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Open string in tune; all frets sharp

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by vt102, Oct 22, 2020.

  1. radiocaster

    radiocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have been using .038-.010 for decades, could never get the low E to intonate correctly, was always sharp with the saddle all the way back, on several guitars. Once I tried a higher gauge, It intonated correctly.

    The reason is that the lower gauge is looser.

    But fine, don't believe me. Give yourselves headaches with calculations, I really don't care.
     
  2. MatsEriksson

    MatsEriksson Tele-Afflicted

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    EternalHappiness.jpg
     
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  3. radiocaster

    radiocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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  4. nomadh

    nomadh Tele-Afflicted

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    Its been mentioned but just to add I like to Do my intonation with the capo on the 1st fret. it takes the nut completely out of the question. If it intonates that way and sounds good then it is good. The intonation should still be very good when you remove the capo and retune. Sometimes on a problem guitar it is still good and something was just tricking me somehow. If it goes to hell then at least you know its in the nut. One time I had a nut actually in the wrong place from all the frets. I had to add a zero fret. 2 others where the nut is just a hair too far back, all teles for some reason. With Your other strings coming out fine I don't see this as possible but it still will help divide and conquer if it is the nut.
     
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  5. alexwilds

    alexwilds Tele-Meister

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    Move the bridge assembly back 3/16" or so? Aint that hard to do.

    That and/or file the saddles so that their peaks are further back. A phillips head screwdriver and a file is all you need.
     
  6. Jay Jernigan

    Jay Jernigan Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm lazy. I didn't read the whole thread. Intonation on the first fret(s) is a function of the nut.
    In your case, it is either too tall, too far from the fret, or both.
    I've had to move nuts and/or deepen fret slots myself.
    Worked every time.
    Then, if it's sharp further up the neck, address the bridge.
     
  7. Spooky88

    Spooky88 TDPRI Member

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    Adjust intonation at the 12th fret against the harmonic. Done. Thread complete. I do all my own luthier work. Message me if you live in central Oregon.
     
  8. Henning

    Henning TDPRI Member

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    Sounds as your neck is mislocated so correct intonation is not possible. Did you buy the guitar as a kit or did you make the body and just bought the neck ?
    Rgds
    Henning, Denmark
     
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  9. mdpatsr

    mdpatsr TDPRI Member

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  10. turfdoc

    turfdoc TDPRI Member

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    Change diameter of the 6th string and see if the intonation is off by the same number of cents. Also, is it off more at the 3rd fret that the rest of the way up. Very common issue in the best of guitars.
     
  11. jdiego

    jdiego Tele-Meister

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    Check if the nut slot is located at the correct position:

    https://www.stewmac.com/FretCalculator.html


    Some of my guitars have the nut slot too far away, even after filing the slots correctly. I wasn't aware until I bought a capo, which caused all the fretted notes to be sharp on those guitars.

    Someday I will start making compensated nuts for my guitars. One way for checking the perfect nut location for each string is using a tuner and a thick wire instead of the nut, which you have to move manually until knowing where the intonation works best. There is a more advanced way, which consists in transposing every cent of detuning into a distance measurement, but I don't know how to do that... different string gauge and scale lenght makes that even more difficult
     
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  12. SecretSquirrel

    SecretSquirrel Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I think it's the nut slot.

    I bet that it needs to be angled down on the headstock side so the string rests only on the very edge of the slot at the neck side. If that's not it, I'll eat my hat.
     
  13. JIMMY JAZZMAN

    JIMMY JAZZMAN Tele-Holic

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    Is the neck bent? Going "downhill" from low E to high e. Or in this case the other way around. Necks get tossed, thrown, beaten, weather beaten (humidity etc). I've seen necks (expensive ones) that were more trouble than
    their worth.
     
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  14. MatsEriksson

    MatsEriksson Tele-Afflicted

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    @vt102 I hope you can wade through all the nonsense in this thread, and stick to the following first:

    1. Get that CAPO out first, and do the first fret, 13th fret intonation instead of open string, and 12th fret intonation. Then you take the nut out of the equation.

    2.
    If that is wrong - TOO - mind you, the word too, then no nut alteration will ever do the trick. Skip the nut. Address the other things that throws intonation askew. Mind you it can still be the nut. But fix this with the capo on first fret, first. If you don't address this first, then no matter what you do with the nut will ever fix anything.

