#1
Hey, guys. I recently started playing and bought a Fender Squire for my first guitar. I didn't want to buy an expensive model if my guitar curiosity turned out to be a phase. But it turns out that I've got some talent for this.

That being said, my guitar does something weird. I tune all the strings perfectly and some chords sound fine, but when I play an open string D, the B string sounds awful. I thought it was the intonation, so I took it to a tech, got it restrung and set up.

It still does it. I might be able to upload a small clip on youtube to better explain, but the best way I can explain it is that it simply does not sound like it's working with the other strings in the chord. I want to say it sounds flat, but I'm not sure if that's the correct term. I was playing a friend's Martin this weekend and D sounds SO much better on his guitar.

It's not just the open D that it affects, it's just the most obvious. With a good ear, playing something like Stairway makes it audibly noticeable.

Any idea what might be causing this? The tech said the neck was fine and didn't mention any issues.
Last edited by Skw1sg44r at Jun 27, 2013,
#2
What model is it?

Flat is when it is below the correct pitch. Sharp is above. So is it flat or not when you use the tuner?

Strats have a unique tone to it, especially on the D and B, when you notice it it can be difficult to unhear if you dislike it. But it may be a nut issue. If you hear a ringing, or distorted note open but not played it's normally the nut.
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#3
How close are the pickups to the strings? If they are too close you can have issues with the magnetic pull affecting the string ringing out properly. You can try lowering them deeper into the body to test.
#4
Quote by 4FunandProphet
How close are the pickups to the strings? If they are too close you can have issues with the magnetic pull affecting the string ringing out properly. You can try lowering them deeper into the body to test.


This wouldn't occur only when played open. But it could be stratitis.
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#5
Quote by Skw1sg44r

That being said, my guitar does something weird. I tune all the strings perfectly and some chords sound fine, but when I play an open string D, the B string sounds awful. I thought it was the intonation, so I took it to a tech, got it restrung and set up.

It still does it. I might be able to upload a small clip on youtube to better explain, but the best way I can explain it is that it simply does not sound like it's working with the other strings in the chord. I want to say it sounds flat, but I'm not sure if that's the correct term. I was playing a friend's Martin this weekend and D sounds SO much better on his guitar.

It's not just the open D that it affects, it's just the most obvious. With a good ear, playing something like Stairway makes it audibly noticeable.


Same here, except I have a new Epi LP. I've taken it back twice to GC, both times the tech said the intonation was out "a little".

I can get it to sound OK on a clean channel, but it becomes too noticeable when I add some OD.

I use a Korg TM40 tuner, which is not a cheap "throw-away" tune-to-the-green-light tuner. All strings in tune, play and open E chord: fine. Play an open A chord and the B string is sharp. Tune the B string so the A sounds good and the E and Am chords are flat on the B string.

I went to back to GC and pulled a random guitar off the wall, plugged in and played and it sounded fine, so it's not my technique.

I have ProBucker Pups, which are too "hot" for me (I would prefer Pearly Gates or Dimarzio 36th Ann PAFS), so I've lowered both pickups away from the strings.

For now, I just tune so the A chord is OK and dampen the B string when necessary with my index finger, but it's frustrating that I can only play major chords when on the lead channel.
Last edited by arc anjil at Jun 27, 2013,
#6
Quote by Mephaphil
This wouldn't occur only when played open. But it could be stratitis.

TS has stated that he was playing a D chord. This implies that he wasn't playing the B string open.


I would check the string intonation. That url has a detailed step-by-step process with accompanying pictures.

Then, if the above doesn't fix it, I would try lowering the pickups. Don't lower them too much, or you won't get enough "oomph" out of your pickups. Lower the pickups just enough so they aren't pulling on the string and knocking it out of tune.
Last edited by crazysam23_Atax at Jun 27, 2013,
#7
Quote by crazysam23_Atax
TS has stated that he was playing a D chord. This implies that he wasn't playing the B string open.


Ahhhh I missed it because he said open string D, which is confusing.

I wouldn't be surprised that the Taylor sounds better. It probably is the intonation.
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#8
Quote by Mephaphil
What model is it?

Flat is when it is below the correct pitch. Sharp is above. So is it flat or not when you use the tuner?

Strats have a unique tone to it, especially on the D and B, when you notice it it can be difficult to unhear if you dislike it. But it may be a nut issue. If you hear a ringing, or distorted note open but not played it's normally the nut.


It's a Squire Affinity.



^ Pretty sure that's the exact model I have, stock pickups, whammy and everything.

