#1
My friend built a fretless guitar. The neck is a 25 inch scale length and has a licensed flloyd rose on it.

Problem.

It doesnt stay in tune at all. The intonation is out all over the neck and the strings catch on the fretboard and they do not ring out. Any attempt at fretting results in the string being muted.

In short its terrible.

He wants me to repair it because he cant afford a professional to do it, and for a start this is way out of my league. Ask me to rewire a guitar, I can do it. Change components, easy. Build an amp? Piece of cake. Anything electrical or electronic I can manage, but fixing something like this is different.

What tools do I need to get the intonation correct? How do I adjust the string height so that the strings do not catch on the fretboard (its a fretless... This has to be avoided some how).

How do I adjust the guitar so that it stays in tune? What tools do I need aside from alan keys, screw drivers and a soldering iron?

If these topics are covered anywhere in this forum, I would be thankful if someone could link me to them. My internet is lagging and preventing me from doing any searches. The network adapter at my end times me out for some reason. Thank you in advanced.
Sat in a lab, curing diseases. They actually LET me play with chemicals!
#3
Quote by Invader Jim
Question: How can a fretless have bad intonation?

What's the fretboard made of?


Maple neck.

And I see what you mean about how can a fretless have bad intonation. What I mean is, where you expect the note to be on the scale length... It isnt there.. Something is wrong. Also, the notes move depending on temperature or whether the string stays in tune.

Hell... I had a 12th fret E on the 11th and 10th fret at different times... Even though the open strings were registering as in tune... The more you move down the neck.. The harder it becomes to find fret the note because it is instantly muted, and.. Where the "fret" lines are, it doesnt correspond to the note you want.. They are all way out.
Sat in a lab, curing diseases. They actually LET me play with chemicals!
#5
Quote by CapnMudGuru
you could try adjusting the truss rod, making it have more of a u-shaped bow, and raise string height.

maybe?


Ive never done a truss rod adjustment before... Is there anything I need to be careful of?
Sat in a lab, curing diseases. They actually LET me play with chemicals!
#6
don't overtighten it. there's going to be some resistance, and if it feels like it really doesn't want to budge, don't force it; you'll snap your truss rod. go a little bit at a time (a little bit really does go a long way) and check to see if it helped, then continue making small adjustments as necessary. you may want to slacken the strings a bit before you do that.

also, does the neck have a lock nut? if it doesn't have one, or is just not locked down, that may be a part of your tuning troubles.
#7
Quote by CapnMudGuru
don't overtighten it. there's going to be some resistance, and if it feels like it really doesn't want to budge, don't force it; you'll snap your truss rod. go a little bit at a time (a little bit really does go a long way) and check to see if it helped, then continue making small adjustments as necessary. you may want to slacken the strings a bit before you do that.

also, does the neck have a lock nut? if it doesn't have one, or is just not locked down, that may be a part of your tuning troubles.


Ah thanks for the advice, and yes it does have a locking nut and they are locked down. The strings do not stay in tune though.

Also I added an extra spring for the whammy bar for the flloyd because it was too loose, went from 2 to 3... Keeps the flloyd in place better now.
Sat in a lab, curing diseases. They actually LET me play with chemicals!
#9
Quote by Invader Jim
So it's a maple board too? Idk if maple is hard enough. Every fretless I've seen (prolly not alot) had an ebony fretboard.


>_<

I think Im going to pass up on repairing his guitar... Its all too ... Out of my league. If I break it, nay, when I break it, he ll kill me!

Thank you all for your patience and advice... I may try the truss rod adjustment tomorrow.. If Im still not scared of snapping the rod.
Sat in a lab, curing diseases. They actually LET me play with chemicals!
#11
Quote by Invader Jim
Well, no offence, but since your friend made it, it might just suck.

(PLEASE don't take offence )


Lol none taken! In fact.. I actually agree >_<

Too hard to repair so Ima leave it
Sat in a lab, curing diseases. They actually LET me play with chemicals!
#12
Quote by Invader Jim
Well, no offence, but since your friend made it, it might just suck.

(PLEASE don't take offence )


how did he make it? get a bunch of parts on ebay or something? if that's the case he might have gotten a neck of the wrong scale. premade parts are designed for particular scales, meaning there might not be anything you can do to fix it at all.

Quote by Guitardude19
Also I added an extra spring for the whammy bar for the flloyd because it was too loose, went from 2 to 3... Keeps the flloyd in place better now.


3 springs is probably the best way to do it, anyway
#13
firstly, you would still have to intonate the strings so they are in tune with each other... play a string open and tune it... then play the harmonic at the 12th fret on the same string and if it is out of tune you need to adjust the saddle. search for "how to set up guitar intonation" theres no need to write it out here...

second, the note duration will be short because the frets are missing. thats what frets are for... fret a violin or a cello and pluck the string and what do you get? not a long clean note for sure. you get a staccato note because your fingertip is not hard it absorbs the string vibration... so essentially the fretless neck is doing its job and your mate didnt know what it was going to achieve when he did the fret removal.
Thank you please.
#15
dunc: If that was directed at me, thanks, but I know how to set up intonation.

And I didn't think about the neck being the wrong scale. I asssumed he made it all from scratch (stupid me, of course).