i read somewhere here about tweaking the compensating saddle for the B string to help with intonation. if my b string is sounding flat what needs to be done to it? i just got it set up and while the intonation has gotten better, i was told that it also depends on the build of the guitar, craftsmanship and all that.
If the intonation is off at the 12th fret, you can compensate the saddle for the B string a little by slightly filing it to move the point where the strings rests foreward or aft, depending on if the 12th fret note is flat or sharp versus open B. It's a bit tricky to do on an acoustic. One thing that helps tremendously is a highly accurate tuner. Some of the cheaper models don't show enough resolution to fine intonate.
If the B string is playing flat up around frets 1-5 however, you would need to compensate the nut rather than the bridge saddle.
Playing in tune is what intonation is all about. The better the build of the guitar, the better it will be. The frets, saddle, and nut all need to be precisely located in order for all strings to play the correct notes along the entire length of the fretboard.
a bump for this one...

can someone clarify which way to tweak the saddle or nut (make it higher or file it down?) if my B string is playing flat when it's fretted. say, an open E chord can sound fine, but if i were to play an A barre chord, the B string sounds flat.
Sounds flat or IS flat? And of course you mean flat as in sligtly lower than the right pitch (some people call a tone that is dull and sustainless but otherwise on pitch also flat, which can confuse matters)

Lefty Dave has given some valuable suggestions, of which the advise to purchase a decent chromatic tuner is the very first you should follow. That is because a problem like yours can only be encountered when you know eactly what is wrong, and for that you must have solid data aquired by precise measurements. Gut feelings or opinions are useless here. A set of new strings on the other hand is absolutely needed, because you must be sure that it is the set up of the guitar you're probing, not the condition of worn out strings.

Chances are that the problems disappeared already in that stage. If not, then find out if the tone alright when fretted low on the neck and getting gradually flatter the further you go up. Or that it is the other way round, that the first C you play is off already, while lower down the problems are non existent. Then there is the possibilty that all the notes exept the open string are off, or that just a region in between the higher and lower notes is affected. And finally but most crucially; see what the other strings are doing. It's very important to know whether they are off the same percentage or that it is just the B spoiling the party.

Only when these questions are answered we can suggest a solution.
Last edited by Marcel Veltman at Jul 5, 2008,
Well done guys.
Mr Deetag
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