#1
Hey,
I'm trying to intonate an ESP LTD Alexi-200 for drop-C (with the dunlop custom heavy "Zakk Wylde" 10-60s for lots of heavy-bottom tension at drop tuning). This particular Floyd trem based bridge has a much sharper and sooner upward angle at the back than my other guitars, and I'm finding that I physically *can't* move the saddle back any further for the lowest string as it's already against the slanting body of the bridge.
Here's an image which, although I couldn't get it to focus any better than that, might explain my problem better than in words:



So, I mean, this guitar is named after the dude from Children of Bodom. I know there are some people out there playing it in drop-A. So there must be something fundamental I'm missing about intonating an FR trem if I can't get this in tune in drop-C!
The action is great, the truss is great. I can certainly move the spring claw a lot in either direction, but that seems to only affect the tension and bridge angle which is somewhat peripheral to intonation...
What am I missing? Is there some hidden adjustment to somehow set the bridge itself back like 1/16th of an inch? Or is there some other adjustment I'm not aware of?
Thanks in advance!
#3
Quote by Retro Rocker
Send it to a professional and ask for a detailed explanation once he's done?


+1
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#4
Quote by Retro Rocker
Send it to a professional and ask for a detailed explanation once he's done?

Well, it may come to that, but I'm hoping that maybe some professionals hang out here and might have some insight... ignoring for a moment the fact that our band got completely taken advantage of last time we put guitars in the shop, I also have an innate need to understand and solve problems. Taking it to a shop is good advice, but does anyone have any ideas what might be causing this problem?
#5
Quote by grank
Well, it may come to that, but I'm hoping that maybe some professionals hang out here and might have some insight... ignoring for a moment the fact that our band got completely taken advantage of last time we put guitars in the shop, I also have an innate need to understand and solve problems. Taking it to a shop is good advice, but does anyone have any ideas what might be causing this problem?

Sounds like an interesting story, care to share?
#7
Quote by Retro Rocker
Sounds like an interesting story, care to share?

Oh, suffice it to say, we got charged WAY more than we expected, didn't get the instruments back in the time period we were led to believe, and the bass wasn't even properly intonated, nor checked out for the electrical problems we encountered soon after. It was pretty much like being taken for a fool at an auto mechanic and having them charge you a crazy amount for belts and crap and then finding that they didn't even look under the hood.
So from that day forward, I decided I would learn everything there is to know about setting up our OWN instruments. Hence the question. (It's funny, I'm the vocalist in this band but the guitar tech, and the bassist is the drum tech... sometimes things just happen that way I guess!)
So I understand the suggestion to bring it to a professional, and I would love to be able to think that I could pay a reasonable amount of money and get a reasonable quality back, but I just don't trust that anymore. And really, guitars are not that complex, they're not LIKE an automobile, they operate on basic principles of acoustics and have literally only like 6 vectors of adjustment... and as someone with a music degree, I feel like an ass not being able to set them up on my own! Most "professional" guitar techs didn't go to school for years to learn the mysterious ways of adjusting modern guitars, they just... learned. Probably apprenticed at the shop, or read how-to manuals and got a job. Some shops are indeed run by music lovers who have been playing for years and know their instruments inside and out, but most are just some guy's day job :P
So that's why I'm trying to learn and I'm possibly demonstrating my ignorance and n00b-ness by not being able to get this intonated, but that's why I'm here.
#8
Quote by Sin City Sid
Don't look like the bridge is level!!!!


Oh it is, the design of that particular bridge has the micro tuners on about a 30 degree angle askew from the flat plane of the bridge itself, which is why it almost looks in the picture like the bridge is slanted into the body.
#9
Quote by grank
Oh it is, the design of that particular bridge has the micro tuners on about a 30 degree angle askew from the flat plane of the bridge itself, which is why it almost looks in the picture like the bridge is slanted into the body.

