#1
Hi all,

Having just purchased my first proper electro acoustic (not counting the cheap Encore) I was really happy with my buy until I went to check the intonation. On every string when the open note is in tune, the harmonic at the 12th fret is in tune but the fretted note at the 12th fret on every string is enough out for the inbuilt tuner to pick up that it's sharp. I'm fretting as close to the fret as possible.

I bought it from an online provider and for their guarantee to remain valid I can't adjust anything.

Is it worth me trying to do anything about it or should I just live with it if all the strings are in tune with each other at all points (e.g. same amount sharp on all strings so chords still sound okay-ish - I didn't notice it was flat until I checked on the tuner but then my ears aren't great at picking it up)?
Is it worth me returning it?
Is it worth changing the string even if the set on the acoustic look and sound like they're brand new?
Is there a simple solution (google searching would suggest not) or should I try and find a good luthier to take it to (not many about near where I live)?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions and help
Gear:
SQ Custom 1, Washburn G-JRVs x3, Yamaha ERG121C, Samick Interceptor, Encore Acoustic, Vintage 5 String Bass, Unbranded Red Bass.
Line 6 SpiderII Halfstack, Laney/Carlsboro Halfstack.
Crybaby,Whammy,Flanger,Stage Tuner,Tremolo,Bass Overdrive
Last edited by punkguitarist01 at Aug 10, 2014,
#2
If it's just a little sharp, it's likely that the action at the saddle is too high. Have a technician check the string height at the 12th fret.
If it's too high,then the mere act of fretting, of pulling the string down to the fret, will cause it to go sharp.
It's very unusual for modern guitars to have misplaced frets or an incorrectly-set scale length.
#3
Well Junior, If you're looking for intonation problems on any acoustic, they're plenty easy to find.

Even with the action just a touch high, you can pull 30 cents, (or so) sharp by just clamping down good and hard .

I suppose you could flat the whole instrument maybe 10 cents, to split the difference.

If you sit around and fixate on the problem, you'll drive yourself crazy. You'll just be tuning and not playing.

Manufacturers ship with the action on the high side, partly so they don't get called on a fret job that might slightly be less than perfect. Especially with mid-line and lower guitars.

As Bikewer says though, it's doubtful that the frets are in the wrong place or any scale length errors are present. They probably have fixed jigs for both operations, and may even cut all the fret slots in one pass one a machine. (I'm not certain about that though).

Here's a good setup guide, you can check what you have against what it could or should be: http://thbecker.net/guitar_playing/guitars_and_setup/setup_page_01.htmlicularly

Keep in mind the action will never be as low as a good electric. Mostly because an acoustic's strings need more excursion, and you're developing the volume with the guitar, and not playing the amplifier.

Acoustic guitars excel at open chords, perhaps not so much at power chords and playing way up the neck. Intonation issues are not as severe in the open position.

If you should use a capo, (yeah I know, I used the "C" word"), tune the guitar with the capo in place. That will cure intonation issues which can occur as you change the scale length.

BTW, what did you buy? Can you upload a couple of pictures? We love "HNGD" threads here in A & C G...
Last edited by Captaincranky at Aug 11, 2014,
#4
As already said, if it is going sharp at the high frets, two possibilities are that you are fretting too hard and/or the action is too high. Having fixed those, you can win a bit more by setting the crown of the saddle as far back as it will go, making the string a bit longer.

Intonation also interacts with string gauge. If it is sharp at the high frets, heavier strings will make it worse, lighter ones will improve it. - But light strings are easier to drag out of tune by heavy fretting, so that can be a swings and roundabouts thing..