Can intonation be perfect ?

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by RoCkstAr256, Oct 24, 2018.

  1. RoCkstAr256

    RoCkstAr256 Friend of Leo's

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    I have playe dmany guitar sin my life. Always did set up perfectly from 1-12 th fret intonation but sometims tunes say that sounds after 17 th fret are a bit sharp or flat. Can Intonation be done perfectly or theres always some sharp flat notes around?
     
  2. Old Tele man

    Old Tele man Friend of Leo's

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    No. due to scale tempering.

    That's WHY harmonicas are changed when key changes are needed.
     
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  3. DCW74

    DCW74 Tele-Meister

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    Music that does not take scale tempering into account - music from the medieval period - sounds terrible to our modern ears. So I will deal with not having perfect intonation.
     
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  4. RoCkstAr256

    RoCkstAr256 Friend of Leo's

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    I have expected answer like this, few days ago i have changed string on my Fender and Schecter. From the 1 to 12 frets its perfect but 17 and higher notes go a little sharp or flat by 1,2,3 cents. I guess only Piano can do it
     
  5. Old Tele man

    Old Tele man Friend of Leo's

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    I assume you know that pianos are usually "sweetened tuned" where one string is slightly sharp, middle string is at pitch, and last third string is slightly flat. Sorta like a chorus of violin players all playing around (finger vibrato) the note, but no one actually playing the note.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2018
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  6. howardlo

    howardlo Tele-Holic

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    Here it is explained in depth. Even a concert piano is tempered due to the way the human ear interprets sound.

    http://www.precisionstrobe.com/apps/pianotemp/temper.html
     
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  7. jarpat

    jarpat Tele-Holic

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    What's the point of having an instrument that accurate, beacuse when You play it, You can not press all strings with exactly same pressure? You can give a perfectly intonated guitar to a bad player and he plays it like it's out of tune. When You go up the frets, the strings are usually a bit higher than in the headstock side, so the fingerpressure makes more variaton.

    I think You should relax and remember the old ukulele advice; "If You can't find all the right notes, just keep up with the rhythm.."
     
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  8. Old Tele man

    Old Tele man Friend of Leo's

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    It's the difference between fretted/stopped strings and fretless/finger-stopped strings.

    Tongue-in-Cheek Joke: Frets are for tone-deaf players; fretless is for pitch-perfect players.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2018
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  9. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity

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    Huh????? Forgive me if you're just being funny......
     
  10. ElJay370

    ElJay370 Tele-Holic

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    On open strings, yes. Once you add in human hands pressing down on the frets and plucking the strings and all the variables associated with that, everything kind of goes out the window. You can get close, but the design of the guitar is inherently flawed.
     
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  11. RoCkstAr256

    RoCkstAr256 Friend of Leo's

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    Honestly i rather have slighlty dirty dirty notes than fanned fret instrument or true temperament frets that look like guitar after a bottle of scotch :D
     
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  12. Mr Ridesglide

    Mr Ridesglide Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Saw a guitar once that was made with the frets slanted at an angle to attempt correcting this - very strange indeed
     
  13. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    Perfect intonation is not possible with multiple strings of different gauges, and continuous frets that span all strings. It is also not possible because of the human element. Not only do different people fret differently, but the same person frets differently from note to note.

    But even if it was possible, it would sound awful. This is true of any instrument. Tune each string of a piano to absolute perfection note by note, and then listen to how sour it sounds when played. You'd say, "Somebody needs to have that piano tuned!"

    The guitar, like many instruments, has certain keys that tend to intonate well, and certain keys that don't. But it nails a pretty darned good compromise.

    I try to set intonation so that I am generally in really good tune on the 3rd to 7th fret, and so that it goes slightly flat as I go up the neck, as opposed to slightly sharp. Firstly, flat notes simply sound less glaringly out of tune than sharp notes (to me, anyhow). Secondly, I can always press a note harder to tune it if needed.
     
  14. jjudas

    jjudas Tele-Meister

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    I have never achieved perfect intonation on any of my guitars. Something always sounds off even when it's right.
     
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  15. Area51

    Area51 Tele-Holic

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    Agreed. However, having said that, there's some amazing players out there. I saw a vid of Vai going up and down the neck with chord progressions, using his whammy bar, and applying microbends to the different strings to maintain the chords at each position. Quite amazing.

    Then there are the players who've mastered the scalloped neck. Last one I played threw me for a loop...
     
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