#1
I've intonated my Strat to the best of my ability. Everything seems to be okay. Yet when I play over a backing track I laid down myself with the aid of my ditto looper, a lot of the notes still sound pretty gross, especially on the higher registers of the high E and B strings. What's going on? The tone is also pretty gross from time to time, and this is an American strat that cost me about $1,000 two years ago. Any idea what my issue is?
#2
what tuner are you using to intonate it?

The open note is reading the same as the 12th fret?

because that should do it.
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#3
Also try the 12th fret harmonic with the fretted 12th. Something else to try is, say the 3rd fret with the 15th - you don't have to intonate from the open string, it depends on your playing style.

Make sure that you are using the same pressure on the frets for playing, intonating and tuning.
#4
Quote by Robbgnarly
what tuner are you using to intonate it?

The open note is reading the same as the 12th fret?

because that should do it.


TC polytune, but i do each string individually. Yeah, I'm doing open and 12th, plus harmonic. Bla.
#5
What amp is it running into?
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#6
Are you sure that you aren’t just sick of the way this guitar sounds? It might be that the stock pickups just aren’t to your liking.
#7
Did you also check all the other notes? Sometimes weird things happen and even if the intonation is right at the octave, it can be terrible in the middle frets.
#8
Quote by TheLiberation
Did you also check all the other notes? Sometimes weird things happen and even if the intonation is right at the octave, it can be terrible in the middle frets.

and if this is the case, fender will replace your guitar

It may be the way the signal is being processed through the looper. Does the guitar sound in tune if you only play the notes with no looped track?
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#9
Actually it doesn't have to be a guitar issue. It was on my acoustic, but once I had a very weird case when the low E string was going horribly out of tune on the lower frets, and the problem went away after putting on a different string. I'm not sure if it could be possible for any other reasons, but it's definitely worth checking.
#10
Quote by Robbgnarly
and if this is the case, fender will replace your guitar

It may be the way the signal is being processed through the looper. Does the guitar sound in tune if you only play the notes with no looped track?


No, not really.

I am pretty sick of the tone of the guitar, actually. I guess I haven't fully bonded with it.

The 14th fret on the high E is also dead, especially when I bend.

It's going into a Pavey Delta blues 115. Complete chain is Strat--> Polytune --> SP compressor --> Boss DA-2 --> TC Flashback --> Ditto.

Have had about 4 pro setups since I bought the guitar, and have tried to set it up myself a bunch of times.

Was actually thinking about having it Plek'd when I had the money?
#11
Quote by RyanMW2010
No, not really.

I am pretty sick of the tone of the guitar, actually. I guess I haven't fully bonded with it.

The 14th fret on the high E is also dead, especially when I bend.

It's going into a Pavey Delta blues 115. Complete chain is Strat--> Polytune --> SP compressor --> Boss DA-2 --> TC Flashback --> Ditto.

Have had about 4 pro setups since I bought the guitar, and have tried to set it up myself a bunch of times.

Was actually thinking about having it Plek'd when I had the money?


are you sure that the tremolo isn't engaged on the amp? it sounds dumb, but i had that happen with a dalay (malekko 616) that the modulation was on the repeats that made it warbely, and it the delay is short so it was just a mess. maybe its just that small. i know it sounds odd but it could be.
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#12
If the guitar is plugged directly into the amp is there still an issue?
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#13
could the pickups be too high? it could impede on string vibration if the magnets are too strong. long shot. trying to think anything to help.
WTLT 2014 GG&A

Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



****** NEW NEW NEW!
2017-07-07 2017-07-07 Update and a Chat On Noise Constraints *** NEW FRIDAY 7/7
2017-04-13 RUN AWAY from COMPUTERS!!! TCE? RANT ALERT!!!
2017-03-02 - Guitar Philosophy 1001- Be Prepared For the Situation (Thursday 2017-03-02)
2017-02-21 How to Hot-Rod the Hell of your Stratocaster for $50! (Tuesday 2017-2-21)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/
#14
have you tried changing string guage. i had an awful sounding strat with 9's, i put 10's on and it sounded much fuller. i keep 9's on my tele as i like how it sounds and plays with those. worth a try. its £5 for a packet of strings much cheaper than plecking/new pickups/pro-setup ect. dont forget to tighten the bridge strings if you move up guage tho
#15
Quote by RyanMW2010
TC polytune, but i do each string individually. Yeah, I'm doing open and 12th, plus harmonic. Bla.