    3.
    Check the neck pitch both lateraly, and tilt angle. I e that the bass side (low E) has the same relative angle towards the bridge saddle, as the high e-string. Remember if you tilt the neck in any angle, the total scale of how the frets are set on the neck relative to each other will be jeopardized. And small values will make a difference on intonation on the frets only. I e it can very well still intonate perfect at 12th fret compared to 12th harmonic, but just there. And the rest is totally out, either too sharp or too flat.

    4. The easiest solution for it now, seems to relocate the bridge a step back further. But take into account, when this is fixed, it can still be the neck, tilt, pitch, and - of course - the nut.

    5. It can very well - and probably is - be a synergy effect of all this, that it is not just a one problem (tiny, like the nut) that will solve it, and is the sole culprit. I think very well it could be an amalgation of small things separately that when combined ends up with the low e-string being too sharp no matter what you do. Synergy effects. One of them at a time doesn't add up to the whole, but combined with all others, very tiny, almost undetecable, align misplacements adds up. You know, if a flagpole is one millimeter wrong (askew) at the bottom, at the top it is several meters wrong...sort of.

    So my qualified guess, is that it seems to be not only the nut (definitely not) or only the bridge, or only the neck tilt, pitch or only something else. It may be all these things combined - plus something else - and you must rule out either one first.

    What you should not try to do anything on first, in this "rule out" process, please don't start with pickup MSP or low e-string gauge, or nut. Take up those after you rule out all the other things first.

    If the guitar is still unfinished, and you can plug up holes without visual compromises, I still favor bridge relocation a step backward, than a shimmed neck and push the neck forward. The direct coupling and contact with the body goes missing a bit then. While intonation may be mitigated to the better, you may lose some tones at select spots at the neck. But to some people, this loss is so subtle that it is neglible.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2020
  15. MatsEriksson

    MatsEriksson Tele-Afflicted

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    Yeah, yes yes, that's what I already said above with my test with the high e-string. That one should test the high e-string in the place of were the low e-string resides. How far down you can screw the bridge sadde, before the high e-string touches the frets. If the saddle can be bottomed out, say that you should aim for low action, and the saddle bottoms out. Does the string touches the frets or is there some leeway (gap) still underneath? It's the only way to test this. Then it's a tell tale the neck is going "downhill" on the other side, regardless of it having a radius.
     
  16. MatsEriksson

    MatsEriksson Tele-Afflicted

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    psst...come here, closer...I tell you a secret...shhh... don't tell anyone...no, come even closer. Instead of a compensated nut...sshh ...look around first so no one is stalking or watchin us...(hold hand to your ear)...

    zero fret!
     
  17. MatsEriksson

    MatsEriksson Tele-Afflicted

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  18. MatsEriksson

    MatsEriksson Tele-Afflicted

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    To all those who are suggesting to change out diameter to a thicker one, of the low e-string, and you have all of a sudden "better" intonation, and that's your experience:

    You have NOT taken into account that the thicker string is not as prone to MSP as a thinner one. It's the pickups that has not pulled on the string because it's thicker and are not as sensitive to the magnets of the single coiled pickups. The string can withstand the force from the pickups. Period. So there.

    Instead of buying one new string, take a screwdriver and lower the pickups, and you're done. It will and should intonate again, that thin string. Costs you nothing, if it doesn't help you can screw them back up again. Free of charge. A new thicker gauge string will you set back dough no matter how slight.

    Remember that Fender has rarely changed it's vintage spec'd pickups since the 50s, including stagger. And back then no one played thin 009-042 or even 010-046 strings. They played 012-052 with a spun third and mostly flatwounds on top of that. The guitars and pickups where made for those strings. Pickups did nothing to those strings in terms of MSP. They sure played with higher action too.

    All the rest are talking out of their a***s. The thicker the string (remove the pickups, it's so on acoustic too) the more you need to retract the saddle further back, or bridge (on acoustic). Period. So there.
     
  19. MatsEriksson

    MatsEriksson Tele-Afflicted

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    https://www.mylespaul.com/threads/intonation-problem-on-low-e-only.255505/

    "So just push on the string where it just leaves the saddle to make the kink and to correct this. I see this all the time with people doing intonation, they set it up so that it reads correctly and then after the strings develop that kink everything is flat."

    answer back:

    "I just did that several times, at the nut as well. It did absolutely nothing."


    ;)
     
  20. MatsEriksson

    MatsEriksson Tele-Afflicted

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