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intonation

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zmazz  
28 Dec 2006 15:50 | Quote
United States
Posts: 94
am kinda new in terms of "guitar setup" and id like to know how do u guys check ur guitar's intonation. i've read that an open string should sound the same with 12th fret harmonic of the same string. i tried that but the thing is, the tone that i get on the harmonic doesnt always fall into a solid green led on the tuner. it is the same note though, but sometimes it shows flatted or sharpened. is that pretty normal or my guitar is not properly intonated?
Afro_Raven  
2 Jan 2007 12:05 | Quote
Joined: way back
United Kingdom
Lessons: 1
Karma: 20
Moderator
I'm no technician, but I'm pretty sure that it is impossible to get perfect intonation on a guitar. You can tune it so that all the strings are exactly an octave above at the 12th fret, but there could well be odd notes here and there that are not completely in tune with each other, e.g. playing an E on the 5th string 7th fret may not be the same as the E on the 4th string 2nd fret, if you know what I mean. However it is definitely worth doing what you're doing at the moment and keep checking on a regular basis, because if the intonation is a bit dodgy then the longer you leave it the more out of tune it will become.
zmazz  
2 Jan 2007 18:54 | Quote
United States
Posts: 94
thanx man! i figured it is really impossible. am just really curious cause this is my first time to check on my guitar's intonation. =P
dadio_detroit_blues  
5 Jan 2007 23:12 | Quote
Joined: way back
United States
Karma
Actually, you can get good intonation if your guitar has an adjustable bridge. If you plan to play chords or lead up the neck, it will be critical that you adjust you intonation. If you don't you will need to bend your strings slightly to get them in pitch.

There are many sights on the web that can help you ste up your guitar correctly for intonation. When you are on your 12th fret - The basic idea of fixing the problem is when the string is flat (you need to adjust the bridge so the string is shorter). If the string is sharp (you need to adjust the bridge to make string longer).

When you make these adjustments make sure that you loosen the strings. Retune the string in the open posision and then check the 12th fret to see if the problem went away.

If you don't have an adjustable bridge, then you can make small adjust with a file. If you new at this, I would take it in to a guitar tech.

Additionally, many guitars are set up at the factory with light gage strings. When you change gage you will need to set up the guitar again.

I hope this helps.
zmazz  
6 Jan 2007 13:21 | Quote
United States
Posts: 94
thanx for the info man!

i got a fixed bridge and i kinda figured out how to adjust its intonation but just how often should i check my guitar's intonation? do i really have to adjust it everytime i change strings?
dadio_detroit_blues  
6 Jan 2007 14:36 | Quote
Joined: way back
United States
Karma
Sorry if it was confusing... It should stay ok unless there are gage changes...(i.e. 11's to 9's) if you keep the same string gage you shouldn't need to make adjustments


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