#1
So, I'm getting sharp notes on my lower strings (but not on my high E, only about 2-5 cents on B, and it gets worse on the way up)

It's most extreme at the first 5 frets. Is my nut at the wrong height?

Should I cut into the nut holes a little, or shim it for some more height? Could it be my truss rod?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
#2
If it's intonation, you adjust at the bridge. Look up how to adjust your intonation for the type of guitar bridge you have. Don't do anything to the nut.
#3
^ +1

Don't mess with the nut. That's all at the bridge, and it's relatively easy to fix (i.e. - put your file away!)
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#4
The thing is, no matter what adjustments I make at the bridge, I can only get immensely negligible results in intonation. Should I be turning the screw away, or towards me if I want to flatten the note, just to be clear?
#5
Oh, and the thing that makes me think it's the nut is the problem gets worse towards the nut, and less terrible towards the bridge.
#6
The nut just guides the strings.. It isn't there for intonation.
You raise the string to flatten it (I think).

If your neck is bowed and no longer straight, then it's the truss rod that could be affecting the intonation. Then it might need setting again. But that's a last resort and probably isn't.
If you can find someone who knows some stuff about guitars, ask them. It's probably something simple; it always is

But don't mess with the nut- whatever you do, because you'll just make trouble for yourself.

Sorry if I'm not any real help :/
#7
so it's impossible that my intonation issue is because of the nut?

What's the most simple way to check my neck? There isn't an obvious visual issue that I can tell, but I know it's an exact science.
#8
Having looked around, it seems like my issue is definitely the nut. I can get a perfect note at the 12th fret but the first couple frets seem to be 20-30 cents out.

It's funny, I actually took this guitar to a repair shop recently to have a nut fitted. The nut fitting looked a little suspect (very slight gap under the bass side) but I figured they knew what they were doing. I think I was wrong.

So if I want to flatten the note, what do I do? This is my only guitar and I haven't had a proper play in weeks.
#9
A nut that's cut too high can absolutely impact intonation on the first few frets, especially on a guitar that's otherwise set up for a very low action (It's basic physics, all about the angles) and anyone who tells you otherwise is FOS.

Is the string height at the first fret significantly higher than at the 12th? With a nut that sets the strings too high for the action, the first fret will have the highest string height and each fret from there will be slightly closer. A set of feeler gauges, available in any auto parts store for a few bucks will let you take very accurate measurements if you want to check it yourself. If it turns out to be the case you can either raise your bridge to reduce the differential angle or lower the nut.

There are some diagrams at http://www.setitupbetter.com/Picture-Guitar-Intonation.php that may help you understand the angle relationship.

I'd take it back to the shop and explain what was happening and ask them to fix it. (Actually I wouldn't, I'd fix it myself, but if I didn't know how that's what I'd do...)

Good luck.
#10
Thanks for your very helpful post!

I've been to the shop several times now and they seem to completely refuse to believe it's the nut that's the issue. I honestly think they are totally wrong and aren't particularly good at fixing guitars at all (when I got it back last time the bridge was set so low the strings were all buzzing...wtf?)

It appears right now as though the string at nut height is relatively low, and gets further away from the fretboard as it goes down the neck.

Is it the cut into the nut where the string lies, or the bottom of the nut where it attaches to the neck that I have to adjust?
#11
Quote by kaneorsomething
Thanks for your very helpful post!

1. It appears right now as though the string at nut height is relatively low, and gets further away from the fretboard as it goes down the neck.

2. Is it the cut into the nut where the string lies, or the bottom of the nut where it attaches to the neck that I have to adjust?


1. That's exactly the opposite of what I would expect, given your symptoms? Are you certain that's the case? (do you have some way to actually measure?) If it is the case, is your fret height consistent above the fretboard all along the neck?

2. If it's on all strings you can sand the bottom of the nut (600 grit sandpaper taped to a piece of glass gives a nice flat sanding surface), if only certain strings you must adjust the cut for that string. (You can use welding/cutting torch tip cleaners for an inexpensive set of nut files. They aren't perfect, and they'll take a bit longer, but they aren't $140.00 either...)
#12
i may have a fix . a small wile a go i changed my strings and i was like wtf all the strings buzzed and on one string the intonation was fuked being in mind before i had 10s on and i was putting 9s onto it .is the string gauge the same have u changed em etc.well also one pack of strings i bought 2 of the strings were fuked up i noticed it we i put em on no matter how much i ajusted the bridge it was still shit .so because of the buzzing and into issues i would recomend getting some 9s and 10s new strings and fir both etc see if u can hear any difference also if its the nut i bet if there smaller gauge strings it will help solve the issue maybe worth a shit i guess .also this is a bit mental but i have my action so fuking lol that on one string im forced to use a 9 and the rest 10 makes no diference as its not one of the top 3 but so long as the buzz dont go through the amp dont worrie.mine buzzes some but its cause of the sexual action being so crasy close how i like it .hope somehow this helps mayeb .what im saving here aint gospel so no flaming me guys im only a noob
#13
Quote by Arby911
1. That's exactly the opposite of what I would expect, given your symptoms? Are you certain that's the case? (do you have some way to actually measure?) If it is the case, is your fret height consistent above the fretboard all along the neck?

2. If it's on all strings you can sand the bottom of the nut (600 grit sandpaper taped to a piece of glass gives a nice flat sanding surface), if only certain strings you must adjust the cut for that string. (You can use welding/cutting torch tip cleaners for an inexpensive set of nut files. They aren't perfect, and they'll take a bit longer, but they aren't $140.00 either...)



I could be totally wrong, but visually, as I look down the neck, it gets further away as it goes down. E.g. the 12th fret looks further away than the first fret. Whether the nut itself is higher I'm not sure. I'll find some way of measuring.

I really don't understand this, as the intonation is too sharp, not too flat. Should I still try lowering the string's position in the nut, or will I just get buzz?

Should I take pictures?
#14
Quote by Rosewood55
i may have a fix . a small wile a go i changed my strings and i was like wtf all the strings buzzed and on one string the intonation was fuked being in mind before i had 10s on and i was putting 9s onto it .is the string gauge the same have u changed em etc.well also one pack of strings i bought 2 of the strings were fuked up i noticed it we i put em on no matter how much i ajusted the bridge it was still shit .so because of the buzzing and into issues i would recomend getting some 9s and 10s new strings and fir both etc see if u can hear any difference also if its the nut i bet if there smaller gauge strings it will help solve the issue maybe worth a shit i guess .also this is a bit mental but i have my action so fuking lol that on one string im forced to use a 9 and the rest 10 makes no diference as its not one of the top 3 but so long as the buzz dont go through the amp dont worrie.mine buzzes some but its cause of the sexual action being so crasy close how i like it .hope somehow this helps mayeb .what im saving here aint gospel so no flaming me guys im only a noob



String gauge is still totally the same!
#15
If it was your nut height, you would get buzzing on the first few frets more then likely and if it was too high, you would have major discomfort with the guitar's action. For fretting out, if that was happening you'd get buzz, and maybe even some frets being the same note as others.

As fo the intonation, make the little saddle part for the string, move towards the nut to flatten it, and towards the ass of the guitar to raise it.
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#16
I've been doing that fanatically for almost a week now with no real results, though. Is there anything else it could be?
#18
Quote by kaneorsomething


Should I take pictures?


If you can take good quality tightly focused ones, sure. Put them on your profile and we can take a look.

EDIT: I just reread your initial post, and now I'm wondering if the neck is twisted...hard to say without a good look though. Are the string heights consistent at the 1st fret? (E is the same distance away as e?)
Last edited by Arby911 at Apr 13, 2011,