#1
Hi guys. I have an odd problem with my acoustic and i figured this is the best place to find a solution. So here goes...
This has been bugging me for a while now and i haven't managed to fix it by any means. My problem is that certain strings ( the B, G, and A strings ) sound too sharp (sometimes even 15-20 cent sharp) when i play them all across the neck, even though the open strings are in tune. I have done the following to try and fix it:
-changed string gauge
-filed down original non-compensated saddle
-tightened truss rod
-filed the nut slots so that they are at an angle
-filed down compensated saddle

NOTHING WORKED!!! The frets don't seem to have a problem, the action is really good now and the strings are 0.11 strings if that helps. So PLEASE PLEASE tell me what i could do to fix this. I don't even feel like playing guitar anymore because of this.

Any and i mean ANY help would be much appreciated!
#2
did you try taking it to a technician?
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#3
Quote by tona_107
did you try taking it to a technician?


well yeah there are virtually NONE where i live...i could barely find a compensated saddle even...so yeah, my city is not a very 'musical' one and i gotta try and fix it myself...
#4
And this problem occurs on every fret?

Obviously this is an intonation problem and needs to be adjusted at the saddle. Intonation is adjusted by slight alterations in the scale length of each particular string. It's a pretty tricky thing to do, and if you are going to do it you run the risk of making it worse or messing up other strings. With something like this it is typically better to take the guitar to a qualified luthier and tell he/she the problem. This is my opinion because the problem could require an entirely new and professionally shaped saddle. The problem could also require fretboard work.

Try this... use your digital chromatic tuner and tune each string to pitch when fretted at the 12th fret. Now see where each strings harmonic registers on the tuner then post back. Also compare the 12th fret to the open string and post back.
#5
Jim's right. It's definitely an intonation problem. Do as he says then report back. Also I'm curious to know if the frets near the open position play in tune or not. 1,2,3,4 frets primarily. I ask because intonation issues can come from either the saddle not being compensated properly or the nut needing to be repositioned. Sometimes the nut isn't situated at the exact point it needs to be in order to get good intonation at the top of the neck, and open chords will suffer.
#6
Also, if the guitar is a cheap one, there is always the possibility that the frets were just positioned incorrectly (it's rare, but it happens). In that case, the guitar is a lemon and beyond repair. Let's hope that's not the issue!
#7
If you live in the states you may want to talk to Bob Colosi at www.guitarsaddles.com he is a real cool guy and will tell you everything you need to do to file one of his saddles down. It takes about 20 minutes. He may be able to help you diagnose the problem. Good luck
#8
I guess you could order a bone saddle online then take it to the shop since they don't sell them. I know what you mean, some places just aren't 'musical'.

I have this problem too, the G B A strings just overpower the other strings.

LeftyDave, how do you check if the strings are in tune in the first 5 frets?
#9
^--- Play each fret and check with a tuner to see if the notes are in tune. Unless you have a really nice guitar, they will likely be a tad sharp. That's normal.
#10
Also, can you tell us if this is a problem on a new acoustic, or is it something that has developed over time?
#11
Quote by jimtaka
And this problem occurs on every fret?

Obviously this is an intonation problem and needs to be adjusted at the saddle. Intonation is adjusted by slight alterations in the scale length of each particular string. It's a pretty tricky thing to do, and if you are going to do it you run the risk of making it worse or messing up other strings. With something like this it is typically better to take the guitar to a qualified luthier and tell he/she the problem. This is my opinion because the problem could require an entirely new and professionally shaped saddle. The problem could also require fretboard work.

Try this... use your digital chromatic tuner and tune each string to pitch when fretted at the 12th fret. Now see where each strings harmonic registers on the tuner then post back. Also compare the 12th fret to the open string and post back.

yup already tried this some time before...they are about the same..only thing is those 3 strings are off when fretted at the 12 fret too ...but only those 3, rest of the strings are in pretty good confition..which kinda leads me to believe the problem might be with the nut...dunno anymore
#12
Quote by LeftyDave
Jim's right. It's definitely an intonation problem. Do as he says then report back. Also I'm curious to know if the frets near the open position play in tune or not. 1,2,3,4 frets primarily. I ask because intonation issues can come from either the saddle not being compensated properly or the nut needing to be repositioned. Sometimes the nut isn't situated at the exact point it needs to be in order to get good intonation at the top of the neck, and open chords will suffer.


1 2 3 4 frets primarily..hmmm your suggestion is good but how could i reposition it?...seems a bit drastic...expecially since the other 3 strings are good...it might just ruin them too
#13
Quote by GC Shred Off
Also, if the guitar is a cheap one, there is always the possibility that the frets were just positioned incorrectly (it's rare, but it happens). In that case, the guitar is a lemon and beyond repair. Let's hope that's not the issue!

reeeaaaally hope that's not the case
#14
Quote by jimtaka
^--- Play each fret and check with a tuner to see if the notes are in tune. Unless you have a really nice guitar, they will likely be a tad sharp. That's normal.


well i think 10 cent sharp is kinda beyond ' a tad sharp' ...but i really don't know
#15
Quote by milagroso
Also, can you tell us if this is a problem on a new acoustic, or is it something that has developed over time?

i bought the guitar about 8-9 months ago ...but i have no idea how old it actually is
( supposed to be brand new though)...and the thing is when i bought it i didn't notice any problems with it ( but i read somewhere that a complete beginner usually doesn't)...i only began to hear it sounded off about 3-4 months after...

weird thing is the problem seems to be worse sometimes and sometimes it almost disappears...thats what puzzles me!
#16
Quote by ZzZzZiggy
i bought the guitar about 8-9 months ago ...but i have no idea how old it actually is
( supposed to be brand new though)...and the thing is when i bought it i didn't notice any problems with it ( but i read somewhere that a complete beginner usually doesn't)...i only began to hear it sounded off about 3-4 months after...

weird thing is the problem seems to be worse sometimes and sometimes it almost disappears...thats what puzzles me!


Hey again. I'm going to take you in a completely different direction for a moment and see if I can nail down what might be going with your axe. Where do you live? I'd like to know because you eluded to something that may make all the difference as to what's going on with your guitar. You said you bought the guitar 8-9 months ago. Counting back that would make the purchase date April or May of 2008. That's also the tail end of last years heating season, and furnaces are normally being shut down around this time. Now, it's back into the heating season, full on. I'm wondering if it's possible that you didn't experience any problems in the past due to decent humidity levels in the air. Now that the air is substantially dryer, your guitar may be suffering from lack of moisture. Do you humidify either the guitar or the room/area that it's normally stored in?
You also said that the problem comes and goes. Coincidentally, so do humidity levels in the air. It's constantly fluctuating, and your guitar could just be following along. Some acoustics are extremely sensitive to changes in the weather, and need constant maintenance to keep them stable. Luckily, the only maintenance you may need is simple humidification. Please let me know if any of this makes any amount of sense to you.
#18
I'm a complete noob, but I'm going to throw in my 2 cents.

How hard are you pressing on the strings? Doesn't pressing too hard make the note change?
#19
^-- Yes it does. If you are pressing the strings so that they are actually touching the fretboard.... then you are pressing too hard