I took those tuners into consideration before I posted. Looked like that plate was off and the string lock bolt hitting the body, maybe just the pic.
#10
Quote by Sin City Sid
I took those tuners into consideration before I posted. Looked like that plate was off and the string lock bolt hitting the body, maybe just the pic.

No worries, the plate is straight and the lock bolt is well clear of the body... though admittedly if i was able to move it back much further it would probably stop clearing the lip if the whammy was used. which is why i've gotta be doing something wrong
#12
Quote by Sin City Sid
The string is going sharp?

With the low string in tune open, and the saddle back all the way, the octave is about 15 cents sharp.
#13
you can lift the action, adjust the neck, change that string if it's old, or lift the bridge a bit if you can keep it balanced.
Jenneh

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#15
Quote by jj1565
you can lift the action, adjust the neck, change that string if it's old, or lift the bridge a bit if you can keep it balanced.

So, you're suggesting he put a bit of backbow in the neck and raise the bridge, thus lengthening the string? Interesting, might just work. Sounds like a recipe for a slight bit of buzz on the first 5 frets though.
#16
actually not back bow, but perhaps lengthen the neck if it's got "too much" relief.

or

adjust the action higher, or adjust the bridges balance in a way that would add length,

or
try a new string that one might be a dud.

also, nut adjustments and products like earvana nuts, are made for this exact problem.

what you do, depends on how the guitar is set up now. the guitar might need some adjustment anyway.
Jenneh

Quote by TNfootballfan62
Jenny needs to sow her wild oats with random Gibsons and Taylors she picks up in bars before she settles down with a PRS.


Set up Questions? ...Q & A Thread

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#17
I see where you are coming from but the TS stated the relief was correct. The guitar has a locking nut which kill doing much up at the top end. About the only thing I could thing of was the bridge pins pulling forward because of the extra heavy gauge strings. Sure makes it hard to diag when it's not sitting in front of ya.

I am assuming that it is setup correctly. also 15 cents ain't a whole lot
#18
Quote by grank

The action is great, the truss is great. I can certainly move the spring claw a lot in either direction, but that seems to only affect the tension and bridge angle which is somewhat peripheral to intonation...
What am I missing? Is there some hidden adjustment to somehow set the bridge itself back like 1/16th of an inch? Or is there some other adjustment I'm not aware of?
Thanks in advance!



yeah, i see all that. and he's got the string gauge that he wants too.
but he's asking so, these are things he can do, if he really wants to adjust the intonation.

if he's not interested in changing the action of neck relief, then i guess that's his choice.
i'm just laying it out there.
Jenneh

Quote by TNfootballfan62
Jenny needs to sow her wild oats with random Gibsons and Taylors she picks up in bars before she settles down with a PRS.


Set up Questions? ...Q & A Thread

Recognised by the Official EG/GG&A/GB&C WTLT Lists 2011
#19
Are you checking the open note against the 12th fret or a fretted note against its octave (also fretted) 12 frets above on the same string?

If you are checking fretted note against fretted note and it intonates properly but it won't intonate when you check the open note and fretted 12th fret you need to compensate the nut. Or use thinner strings.

I normally tune the open string to pitch first. Then I fret the 3rd fret and check. If its off I tune it correctly so that the 3rd fret is in tune. Then I check that against the 15th fret on the same string. If it's off I adust the saddle accordingly. Then I check the 5th fret and 17th the same way and so on and so forth up the fret board. If the fret board is totally intonated and the open string is still not tuning correctly it is a nut problem. You could possibly have a compensated nut installed. Earvana has them for Floyds I think.

Keep in mind that the reason you need to compensate for a larger string is because it is stiffer and the vibrating length is farther away from the witness point (where the string passes over the saddle and nut). Ever notice that classical guitars need less compensation than steel string acoustics? Nylon is much more limp than steel. The vibrating length starts closer to the witness point. It is possible that your guitar with that particular bridge placement isn't capable of being in tune with those strings.