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Old 03-24-2003, 06:11 PM   #1
dmal
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Intonation

I received this PM earlier today.
I would've responded in a PM, but it's a very good question and should be shared with all.

Quote:
Intonation
Hey, hows it goin? I just wanted to ask you a question, with your all-knowing knowledge about guitars and stuff. How do you set intonation on your guitar?

BlinkSG


First of all, let me briefly explain intonation.
Intonation is the relativity between the length of the string and the pitch that string emits.
Each string will play the same note (an octave higher) on the 12th fret. The 12th fret marks the exact halfway point of the string.
If the 12th fret is not exactly at the halfway point of each string, the frets will be slightly out of tune, even if the open is tuned to the correct pitch.
Here's how to test it and correct a string that is out of intonation.

You'll need a chromatic tuner to be perfectly accurate.
Let's start with the low E string. Tune the low E to pitch.
After the string is in tune, play the 12th fret on the low E. If it is tuned to a perfect E, then the intonation is set. Out of tune, then the intonation for that string needs adjusting.

How to adjust:
On all electric guitars, there is a screw that will adjust each individual saddle. Simply adjust this screw to shorten or lengthen the string. If the string is playing slightly sharp on the 12th fret, then the string is too short. Turn the screw clockwise to lengthen the string. Only turn the screw a quarter turn. After each quarter turn, tune the open note of that string to correct pitch, then check the 12th fret with the tuner for accuracy. Repeat as necessary.
If the 12th fret plays slightly flat, then follow the same instructions, only turn the string a quarter turn counter clockwise to shorten the string. Tune, check, and repeat as necessary.

When your low E is in tune and your 12th fret is tuned perfectly to E, then you've succeeded in setting the intonation for that string.
Be sure to check them all. The lengths may be different for every string because of the thickness of the strings varies.

Also, make note that most Floyd Rose bridges use a hex screw. You'll need an alan wrench for it. Follow the same instructions when setting the intonation for a Floyd Rose.

Pretty simple procedure.
Good Luck
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Answers to your questions

Last edited by dmal : 03-25-2003 at 05:15 AM.
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Old 03-24-2003, 06:37 PM   #2
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Also usually a pattern emerges in the positioning of the saddles so when your finished adjusting for correct intoneity measure so it will be easy to adjust back to that point later on down the road.

Peace
Big D

PS: I recommend using a chromatic strobe tuner I find it gives he most accurate readings.
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Old 03-27-2003, 10:26 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by mrweijia
oh ****, i thought those screws were so my neck doesnt bend!!!
That's a whole other topic but in short that's what your truss rod is for.

Instead of writing it out myself, there's an excellent page here, complete with pictures and all explaining how to properly adjust your truss rod and why.

http://www.projectguitar.com/tut/trussadjust.htm

Also, to compliment dmal's post, here's one with pictures etc. explaining how to adjust the intonation on different types of bridges:

http://www.projectguitar.com/tut/intonate.htm

And just for the heck of it, if you follow the link below you can find information on installing tuning pegs, adjusting string height at the bridge and nut and adjust pickup height (as well as how to build / refinish / remodel an entire guitar for that matter):
http://www.projectguitar.com/tutorial.htm

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Old 03-30-2003, 11:21 AM   #4
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yea i got a chromatc tuner and checked out my guitar and when all strings are perfectly in tune, they are 1/4 step flat at fret 12. is that allright or do i need to adjust intonation? I mean will it make any real difference?
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Old 03-30-2003, 09:05 PM   #5
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it would when you play even higher frets.. I suggest you correct it by just turning the screw at the saddle anti clockwise a little to shorten the string..
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Old 03-31-2003, 09:25 AM   #6
StreamLine
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Quote:
Originally posted by dezulf
it would when you play even higher frets.. I suggest you correct it by just turning the screw at the saddle anti clockwise a little to shorten the string..

thanks, i'll do that right away
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Old 04-02-2003, 03:59 PM   #7
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Hey Dmal, thanks a bunch. i'll deffinately be trying some of this soon. i just need to get my guitar back. thanks man.

BTW; that Project guitar website is phat.
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Old 04-04-2003, 10:02 PM   #8
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what about the intonation on an acoustic? my A string is outta whack. how do you adjust it?
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Old 04-18-2003, 07:09 PM   #9
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one note, a non chromatic tuner will work also, because mine can't tell the difference between the E's, it can only tell if it's an E and if it's in tune, so when u push it on the 12th fret, it'll still show the same E. my two cents, great post dmal
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Old 04-23-2003, 10:37 PM   #10
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This thread is great, it explains my frets 12+ or so are slightly out of tune.

Thanks
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Old 04-30-2003, 05:14 PM   #11
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I went to set the intonation on my strat awhile ago but I noticed that my neck was bowed and thats why I could never set the intonation right, so I went to turn my truss rod and noticed the allen key never caught an edge so I looked in with a light only to notice that it was stripped. I have never before played with the truss rod so I think it was sold to me like this. Its still under warrenty so do you think if I took it back to the dealer that they would put a new rod in? If not then its not worth replacing because a new rod installation would prolly cost as much a my whole guitar anyway, right?
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Old 04-30-2003, 06:18 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Labrie
I went to set the intonation on my strat awhile ago but I noticed that my neck was bowed and thats why I could never set the intonation right, so I went to turn my truss rod and noticed the allen key never caught an edge so I looked in with a light only to notice that it was stripped. I have never before played with the truss rod so I think it was sold to me like this. Its still under warrenty so do you think if I took it back to the dealer that they would put a new rod in? If not then its not worth replacing because a new rod installation would prolly cost as much a my whole guitar anyway, right?
your neck is supposed to have a bow in it. its called "the dip in the neck"
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Old 04-30-2003, 06:36 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by ZroIndependence
your neck is supposed to have a bow in it. its called "the dip in the neck"


no no, I know what the measurements are supposed to be at and mine aren't. Because my strings are so thick, the tension they create pulls the neck forward and I can almost fit a floppy disk under my strings at the 7th fret.
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Old 05-03-2003, 05:35 PM   #14
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Another way to check it...

- -
- -
- -
- -
- -
-5 should be the same as 7
-7-----------------------------------9


Yea...later.

Last edited by Guess Who : 05-03-2003 at 05:40 PM.
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