#1
My guitar has been having intonation problems on the upper parts of the neck (10th fret and up) for some time now. I took it in to a shop to get set up, but the problem is still there. Then I noticed that when I play clean, it is perfectly in tune all the way up to the 21st fret. However, with overdrive, the intonation goes to **** after the 10th fret.

Any ideas what this might be caused by? Maybe how to fix it?

If it helps any, I use a Fender American Deluxe Ask Strat with Texas Special Pickups and I'm running it through an Orange AD30. (not much gain, either)
#3
...........................................0_o ok im sorry dude but i'm seeing this as some sort of user related issue....either that or ur guitar is possessed. i mean it would have to be amp, but it aint, have u played it in front of someone else and they notice the same thing?
Quote by Johansensan
sir, i would like to inform you that you are now my favorite UGer. Not only did you use the word y'all, which is native to my homeland, but you correctly punctuated it using the apostrophe.



Christian Guitarists
A Weekly Devotional
#4
Yeah, I showed some of my friends (yes they have decent ears too) and they noticed it as well. I have no idea what the heck it could be...
#5
heh......................................................umm........................................................holy water?
Quote by Johansensan
sir, i would like to inform you that you are now my favorite UGer. Not only did you use the word y'all, which is native to my homeland, but you correctly punctuated it using the apostrophe.



Christian Guitarists
A Weekly Devotional
#7
Over drive will not affect your intonation at all. If you tune a guitar with OD off, then on, it will tune the same. Even with distortion, it produces the same notes.
#8
I know, the physics of this don't work out, but it's really happening. Does adding OD send any extra current through the pickups? That's the only thing I could think of. maybe if more current was flowing through the pickups, the magnets would be pulling the strings more strongly and thus making them out of tune...

I have no idea
#9
Quote by zeppelin470
I know, the physics of this don't work out, but it's really happening. Does adding OD send any extra current through the pickups? That's the only thing I could think of. maybe if more current was flowing through the pickups, the magnets would be pulling the strings more strongly and thus making them out of tune...

I have no idea


No. OD does nothing to your pickups. The signal goes one way into your amp. your pickups make no more output when OD is on then off.
#10
Thanks for offering an alternative!

I have ears, and they can hear whether or not something is in tune. This is happening, and I'm not full of ****.
#11
I have also heard this weirdness. I am guessing that it has something to do with the harmonics generated by the pedal. It seems like its more pronounced with my ss amps than tubes.
#12
Or maybe the pressure of your fingers? I'm assuming you are either pressing to hard on it or too lightly on it on the higher frets.
#14
^Maybe. I have noticed it on three different guitars. It could be from high frets, but my frets aren't that high. That would make them sharp. I tend to think there is something electronic going on.
#15
Quote by uldhppi
I have also heard this weirdness. I am guessing that it has something to do with the harmonics generated by the pedal. It seems like its more pronounced with my ss amps than tubes.


Well, I was testing out with just amp overdrive, no pedals at all, so it must be something in the amp, I just have no idea what or how...or why...

Quote by Archeo
Or maybe the pressure of your fingers? I'm assuming you are either pressing to hard on it or too lightly on it on the higher frets.



Tried this out, too. No difference to the situation. (The amount it goes out of tune is nothing compared to the insane out-of-phase sound created by the problem itself)

It must be something with the amp. God this is retarded...
#16
One of my friends says he had this problem randomly with his fuzz face. He said it gave a terrible "tremolo-like" sound and made the note just sound disgusting.
#17
Yes this is, and to be completely blunt. Most if not all guitars will not be 'perfectly' in intonation.

have you tried intonating it yourself? or tried checking it out manually? I don't think they will be any electronics or amp-ish involved. other than the fretboard itself or your fingers.
#18
Quote by Archeo
Yes this is, and to be completely blunt. Most if not all guitars will not be 'perfectly' in intonation.

have you tried intonating it yourself? or tried checking it out manually? I don't think they will be any electronics or amp-ish involved. other than the fretboard itself or your fingers.



