#1
tl;dr : Intonation of my guitar when I fret the 12th is off by 2 notes when I check with my chromatic tuner, what is causing this ?

Hello everyone,

I really need your help, I searched everywhere and did not find a solution so I hope some of you will be able to help me.

So I bought my first guitar last week, never played before, im a total beginner.

Here is the guitar kit I bought: http://www.epiphone.com/Products/Packs/Les-Paul-Performance-Pack.aspx

Guitar: Les Paul Special-II LE

Tuner: Epiphone Clip-on Headstock Chromatic Tuner (http://images.epiphone.com.s3.amazonaws.com/Products/Packs/Les-Paul-Performance-Pack/Features/LPPerfPk4_tuner.jpg)


So when I first got my guitar, I did not change anything, no inital set up, nothing. After 3 days, I changed all my strings to new ones (.10 gauge d'addario).

Then I wanted to make sure everything was good with my guitar, I wanted to to the initial set up my self without going to the music store to get it done.

So I followed the instructions of this specific youtube video: 5yrAckQ4HvE


The first thing I did is check the truss rod with the method at 2:40 in the video. I think the truss rod is good because the height distance between the string and the 12th fret is about the thickness of a credit card.

The I checked the nut 5:30 in the video, and the string on the first fret was not touching, and I could slip a business card in there.

Then I ajusted the height of the bridge 8:30 in the video, Initially one side of the bridge (the one inline with the 6th string) was way heigher than the one at the bottom (1th string).
Without touching the 6th string, I could slip a credit card at the first to third fret and I could slip like 5 credit card around the 18th fret, So I lowered the top screw of the bridge until it was the same height for every fret. I did not touch the lower side of the bridge.


Then came the actual big problem/issue I have with my guitar, The intonation is absolutly horrible !


So I followed the instruction at 13:40 in the video to set my intonation.

All my open string note is in tuned with my Epiphone Clip-on Headstock Chromatic Tuner but when I fret the 12th I get the wrong note on my tuner, it's not a question of too sharp or too flat, it's actually 2 notes off for all the strings.

When I fret the 12h with the 6th E string I get a D showing on my tuner screen, when I fret the 12th with the 5th A string I get a G, ect...

For the 1st e string, I get nothing on the screen of my tuner, same thing with the second B string.


I tried moving the saddles all the way to the back, all the way to the front for each string, I spent almost 2h on this and the note I got on my tuner for the 12th was always the same, the tuning of the open string was changing a little bit, but I always got a D note for the 12th fret with the 6th string, and nothing for the 12th fret of the first string, not matter how I move the saddles it does nothing.


I never touched the pickups of the guitar either.


So what is going on here ? Am I doing something wrong ? I my chromatic tuner bad ? Is my guitar just poorly made ?

If it's possible to fix it, I would like to do it myself.


What do you guys think of this ?

Thank you for your help and sorry if my english was bad, im not native.
#3
Issues like this suggest that the neck was not installed on the body in the correct place.

Are any of the other frets on the low E playing the wrong notes as well?
Quote by Axelfox
Reeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
#4
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Issues like this suggest that the neck was not installed on the body in the correct place.

Are any of the other frets on the low E playing the wrong notes as well?


On the 6th String, there is only the first 3 frets that give me an E note on my tuner, all the other one are off.

Here is some pictures of my guitar if needed: http://imgur.com/a/w46X6
#5
the first three frets of the 6th string should not all be E. they should be F, F#, G.

the twelfth fret should be E.

is the note ringing cleanly, or is it buzzing/bottoming out?
#6
Quote by eck340
I think the truss rod is good because the height distance between the string and the 12th fret is about the thickness of a credit card.



Just as an aside, you shouldn't be checking relief (truss rod adjustment) at the 12th fret -- more like the 7th fret. And the spacing is that of a "new playing card" not a credit card, and that's a rule of thumb only. You should be setting relief more accurately, with a set of feeler gauges.

None of this has anything to do with what sounds like a pretty nasty tuning/intonation problem. I'm guessing there's more at issue here. Can you take it back to the store?
Last edited by dspellman at Jan 19, 2017,
#7
Maybe the bridge was placed on back to front? Try loosening your strings, taking off the bridge, flipping it 180 and putting it back on.
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#8
Quote by N1ghtmar3C1n3ma
Maybe the bridge was placed on back to front? Try loosening your strings, taking off the bridge, flipping it 180 and putting it back on.

Not going to work if the intonation is that bad.
Quote by Axelfox
Reeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
#9
is the distance from the nut to the 12th fret the same as the distance between the 12th fret and the bridge?
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
Last edited by gregs1020 at Jan 19, 2017,
#10
Your fancy tuner maby pos try it way down c instead of standerd idk never heard of that even ppl who popoff bass frets u R weird0 but GL
#11
The tuner being inaccurate is actually a very probable cause. If it's one of those cheap clip-on style tuners than I wouldn't trust them to be accurate enough to do something like intonation.

I'd instead use an electronic tuner such as the BOSS TU-3 or the TC Polytune. Can't go wrong with either of them.
Quote by Axelfox
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#12
Reading what you did, I think you may have the low E (6th string) too low in height.

From your initial post:
Then I ajusted the height of the bridge 8:30 in the video, Initially one side of the bridge (the one inline with the 6th string) was way heigher than the one at the bottom (1th string).
Without touching the 6th string, I could slip a credit card at the first to third fret and I could slip like 5 credit card around the 18th fret, So I lowered the top screw of the bridge until it was the same height for every fret. I did not touch the lower side of the bridge.


If this is what I think, you adjusted the bridge height so the low E (6th string) was as close to the 12th fret as it was at the first fret ("same height for every fret"). If you did this, the action is now too low. Fretting at the 12th, the 6th string could be touching the 13th fret, 14th fret, or higher. Intonation would be impossible to determine. And string buzz would be horrible just about every fret on the 6th string.