adjusting intonation

Discussion in 'The Custom Shop' started by taypeng, Dec 6, 2007.

  1. taypeng

    taypeng Senior Member

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    i really need help with this...

    i followed instructions i got from the net about adjusting the intonation on a les paul:

    I played the fretted the 12th note and compared with the harmonic note on the 12th.

    The fretted note was higher / sharper than the harmonic so i adjusted the saddle to lengthen the string. Right now my saddle is pushed all the way back but the fretted note is still sharper then the harmonic note??? Strings were new...

    Is there anything else i need to do e.g. adjust saddle or tailpiece height, change string gauge? ( i was using med gauge strings) :confused:

    :confused::confused:
     
  2. WildeStarr

    WildeStarr V.I.P. Member

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    The saddles are usually reversible, so you might have to loosen the screw and flip the saddle around the other way so that the point where the string crosses is a bit farther back. It could also be a bad string. If your action is high at the nut and/or bridge, that can effect the intonation as well.
     
  3. Roman

    Roman Master Luthier V.I.P. V.I.P. Member

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    One thing I have found is that sometimes players overcompensate when fretting the note. Remember, the harder you push down = higher pitch.

    fret the note as you would normally.

    Just an outside chance, but I have seen it happen.

    Roman
     
  4. taypeng

    taypeng Senior Member

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    changed the strings to a lighter gauge. instantly solved my problem. Must have been a bad set of strings...
     
  5. Harpozep

    Harpozep V.I.P. Member

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    When I change to lighter strings, it takes me weeks to readjust. Right now , my Reissue LPs are set up with 10's ,while my G&L and Fender still have 11's. I played with 11' and 12's for my whole life, even had a Les Paul set up with 13-64, so 10's are like butter and my fingers red hot knives.

    Might have to make them all 11's, I'm not old enough to actually need 10's yet but they have some allure, so I have not changed them out.
     
  6. magnido45

    magnido45 Senior Member

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    +1 on lowering the bridge and stoptail...I was too lazy to reverse the saddles and this worked perfectly!!!
     
  7. Cross Roads

    Cross Roads Senior Member

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    Good point, that's why it's recommended that you play the harmonic.
     
  8. taypeng

    taypeng Senior Member

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    haha butter and knives, i like the way you describe it. I was trying to put 12 on the LP when i got the intonation problem. I prefer thicker strings too. The thin ones break too easier, at least thats what i experienced.

    unfortunately, i have to put 10 or 11s on the LP now.
     
  9. drewbertca

    drewbertca V.I.P. Member

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    Personally I can't play a string lighter than an 11....I have a set of flatwound 12s on an old guitar now....I started as a bassist and have crossed over to play both and need the girth....I also almost seem to need the wound 3rd on all my guitars......exceptions of course are my home made cigar box guitar (no truss rod so it gets 9's or 10's) and my arch top 12 string (it gets electric 12-9's but there are 2 strings there lol)...I guess I like to dig in......I've never encountered intonation issues......I do re-adjust it if I don't get my usual strings and it takes a bit but eorth it in the end....
     

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