I have checked the intonation and just got it re-setup today by a professional guitar tech. It sounds fine when it's clean, but goes to hell when overdriven. I'm beginning to think it may not be an issue of intonation so much as an issue of being out-of-phase. I'm not a hundred percent sure if I'm using that phrase correctly, but I think it's still in tune, but some sort of interference is becoming destructive to the original soundwave, creating dead-spots thus giving it a tremolo type of sound. A really rapid tremolo sound that is terrible...
#20
I have done a little layman's research. It is a possibility that intermodulation from a non-linear source is causing this effect. Apparently due to the harmonic overtones of a note on a guitar there are some frequencies that are out-of-phase with the primary clipped signal generated by the distortion pedal. This is a little complex for me, so if this thread lasts long enough maybe someone with a physics background can explain the phenomenon or tell me I'm full of it. Either thing would be great as I don't want to think I'm hallucinating. I want to know what is going on.
#21
Quote by Archeo
hmm... is your action too low by any chance?


Nope, I keep it a little bit higher to keep it from sounding to twangy.

Quote by uldhppi
I have done a little layman's research. It is a possibility that intermodulation from a non-linear source is causing this effect. Apparently due to the harmonic overtones of a note on a guitar there are some frequencies that are out-of-phase with the primary clipped signal generated by the distortion pedal. This is a little complex for me, so if this thread lasts long enough maybe someone with a physics background can explain the phenomenon or tell me I'm full of it. Either thing would be great as I don't want to think I'm hallucinating. I want to know what is going on.


So this means that some other electrical device is causing interference with my amp?
#22
Quote by uldhppi
I have done a little layman's research. It is a possibility that intermodulation from a non-linear source is causing this effect. Apparently due to the harmonic overtones of a note on a guitar there are some frequencies that are out-of-phase with the primary clipped signal generated by the distortion pedal. This is a little complex for me, so if this thread lasts long enough maybe someone with a physics background can explain the phenomenon or tell me I'm full of it. Either thing would be great as I don't want to think I'm hallucinating. I want to know what is going on.

Most likely, it will. I haven't encountered something that alters your intonation other than a tremolo pedal. :p

well, basically it maybe. but then again, I'm not sure. You best wait for someone who is more knowledgable in physics or some other stuff.
#24
I know it's nothing with the guitar now though, the frets are fine and level. Maybe they're causing minor problems, but there's definitely something else going on. I'm going to give Orange USA a call tomorrow and see if they can offer any suggestions...
#25
do you switch pickups when you change from clean to overdrive? Maybe something to do with your bridge pickup.
#26
Quote by zeppelin470
I have checked the intonation and just got it re-setup today by a professional guitar tech. It sounds fine when it's clean, but goes to hell when overdriven. I'm beginning to think it may not be an issue of intonation so much as an issue of being out-of-phase. I'm not a hundred percent sure if I'm using that phrase correctly, but I think it's still in tune, but some sort of interference is becoming destructive to the original soundwave, creating dead-spots thus giving it a tremolo type of sound. A really rapid tremolo sound that is terrible...


did you ask the guitar tech? he might have been better to ask as he had his hands on the guitar at the time...
#27
Are your pickups too close to the strings?
Current Gear
Ibanez RG1570 - Going bye bye
Jackson DK2 - Eventually will be replaced with Maton Mastersound
Peavey valveking 212
Various EHX and Boss effects
#28
Quote by Hezix
do you switch pickups when you change from clean to overdrive? Maybe something to do with your bridge pickup.


It happens no matter what pickup/pickups I am using.

Quote by deadlydunc
did you ask the guitar tech? he might have been better to ask as he had his hands on the guitar at the time...


He said he didn't do anything with amps and that he would have to ship it somewhere else, taking weeks.

Quote by RGman
Are your pickups too close to the strings?


If I lower them any more, they start sounding pretty weak. The thing about Texas Specials is that the pole pieces are extremely low on the high E and B strings while extremely high for the G, D, and A strings. The Low E is somewhere in between. Could it just be the pickups?
#29
I'm not sure, I haven't used staggered pickups for a long time, could be the pickups?
Current Gear
Ibanez RG1570 - Going bye bye
Jackson DK2 - Eventually will be replaced with Maton Mastersound
Peavey valveking 212
Various EHX and Boss effects
#30
This happens to my guitar too, but only when I play dissonant chords. I like using it to my advantage though because it is not what you are expecting to hear when you hit the strings. My question is does it do it on single notes or just on double-stops/chords?
#31
It happens on single notes and double stops and chords. Anything higher up on the neck is just terrible. It sounds almost like I'm playing two notes that are 1/4 of a step off from each other at the same time, when I'm only playing one.

