#1
Hey I've had the Epiphone hummingbird for a couple months now, and at first it was mainly open chords and a few barre chords, but now I've been playing some more advanced fingerpicking songs, like john mayer and such, and i realize that around the 10th fret and on, the intonation is a pretty off. I'll upload a sound clip in a little, but i was wondering if any of you guys have had problems with intonation and how to fix it. Ive tried fixing it with the truss rod, but it hasnt really helped too much.
Epiphone G-310 SG
Epiphone Hummingbird
Yamaha CG-101
Peavey Classic 30
#3
idk i just changed the strings to d'addario exp's. they are 13's...maybe the guitar was set up for a different gauge?
Epiphone G-310 SG
Epiphone Hummingbird
Yamaha CG-101
Peavey Classic 30
#5
Quote by Dandaman4716
Ive tried fixing it with the truss rod, but it hasnt really helped too much.


That's not a good idea... don't touch the truss rod if you don't know what you're doing.

Intonation has to do with your saddle first, and foremost.
Equipment:
- Art & Lutherie Cedar CW (SOLD! )
- Martin D-16RGT w/ LR Baggs M1 Active Soundhole Pickup
- Seagull 25th Anniversary Flame Maple w/ LR Baggs Micro EQ

Have an acoustic guitar? Don't let your guitar dry out! Click here.
#6
The only reason your truss could throw the intonation off is if it is extremely out of whack. . . look at this site before you start messing with a truss again. If you break the guitar, it would seriously be the kiss of death to that epiphone. The repairs would cost more than the guitars initial cost. http://www.fretnotguitarrepair.com/trussrods.htm they may have something on the subject of your intonation as well.
Quote by paranoid joker

Metal, should kick you in the nuts, after you catch it messing around with your girlfriend.
and then make a sandwhich in your house and walk out.


Http://www.myspace.com/drowningiris
#7
Is the intonation sharp or flat?

One thing that can be checked pretty easy is the nut.

Usually, it's just held in place by a small drop glue, similar to elmers glue.

You can break it free, and put a little shim between the nut and the fretboard. You can use business cards, or matchbook covers to cut out a little shim.

The intonation will change. It will either get better or worse. Then, you have a clue
how to fix.

If it gets better, try another shim. Maybe the nut was just wrong from the factory.

Messing with the nut is a lot easier than messing with the saddle. I had one recently that I had to make the nut a little more narrow, bring the break point closer to the fretboard to get the intonation right on.

Make sure you do intonation last. New strings, set neck relief, etc. first.
#8
the fretted note is sharp, so i guess i would want to have the strings closer to the frets? as in cutting a deeper indent at the nut and maybe bowing the neck a little more? I dont get when you mean "cut out a little shim"
Epiphone G-310 SG
Epiphone Hummingbird
Yamaha CG-101
Peavey Classic 30
#9
First, you shouldn't try this if you have an inlaid nut. How to tell? Go here and read:
http://www.fretnotguitarrepair.com/nuts.htm

Also, Do NOT cut an indent in the nut.

If your action is ok, leave it alone. Move the strings closer to the frets only if they are too high. Do it at the saddle.

When I was speaking about a shim, imagine cutting about 3/16" off the end of a business card. Now you have a shim.

The nut has two contact points with the guitar: the headstock, and the fretboard.

You can take the shim and put it between the nut and fretboard (only if the nut is not inlaid in a slot). What this actually does is increase the distance between the nut and saddle, and "shift" the "vibrating center" of the string slightly towards the nut.

If you do this, your 10th fret note should sound different. If it sounds better, you are heading in the right direction.

