Intonation

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by ReverendRevolver, May 14, 2020.

  1. ReverendRevolver

    ReverendRevolver Tele-Afflicted

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    So, the height adjustment screws on a 6 saddle strat/tele/mustang/toronado/whatever hardtail fender bridge impact Intonation. That's not a question, its something I just discovered because I finally found the Allen wrench small enough to move the dang things with the strings on.

    My question is, do you move those to accommodate height over pickups and action before you make your notes equal with the screws at the butt of the bridge? I get that the Es go lower traditionally because the radius says the other are higher, but the only store that does setups nearby hasn't opened back up, and I'm ready to drop the new bridge in the mustang. Do I just wing it and call off work/ignore my children for a week while I turn screws, or is there a baseline theory to it?
     
  2. dreamingtele

    dreamingtele Friend of Leo's

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    I usually have a work flow.. string up the guitar, set it up, truss rod for neck relief (how straight I want it to be), then set action. once I'm happy, I set intonation at the very end..

    all these with new strings... and then set up pickup heights according to my taste (if the guitar is new to me)
     
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  3. Topper

    Topper Tele-Meister

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    Intonation is the last thing to adjust. Adjust the neck relief, then action, then the pickup height, then the intonation.
     
  4. Wallaby

    Wallaby Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I adjust pickup height last.

    [ EDIT ]

    Mainly because it takes me FOREVER to get the height!
     
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  5. Craig_D

    Craig_D TDPRI Member

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    Yep as dreamingtele I have a sequence starting with pickups lowered so magnets cant interfere
    String up and tune
    Set neck relief
    Set action on high and low e, set ideal height then check for buzzing on all frets and raise if required until gone
    Use radius gauge to set remaining string heights
    Intonate (then recheck all previous steps until all correct)
    Set preferred pickup how I want
    Balance other pickup(s)
    Play
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2020
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  6. Topper

    Topper Tele-Meister

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    I usually do the pickup height before the intonation because if the pickups are too close to the strings after action adjustment it can pull the intonation out. But yes, you might want to readjust the pickups for tone quality and balance at the very end.
     
  7. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    What the others have said, but a little more why. The fret are laid out based on a formula and the scale length. As you fret a string you stretch the string and sharpen the note. The amount that you sharpen it is based on the amount it is stretched (as well as the stiffness of the string which is a function of the core wire diameter). The higher your action, the more you sharpen it.

    The usual method of "intonating" a string is to add a little bit of length to "compensate" for the stretching. Usually we compare the fretted note with the 12th fret harmonic which will be a pure note and always in tune if the string is in tune.

    Therefore you should perform all of the operations which affect action (relief, 1st and 12th fret actions) before you do the intonation.

    (I do pickups last but I also make sure they are far enough away from the strings to not be affecting them).
     
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  8. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    Don't forget nutslot height adjustment. Your strings fretted at the third fret should have cigarette-paper-thickness clearance at the first fret. Bee's dick, hair's breadth, however you want to measure. If it's a nickel or more that guitar won't intonate anywhere near right.

    Neck relief - nutslot height - action - intonation.

    Your pickups should be far away enough not to impact this. Too close - you're getting weirdness anyway
     
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  9. DougM

    DougM Friend of Leo's

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    I don't even follow a radius guage or anything like that. I just lower them all until they start to buzz and then raise them back up just a little. Sometimes I leave a little buzz if I have to to get the action as low as I like. You usually don't hear it through the amp anyway. As Joe Walsh said in an interview in Guitar Player many decades ago "Fender's are supposed to buzz a little".
     
  10. jackal

    jackal Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I tend to go back and forth a few times with intonation, string height, and pickup height, as each one of those affects the others.
     
  11. televillian

    televillian Tele-Afflicted

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    if those nutslots are too high your cowboy chords won`t be in tune
     
  12. kLyon

    kLyon Tele-Holic Gold Supporter

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    Exactly. Then your "three chords and the truth" will only be one of those things)
     
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