#1
heya so i've restrung my guitar, setup it up to my liking and tuned up. However I've noticed when playing the low E on the first 3 frets its actually quite sharp, although when i set it up i made sure that the harmonic on the 12th fret is in tune. So i'm nut sure why this is the case. Could it be the nut, frets or even fretboard.
#3
Quote by jetwash69
Check intonation.



he said harmonic at the 12th is fine


did you replace the neck by any chance?


edit: its possible that your pushing the strings too hard, thus raising the pitch...
#4
Quote by jetwash69
Check intonation.


Ive checked the tuning when i strum the string open and when fretted on the 12th fret and they're the same. Isn't that what intonation is?
#5
My guess would be the nut isn't at the right height. But I'm not 100% on that
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Epiphone Les Paul Standard
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#6
Quote by jetwash69
Check intonation.

this
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#7
I build a lot of redundancy into my setups. I'll make sure the 12th fret harmonic is in tune, as most do, but I go a step further. I play the chromatic scale all the way up the neck, and each time I find a fret out of tune, I adjust the intonation until it is. I continue to the Last fret (not just the 12th). Then I'll go back and do it all over again, as many times as needed until every fret is perfectly in tune. This is why I charge people upwards of $70 for a full setup; I may end up setting their guitar up 3 or 4 times by the time I'm done. If you have the patience, try it out.
#8
Quote by benji_flip134
Ive checked the tuning when i strum the string open and when fretted on the 12th fret and they're the same. Isn't that what intonation is?


No. Intonation is when open and a fretted 12th fret are the same. A harmonic on the 12th fret is the same as an open note.

You fret the string lightly so you're not stretching it sharp, but not so lightly that you get a harmonic.

Just went through this with my brand new Mustang, which was an eighth of a step off at the fretted 12 fret on most of the strings. The harmonics were dead on with the open note on all the strings. I've never seen a 12th fret harmonic differ from an open note no matter how old the strings, or how far out of intonation a guitar has been. I had to move the sadles almost all the way to the back of the bridge to get it right.
#9
Quote by RockinSince1993
I build a lot of redundancy into my setups. I'll make sure the 12th fret harmonic is in tune, as most do, but I go a step further. I play the chromatic scale all the way up the neck, and each time I find a fret out of tune, I adjust the intonation until it is. I continue to the Last fret (not just the 12th). Then I'll go back and do it all over again, as many times as needed until every fret is perfectly in tune. This is why I charge people upwards of $70 for a full setup; I may end up setting their guitar up 3 or 4 times by the time I'm done. If you have the patience, try it out.


Are you a luthier? I thought that it wasn't possible to get all the frets exactly in tune (with conventional frets) and that's why there's staggered fretboards, and you need a different stagger for each key? see http://www.doolinguitars.com/intonation/intonation4.html
#10
I'm not a luthier, but I'm apprenticing with one. I actually learned this from a random employee working at a guitar shop I worked at before. He set up my guitar for me, and I went home and checked the intonation right away...and wouldn't you know it, Every fret Perfectly in tune (not even 1/10th of a semitone off). I worked under him for several months until I became proficient enough to do it on my own. He also got the action low enough that I could take a Jazz 3, stick it under the last fret on the high e string, shake the guitar like a madman, and the pick wouldn't move. My speciality is Les Paul-style guitars, but any tune-o-matic/stopbar combination will work.
#11
It isn't possible to get every fret in tune without having something like the True Temperament system. You can get it sort of close, but it will always be a few cents off somewhere, thats just the nature of a fretted neck, you always have to have a compromise.
#12
Quote by RockinSince1993
I build a lot of redundancy into my setups. I'll make sure the 12th fret harmonic is in tune, as most do, but I go a step further. I play the chromatic scale all the way up the neck, and each time I find a fret out of tune, I adjust the intonation until it is. I continue to the Last fret (not just the 12th). Then I'll go back and do it all over again, as many times as needed until every fret is perfectly in tune. This is why I charge people upwards of $70 for a full setup; I may end up setting their guitar up 3 or 4 times by the time I'm done. If you have the patience, try it out.


I tried just messing around withe the intonation making it sharp and flat. Then i put it back to normal and all of sudden the first three frets are just so slightly sharp now wtf.
#13
Quote by littlephil
It isn't possible to get every fret in tune without having something like the True Temperament system. You can get it sort of close, but it will always be a few cents off somewhere, thats just the nature of a fretted neck, you always have to have a compromise.


