#1
I have 9's on pretty much all my guitars and some of them, especially those with TOM-type bridges have been a problem for setting intonation. Even with the saddles moved as far back as possible (and reversing them to get the flat part of the wedge toward the bridge), I still have problems with strings being sharp. Would moving to 10's or 11's help? The longer I play, the more picky I find myself getting about my intonation.
#2
I have never had a problem with them and I have been using 9's since 94ish
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#3
Right, I don't think there's anything inherent to any normal gauge that would keep you from proper intonation, but maybe your particular guitars don't get along with them. It couldn't hurt to switch to 10s and see what happens.
#5
Quote by Explorerbuilder
If you use a heavier gauge, it will be even sharper, since you are increasing string tension.
There is no way all of your guitars with TOM bridges are that bad. How are you checking intonation?


It's not all of them, but it's most prevalent on my Epi LP where I completely ran out of adjustment room. The adjustments are about maxed out on the rest, especially for the E and G strings. I've been setting intonation with a Snark tuner and also by ear (D and A chords especially show problems, at least to my hearing). I've done the same thing with my guitars having Fender-style floating trems and they don't seem to be an issue.
#6
Quote by jds2
It's not all of them, but it's most prevalent on my Epi LP where I completely ran out of adjustment room. The adjustments are about maxed out on the rest, especially for the E and G strings. I've been setting intonation with a Snark tuner and also by ear (D and A chords especially show problems, at least to my hearing). I've done the same thing with my guitars having Fender-style floating trems and they don't seem to be an issue.


I am confused.

To set intonation do NOT use your ears. Only use a reliable electronic tuner. On each string: sound the 12th fret harmonic, and then play the 12th fret fretted. The two notes need to be the same. There are plenty of guides around, even on this website.

It is very easy to do and there is no reason TOM bridges should not be able to be correctly set with 9's. TOM bridges are some of the easiest to adjust.....
#7
Sorry if I was unclear. I use the Snark electronic tuner to set both the open string tuning and the intonation. What I meant was that I *hear* intonation problems particularly prominently on A and D chords. In addition to looking at the 12th fret, I also check all the intermediates as well, particularly on guitars where I play a lot of chords where frets 1 - 5 get a lot use. On all my guitars, if it's good on 12, it is also good everywhere in between. My problem is that across my collection of 12 guitars, I have a couple of strings that are still a bit sharp, even when those saddles are back as far as they can go. As I've gotten better, their being a bit off has become more annoying.
#8
Tuning a guitar (or any instrument) to "equal temperament" (as it is designed to be) is always a compromise. If some chords sound perfect, others are almost guarranteed to sound "a bit off". And it may just be that some of your guitars highlight the issue more than others. And maybe you're just noticing it more as your ear gets better.

Here's a good article on the subject, and some suggestions for alternate methods of tuning: http://paraglider.hubpages.com/hub/Equal-Temperament-Guitar-Tuning

Having said that, you should be able to get any string to intonate regardless of whether it is in tune or not, although ideally you'd tune it to the required pitch.
#9
Do 9's make it hard to set intonation properly?


No.

Setting intonation correctly does not guarantee that your chords will sound good.
In particular, if you're setting using the 12th fret harmonic, you'll find that often a guitar with slightly high action will be all kinds of weird with open chords in the 1-5 region. If you're one of those folks who gorilla grips the strings, pulling them all the way down to the wood on the fretboard, it will be even worse.

There's also this -- some guitars are built with bridges that don't allow proper intonation (essentially, they're not quite in the right place). Doesn't matter how much or how little money you've tossed at the manufacturer/builder, they're simply not done particularly well. At that point you need to run out and find a bridge with wider adjustability. The old Schaller "harmonica" bridges qualify; they've got more saddle travel.



There are, of course, other options as well.
#10
I would get a better tuner, and certainly never intonate a guitar by ear.
#11
I have no idea if this is what is affecting you,but its another thing to consider.

When I was rafting up my Squier I noticed my intonation was horribly out, no matter what I did with the saddles. The problem turned out to be the nut slots not being cut deep enough. As it was my beater Squier I use for learning I didn't hesitate to file them down a bit and see what happened, and it worked.

One giveaway clue that your nut is an issue is intonation being out all over the neck, including right up to the first fret. Fret 1-5 having issues? Think about the nut.

of course, if this didn't happen with any other gauge then this is not your issue
#12
Quote by dspellman
If you're one of those folks who gorilla grips the strings, pulling them all the way down to the wood on the fretboard, it will be even worse.


Many thanks. I hadn't put much thought into this part of my playing, and I was pretty much mashing down as hard as I could. Probably a holdover from when I was first beginning and it was all I could do to avoid string buzz. Lightening my touch has made a world of difference to the intonation issues. Thanks much. Some times it's something really simple and obvious to everyone else, but it was a big help to me.