Intonation Problem?

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Hey all,

Probably a stupid question, but I need help. I got my les paul studio about a week ago and the intonation has been a little bit off. I have NOT put on new strings, still the factory strings.

No matter what I do, the intonation just will not change. My high E is sharp, so I move saddle back (away from pickups). And by sharp I mean that the too high pitched.

I tried moving it pretty far back and there is little to no change. Is this simply because I need new strings to change the intonation? Are the pickups too high?

Help!!

Thanks :)
 

Lurko

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Change the strings and report back. Those originals are prob. dead.
 

Maxwell

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It is best to set intonation with new strings.
In my experience, it is extremely rare that the high E needs to be all the way back towards the tailpiece. It should generally be closest to the pickups.

Try with a new set of strings. See how you go. If it doesn't fix it there is something else at play.
 
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Actually I take that back. The problem is only on the high E, b

It was a problem on the G, but i was able to fix the intonation on it.
 

Maxwell

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Yeah change the strings and report back :)
 
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ok :) thanks guys

In your opinion is this something I should be worried about? Or is it common to need new strings for intonation?
 

smorgdonkey

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Put your B saddle a little closer to the pickups than your G saddle and your high E a little closer to your pickups than the B saddle. Tune and check your 5, 7 and 9 frets instead of the 12th.
 

ARandall

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Your string is forced to stretch more to fret these notes (in fact more the further from the 12th fret you go). Tuning will tend to be further out the closer to the nut you go. Open chords in particular are almost guaranteed to be out of tune if intonation is done only at the 12 fret.
 

roeg

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sometimes,even with a new set of strings,one of them won't intonate,or won't tune properly.Just a defective string.Maybe the alloy was not uniform,maybe the dies used to draw the wire to its final guage had issues,improper tension on the wire guides,improper annealing...who knows?...changeup.....i intonate using a Peterson Strobe and its not uncommon to find a "finicky" string...i just set to the best comprimise i can in that case.QC in string manufacture:(
 

mechtech

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It is best to set intonation with new strings.
In my experience, it is extremely rare that the high E needs to be all the way back towards the tailpiece. It should generally be closest to the pickups.

Try with a new set of strings. See how you go. If it doesn't fix it there is something else at play.

Right.

This is VERY unusual.
 

Maxwell

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Yeah as the other guys have mentioned, I use the 12th harmonic and fretted 12th note then play fretted A note at 5th fret on the 1st string (high E) and compare that to the fretted A at 17th fret. Cross referencing the two will give you better intonation overall.
Use a strobe tuner to do it.
A tuner that has a digital needle display has a range of what is in tune if you were tuning A440, a little either side (sharp or flat) of A440 would be accepted as in tune. Whereas with a strobe tuner, only when the wheel stops is it truly in tune.

Remember that guitars aren't perfect but given the right setup etc you can get very good results.

So I feel you probably don't have anything to worry about but start with new strings and tweaking the saddles and let us know how you go.

Also, I am sure you are aware but make sure you slack the string you are adjusting before you move the saddle and make sure the guitar is in tune - the best it can be before checking the intonation again. It's a slow process but obviously well worth it
 

nick1962

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I have rarely encountered a new Gibson that did not require a decent setup; my latest LP needed a new nut! I always get them set up by my local tech-new strings, maybe a fret dress etc. It's cheap and makes them so much more playable....
 

bobarino

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I have NOT put on new strings, still the factory strings.

take 'em off the guitar as soon as possible and kill 'em with fire.
then get a set of strings from a reputable brand of your preference
and put 'em on the guitar.
only then should you worry about intonating the beast.
trying to intonate factory strings is, under every possible circumstance,
pointless and useless.
 

smorgdonkey

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Why is that?

Because the saddle positions have a link to physics.

Ever notice that the EAD saddles are always stepped with the E the furthest from the pickups, the A is closer and the D is closer again (and usually by close to the same degree in relation to E and A)? Then the GBE start over with the G being further back and the B and E stepped in the same sort of manner?

That is due to the center of the string and where it comes over the saddle.

The reason I say to check the notes at the 5, 7 and 9 frets is because sometimes the 12th just doesn't come up well (possibly do to harmonics/overtones/vibrations of other strings) and the 5th and 7th frets are typically in the area that you'd play more frequently.
 

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