With my tuner and guitar in hand, I must respectfully disagree. My guitar is perfectly in tune (not a cent off) at all 22 frets. The luthier I'm apprenticing with doesn't understand it either, but he says it may have been a "lucky defect" from the factory.
#14
Its normal for the first few frets to be out of tune. If its annoying you that much, a compensated nut will help a lot.
#15
Quote by littlephil
It isn't possible to get every fret in tune without having something like the True Temperament system. You can get it sort of close, but it will always be a few cents off somewhere, thats just the nature of a fretted neck, you always have to have a compromise.


yes but my first fret was very sharp like in this pic i Photoshopped. I use a korg tuner so i thought it'd be relevant lol

#16
It's normal for the first couple frets to be a little bit sharp. This is because as you get closer to the nut you have to push down harder to fret a note and the extra tension make the notes sharp. If the nuts are excessively sharp lowering nut slots can lessen the sharpness; this is often a problem on cheap guitars. But it is sometimes impossible to cut nut slots that are low enough to not make frets 1–3 sharp and not cause the string to ring on the frets when played open. A good guitar tech might be able to cut the slots deeper and cut back on sharpness; it's slow trial-and-error work and not something you get from a $30 music store setup.
#17
Quote by jpnyc
It's normal for the first couple frets to be a little bit sharp. This is because as you get closer to the nut you have to push down harder to fret a note and the extra tension make the notes sharp. If the nuts are excessively sharp lowering nut slots can lessen the sharpness; this is often a problem on cheap guitars. But it is sometimes impossible to cut nut slots that are low enough to not make frets 1–3 sharp and not cause the string to ring on the frets when played open. A good guitar tech might be able to cut the slots deeper and cut back on sharpness; it's slow trial-and-error work and not something you get from a $30 music store setup.


wow that makes a lot of sense thanks. Also the fact that its a Squier that was setup with 9-42 in mind, this would mean that the strings wouldnt fit as perfectly into the nut as it was designed as i used 10-46. Is it difficult to lower the nut slots what tools would i need?
#18
I wouldn't recommend trying to do the nut yourself unless you've done it before. Its very easy to mess up, and the nut files aren't cheap.
#19
Quote by littlephil
I wouldn't recommend trying to do the nut yourself unless you've done it before. Its very easy to mess up, and the nut files aren't cheap.


He's correct. It is possible to get a passable nut yourself using cheap tools, but to cut a good nut requires expensive nut files and a lot of practice. Unless you plan on cutting a lot of nuts buying the files and wasting a few nuts learning to do it isn't worth the money and you should just pay a tech.
#20
Quote by jpnyc
He's correct. It is possible to get a passable nut yourself using cheap tools, but to cut a good nut requires expensive nut files and a lot of practice. Unless you plan on cutting a lot of nuts buying the files and wasting a few nuts learning to do it isn't worth the money and you should just pay a tech.


yeh probably not worth it aye. Its not to bad now after playing around with the intonation. It's not too bad when I'm playing on dirty channel however when i play clean channel it pisses me off. I gotta save up for a decent guitar lol
#21
Quote by littlephil
I wouldn't recommend trying to do the nut yourself unless you've done it before. Its very easy to mess up, and the nut files aren't cheap.


+ 1.

This is the perfect opportunity to install a Graphtech nut and string tees. While you're at it you might even want to install a MIM trem with Graphtech saddles.

Have a good luthier do this for you, along with setting up these new components and the neck, and your Squier will be more playable than 99% of the MIM Strats out there and most MIAs, too.

Of course, it'll cost almost as much as the guitar, if not more, but it's worth it.

Throw in a set of Fender/Schaller locking tuners and this guitar will rival any standard MIA Strat out there.

My Squier Affinity now has the locking tuners, and had the luthier setup (he had to shim the neck), but now it plays just as well as my MIA Strat. And I don't even have the Graphtec nut or saddles--I didn't even know about those when I had the setup done. I actually like the tone better on the Squier 'cause it's in an HH config. Pups are much hotter than the SSSs in the MIA. Plus I have the electronics like they use in MIA Deluxes, but modded for 2 volumes and 2 tones (concentric).

So the Squier gets played more than the MIA, more than an MIJ Ibanez RG Prestige, or any of the others. Just wish it had 3 more frets (or at least 1 more) and a deeper cutaway. And that the bridge pup hadn't gone microphonic, so I could play it at stage volumes without excessive feedback, even with the strings muted. BTW, the Squier was setup by the same pro who did my MIA.

Good luck; you have a great opportunity here.