#1
I have an Ibanez ew20asent acoustic but I've been noticing some problems with its ability to hold tune throughout a song. I noticed that the intonation is consistently off.



As you can see, it has a fixed bridge and therefore, I'm assuming I can't adjust the intonation. I'm wondering what measures I can take to change this problem. Do fixed bridge acoustics have specific string gauges/lengths that are necessary to get the right sound? Should I try to install a different bridge?
Guitars:
Ibanez RGT 42FM
Ibanez AW20ASENT
Yamaha G-55A
Squier Stratocaster w/Scalloped Neck

Amp+FX+Lulz:
Boss GT-3
Crate GX-30M
Fender Hot Rod DeVille
#2
I'd be more willing to bet it's either one of two things. First, humidity. Are you maintaining the air quality where the guitar is kept at or near a constant 45%?
Secondly, has the guitar been restrung recently, and has it been done correctly? Tuning issues are usually related to this. Especialy if the guitar won't hold a tune for any length of time. The last set of strings I had on my acoustic were the Martin Silk and Steels. The were fantastic in terms of being very stable in holding a tune. I could let the guitar sit for days and pick it up and have it be nearly dead on to where it was when I last played it.
It sounds to me as though the strings may be slipping on the tuning pegs. Whenever I restring, I will pass the end of the string through the peg, then at about the 5th fret, raise the string off the fretboard to about the middle of my palm while keeping a finger pointing at and touching the fretboard. This will give enough excess to wrap the required times around the peg. Then just start winding up the string on the tuner. A string winder helps with this part a lot. When the free end comes around, make sure that the first wrap is over the top of the free end. Then the rest of the wraps should go below it. This will lock the string in place on the tuning peg. Once you have some tension on the string, bend the free end up and away from the headstock. You can then snip it, or wrap it into a loop and leave it there. What you don't want to do is to pull the string all the way through the tuning peg hole so that it doesn't have any slack between the bridge and nut and then wrap the loose end a few times around the tuning peg, then try to tune up. That's been suggested on here before, but is the wrong way and the string will slip every time.
Be sure to prestretch the strings once you get a little tension on them. Grab the string at the 12th fret and pull it away from the fretboard an inch or so, and move it back and forth. Tune up closer to standard pitch, and do it again. This will help a new set of strings settle in faster, and will allow for more constant tuning later on.
Hope this info helps.
Last edited by LeftyDave at Feb 8, 2008,
#3
It sounds to me as though the strings may be slipping on the tuning pegs.


This was my first thought. I agree with LeftyDave's advice on restringing also. Perhaps look at a string changing tutorial on the net, pictures may help if any of it was confusing.
#4
I'm with LeftyDave with the Martin silk & steel , allthough i find i wear them out very quickly. But they do hold tune superb. If the saddle has been changed then it may need a compensated saddle but i would try a string change & maybe try someone else's tuner to tune it for a day or so, I've had tuners that liked some guitars better than others , i have 7 tuners. G.A.S. LOL
Richard

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#5
it was correctly strung, for sure

but i do have slipping tuning machines. can you recommend a good quality tuning machine?
Guitars:
Ibanez RGT 42FM
Ibanez AW20ASENT
Yamaha G-55A
Squier Stratocaster w/Scalloped Neck

Amp+FX+Lulz:
Boss GT-3
Crate GX-30M
Fender Hot Rod DeVille
#7
you can also try putting some carbon on the nut in the string grooves. it helps to smooth out the strings rubbing over the nut as you tune since the strings will move over the nut. you can use pencil lead shavings to do so.
#8
There are several possible issues. Lets deal with staying in tune first. I am assuming you put new strings on it. If you wind the string from the peg hole down and have too much string you can pinch the string and that makes is hard to tune and or keep in tune. If it touches bottom you got too much.

Strings stretch when new. I will bring them all up to tune when stringing and then gently grab each string at the 12th fret and pull up and back and forth on each string. I then bring it back up to tune and then do it again. Be gentler with the high e, b and g strings. This will take the stretch out of the string and make it less likely to go out of tune.

You can also have a string hanging up at the nut. You can use graphite (pencil lead) on the nut or put it on the string at the nut when stringing this should ease things. I actually string from the peg hole up and this give a straighter shot across the nut making it less prone to hang up. I was told this by a luthier. Guitar techs tend to go apoplectic when you say that. I have seen no Ill effects in the two years I've been doing it.

You can also have tuning problems if your tuner has batteries going bad. Use a tuner with a needle and not one with only led lights. The LED light ones aren't accurate enough.

Intonation is affected by several things. If the strings need to be replaced the intonation will go bad. Generally intonation goes south when the string length changes. This can happen if the saddle gets little nicks in it from the strings or if the shims came out from under the saddle. (I highly doubt your saddle is glued in and not removable.) If you have nicks in the saddle take it to your local luthier or guitar tech and have them make you a new one and install it. Not all that expensive. Or if you are adventurous go get a blank that looks like yours and sand the bottom down until the height of the old and new one match and you'll get pretty close. Be prepared to trash a blank if you do this as it can be tricky.
Last edited by Guitar Hack at Feb 9, 2008,