#1
Ok... So I have an Epiphone Les Paul, and it's really great (I've had it for three or four years). Recently, however, I've started to have some problems. I'm assuming that this has to do with the intonation, but I was wondering if there is a quick fix... Here's the dealio...

My g-string (seriously) has some issues... When I tune it, after a few bends it sometimes gets off by a quarter to half step... I have tried pulling on it/stretching it to tighten the hold around the tuner, and this helps a little, but it's still slipping... So if you have any tips/info on that, that would be greatly appreciated.

Secondly, also on the g-string, I'm having this problem where if I play octaves above the twelfth fret, say a c on the 15th fret of the a-string and the 17th fret of the g-string, the 17th fret sounds about a quarter step sharp... This is obviously very frustrating, and I'm assuming it's an intonation problem... Any help/tips/ideas...

Oh! And I have a show Sunday so yeah... I need it to work... Haha and one of our songs has octaves above the twelfth fret... Damn... Haha

tl;dr: g-string goes out of tune quickly... Notes above twelfth fret on g-string seem to be a quarter step higher... ? Any help/tips/ideas would be greatly appreciated!!

Thanks!!
#3
slap some new strings on, stretch them well, get a chromatic tuner and fix the intonation.
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#4
I just put new strings on a couple days ago... I've never really messed with intonation much, though... Is it hard to do? I don't want to mess this guitar up because it's my only one and I have that show on Sunday...
#5
Are you guys pretty sure it's the intonation... ? I don't want to start messing with it and then discover it was something else...
#7
As for the detuning problem, maybe it's worth investing in a set of locking tuners. New tuners only take five minutes to fit, and are the easiest upgrade you can make to a guitar.

And the octave problem - that most definitely IS your intonation. You want your strings to sound the exact same note, both open and at the 12th fret. Say, A open, and A at the 12th.

Here's a tutorial, for the Gibson style bridge:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PMFdSkBvkM
Last edited by EJD at Feb 25, 2009,
#8
Tuner problem is common.

I played dozens of epiphones and it's a hit or miss with the tuners. Even with a few gibsons.

Low end epiphone's (below 500-ish dollar) are notorious for small flaws like wanky tuners and wonky straplocks.

Buying new tuners like said above should fix the problem.

The other problem is intonation, yup yup.

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#9
Thanks a lot guys. Locking tuners really only take 5 min to install?

Wow... I didn't realize it was that easy to fix the intonation... Thanks a lot for the video!
Last edited by wamguy89 at Feb 25, 2009,
#10
If the new screwholes line up with the old ones then yeah, you unscrew one set of tuners and screw in the others. If the new tuners have different screw placement though (or sometimes the old holes will be too knackered to cope with the screws being swapped out) then you'll have to make new holes, which will take longer. Also you need to make sure your new tuner are the same post size as the old ones, otherwise you'll have to widen the post holes if the new ones are too big or buy some... damn, my mind's gone blank, I've forgotten what they're called... these little adapter things for smaller tuners.

Eh.

Anyway, don't do it. The tuners Epiphones come with now are 18:1 Grovers. You can't get better tuners than that aside from the Planet Waves Auto-Trim tuners (which are only better if you're very lazy).


The problem you have with the notes being out of tune past the 12th fret is intonation. That takes two minutes to sit down and adjust with a screwdriver and a tuner. There's plenty of guides on here (and the rest of the internet) that tell you how intonation works, so that's that one done easy.

Your tuning problem is much more likely one of two things:
  • You're not restringing your guitar correctly, so the string is slipping in the post and going out of tune.
  • The string is getting bound in the nut of the guitar, which is setting it out of tune.

Also bear in mind G strings will always be slightly more likely to go out of tune due to them being under different tension than the other strings.

To fix #2, simply look at the nut slot for the G string and see if there's any excess plastic, a small ranodm bit of fluff, etc etc in the slot. If there is, clean it out. Whether there is or not, try rubbing some pencil lead in the slot, this will help the string move more smoothly within the slot without binding.

To fix #1, you simply need to learn how to restring correctly.



This very crappy MSPaint diagram I just knocked up sort-of tries to explain it. I've purposefully left gaps and such in that picture so it's easier to follow, but that doens't mean you should actually leave gaps between the string and tuning peg when stringing the guitar.

The 'wrong' way is what most people do at first; they take the string, push the end straight through one hole, then just keep turning the peg over and over. This is wrong. Even if you only wrap the string around the peg a couple of times or even if you wrap it around a hundred times, restringing this way can still let the string slip, and it is wrong.

The right way to string a guitar is to take the string through the nut slot, then bring it up on the inside of the headstock, around to the far side of the post, and thread it through the hole so that the end of the string is now pointing towards the guitar. You then take the string end (threaded through the post hole), and wrap it around the outside side of the tuner post. You then bring the end under the string (where it originally entered the tuner post hole), and pull it back up the other side (so the end of the string should now be sandwiched between the tuner and the string). You then begin to turn the tuner. You've got to pull the end of the string pretty tight while you do the first couple of turns, since even when stretched out the string can be springy and if it slips back out of the loop then you'll end up with a bent string that's nigh-on impossible to resting properly. Keep pulling the end of the string directly upwards until there's a couple of wraps around the tuner post and the string is roughly in-tune, then you can cut the excess end of the string off. This method is almost entirely fool-proof and won't let the string slip at all. The only tricky part is judging how much of the string to wrap around the post the first time, since you can't just keep blindly turning the tuner until all the slack is taken up like most people (incorrectly) do.