Don't use the harmonic. It will counteract the open and 12th fretted note.
The Harmonic divides a totally straight string in half. But when you fret a note the string deflects because you press down the strings, this changes their length due to the string deflection So Open and fretted 12th which will set the scale length but compensate for this string deflection as well.

If you've got a IPhone try the Peterson Strobe app it's $9.99. Strobe tuners are many times more accurate than chromatic tuners.
Moving on.....
Last edited by KenG at May 27, 2015,
#16
Quote by trashedlostfdup
could the pickups be too high? it could impede on string vibration if the magnets are too strong. long shot. trying to think anything to help.



That's a good point. Single Coils on Strats have a powerfull magnetic field (more so than humbuckers) and if place too close to the strings they can affect the vibration pattern
Moving on.....
#17
Quote by RyanMW2010
I've intonated my Strat to the best of my ability. Everything seems to be okay. Yet when I play over a backing track I laid down myself with the aid of my ditto looper, a lot of the notes still sound pretty gross, especially on the higher registers of the high E and B strings. What's going on? The tone is also pretty gross from time to time, and this is an American strat that cost me about $1,000 two years ago. Any idea what my issue is?


Bring it to a tech and pay the $40 to get it set up right. Save yourself the hassle. An American Strat should sound great by default.
#18
I just saw that you've already had 4 pro setups - you may simply have a lemon of a guitar, unfortunately.
#19
Quote by RyanMW2010


The 14th fret on the high E is also dead, especially when I bend.


Was actually thinking about having it Plek'd when I had the money?


I've had several guitars PLEK'd now, and if you're playing with relatively low action, it's *really* worth the money. Almost nothing on your guitar will work well if you don't have level frets. If you have a dead fret at the high E 14th fret when you bend, you probably have a fret issue.

One more thing. A good custom guitar builder will often glue the frets when he installs them. Gibson does not, Schecter does not, Fender doesn't -- they simply press the frets in. Two things can happen if the fret slots are a little wide. One, the frets can lift a bit, thus ruining even a PLEK job. Two, the fret may not be making solid contact with the fretboard, and you'll often hear it as a dead fret (tap a few of your frets with the end of a screwdriver and often you'll hear a sort of plonk at a dead fret.

There are some good techs who are able to coax very thin superglue into the tang cavity beneath the fret. This alleviates BOTH of the issues above. I've had this done on each of the guitars that were PLEK'd, and it's made a major difference in sound (and I haven't had a "flyer" fret since). I've got three guitars set aside now that are going to be making the trip with me to San Francisco in a few weeks, where Gary Brawer can superglue and PLEK the hell out of them. At the same time, he does a great setup as part of the process. SO worth it.
#20
Quote by reverb66
I just saw that you've already had 4 pro setups - you may simply have a lemon of a guitar, unfortunately.


Or lousy pro setups. There's almost no guitar that a good pro (note the adjective) can't turn into a great player. But there are a whole lot of techs that accept money for doing a half-fast job.
#21
Quote by KenG
Don't use the harmonic. It will counteract the open and 12th fretted note.
The Harmonic divides a totally straight string in half. But when you fret a note the string deflects because you press down the strings, this changes their length due to the string deflection So Open and fretted 12th which will set the scale length but compensate for this string deflection as well.

If you've got a IPhone try the Peterson Strobe app it's $9.99. Strobe tuners are many times more accurate than chromatic tuners.

The harmonic will be exactly the same as the open note. That's what a second harmonic is. Not sure how an open string is supposed to account for string deflection.

It works the same both ways. You account for deflection when intonating for the fretted note, since...it's the one being fretted. If there's a discrepancy between open and harmonic intonation against the 12th fret, you're doing something wrong.
#22
Quote by dspellman
Or lousy pro setups. There's almost no guitar that a good pro (note the adjective) can't turn into a great player. But there are a whole lot of techs that accept money for doing a half-fast job.


I've had it set up a few times at two different locations--one was the Music Zoo in Roslyn which apparently has the "fender licensed tech" for my area. He seemed pretty thorough with the questions he asked me beforehand about my preferences and all that.

