#1
It's a 2013 american strat. I have a digital tuner and have set the intonation. Everything is reading accurately. I've done a bunch of setups. I think the action is a little low for my liking, but it's within reason. Pickup height is low.

I suppose it's possible that I could be fretting too hard when playing, but I've been playing 20 years and haven't always had this issue.

The guitar simply just doesn't always sound in tune. Many notes sound very sour and some chord shapes especially are disgusting to my ear. What's going on here? If the tuner (TC polytune) says everything is in tune, and the intonation is accurate, what gives?
#2
Quote by RyanMW2010
It's a 2013 american strat. I have a digital tuner and have set the intonation. Everything is reading accurately. I've done a bunch of setups. I think the action is a little low for my liking, but it's within reason. Pickup height is low.

I suppose it's possible that I could be fretting too hard when playing, but I've been playing 20 years and haven't always had this issue.

The guitar simply just doesn't always sound in tune. Many notes sound very sour and some chord shapes especially are disgusting to my ear. What's going on here? If the tuner (TC polytune) says everything is in tune, and the intonation is accurate, what gives?


well it seems to me that the ? is, is the intonation correct. if notes when played seem off then check them with the tuner and see if they are correct or not. of course it's never totally perfect everywhere on the neck but should be off by much.
#3
Are you using lighter strings than usual?

Also how's the nut? Even with a good height a lot of open chords (mainly ones with first fret notes, and especially on the G) can quite easily sound sour without a feather touch.
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#4
Check to make sure the intonation really is correct. This can change slightly based on the string gauge you use. If everything checks out..Maybe you're just getting old?
#5
And, of course, check the batteries (or wall wart) for your tuner. If it isn't properly powered, it might not read properly.
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#6
Is the tuner set to 440Hz
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#7
Quote by Robbgnarly
Is the tuner set to 440Hz


My thoughts exactly.
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#8
Quote by RyanMW2010


I suppose it's possible that I could be fretting too hard when playing, but I've been playing 20 years and haven't always had this issue.


Very likely this. If this guitar has higher frets than what you're used to, you may be trying to pull the strings down to the fretboard (which is, of course, not necessary).
#9
Quote by Robbgnarly
Is the tuner set to 440Hz


it's the TC polytune and I'm assuming they come at 440hz out of the box, but maybe not? How do I check this?
#10
Quote by dspellman
Very likely this. If this guitar has higher frets than what you're used to, you may be trying to pull the strings down to the fretboard (which is, of course, not necessary).


Hmm. I don't think the american standard strat's frets are particularly high but it's possible my hands have gotten stronger from practice and I'm using the same fretting pressure as before....
#11
To follow up on what Dspellman said, if your nut is cut too high you can have your guitar perfectly in tune, and as soon as you hit an A chord it sounds whacky. Thats because you're actually stretching the strings out of tune by fretting them. Tuning it and then checking the tuning while lightly fretting the A on your G string, then check again with a little more pressure fretting. That's one of the most common tuning problems I see.
#12
Quote by stormin1155
To follow up on what Dspellman said, if your nut is cut too high you can have your guitar perfectly in tune, and as soon as you hit an A chord it sounds whacky. Thats because you're actually stretching the strings out of tune by fretting them. Tuning it and then checking the tuning while lightly fretting the A on your G string, then check again with a little more pressure fretting. That's one of the most common tuning problems I see.



yepppp, this is an issue. How is this resolved? Do I need to order a new nut? I'm left handed..
#13
Quote by RyanMW2010
yepppp, this is an issue. How is this resolved? Do I need to order a new nut? I'm left handed..


Before you mod anything then check it's is this. Fret some notes and check with your tuner - make sure it is on 440Hz (this may well be the issue IMHO).

I don't think that as you get stronger you will apply more pressure, especially after so many years of playing. I'm sure Arnold Swartznegger can still pick up eggs without breaking them
#14
Quote by RyanMW2010
It's a 2013 american strat. I have a digital tuner and have set the intonation. Everything is reading accurately. I've done a bunch of setups. I think the action is a little low for my liking, but it's within reason. Pickup height is low.

I suppose it's possible that I could be fretting too hard when playing, but I've been playing 20 years and haven't always had this issue.

The guitar simply just doesn't always sound in tune. Many notes sound very sour and some chord shapes especially are disgusting to my ear. What's going on here? If the tuner (TC polytune) says everything is in tune, and the intonation is accurate, what gives?


1) Get the the guitar setup by a tech. This will at least eliminate the possibility that you're setting it up incorrectly.

2) string gauge/technique - if you are consistently going sharp when voicing chords etc. - then either practice using a lighter touch or use a bigger string gauge - the bigger the gauge, the less likely you will detune notes by pressing notes too hard.

3) If 1 and 2 don't work, then you have a lemon of a guitar and need to get rid of it.
#15
Quote by RyanMW2010
yepppp, this is an issue. How is this resolved? Do I need to order a new nut? I'm left handed..


If your nut is indeed cut too high you can deepen the slots. If you can slide a medium 0.73mm pick under the string at the 1st fret without raising the strings, you'll have problems. A thin pick (0.46mm) is a good guage, sliding it between the string and fret, just barely raising the string is about right. Get a set of torch tip cleaners available at most hardware stores for a couple bucks. These are tiny wire files in assorted sizes that work OK for deepening the slots.

The other thing is training yourself not to press down so hard when fretting. Even on a perfectly set up guitar you can pull the strings out of tune by clamping down hard.
#16
Ryan, can you explain what process you're using to intonate the guitar?
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