Intonation issues, nut too high?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Elkoki, Sep 25, 2017.

  1. Elkoki

    Elkoki Senior Member

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    Hey , i'm in need of some help / advice. I have a Les Paul style guitar that is giving me intonation problems.

    First I should say I adjusted the truss rod to where it's supposed to be, adjusted the height at the bridge , set the intonation, and chords still sound off. I'm using a very good tuner.

    at first I intonated each string at the 12th fret, but it still sounded off, then I read it's more accurate to intonate at the 24th fret, so I tried that. and to my surprise it actually sounded more in tune. but still with the same problems as before.

    I noticed that some lower frets sound sharp , like especially on the 3rd fret on the A, but higher frets are actually in tune. Is it the nut? It seems somewhat high.

    How can I fix this? Is it hard? Can I just sand some of it down?
     
  2. WhiteEpiLP

    WhiteEpiLP Senior Member

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    Is this a bolt on neck or a set neck? Are you sure the scale lenght is correct, measure from the front of the nut to the crown of the 12th fret the bridge should be double that measurement from the nut. Its a rare problem but if its a cheaper guitar the bridge might be in the wrong location. Do major chords sound off aswell or only barre chords further down the neck? If major chords and single notes up around the 1st to 3rd fret are off then the nut is off. As in you have to fret the string too far to hit the fret and it will go sharp.
     
  3. Freddy G

    Freddy G V.I.P. Member

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    yes it's usually the nut cut too high when notes are sharp at the first few frets
     
    moreles likes this.
  4. Bill Hicklin

    Bill Hicklin Senior Member

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    Capo just below the second fret, then fret the strings at the first. The range of motion should be almost imperceptible- just a barely audible "click". More than that, your nut needs lowering (if it's a consistent error, sand the nut bottom).
     
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  5. moreles

    moreles Senior Member

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    Among the many possible causes, the high nut, as Freddy says, is the most common culprit. Having to press down too much to fret changes tension, and even the geometry of your setup and leads to a particularly ugly-sounding lack of precise intonation. I encounter nuts with poor slotting pretty often. It's a bad flaw, as it raises the string and has a pretty bad effect on playability, and can lead to incorrect and ineffective remedies when the payer tries to fix things via the truss rod or saddle, which are not the problem.
     
  6. Elkoki

    Elkoki Senior Member

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    To answer all the questions above. The guitar is a set neck guitar. It's a Schecter Solo I believe it has a tonespro bridge... and i'm not fretting the strings too hard. I have 2 other guitars that don't have this problem at all. I'm a player of 12-13 years or so. So I know how to fret strings, I would hope LOL.

    I believe the nut is too high, because if I lower the bridge height literally to the lowest that it will go, the strings don't touch the fret board. I don't know where my ruler is right now, but my guess is that even when the bridge is lowered, the string height on the high E is probably around 1.5mm from the 12th fret.

    I'm no experienced enough to file or sand the nut. Would it be easy?
     
  7. Freddy G

    Freddy G V.I.P. Member

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    Without having the guitar in hand we're all just armchair quarterbacks here. Since you are asking the kinds of questions that indicate you really don't understand the finer points of a good set-up I would take it to a good tech or luthier....most likely won't cost too much.
     

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