I think it's possible that I do just have a lemon of a guitar. I'm left handed so I had to special order this and couldn't play it before I bought it. It has had a *ton* of issues. It doesn't even really have that deep throaty neck pickup sound that I love about strats. It's kinda meh--and it sucks because I feel like my only option will be to eventually sell this guitar at a serious loss and then buy blind again since there are never any lefties anywhere.

And before anyone asks, it's been suggested plenty of times, but I've been playing left-handed for over 20 years now, and it just doesn't make sense for me to switch.
Adirondack guitars is about a 3.5 hour drive from me, so I may take a trip of their and play literally everything they have---but the strat cost me $1200 with taxes and I'll be lucky to get $700 back.
#23
Quote by RyanMW2010
I've had it set up a few times at two different locations--one was the Music Zoo in Roslyn which apparently has the "fender licensed tech" for my area. He seemed pretty thorough with the questions he asked me beforehand about my preferences and all that.

I think it's possible that I do just have a lemon of a guitar. I'm left handed so I had to special order this and couldn't play it before I bought it. It has had a *ton* of issues. It doesn't even really have that deep throaty neck pickup sound that I love about strats. It's kinda meh--and it sucks because I feel like my only option will be to eventually sell this guitar at a serious loss and then buy blind again since there are never any lefties anywhere.

And before anyone asks, it's been suggested plenty of times, but I've been playing left-handed for over 20 years now, and it just doesn't make sense for me to switch.
Adirondack guitars is about a 3.5 hour drive from me, so I may take a trip of their and play literally everything they have---but the strat cost me $1200 with taxes and I'll be lucky to get $700 back.

Get a PRS lefty no QC issues there
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#24
I once tried to trade this guitar back to the store I bought it from for a 2011 Lefty American Strat that had been hanging on the wall for a few years. I should have initially bought that one but I absolutely loathed the color at the time. That guitar plays and sounds better than mine, it's lighter, etc.

Anyway, I was willing to trade my guitar in and pay up to $200 for the 2011. The store owner looked over my guitar and told me the best he could do was trade +$500 because my guitar has cosmetic damage to it. Granted, it does, there are a few dings here and there because I'm not a careful player, but I still thought this was a bit unfair and decided to keep my guitar. The 2011 is now gone .
#25
Quote by Robbgnarly
Get a PRS lefty no QC issues there


lol yeah, okay. when i have $4,000 to drop.
I know you're being a bit facetious, but I'm not actually a huge PRS fan. They're too expensive and too nice. I'm clumsy and aggressive with my instruments. I feel like I would damage a PRS almost immediately. I prefer old fashioned and even relic'd guitars because I don't have to worry about knocking chips of paint off when I back into a bar's support beam or something.
#26
Quote by RyanMW2010
lol yeah, okay. when i have $4,000 to drop.
I know you're being a bit facetious, but I'm not actually a huge PRS fan. They're too expensive and too nice. I'm clumsy and aggressive with my instruments. I feel like I would damage a PRS almost immediately. I prefer old fashioned and even relic'd guitars because I don't have to worry about knocking chips of paint off when I back into a bar's support beam or something.

Look at GC used section online, lots of lefties on there and you get a 30 day return policy
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#27
Quote by Robbgnarly
Look at GC used section online, lots of lefties on there and you get a 30 day return policy


Hmm. Not a bad idea, Rob. Thanks.
#28
Quote by Roc8995
The harmonic will be exactly the same as the open note. That's what a second harmonic is. Not sure how an open string is supposed to account for string deflection.

It works the same both ways. You account for deflection when intonating for the fretted note, since...it's the one being fretted. If there's a discrepancy between open and harmonic intonation against the 12th fret, you're doing something wrong.


