#1
recently i've noticed my guitar sounds like sh*T so after watching a lot a vids and doing somehomework... i am attempting to set up my guitar and try to find the problem.... i don't have the money right now to take it to a tech. however i found that my problem is with the higher strings..... this is what i've done so far:
- looked down and up the neck and i see no concave or convex curves...
- Adjusted the action a little (strings were very close to frets)
- and with intonation well ...
my high e is one whole semistep lower than what it should be.
b is a 1/2 semistep lower than it should be
G is so so close to being perfect but is lower than it should be (all 3 strings are already as short as i can get them)
d,a,and low E are perfect.

and thats it.... any advice on what to do with my higher 3 strings will be greatly appreciated, thanks in advance...

oh yea, i first did the intonation and found my problem... when i was focusing on the action i noticed that it helped with the intonation of the problem strings but not enough to matter...(i would have ridiculous high action if i tried to fix the problem like that)
and this is the first time i've checked the guitar, i've had it for almost 3 yrs and don't know how long i've had this problem.
#2
Just to be clear can you describe how you are checking the intonation?

What kind of guitar, and more specifically, what kind of bridge do you have?
Water which is too pure has no fish - Ts'ai Ken T'an
#3
Get a strobe tuner. It'll help you get the intonation right on.
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#4
yea sorry i didn't included all that....
i have a 2007ish epiphone les paul studio.
i don't know to much about diff. bridges but its the stock one ... (i think fixed is what i should say)
the way i am checking the intonation is
- tune my stings with the harmonic at 12 fret then play the 12 fret and then adjust according to if its sharp or flat... all mine have been flat.. here is a vid i watched on it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZVRCMJLnm4.
#5
oh yea and for my tuners, i have 2 good ones that i use... my line 6 spider 3 Amp tuner and my line 6 pod PC tuner...(i've had no problem out of them)
#7
pretty nice website... i found out my high E tuner knob has a stripped screw on the back... i am not aware of the dangers of this but it was good to discover that... and it was probably that way when i bought it, cause i haven't touched it..
#8
are the screws on my epi's bridge suppose to be facing the pick-ups (like the gibsons) because mine are not....
#9
Quote by elihu4321
are the screws on my epi's bridge suppose to be facing the pick-ups (like the gibsons) because mine are not....


They should be or - depending on the set up - your stings can hit the intonation screws (possibly sucking out sustain). I know, I tried turning one around for easier access.

Quote by LedZepFan2000
check it out man.

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

GREAT website for setting up any guitar. let us know how it comes along! I too have a LP style guitar with a fixed bridge.

I would like to draw everyone's attention to the fact that no where in this tut does it use the word harmonic!

Back to the problem at hand. Have a good look at the saddles. It sounds like someone has messed with the bridge in the past. Check and see the first 3 saddles (e, b, g) have the angle facing forward toward the neck. If they are not, this might give you the little edge you need to get it intonating. The last three should be angling toward the back of the guitar (although in rare instances it can intonate with all forward).

A design flaw Gibson never fixed.

Also, while you are at it, check and see the saddles make a smooth rise to the center. It was an Epi TOM I was messing with and had it apart and found the saddles had different heights. Put the highest together in the middle then the next highest, then the lowest on the outside. Might as well get it all sorted out while you are at it.
Water which is too pure has no fish - Ts'ai Ken T'an
Last edited by Ratraisin at Jul 18, 2010,
#10
They should be or - depending on the set up - your stings can hit the intonation screws (possibly sucking out sustain). I know, I tried turning one around for easier access.

the strings have BARLEY enough clearance from the screws.. i will def. turn it around when i can buy some new strings...

. Have a good look at the saddles. It sounds like someone has messed with the bridge in the past. Check and see the first 3 saddles (e, b, g) have the angle facing forward toward the neck. If they are not, this might give you the little edge you need to get it intonating. The last three should be angling toward the back of the guitar (although in rare instances it can intonate with all forward).

my saddles are opposite of that, even if i turned my bridge around the low 3 strings (D,A,E) will still have the angles facing the neck. my high strings (e b g) have the angles facing away from the neck... this might be one of those rare instances where i am going to have them all facing the neck..

Also, while you are at it, check and see the saddles make a smooth rise to the center. It was an Epi TOM I was messing with and had it apart and found the saddles had different heights. Put the highest together in the middle then the next highest, then the lowest on the outside. Might as well get it all sorted out while you are at it

thanks for mentioning this. (i didn't know they were different.. but it already had the saddles in the right location
#11
could it be something to do with the truss rod in the neck.. (i haven't adjusted it for fear of destroying my guitar plus my neck looks straight to me) ...
and isn't 1 semitone flat a little much? when i was changing the intonation from the bottom to the front it only changed by a half of a semitone at most... i am not sure how i will ever get my high e string right... its a perfect E note on the 13 fret...not the 12
#12
Quote by elihu4321

my saddles are opposite of that, even if i turned my bridge around the low 3 strings (D,A,E) will still have the angles facing the neck. my high strings (e b g) have the angles facing away from the neck... this might be one of those rare instances where i am going to have them all facing the neck..


This is your problem, then. If they intonate with all facing the neck, great, but if not, you know what to do. To get a bit of extra length, make sure they slope away from the neck. To get that extra bit sharper, make sure they face toward the neck.

As I recall, the saddle screws should be held in by a wire-spring retainer. Study how it is in there and make note. It can be a bitch to put back. Pull the end out carefully with a pair of long nose pliers. It can spring out and go flying! I used a small piece of maple to push the screws up out of the slot (use anything hard but not metal to protect the finish).

Turn the saddles all around the way they need to be (keeping the highest in the middle, etc). You'll obviously have to change which side the screw is going into. And remember to turn the whole thing around. Might as well be authentic.

Reassemble and your intonation problems should be solved!

Quote by elihu4321
could it be something to do with the truss rod in the neck.. (i haven't adjusted it for fear of destroying my guitar plus my neck looks straight to me) ...
and isn't 1 semitone flat a little much? when i was changing the intonation from the bottom to the front it only changed by a half of a semitone at most... i am not sure how i will ever get my high e string right... its a perfect E note on the 13 fret...not the 12


It has absolutely nothing to do with your truss rod.

You will be surprised how little saddle movement it takes for a semi tone.

p.s. It might have been an overstatement to say it's rare for them to intonate all facing forward, but when I found I had 3 facing each way, I checked out a lot of Les Paul pics, and it was rare in my research.
Water which is too pure has no fish - Ts'ai Ken T'an
Last edited by Ratraisin at Jul 18, 2010,
#13
thanks ratraisin.. turning the saddle on the g string should fix it and possibly for the B but i don't know about the E string (I HOPE... could i get a bigger saddle if it doesn't work?) unfortunately i am going to have to do this when i buy new strings, it might be a week.
and yea mine and all the les pauls i've seen have had 3 facing one way and 3 the other..
#14
first try lengthening the g & b.

i suspect you may get it with them as is. or loosen the strings a bunch to pull the bridge out and resolve the saddle issue.

you should be able to get it real close tho as it is, for now.
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#15
no no (if you are talking about saddles) i need to shorten the g & b & e strings but i am at the limit. i think the g and b can be resolved with turning the saddles around but my e string is the killer, it is as short as i can get it and it is still a semitone short of being right...

it seems like it might get a lil frustrating to loosen the strings and remove the bridge but if i get bored enough i will... thanks for your input tho..
#16
Quote by elihu4321
oh yea, i first did the intonation and found my problem...


First get the action right THEN fix the intonation.