Hello everybody.
I'm racking my brains about something here: we all know that when the intonation is sharp, we move the saddles back to to intonate the guitar, because the string has been lengthened. But somebody on a forum said that when you screw in the trem screws, the string lenghtens and the intonation goes sharp. That's partially normal I think because action is raised at the same time, but that can be adjusted after the bridge has been tilted. Isn't it supposed to be the opposite effect as the string is being lengthened? I know the bridge is supposed to be parallel to the body, but I need to know this info for a setup I'm trying (which is higher action=better tone, which from exp has worked massively). If anybody can explain this contradiction, I'd really appreciate it.
Last edited by jzRTCAQ!PY13575 at Jan 20, 2015,
I think it's just a confusion of terms. When you lengthen a string, the midpoint of the string (the harmonic) gets sharper. The fretted notes then are flatted. A misunderstanding could lead to reversing the sharp/flat convention if you were focused on the harmonic instead of the fretted note.

When I intonate, I think of it as moving the harmonic to land on the 12th fret. So I can see how you could have it in your head that "too long equals sharp." You're thinking of the actual fretted result, which is "too long = flat." Your understanding is correct, but I imagine the person writing whatever you read was referring to the harmonic and not the fretted notes.

The confusion is understandable but it won't prevent you from intonating a guitar properly.
When I intonate, I do the open string (or harmonic) then 12th fret method. In my head, when the string is lengthened, without any mod in string height, the fretted note at the 12th fret go towrads the''flat'' end of the spectrum, and the open string stays the same. Right now it's sharp, and I was thinking that if I tilted the bridge saddle backwards (meaning backside down to towards body behind the bridge), then reset the string action to the previous setting, I would get closer to the flat part of the spectrum, meaning note becomes less sharp until the point where the open string and the harmonic at 12th fret match the fretted note at the 12th fret, at least. Given the configuration I've got, a few frets of the bass string has to be sacrificed, which doesn't bother me. I just don't understand why people are saying different things that contradict each other.
Btw, do you know if action can be adjusted after tilting the bridge?
Last edited by jzRTCAQ!PY13575 at Jan 20, 2015,
My high school band director had us tune our instruments every day on a chromatic tuner. Everyone was usually confused at first so he told us this:

Sharp is too short.

That's it. If the open string is in tune and the 12th fret (octave) is sharp, the string is too short, move the saddle back and make it longer., Ignore the harmonic, it isn't used for setting intonation. After intonation is completed, the harmonic should be same as the octave, but I never check it. If the intonation is right, so is the harmonic.

When you raise or lower the action it should have very little effect on intonation, but sometimes does. I just raised the action on my Cort CL1500 a bit higher, no affect on intonation. It did change the tuning itself, because it stretched the strings, but not intonation. Other times it does have an affect. Always use new strings. Setting intonation with old strings is like putting on a condom after you have sex...

Lowering the bridge plate on a strat might affect intonation, hard to say, it depends on whether the plate already was sitting at an angle or was parallel to the guitar body as it usually should be. I set mine according to the Peavey specs on their Patriot guitar, at a slight angle.

Thing is, if it's sitting at an angle, and you change that angle, it will probably change string length but very little. I would always check intonation if any changes are made, anything you do to the bridge can and might change intonation.

Sharp is too short.
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
Last edited by Paleo Pete at Jan 20, 2015,
Thanks Paleo: if your teacher says that, then I think I go forward with this operation
Funny sex joke there btw:p
Ok, just tried it: it's a lot better compared to before. I can form a chord in certain areas of the highe frets and the notes are in tune.
Last edited by jzRTCAQ!PY13575 at Jan 21, 2015,