Not quite the harmonic still vibrates the whole string yes but the location of the 12fret in relation to the entire string length is a factor on whether it's accurate or not. So adjustments to the saddle affect the harmonic. When you play an open string the length of the string means nothing basically, you simply tune it to pitch. This gives you a fixed reference point and the fretted 12 is also fixed by the fret position.
When you fret the 12th fret you are attempting to adjust not just the string length but take into account the deflection of the string and it how much string length is added when depressing the string from a straight line down to the fretboard.
Since you're adjusting for deflection in the theoretical middle of the board, the upper and lower registers should respond similarly in relation to their position wrt the 12th fret. I'm also not entirely sure exactly how accurate harmonics are to begin with as the edge of your finger (not a fixed fret) determines the dividing point.
All I can add is this is Dan Erlewine's recommended method and since I switched to it years ago I noticed a difference. I also gave up using harmonics to tune in favor of fretted notes in selected natural and octave positions over the fretboard.
Moving on.....
Last edited by KenG at May 27, 2015,
#29
Quote by KenG
Not quite the harmonic still vibrates the whole string yes but the location of the 12fret in relation to the entire string length is a factor on whether it's accurate or not. So adjustments to the saddle affect the harmonic. When you play an open string the length of the string means nothing basically, you simply tune it to pitch. This gives you a fixed reference point and the fretted 12 is also fixed by the fret position.
When you fret the 12th fret you are attempting to adjust not just the string length but take into account the deflection of the string and it how much string length is added when depressing the string from a straight line down to the fretboard.
Since you're adjusting for deflection in the theoretical middle of the board, the upper and lower registers should respond similarly in relation to their position wrt the 12th fret. I'm also not entirely sure exactly how accurate harmonics are to begin with as the edge of your finger (not a fixed fret) determines the dividing point.
All I can add is this is Dan Erlewine's recommended method and since I switched to it years ago I noticed a difference. I also gave up using harmonics to tune in favor of fretted notes in selected natural and octave positions over the fretboard.

We are talking about the same method, just with the harmonic as a reference. I just like using the harmonic as reference because I can hear the difference more readily, and it's the same note as open. So, string deflection is no more relevant with the harmonic than it is with the open as reference. You intonate to the "deflection" or fretting pressure regardless of the reference tone. If the reference tones are exactly the same, the result will be exactly the same. The question then is whether the harmonic is exactly the same as the open.

Erlewine claims that the harmonic can be out of tune with the open string, but gives no reason for why it might happen (he does, however, say that using the harmonic is a viable method). In any even he certainly does not say that this has anything to do with "deflection" because it does not.

I can concede that the harmonic might (for reasons unexplained) not be exactly in tune with the open, but your explanation about deflection makes no sense in this context, and is not at all what Erlewine says. Next time I intonate I'll pay more attention to the difference between open and harmonic. Beyond that, our methods are identical.
#30
Quote by Roc8995
We are talking about the same method, just with the harmonic as a reference. I just like using the harmonic as reference because I can hear the difference more readily, and they should be the same note. So, string deflection is no more relevant with the harmonic than it is with the open. You intonate to the "deflection" or fretting pressure regardless of the reference tone. If the reference tones are exactly the same, the result will be exactly the same. The question then is whether the harmonic is exactly the same as the open.

Erlewine claims that the harmonic can be out of tune with the open string, but gives no reason for why it might happen (he does, however, say that using the harmonic is a viable method). In any even he certainly does not say that this has anything to do with "deflection" because it does not.

I can concede that the harmonic might (for reasons unexplained) not be as accurate as the open, but your explanation about deflection makes no sense in this context, and is not at all what Erlewine says. Next time I intonate I'll pay more attention to the difference between open and harmonic. Beyond that, our methods are identical.


Hey Roc I speak of deflection only in reference to the fretted note. there's no deflection in an open string or harmonic because the string (except for the vibration pattern) is straight. But we generally play guitar by fretting notes so that's where this approach is different.
If you're happy with what you do then who am I to tell you differently. I can only say I was using harmonics back in the late 70s and after reading Dan's book (2004) to learn to set up my LP better it's worked for me with all my guitars.
Moving on.....
#31
You misunderstand. The only difference between what you and I do is that you reference the open string and I reference the harmonic. If you think that somehow your approach is different because of deflection you have misread, twice, what I have written.

If you used to intonate without fretting, that's a different thing. I've never heard of that. I don't know how many times I can reiterate that we're doing the same thing re: deflection.
#32
Quote by jpnyc
Are you sure that you aren’t just sick of the way this guitar sounds? It might be that the stock pickups just aren’t to your liking.


Ugh, you haven't left this site yet?
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#33
I had a real issue with an American Deluxe Strat, it never sounded to my liking. Big thing that helps though is Nut Sauce. It looks expensive but never had a tuning problem since I started using it.
#34
Quote by abutcher713
I had a real issue with an American Deluxe Strat, it never sounded to my liking. Big thing that helps though is Nut Sauce. It looks expensive but never had a tuning problem since I started using it.

that is a remedy for something completely different than TS is experiencing. Your fixing binding at the nut with that, TS is having intonation issues
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