intonation question

Re: intonation question

Postby Pete B. » Fri Jun 07, 2013 10:44 am

TI4-1009 wrote:I'm still unclear about the bottom line on what creates the "better tone". Is it just that you can vibrate the string harder/more without the risk of buzzing on the frets? Other than that there doesn't seem to be any magic in having the string located farther from the fretboard. Am I missing something??


In my mind, it's two things... Besides the obvious "unobstructed string oscillation" on any picked string at any fret.
One, All my life I've heard that Jerry played with really high action (Guitar Player and other magazine articles I've read since the 70's, etc...), and that it was part of the recipe for "clear" tone (Jerry Tone, if you will...). I call it, "The Guru Factor".
And two, in addition to being a DeadHead, I was also an Allman Bros Head from very early on, and my first coupla guitars were Les Pauls. I myself play slide guitar, and have always just eyeballed a very high action based on being able to play aggressive slide guitar without having a bunch of slide-hittin-the-frets sound coming out of the amp as I play. In a nutshell, my own practicle expierience is similar with regard to high action. If you've ever played slide on a low-action guitar you know what I mean.
Which reminds me???... What was Bobby's string height? I actually don't ever want anyone to tell me my slide playing sounds like Bobby's, but, 'stands to wonder I guess (...'seems like he play's slide at some point on most gigs).
Anyway... now that we're all having so much fun with our Jerry Rigs and Jerry Guitars, and in recent years we're getting some insider info on the actual Set-up measurments from Jerry guitars, it just fun to try this stuff our on our own guitars.
Hence... "I can't Intonate my Strat with the string height at 7/64ths at the 12th fret... the Saddles don't go back far enough".
OK so now it's 1/8th at the 24th (or 22nd), and 3/32 at the 12th.
:? :oops: :hail: :wink: :roll: :smile:
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Re: intonation question

Postby Mr.Burns » Sat Jun 08, 2013 10:42 am

+1 on oscillation

When we say the string vibrates unobstructed, it's not necessarily harder/more, but furthur, if you will. I think anybody that plays mostly clean, not just Jerry Tone seekers, would benefit tone-wise from a little higher action than they're used to. The trade off is losing speed, or the ease of playing fast, I assume. I hate when a guitar player says a guitar has a fast neck, meaning low action. Like it's the neck thats fast, and not the fingers. :lol: If a person plays fast, heavy distorted stuff, then by all means, set the action low.

When I raised the string height on my Schaller bridge (same as mentioned above) to what felt right, the tone improved considerably. I've never tried to measure my string height. I've never really felt like raising the action slowed me down either. I placed the bridge where it was intended to be, not realizing that I could potentially run into intonation problems. I didn't, but I think it's because the range of adjustment on that bridge allows for a much bigger sweet spot when positioning the bridge during installation. Because I pretty much eye-balled it. There was a tape measure involved, but, it really came down to lining up with the stock bridge's footprint. Not very precise, I know, but it worked.
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Re: intonation question

Postby tcsned » Sat Jun 08, 2013 11:11 am

What I look for is the guitar's sweet spot. There seems to be a string angle/height that makes a guitar sing. Some of my guitars sound best with reasonably high action or like my Les Paul, on the lower side. It's not only metal players that like the light string/low action thing - country players that want the classic country Tele sound need light strings and lowish action too, Mark Knopfler style players too. Too me, it's about setting the guitar up to shine and working with that guitar where it's best.
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Re: intonation question

Postby softmachine72 » Sun Jun 16, 2013 12:44 am

You can also intonate the nut itself or "compensate" the nut if you have a real accurate strobe tuner . here is an article on how to do that.
http://www.mimf.com/nutcomp/.
This will not fix a problem with the bridge in the wrong position(or not enough room to move the saddle.
Also a note on Jerry's action, it is clear that he had real high action, as already stated. Although, I have not seen neck angle measurements on his guitars but, from what i can deduce from up close pics . The Tiger and Rosebud lacked proper neck angle. Hence, the pickups a mile off the mounting ring.( even counting for Jerry's preference for high action) In addition to proper nut height , neck angle (even 1/4 of a degree )over the 25.5 in. of the scale can make a noticeable difference in playability and clear unimpaired string vibration. On a Strat there is no neck angle unless you add by shims( which can help some times). some Les Pauls have 3 or more degrees. Each build has to be calculated according to the bridge you use , how thick your fretboard is, how tall your frets are, and the type of build you are doing , which determines where the neck joins the body.I realize this is kinda off topic but Taking Jerry's measurements for his instrument is pointless because having the highest action just to hit the specs makes no sense. On the other hand just because there is no buzz does not mean every note is ringing as clears as it can. A problem that can occour with string action that is too high is; a note that is in tune when you play an open string will go sharp when you fret them. On and on it goes I love this Forum.
Last edited by softmachine72 on Sun Jun 16, 2013 11:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: intonation question

Postby waldo041 » Sun Jun 16, 2013 8:26 pm

softmachine72 wrote:I realize this is kinda off topic but Taking Jerry's measurements for his instrument is pointless because having the highest action just to hit the specs makes no sense. On the other hand just because there is no buzz does not mean every note is ringing as clears as it can.One problem with string action that is too high is notes that are in tune when you play an open string go sharp when you fret them.On and on it goes I love this Forum.



If adjusting for a preferred height was "pointless" there would be no adjustments available and you would be stuck with what the builder designed, like an acoustic. However, electric guitars string action is adjusted and is adjustable for any player, in fact it should be set by the luthier to the players specs. Yes, stock guitars will come off the wall at a given height but can and should be adjusted for the player. if he/she prefers a lower or higher action, it should be achievable. So to state from a luthier perspective that the angle, if any, should be dictated by the luthier options in bridge, fretboard thickness or fret size which finally dictates where the neck is positioned somehow dictates the height of the strings. This leads people to believe that this is the only option one has for that particular guitars string height. If one string height is how you build your guitars, that's cool, but almost every other one has options in adjusting the string height to the players wants or needs. And that is what Jerry did to find the action he preferred. The guitars he had were not designed for a specific string height, the height was undoubtedly adjusted after the build. Rosebud actually has a brass shim under the brass nut to raise it. Also neck angles were incorporated for arch top guitars, a strat is not an arch top guitar thus no neck angle. a taller bridge may dictate the need for a neck angle, maybe not a 3 degree LP neck angle, but a slight 1 or 2 degree angle. You might not have the neck angle info because the couple guys feeding you all of your information for all of his guitars may not have been asked yet. Or possibly it was lost in all you have already been generously given. :cool:
~waldo
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Re: intonation question

Postby softmachine72 » Sun Jun 16, 2013 11:13 pm

I did not mean, preferred height was pointless. There is no other more important spec than the players preference. I meant that depending on how the instrument is constructed . There will be an optimum point were the string can ring out correctly , without fret buzz . Proper neck angle in the original construction is one major factor that will dictate how low your action can be, while still having notes that ring optimally all over the fret board. . what my main concern is, a lot of people go and read Jerry's specs [http://wald-electronics.com*]
and set their guitar up that way, when it might not be necessary to have their instrument with the action that high to still get a clear, unobstructed note. And now they have a guitar that they cannot play. For the record i have received no more info than you (Waldo) have freely given but, to my recollection I have never seen a neck angle measurement for the Wolf, Tiger, or Rosebud. I have made deductions about the neck angle of Jerry's guitars ,from the photos of Rosebud and Tiger (and I could be wrong) . In my experience trying to recreate those instruments. I have found just changing neck angle by 1/4 of a degree will effect how low the lowest string height can be, while still getting the notes to ring out without any buzzing . At the same time not having to have the pickups so high off the face of the guitar that they want to drift or move.
Oh by the way do you have the specs?
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Re: intonation question

Postby milobender » Mon Jun 17, 2013 7:37 am

Sorry, but I don't believe there is a "proper" neck angle... and neck angle, in my experience, has nothing to do with adjusting string height or inducing/reducing fret buzz...
Everything we know is wrong...
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Re: intonation question

Postby mgbills » Mon Jun 17, 2013 9:17 am

My rationale on neck angle for a Strat would revolve around bridge height relative to the top. If the string sadles were set radical enough, an adjustment may be necessary to flatten the strings relative to the fretboard. Personally, I would avoid that unless demanded by the customer, or there is some functional defect with the guitar. If it was a vintage guitar worth $30K...sure. Making a precise shim would be very time consuming. I like wood-on-wood for tranference & sustain. Depending on who you talk to this can change like the wind. I guess I'm not really in the camp where using a piece of matchbook is a solution.

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http://www.tundraman.com/Guitars/NeckAngle/

Handy little calculator....

And it all comes down to player preference, and string oscillation. Personally...I can't force myself to pick hard enough to cause oscillation detonation (against the fret wire) with the strings above about 3/32" on a Strat. Slide is still in my "need to work on it" book, so what little I do is fine there. So having the action and the associated intonation difficulties at 7/64th" seems a bit extraneous for my playing style.

My #1 Strat Jerry-Strat customer really wants that 7/64th"...and I've figured out how to give it to him. But...that was a whole bunch of futzing about. We'll see if he likes it next week.

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M
Last edited by mgbills on Mon Jun 17, 2013 12:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: intonation question

Postby Pete B. » Mon Jun 17, 2013 10:30 am

I guessing you meant 7/64ths at the 12th?
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Re: intonation question

Postby softmachine72 » Mon Jun 17, 2013 11:39 am

it looks from that diagram that neck angel does effect under certain circumstances. Like setting "high action" or some type of defect. As for the shim. mark 1/2 a degree on your protractor on a pre- drilled "square"maple block.That is as wide as the neck in question and cut it on the band-saw. After you cut the piece sand it flat on the cut side you cut(check with calipers to make sure thickness is with in +- .003. I have a shop made angle jig for cutting all angles up to 13 for an headstock. I can send you plans if you like. you can also buy now from Rockler but it will not cut any thing beyond 7 degrees. I also have a set of Machinists steel angle gauges for precise angle measurements. No match books at SFG.
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Re: intonation question

Postby mgbills » Mon Jun 17, 2013 12:22 pm

Pete is correct...

softmachine72...pm on the way...I like the sound of your jig/process much better than the one I'm using.
Thx
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Re: intonation question

Postby Pfallon » Wed Oct 30, 2013 1:46 pm

I actually called Tom Lieber and asked him directly about the neck angle on the Tiger. Because some pics look as if there is no angle at all. The Schaller bridge is low enough so it doesn't need much angle, but Tom said that there is a slight angle to the Tiger's neck; he didn't measure it but they angled the neck so the strings would have "good" action all the way up in the 12 -24 fret register.
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Re: intonation question

Postby NSP » Tue Feb 18, 2014 8:25 am

waldo041 wrote:I just measured my moriarty tiger strings heights, and they match what I have on my rosebud page.

1st Fret
3/64" (.046") Low E
1/32" (.031") High E

24th Fret
1/8" (.125") Low E
1/8" (.125") High E

with these measurements the 12th fret measures 6/64" (.093") on both the High and Low E strings. so I cannot imagine 1/64th added to that 6/64" at the 12th would add an entire 1/8" to the already 1/8" at the 24th fret. In my minion opinion the measurements Brawer took from Tiger are really not that significantly different then that of Rosebud, Bolt or TopHat. It is also my opinion that it is definitely a part of the equation in seeking the elusive Jerry Tone. Fast, low action necks do not produce the sustain or clarity that having the action higher produces.

~waldo


I'm figuring out how to do my own set-ups and just want to confirm that these measurements are made between fret and string, not between fingerboard and string. I know this says measure at the fret, but I just want to be sure I'm understanding correctly.
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Re: intonation question

Postby mgbills » Tue Feb 18, 2014 10:02 am

Yes. Between fret & string.

Also be aware, that the Tiger (Brawer) specs show 7/64" at the 12th. Rosebud (as per Waldo, AO, & Moriarty) spec's show 7/64" at the 24th. I have, through abundant trial and error believe that the 7/64" at the 24th is the only reasonable spec. Even though it would seem high from the nut measurement perspective, it is completely playable and in no way impedes string oscillation.

Also, for you intonation conscious folks, a 7/64" spec at the 12th will always mean that your intonation will be sharp when you fret notes in the upper register. Always. The stretch of the string with 3/16" at the 24th will make notes 1/2 of a semitone sharp. It's just geometry & physics. I believe that spec is a typo on his (Mr. Brawer's) part. I don't believe anyone with that volume of experience would set a guitar up that way. It simply cannot play in tune with that much angle off the fretboard.

I'm always willing to dialog on this point, but I won't set a guitar up that way (again) :-)

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M
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Re: intonation question

Postby NSP » Tue Feb 18, 2014 12:16 pm

mgbills wrote:Yes. Between fret & string.

Also be aware, that the Tiger (Brawer) specs show 7/64" at the 12th. Rosebud (as per Waldo, AO, & Moriarty) spec's show 7/64" at the 24th. I have, through abundant trial and error believe that the 7/64" at the 24th is the only reasonable spec. Even though it would seem high from the nut measurement perspective, it is completely playable and in no way impedes string oscillation.

Also, for you intonation conscious folks, a 7/64" spec at the 12th will always mean that your intonation will be sharp when you fret notes in the upper register. Always. The stretch of the string with 3/16" at the 24th will make notes 1/2 of a semitone sharp. It's just geometry & physics. I believe that spec is a typo on his (Mr. Brawer's) part. I don't believe anyone with that volume of experience would set a guitar up that way. It simply cannot play in tune with that much angle off the fretboard.

I'm always willing to dialog on this point, but I won't set a guitar up that way (again) :-)

Peace
M


Thanks man, appreciate it.

And yes, I am very intonation conscious and would not be able to have a guitar that didn't have perfect intonation....would drive me crazy.
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