Also, I checked it with a tuner, and there is no actual difference in intonation, just a terrible out of phase sound that gives the illusion of being out of tune.
weird that it's only the upper frets though...
#32
I'm checking with some people on the Orange Forum- there's quite a few amp geniuses on there...
#33
Lots of gain and especially fuzz can mess with the intonation of notes, that's one of the reasons you don't use big open chords when you play with fuzz, it sounds dissonant.

However it's nothing like what you're describing, I'd say either you're doing something you don't realise you are, or your guitar is wired wrong.

Try playing an identical guitar, see what happens.
Gibson SG Standard
Fender 52 RI Telecaster
'77 Deluxe Reverb
Sunface w/ SunDial
MXR Carbon Copy
Crybaby



Quote by Sid McCall
Epic win. He speaks the truth, boys and girls.



Founder of the Neutral Milk Hotel club PM to join~
#34
UPDATE!!!


I figured out. Well, I didn't, this one guy named Chad did. It turns out that the pickups I was using were Crazily overwound, like insanely. Their magnetic pull was screwing with the intonation quite badly. The reason it only happened on the overdrive channel is because overdrive accentuates everything. I lowered the pickups all the way down and it still does it...

not quite as bad though. I think I'm going to pick up a pair of '57/'62 pickups for this baby.

No more insane-o Texas Specials for me...

He also said that not all Texas Specials were like that, I just got a batch wound by someone who was having a bad day, so don't be turned off of Texas Specials!

Thanks for your help everybody
#35
So we weren't losing our minds. I think I might lower mine a little. I've got ceramics which may pull a little too much on the strings. Or I might just back off the gain a little. Woot!
#36
Quote by FRDesign
Vai's Guitar is perfectly in tune due to the new fret design hes using.


Why does that sound like bull to me?
Quote by Kensai
Racism... against the human race? Sure, go ahead
#37
I just read through the thread because I have a similar issue with my Strat. Mostly on single notes around the 9th fret and higher, and only with distortion, I get the same sound. I brought it in to a local guy and he said it was because the pickups were too close. Well, it wasn't. I have stock MIM neck/mid pups and a JB in the bridge and lowered them all even with the pickguard and it still does it, just not as bad. I hope this is the problem with yours and you get it fixed, but I think it's probably something else. Did you compare your pickups with other TS's, or check the output?
#38
Yeah, he actually said I was using bad strings too. If lowering the pickups helps it, then it's the pickups. The biggest factor is the pickups. The Second biggest factor is that it is a strat. Apparently, the out-of-phase sound is characteristic of all strats, just not as bad as I've experienced it. The higher you go, the worse it gets, though on most strats it doesn't become a problem until very high on the lower strings. The smallest factor is the strings. Bad strings have trouble resonating at the desired frequency because of physical resistance to vibrate. Lower gauge strings help this a bit because they vibrate more willingly. The guitar tech said that these are the 3 variables he isolated and told them to me in that order of severity.

Some pickups are just a bad batch and have really strong magnets...

By the way, I lowered mine all the way to the pickguard too and it still does it, but not as bad. This is evidence enough for me that I have to get some new ones and pop them in...

One more thing that the guitar tech mentioned is that buying hand wound or custom shop pickups is a gamble because there is no consistency in them. Each one is unique sounding, but you never know what your going to get. I'm going to go with some cheap '57/'62 pickups because I know they sound great (I've had them on before) and I know that they're consistent because they're not hand wound and super customized.

Hope this helps!
#39
Quote by zeppelin470
UPDATE!!!


I figured out. Well, I didn't, this one guy named Chad did. It turns out that the pickups I was using were Crazily overwound, like insanely. Their magnetic pull was screwing with the intonation quite badly. The reason it only happened on the overdrive channel is because overdrive accentuates everything. I lowered the pickups all the way down and it still does it...

not quite as bad though. I think I'm going to pick up a pair of '57/'62 pickups for this baby.

No more insane-o Texas Specials for me...

He also said that not all Texas Specials were like that, I just got a batch wound by someone who was having a bad day, so don't be turned off of Texas Specials!

Thanks for your help everybody



Can I have these intonation-wrecking Texas Specials that you are pulling out?
freepatriot.com
"People never misapply their economy so much as when they make mean provision for the education of children. The only practicable method to reform mankind is to begin with children." -- Noah Webster
#40
Really? I was planning on selling them for fixer-uppers so if you'd like them, they're all yours for $80 (That's what I was told I would get If I sold them on eBay).

Just PM me and we could work something out.