including dropped D, your intonation will be off during that time. If you return to your normal string gauge or tune back to normal, your intonation will be fine again. Once the guitar has been intonated, LEAVE THE HEIGHT AND TRUSS ROD ALONE. If you move ANY bolt, allenbolt, or screw on the bridge, you'll have to recheck your intonation again.
    Last edited by Gearjoneser; 11-13-2004 at 11:11 PM.
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    Bee Bee King Rainmaker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Intonation

    Very informative GJ. Thanks.

    Bee
    Quote Originally Posted by Kanye West
    Welcome to the real world. Everybody wanna booooo me but I'm a fan of real pop culture!!! No disrespect but we watchin' the show at the crib right now cause...well you know...I'm not crazy y'all, I'm just real.

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    Baron Von Shred Zerberus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Intonation

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJohn
    Without having the article in front of me I'm going to hazard that it is because in standard tuning the guitar isn't tempered to itself.
    This is what the Earvana and the Feiten system is set to fix,(IMO the Feiten is far more accurate,but I'm biased).....
    Cant remember the article, but IMO this is the reason the harmonics shouldnt be used.

    Only one thing to add (although I may have misunderstood it): 1 MM height off the first fret is Ultrahigh (1/25"), my action at the 12th fret is barely higher than that

    I test the height by depressing the string at the third fret, and the space between the 1st fret and the string should be no more than a business card, but also not significantly less.

    Other than that between JJ and GJ efverything important has been said
    Last edited by Zerberus; 11-14-2004 at 07:06 AM.
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    Goliath of Tone Davey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Intonation

    i'm not playing guitar again

    seriously.. this scares the crap out of me >.<

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    Goliath of Tone Davey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Intonation

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJohn
    lol
    i'm dead serious.. if GJ or zerb took my guitar they'd probably cringe in terror and start twitching in agony asking themselves how i could play on such sloppy set up guitar at all =P

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    Baron Von Shred Zerberus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Intonation

    Quote Originally Posted by Davey
    i'm dead serious.. if GJ or zerb took my guitar they'd probably cringe in terror and start twitching in agony asking themselves how i could play on such sloppy set up guitar at all =P
    Come by, and well see what I can do

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