If you restring your guitar the right way, with 18:1 Grovers like Epiphones have, you should never have any tuning problems (bar a dodgy nut slot filled with fluff, of course). The string is safely locked in against itself and will never slip.




And that is why locking tuners are worthless.
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#11
Oh no!

Update... So I have been adjusting the intonation, and on my electronic tuner it says both the open string and the 12th fret are in tune (harmonic and fretted), but it clearly does not sound right... Things start to get a little sketchy upwards of the 12th fret... WHAT IS WRONG??!! I have a show Sunday and I really need this guitar to work!! I'm going to try to take it somewhere Friday, and two of my friends who know a lot about guitars have already looked at it... AH! This is so frustrating/annoying... Any ideas what it could be?! Thanks...
#13
It could also be the action is too low (yes, there is such a thing), which will cause notes to go a little flat.

However the most likely cause is you need a fret dressing. This will have to be done by a well experienced luthier since it's a process that needs to be accurate within hundredths of an inch. I would explain what it is, but since it's not something you should even think about doing yourself anyway (you would certainly permanently render your guitar's neck useless, guaranteed), there's little point in explaining.

Just take your guitar to a decent luthier (not just the random guys working in the local GUitar Centre or similar store - they will **** it up just as bad as you would), and ask them to give the guitar a full set-up and fret dress.
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#14
Quote by wamguy89
Oh no!

Update... So I have been adjusting the intonation, and on my electronic tuner it says both the open string and the 12th fret are in tune (harmonic and fretted), but it clearly does not sound right... Things start to get a little sketchy upwards of the 12th fret... WHAT IS WRONG??!! I have a show Sunday and I really need this guitar to work!! I'm going to try to take it somewhere Friday, and two of my friends who know a lot about guitars have already looked at it... AH! This is so frustrating/annoying... Any ideas what it could be?! Thanks...



fret each fret. see which ones if any are off.

then post back.
Jenneh

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#15
I've had the same issue, I've sent my guitar for 2 set-ups and I've recently set the intonation myself, it and the guy who set-up my guitar twice is a good luthier, so there's clearly something wrong with these Epiphone guitars. As for now it sounds pretty good, I just hope it stays this way.
Guitars

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- Hohner Hc-06 Classical guitar

Amplifiers

-Roland Cube 30x
Effects
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Last edited by tweeb at Feb 26, 2009,
#16
seems like this is my third or fourth epi with intonations problems.
Jenneh

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#17
I say again: have a fret dressing performed, that'll sort out any 'sharp/flat fret' problems. Assuming of course it's done by someone who really knows what they're doing.
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#18
Quote by MrFlibble
I say again: have a fret dressing performed, that'll sort out any 'sharp/flat fret' problems. Assuming of course it's done by someone who really knows what they're doing.

Yeah, now that I think about it, a flat fret (worn down or not recrowned after a fret leveling) would also make you go a little sharp.
#19
Wow... I'm screwed... But where it's really out of tune is the 15th fret and above of the g-string... And I mean really out of tune... I'm just going to take it somewhere... Sounds like it's really, really messed up...
#20
if it's above one fret, then that's a good sign.

like said a dented crooked, high low fret can cause intonation problems.

above the g?
Jenneh

Quote by TNfootballfan62
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#21
Don't use the harmonic method! It doesn't compensate for difference in string length when fretting at the 12th fret (stretched) vs harmonic (straight string length). The preferred method by most luthiers and knowledgeable techs is Open String and Fretted at the 12th fret vs Harmonic 12th Fret! I used to use the harmonic method too and gave it up a few years ago. Also, adjust your intonation in the playing position, (Not guitar lying on its back) Leave your hands off the tuners when striking the note(s) and strike with normal attack.
Moving on.....
#22
Hm... Thanks for the advice, but I'm pretty sure I did all those things... I just don't understand why it's saying it's in tune when it's clearly not. Maybe I should try intonating it from the 3rd fret with the 15th fret... Do you think that would work?? Thanks!
#23
JJ1565 & Mr Flibble have mentioned some other causes (Action too high, too much relief or fret crowns incorrect). I don't think fret placement (scale accuracy) should be an issue as it's machine done usually all at once with a special saw. Other than that the only thing I can think of is your nut is cut incorrectly or not seated right. If the slot for your G string doesn't have a clean edge flush with the side of the nut wall (string side) it wil throw off your open string pitch compared to the fretted ones. Also look closely at your nut an ensure its standing straight up and flush against the fretboard end.
Sorry that's all I say at this time.
Moving on.....
#24
Ok... So I got it fixed! ... Or I kinda fixed it myself, but I took it to Guitar Center (*flameshield*)... Because I'm in college and that's the only real music store that's close by, but anyways... The guy suggested evening out the bridge a little bit (I think someone suggested this earlier), but that really helped, and the intonation is almost perfect now... With a little more fine-tuning, I'm pretty sure it will be totally fine. Thank you for your help, though!