Likes Likes:  0
Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Intonation, how much movement is required to adjust?

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Posts
    8

    Default Intonation, how much movement is required to adjust?

    I've been looking at Brian May's red special (something of an obsession actually) and something I noticed was the roller bridge, it doesn't use a typical screw adjustment style (which I'd class as analog), instead it has a number of grooves set at fixed intervals where a loose roller can be placed and held in place by the strings (which I'd class almost as digital).

    I don't know the exact dimensions but it looks like a few millimetres between each space. I'm assuming this is sufficient to intonate properly? (because it's Brian May!)

    Is this design adequate? Or do you need the finer adjustments that a screw adjustment would provide to really dial it in?


  2. #2
    Chris JB_From_Hell's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Springfield, Ohio
    Age
    39
    Posts
    18,094

    Default Re: Intonation, how much movement is required to adjust?

    Looks unnecessarily complicated. I’d rather have traditional saddles, but that’ll probably be close enough.

  3. #3
    Ultimate Tone Slacker
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Location
    In a Studio with your Mom
    Posts
    1,933

    Default Re: Intonation, how much movement is required to adjust?

    Good enough for Brian May's recorded tracks? I'd say you're good.
    “For me, when everything goes wrong – that’s when adventure starts.” Yvonne Chouinard

  4. #4
    tonewood instigator
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Richmond, Virginia
    Posts
    5,323

    Default Re: Intonation, how much movement is required to adjust?

    The dude built his bridge out of parts from a motorcycle. Sufficient to say, the finer aspects of the design had some issues to them. Unless you want a 1:1 replica, I recommend getting a better design. But if you do want a 1:1 replica, that setup looks to have more than enough room to intonate with a reasonable set of strings. It will be a pain to setup, but if it's worth it to you it shouldn't be too much of an issue.
    Like the fool I am and I'll always be
    I've got a dream, I've got a dream
    They can change their minds but they can't change me
    I've got a dream, I've got a dream
    Oh, I know I could share it if you'd want me to
    If you're goin' my way, I'll go with you

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Intonation, how much movement is required to adjust?

    Quote Originally Posted by NegativeEase View Post
    Good enough for Brian May's recorded tracks? I'd say you're good.
    I'd tend to agree but for all I know it's some quirk of how the guitar was built that means that it works, as he did build it himself. Could have intonated before drilling the bridge then used the same gauge strings for the next 50 years!

  6. #6
    Mojo's Minions
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    7,591

    Default Re: Intonation, how much movement is required to adjust?

    Well, of course your intonation is always in steps with that setup, so there will be some possible case for a 'slightly flat or slightly sharp' situation. But as that describes all guitars from its invention through to the last one ever made, its unlikely to be a dealbreaker in any case.
    People have recorded quite happily with wrap tailpieces with zero compensation between strings.......I don't hear many complaining about Leslie West's tuning/intonation issues in his history of using a LP Junior.

    If you are making such a clone as to go to that level of accuracy, I'm sure you have the Red Special book. Maybe you could peruse the pages until you get to the pages with pics of closeups of the frets. Looking at what they look like given the fact the guitar has never had any fretwork done in its life.

    Every guitar is a bit different. Brian could have made 2 of them as identical as he could, and found that one worked better than the other with everything else supposedly the same.
    Do you plan to make a dead ringer type clone, or just something that has most of the tonal elements that are important. There are a lot of aftermarket roller bridges with fully adjustable saddles available.
    Last edited by AlexR; 04-19-2019 at 04:23 PM.

  7. #7
    A Ficus ehdwuld's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    South Alabama
    Posts
    9,342

    Default Re: Intonation, how much movement is required to adjust?

    I would prefer one to function properly first
    And tribute a chosen artist second

    Brian would tell you the same
    If he could have done it better, at the time, he would have
    EHD
    Just here surfing Guitar Pron
    RG2EX1 w/ SD hot-rodded pickups / RG4EXFM1 w/ Carvin S22j/b + FVN middle
    SR500 / Martin 000CE-1/Epiphone Hummingbird
    Epiphone Florentine with OEM Probuckers
    Ehdwuld branded Blue semi hollow custom with JB/Jazz
    Reptile Green Gibson Custom Studio / Aqua Dean Shire semi hollow with piezo
    Carvin Belair / Laney GC80A Acoustic Amp (a gift from Guitar Player Mag)
    GNX3000 (yea I'm a modeler)

  8. #8
    of the Forum PFDarkside's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Somewhere around... Chicago!
    Age
    38
    Posts
    16,652

    Default Re: Intonation, how much movement is required to adjust?

    Listening to the latest Chasing Tone podcast (Wampler’s) the guy on the episode (who happens to work for Wampler) played the Red Special. It’s an interesting listen. He was simultaneously taken with both the history (“I can’t believe I’m playing this guitar”) and how poorly it played (“Like a 15 year old built it with his dad”). Kind of funny.
    Oh no.....


    Oh Yeah!

  9. #9
    Mojo's Minions beaubrummels's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    The dude abides
    Age
    53
    Posts
    7,282

    Default Intonation, how much movement is required to adjust?

    I have Gretsches and Gibsons with simple bar bridges and they can be set up to play beautifully in tune. Not absolutely perfect, but you can rock many styles of music, and for any spots on the neck that are slightly out, you apply a little finesse with your fingers to pull things onto pitch. I also have a Hofner where the bridge has 3-4 slots and you move a metal clip onto a row to serve as the saddle. Not perfect but works fine. I think Brian Mays original roller design is plenty sufficient.
    Quote Originally Posted by Demanic
    Incompetence is widespread in a world that rewards mediocrity while punishing excellence.
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarFanatic
    I am currently using Skullcandy headphones I found in the garbage.
    I did find the DS-1 in the garbage.
    I once found a guitar amp in the garbage, a Peavey Studio 110. It caught fire at the first gig I played it at.. But it was at the end of it, thank god.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •