Author Topic: Intonation problem caused by strings-- again.  (Read 1192 times)

RichR

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Intonation problem caused by strings-- again.
« on: September 02, 2015, 01:45:40 PM »
I was playing my ES-330 on a gig with the organ trio, Sunday afternoon.  Playing some chords about halfway up the neck, and noticed something out of tune.  Isolated it to the D string, and finished the song out, avoiding the string.  Between songs, started to tune, and every string was in tune, including the D.  Played some notes up the neck, on the D string and they were flat.  Checked the intonation at the octave-- substantially flat.  This guitar had been in for a setup, when I had new nylon saddles installed/slotted.  And the intonation was spot-on, when I got it back from the tech, 2-3 weeks ago.  I swapped guitars, and finished the gig with the les paul.

After I got home, I pulled the 330 out to fix the intonation.  Verified that the D was pretty flat at the octave (when in tune open and at the octave harmonic).  The A was also a little flat at the octave (vs open).   Got my screwdriver out, and proceeded to adjust the saddle position to make the string 'shorter'.  Turned it a lot, and hardly any change.   Nearly to the end of the adjustment range, and still flat (when the open string has been re-tuned after turning the screw.)

I ran into this on my LP once.  A string problem!!!  My tech has always told me to always use new strings to set the intonation.  Old/worn strings can do strange things, due to dents, abrasions, etc.  This set of strings was not that old, and had not been played a lot.  But I guess something had happened to that D string.  I put a fresh set of strings on it yesterday, and went back to the intonation.  The 'D' (still adjusted most of the way toward the pickups) was now sharp.  Moved back about to where it had been, and intonated perfectly.  Checked and tweaked all strings a bit, and the intonation holds up perfectly (again).

Like deja vu, all over again.  At least I knew and remembered, this time.  The first time, this issue drove me nuts for a couple weeks.

DannyDV8

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Re: Intonation problem caused by strings-- again.
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2015, 05:45:51 PM »
For some reason I'm Hell on the 1st string.  I don't break them, but I dent the4 bottom of them up like gangbusters.  Within playing them twice they're like that, but two weeks later the rest of the strings are still like new.  I find a lot of times if the intonation seems out, stretching the strings does wonders.
They call it the Blues, but the shit makes me SMILE!

RichR

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Re: Intonation problem caused by strings-- again.
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2015, 07:16:47 PM »
For some reason I'm Hell on the 1st string.  I don't break them, but I dent the4 bottom of them up like gangbusters.  Within playing them twice they're like that, but two weeks later the rest of the strings are still like new.  I find a lot of times if the intonation seems out, stretching the strings does wonders.

I probably play with more pressure than I should.  My D string really shows the dents; party because its a wound string.  The dents also show up on E B G, but they are more pronounced on D.  Never tried to re-stretch them.  Will try to remember that next time around.

Playing out of tune is a mojo killer!  I'd been hearing the out-of-tune chords.  Kind of surprised when I checked all the open strings and they were in tune.  Then checked some notes up the neck with the tuner.  Once I realized it was intonation, and couldn't be fixed by tuning, I swapped guitars.

Glad I had a second guitar handy.  I guess that is the reason I lug a second, most gigs.

KenBJammen

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Re: Intonation problem caused by strings-- again.
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2015, 02:50:56 AM »
I always bring 2 guitars because I always screw something up when I only bring one
Does anyone ever read these things.  I have some guitars, some amps and some effects but none of them play the guitar for me.... Yet.

DannyDV8

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Re: Intonation problem caused by strings-- again.
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2015, 05:49:01 PM »
I always bring 2 guitars because I always screw something up when I only bring one
Amen!
They call it the Blues, but the shit makes me SMILE!