I tested out individual strings and they almost always seem to be slightly sharper than they're supposed to be, but if I loosen the strings at all, they're too low when played open. Even weirder, this applies to basically every fret rather than the 12th, the harmonic is in tune as well...I'm not even really that far along tech wise, but even that sort of bends my mind.

As for the nuts, it seems to get out of tune relatively quickly in comparison to other models I've played. If I bend a few notes doing blues licks, it doesn't take long to get out of whack. If that's any indication of a nut issue, let me know.

Quote by 4FunandProphet
How close are the pickups to the strings? If they are too close you can have issues with the magnetic pull affecting the string ringing out properly. You can try lowering them deeper into the body to test.


You know, now that you mention it, the pickups do seem too close, especially when I play down past the 12th fret. The D string actually touches the pickup when playing up around fret 15+. The poles in the first pickup towards the neck for the D string seem a lot higher than the others. Needless to say, it sounds awful when playing high notes. I'll try lowering the pickups.

Or maybe getting completely new pickups, like ones that don't use poles? Or would getting good pickups for a Fender Squire be like souping up a 94 Civic? I'd probably be better off just trading in for a Epiphone Les Paul or something?

Other than that, I f*cking love guitar. I wish I had started playing a long time ago.
Last edited by Skw1sg44r at Jun 27, 2013,
#9
I have a Strat that's a Squier as well, and it's similar to yours. I've only ever had it re-stringed and the string height slightly adjusted, and never set up in regards to pickups etc. It's always sounded fine.

I'd expect you might want to show a tech this, since if the string is actually TOUCHING the pickup, well that's probably your problem. But just quickly I have to make sure we eliminate the obvious first.. are you 110% sure you are playing the D chord correctly?

Also you never told us if this occurs when you're playing plugged into an amplifier or not. Does it only happen when plugged in, does it happen when playing unplugged as well?
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Last edited by Volcz at Jun 27, 2013,
#10
Quote by Volcz
I have a Strat that's a Squier as well, and it's similar to yours. I've only ever had it re-stringed and the string height slightly adjusted, and never set up in regards to pickups etc. It's always sounded fine.

I'd expect you might want to show a tech this, since if the string is actually TOUCHING the pickup, well that's probably your problem. But just quickly I have to make sure we eliminate the obvious first.. are you 110% sure you are playing the D chord correctly?

Also you never told us if this occurs when you're playing plugged into an amplifier or not. Does it only happen when plugged in, does it happen when playing unplugged as well?


Yeah, my forms fine and everything. It's definitely the correct chord. The thing is, the string that touches the pickup isn't the string that makes the D chord sound so awful. I can still hear it when I play other chords, just D is the most obvious, especially if I play it slow, picking each string. I didn't really notice it until I was playing Stairway (surprise, surprise). It still sounds ok, it just pales in comparison to other guitars I've played.

Excuse my noobness, but do I adjust the string height by the screws on the bridge? It seems like that would be easier to try than lowering the pickups...but I mean, I'd do whichever it needed.
#11
Lowering the pickups should be way easier. Just turn the screws on either side of the pickup whichever way makes them go down (should be counter clockwise) a couple turns. That's it. Doesn't cause any other bad side effects and is easy to reverse if you decide you don't like the change.
#12
Quote by Preacher403
Lowering the pickups should be way easier. Just turn the screws on either side of the pickup whichever way makes them go down (should be counter clockwise) a couple turns. That's it. Doesn't cause any other bad side effects and is easy to reverse if you decide you don't like the change.


Alright, I'll def give it a shot when I get home and let you guys know how it goes.

Appreciate the advice, fellas.
#13
This happened to me on my old guitar, strings are in-tune when played open, both the 12th fret harmonic and 12th fret match and are in-tune too (so intonation is good), but play a chord and it sounds out, specially when playing towards the first frets, for me it turned out to be my nut wich was way too high and made the strings sit too far away from frets on the first frets, but having the neck bowed would make it happen too (or a combination of both, seen that too).

It sounds like that because the string is bending too much at the nut when you fret it, have both those checked.

Hope it helps .
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#14
Just a word of advice, sometimes you need to tune with your ear. This usually applies to the G string, but I think it's a symptom of all unwound strings.

For some reason, we can perceive "perfect" pitches as being unpleasant, so tuning a little sharp or flat of the correct pitch can be the correct thing to do, as far as the human ear is concerned.
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#15
It's possible that the bridge could be floating and throwing things that little bit off