Is Your Acoustic Guitar Intonated?

Discussion in 'Acoustic Heaven' started by northernguitar, Sep 28, 2021.

  1. northernguitar

    northernguitar Friend of Leo's

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    I'm just practicing up some acoustic guitar sing-a-longs for the upcoming guys' weekend. For kicks, I thought I'd check out the intonation, expecting it to be off.

    It's bang on.

    Is this a fluke? Or is it the result of how it's crafted? Am I making too big a deal about this? I'm playing a Godin Metropolis Classic QIT.
     
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  2. jfgesquire

    jfgesquire Friend of Leo's

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    Is the saddle compensated?

    For typical light or medium string gauges, a fixed compensated saddle is pretty accurate.

    I've carved saddle blanks to have compensation just to do it, but the benefit is not really worth the effort, unless it was a Martin Authentic or D-45
     
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  3. northernguitar

    northernguitar Friend of Leo's

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    Hey man! Thanks for the reply. This guitar is fitted with a compensated TUSQ saddle.

    I agree that I'm being nerdy here, I was just surprised how close it is. Like, as good as any electric I've ever played.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2021
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  4. StoneH

    StoneH Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Here's a coincidence . . . I just received a new clip-on tuner from Sweetwater and tried it out before I read your post. I checked the intonation on my 43 year-old Alvarez-Yairi, and it is perfect.
     
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  5. loopfinding

    loopfinding Friend of Leo's

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    how far up are you playing?

    after 7th stuff gets really raunchy on any shared saddle thing for me unless tuning to the key of the jam or some general fret range (idk, 3rd to 10th-ish).
     
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  6. northernguitar

    northernguitar Friend of Leo's

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    I started by checking at the 12th fret and it was perfect. Started in around the board and everything is on.
     
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  7. JL_LI

    JL_LI Poster Extraordinaire

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    My Simon and Patrick Showcase Rosewood has a compensated saddle. Intonation is spot on. I think most intonation problems on acoustic guitars are at the other end of the fret board, at the nut. Acoustic guitars often have high action so string bangers don’t have to contend with buzz. Finger style players playing single note solos find fretted notes can be sharp because the nut isn’t cut deep enough for their playing style. This problem isn’t as apparent at the 12th fret as on the first five but poorly intonated solos and cowboy chords sound terrible.
     
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  8. Boreas

    Boreas Poster Extraordinaire

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    Compensated nut, saddle, or both? Didn't know Tusq was making compensated nuts.
     
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  9. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Poster Extraordinaire

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    Haha, no. Neither one is wrong CEM close past the 7th or so. But it doesn’t bother me like an electric because that mess is part of the acoustic guitar sound in my opinion.
     
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  10. northernguitar

    northernguitar Friend of Leo's

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    All TUSQ. I doubt if I could tell a compensated nut.
     
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  11. northernguitar

    northernguitar Friend of Leo's

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    I doubt in full swing I could ever hear a difference if intonation was off. I just thought this was kinda neat.
     
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  12. Boreas

    Boreas Poster Extraordinaire

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    Oh - you said it had a compensated nut. That would be kinda unusual. But people do compensate nuts.
     
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  13. northernguitar

    northernguitar Friend of Leo's

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    Dopey me. Thanks for noticing that. Edited to avoid confusion.
     
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  14. Boreas

    Boreas Poster Extraordinaire

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    I believe all of my acoustics have a slanted saddle and the better ones are compensated. They all sound good enough for the likes of me.
     
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  15. Boreas

    Boreas Poster Extraordinaire

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    Some people will drill out a smidge of the front of the nut on the unwound strings as that helps compensate a little more.
     
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  16. Bill

    Bill Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I have an ES-175 that needed the metal bridge replaced. I opted for a wooden bridge and my luthier set it up for me. He warned me not to expect the same degree of intonation as I’d had before.

    But the intonation is surprisingly spot on.
     
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  17. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    It is surprising how close intonation can be on a simple bridge. Close enough often really.
     
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  18. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Poster Extraordinaire

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    Some people compensate for being nuts. Just saying.
     
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  19. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    My guitars are all properly intonated because that's the way I set them up. My 12 strings and resonators and classical included. Audiologists tell use that most people can tell a difference of 5 cents between two notes, my goal is 3 or better.

    There is actually a pretty good and accurate wizard at RMottola's web site that will calculate the amount a string needs to be lengthened for any scale, frequency, unit weight and core of the string. I also use the method of making the saddle flat on top and laying a little piece of wire (a B string works nicely) under the string. Move it back and forth until you get the 12th fretted note to match the harmonic, mark on the saddle and make the break point (works really well on a 12 string).
     
  20. Boreas

    Boreas Poster Extraordinaire

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    Intonation shmintonation - I rarely play past the 5th fret...
     
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