Did my First Intonation Job Today..

Discussion in 'Gibson Les Pauls' started by frozenotter, Jan 3, 2018.

  1. frozenotter

    frozenotter Dumbed-Down Premium Member

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    I don't know if a lot of you pay to have this done but I took a shot at mine (because it was so out) on my custom. It come out fantastic. Not sure is this is the formal rout but I'll use the low E and A for example to set the low E string....

    1) Tune the E and the A in basic standard tuning.
    2) Check the tuning again at the 17th fret on the E string (High A) .. if it's out adjust the intonation on the for the low E string a bit. (higher or lower depends on your situation.)
    3) This will slightly knock out your base tuning so go back to step 1 then repeat 1 and 2.
    4) Eventually you will get the high A on the E to match the A string.
    5) When you are finished the standard tuning should be correct at the 5th fret (A ...as in standard tuning) and at the 17th fret (the high A) on the E string.
    6) Repeat for the rest of the strings.

    What ever is right or wrong this worked like a charm for me. :)

    Happy "intonation'ing"
     
  2. bungle

    bungle Premium Member

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    This goes with the setting up your own guitar thread is rewarding. Not rocket science and you don't have to deal with anyone.
     
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  3. Christosterone

    Christosterone Premium Member

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  4. scozz

    scozz Senior Member

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    I just set it with the open string, (or harmonic at the 12th fret), with the string fretted at the 12th fret. Do this for each string.
     
  5. DarrellV

    DarrellV About as sharp as a bowlin' ball! -NPM Premium Member

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    Shoot! Ya'll don't even WANT to know what I go though with my setups, :eek2: but yeah OP, there is much to be said for knowing how to do it yourself.:thumb:

    Your position included. If you can hear it take a shot at it.

    If you make it worse, go back the other way.

    For me just hearing it while playing drives me right up the wall. I have to stop and tweak. This can go on for weeks....months...... years?:confused:

    I start with the basic open tune and fret on 12... but it is rarely enough to make my ears happy.

    So I also chromatic tune all over the fret board to get best results across the entire fret board, not just the 12th fret.

    The best definition I have heard about intoning is described as getting the instrument in tune with itself as much as physically possible.

    So after the above steps I intone using chord patterns up and down the neck to listen for the dissonance within the chord.

    You can call me nuts, but I have found notes within a chord, not the root, being off and it was actually the root note string that was causing the beat. Altering the saddle on the tonic cleaned up the chord... but now you are back to re setting the OTHER strings that were affected by the change.

    Its about getting the guitar in tune with itself, not to an external standard like open tuning etc. It can be tuned when you are done. Its about string to string harmony and best compromise of accuracy across the fret board.

    I have found that a guitar has to not only be tuned up and down the neck accurately (like the 12th fret method), but also must be accurate across the strings for chordal accuracy.

    But when I am done.... Bliss! I cannot have others setup my guitars. I have a local music shop that does a great job for the most part.... but I have had to re-do every guitar I've ever gotten.

    YMMV.

    EDIT: And I still love that avatar pic OP!
     
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  6. jc2000

    jc2000 Senior Member

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    I have gotten very comfortable fiddling around with set up thanks to you tube.
     
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  7. frozenotter

    frozenotter Dumbed-Down Premium Member

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    Yea mine was very off for a few years (when I got it) so it's just been eye candy for me until now. I'm too much of a cheap-ass to pay for a setup so I gave it a little thought then did it myself. As you said, the chords were out - the A major at the second fret was jarring at the B string.

    Glad you like the pic and thanks for your post! :)
     
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  8. DarrellV

    DarrellV About as sharp as a bowlin' ball! -NPM Premium Member

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    You're welcome!

    One thing I didn't mention is that I use some heavy distortion with reverb and delay when hammering out the chord intonation.

    I haven't found anything better for accentuation of dissonance within a chord like that mixture.

    Drives my wife crazy with me hitting the same chords over and over again and running D and F chords up and down the neck, stopping to adjust and repeat.

    I have also found there are more than one 'right' spots in relation to saddle position.

    I, too, thought for years that once you found the magic 12th fret sweet spot it was the cure all be all of intoning and you were done.

    The sad truth is that there are more than one.

    It seems to me to be based on finding the best subdivision of the string and centering the saddle on a 'standing wave' section of the string.

    (a portion of the string that is at rest between nodes of vibration)
    [​IMG]

    And one that reflects the proper overtones to work best with the strings around it by reducing the beat frequencies between them.....

    I'll stop now before the Twilight Zone music starts..
     
  9. scozz

    scozz Senior Member

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    We all know you have a bit of OCD Darrell....but wow!! I guess that's the curse of having 'Perfect Pitch'!! :D
     
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  10. DarrellV

    DarrellV About as sharp as a bowlin' ball! -NPM Premium Member

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    It IS a double edged sword, to be sure...

    I'm not sure if its perfect pitch or not, I think that is being able to tell what note is being played just by hearing it.

    I can't tell you it's an 'A' for example, but I can find it later from memory and replay the song in key.

    I can also work out lead lines to a song in my head without having it playing behind me when I practice.

    I can tell you, for example, the only clam Alex hits on ATWAS is during the working man solo.. just one plink note out of the whole album. Not bad. But I can't tell you the scales or note names he's playing. Only that I can't, LOL!

    But dissonance.... Arrgh! It makes me cringe, I can't help it.
     
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  11. Jymbopalyse

    Jymbopalyse Senior Member

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    I know exactly the note you are talking about.
    As a kid I listened to that album over and over and . . . . .

    It blew me away that he would NAIL La Villa but "plink" out on Working Man.


    Rawk On DarrellV :headbanger:
     
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  12. DarrellV

    DarrellV About as sharp as a bowlin' ball! -NPM Premium Member

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    DUDE!!!!! :rock:
     
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  13. scozz

    scozz Senior Member

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    Too late Darrell...the music already started and we're half way through the show! :run:
     
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  14. DarrellV

    DarrellV About as sharp as a bowlin' ball! -NPM Premium Member

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    I hope you are enjoying the Matinee`! :cheers:

    Did you bring Popcorn?
     
  15. scozz

    scozz Senior Member

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    Yes I did...and cupcakes too.... in case @mudface shows up! :naughty:
     
  16. mudface

    mudface Non-Deadbeat/Non-Prominent Double Platinum Supporter Premium Member

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    160.JPG This is how I roll !!:laugh2: It doesn't matter if it's in tune when you got cupcakes and dough.

    I'm only kidding @scozz,.....sometimes intonation is a breeze for me, sometimes it ain't.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2018

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