This is just a way to try and troubleshoot where the intonation problem lies.
#10
hmm my guitar is an inlayed nut. is there any other way to fix intonation?
Epiphone G-310 SG
Epiphone Hummingbird
Yamaha CG-101
Peavey Classic 30
#11
Generally, intonation issues that far up the neck can be traced directly to the compensation of the bridge saddle, not the placement of the nut. The nut placement will traditionally effect the open chords/open strings up around the first 4-5 frets. Problems farther down the neck, especially from 12 and on, will be best corrected by compensating the saddle.
Check you intonation properly before attempting any mods to correct it, assuming it's off at all. Remember, a guitar is called an "equal tempered" instrument. Meaning that it's been built to approximate, to the best of it's ability, the notes of the western chromatic scale. It will not be perfect, ever. But it can be very, very close, which is where correct intonation comes in.
To check, first insure that you have the proper gauge of string on the guitar and that they are in good shape. I believe yours is best suited to use .012's, or lights. You may change by one size lighter or heavier without needing to perform any major setup.
Tune each string as accurately to standard concert tuning as possible. If you can't get a string right on, take note of where the needle of your tuner is resting, either a tad flat or sharp. Write the readings down as reference points for the next step.
Normally fret each string at the 12th fret, making sure you are able to hear the note cleanly, but that you are not pressing so hard that you are driving the note sharp, such as with a bend. Accurate intonation will occur when the fretted 12th matches the open, in tune string.
If any string plays sharp at the 12th fret vs. open, then the portion of the saddle for that string would need to be compensated away from the headstock, making the scale longer, and flattening out the 12th vs. the open string. If it plays flat, vice versa, the saddle would need to be compensated closer to the headstock.
Compensating a saddle is time consuming, and is best performed in a qualified shop, and preferrably one that has a highly accurate strobe tuner, which is able to detect individual cent's difference in tuning. Some can detect errors of fractions of cents.
If the open chords, such as G, E, C, D, A, when played up around the first 3 frets, are off, the individual frets that are incorrect must be identified, and the nut compensated as needed. Simply shimming the nut one way or the other is not the correct way of correcting intonation issues, but it is a part of it.
Blindly adjusting the truss rod in hopes it will correct intonation problems is completely wrong, and should never be attempted. That's not the purpose of the truss rod.
So, still want to tackle intonating an acoustic guitar?
#12
hmm compensating the bridge really doesnt seem to be worth it for my 300 USD guitar, but tell me otherwise cause I have no experience with that. But for now, i'll probably try switching my 13's for 12's. On another note, it has been getting colder where i live...will the changes in humidity and temperature affect the intonation? I finally brought the giant humidifier from the attic and started it up, which was definitely needed. The front of my guitar was pretty much flat, and the back wasnt lookin too good either.
Epiphone G-310 SG
Epiphone Hummingbird
Yamaha CG-101
Peavey Classic 30
#13
Humidity changes can and will effect intonation, because it effects the geometry of a guitar. If the wood is allowed to dry out, it tends to shrink down, so the critical dimensions that define correct intonation will be thrown off. This alone could be the root cause of your problem. Allow the guitar to climatize to the correct humidity level, about 45-55% rH, then see how your intonation is doing. A week or two of moist air should do the trick if it hasn't gotten too dry.
On the flip side, an overly moist guitar will also be out of whack. These will tend to sound muddy and lifeless because the wood is so moist that it can't reverbrate with the strings vibrations near as well as it should. There could even be mold growing on it, especially inside, where the wood is unfinished. Yes, it's happened before.
#14
Quote by LeftyDave
Remember, a guitar is called an "equal tempered" instrument. Meaning that it's been built to approximate, to the best of it's ability, the notes of the western chromatic scale. It will not be perfect, ever. But it can be very, very close, which is where correct intonation comes in.

This is definitely the first thing you have to understand about intonating an acoustic guitar. How off is your intonation? Did you ever get those sound clips? Post some sound clips of some chromatic runs across the problem areas.

Quote by LeftyDave
Humidity changes can and will effect intonation, because it effects the geometry of a guitar. If the wood is allowed to dry out, it tends to shrink down, so the critical dimensions that define correct intonation will be thrown off. This alone could be the root cause of your problem. Allow the guitar to climatize to the correct humidity level, about 45-55% rH, then see how your intonation is doing. A week or two of moist air should do the trick if it hasn't gotten too dry.
On the flip side, an overly moist guitar will also be out of whack. These will tend to sound muddy and lifeless because the wood is so moist that it can't reverbrate with the strings vibrations near as well as it should.

This is your next step for sure.
#15
Yup. Intonation will never be absolutely exact. There are different guitars like fan fret guitars that try to aid in getting better intonation, but that applies more to baritone guitars since the scale length is much longer. The standard steel string doesn't really need a fan fret.

Here's an example of a fan fret.

The lower strings on a guitar with large scale length requires more space between each semi tone in order to be better intonated, while the higher notes need less space. That's why this fan fret system was created. You have to admit, it looks pretty cool
Equipment:
- Art & Lutherie Cedar CW (SOLD! )
- Martin D-16RGT w/ LR Baggs M1 Active Soundhole Pickup
- Seagull 25th Anniversary Flame Maple w/ LR Baggs Micro EQ

Have an acoustic guitar? Don't let your guitar dry out! Click here.
#16
Intonation means the length of the string from the nut to the 12th fret is the same length as the string from the 12th fret to the top of the saddle. If it isn't the same then the saddle needs to be raised or lowered generally or sometimes the nut.

What usually happens is that shims fall out from under the saddle when strings are changed. This will screw up the intonation. My suggestion is take it too a guitar tech and have him put a bone saddle on the guitar and bone bridge pins. (you can save on bridge pins by buying on e-bay and replace those yourself. $10 v $30 or $40. Bone will really make your guitar sound nicer too.