How do you adjust your intonation? I'm trying to determine if there's a "right way" for the best results and wanted to see how others do it.
Last edited by TRG on Wed May 16, 2012 9:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
Interesting and helpful - thanks for sharing!Cmnaround wrote:Thought you all might find this of interest - from one of the Peterson tuner manuals. No affiliation here, just a satisfied user.
"Setting Guitar & Bass Intonation Using Your Peterson StroboRack™
After deciding on string gauge, setting string height (nut & bridge), neck relief, and all other factors that affect the guitar’s intonation considerably, the individual string
lengths need to be adjusted. For this task, use Equal temperament in the StroboRack’s SWT menu.
· Lower the pickups away from the strings to avoid "doubling" and electromagnetic pull.
· Lay the guitar flat on a bench to adjust it, but always check the intonation with the instrument in the playing position, as the readings will be visibly (and later
audibly) different. You should always aim to freeze or "cage" the image on the strobe tuner display; the less movement the more accurate the results.
A common technique in setting the intonation is the 12th fret & flageolet comparison method. In this method, the flageolet or "harmonic" of the 12th fret is compared
to the fretted string at the 12th fret, and saddle position is adjusted as follows:
· If the fretted note is flat compared to the flageolet note, move the bridge saddle forward to shorten the string.
· If the fretted note is sharp compared to the flageolet note, move the bridge saddle back to lengthen the string.
· Adjust until both fretted note and flageolet are identical in pitch.
While this is a common system, it is not always the most satisfactory.
One popular alternative is to adjust each string so that it is in tune at two points an octave apart from each other on the fret board using a strobe tuner. Using the 5th
and 17th fret as an example:
· Tune a string at the 5th fret.
· Check the string at the 17th. If sharp, move the saddle back, thus lengthening the string. If flat, shorten the string by moving the saddle forward. Remember
to fret the string using the pressure that you would normally apply while playing.
· Keep repeating this process until each string is in tune as much as possible at both the 5th and 17th frets.
This method takes time, and has to be repeated if you change string gauges, but if properly executed, it yields very satisfactory results.
Now, depending on your own taste, tune your guitar using one of the StroboRack’s many SweetenersTM. Find out how your instrument can really sound!"
Cool, thanks for elaborating on this. I'm about to lower the action a tad via the individual string saddles and essentially want to make sure that I correctly adjust the intonation via the screw adjustments on the individual saddles (if necessary).mgbills wrote:TRG.
This is just what I experienced this week. I typically use a Peterson StroboFlip, but often once the intonation is set I just use an Intelli-touch (which I don't particularly like). My start like a bit of neck relief. Loosening the truss rod on my Tiger-ized Strat will typically provide this relief in the 4-7th fret most dramatically. It had been showing a bit of fret buzz, which typically means I need to drop about 1/4 turn out of the truss rod. Also, I had noticed that notes on the 5th fret were a bit sharp. When I released the truss rod a bit, the intonation at the 5th came more into tune.
To be honest I didn't check intonation entirely. When I hit the amplified Man-Cave tomorrow night, I'll try & remember to check it and give the results.
I didn't mean to imply that a truss rod adjustment would be the logical step to follow after attempting to correct intonation via the saddles. I tend to think of the truss rod on it's own, and drop out tension until fret buzz is alleviated. I get some pretty wild humidity swings throughout the year. We have a log home & a wood stove, so I'm not in the Man-Cave/Shop in the winter, and my poor guitars are constantly subjected to Damp-it's to keep some humidity in the cases. Acoustics are really fussy. My Taylor will change tune dramatically in 3-4 hours of playing time in the Winter.
Probably more information than was helpful.
Good stuff - thanks!TI4-1009 wrote:Invaluable:
http://www.beatgearcavern.com/forum/vie ... =4&t=57166
"I do NOT just set to a strict harmonic / 12th fret check. I start with that. Then I temper tune.
This is what piano tuners do.
I check the third fret on the low "E" /6th string to see if its a "G"
I check the 3rd fret of the "A"/5th string to see if its a "C"
I check the second fret of the "D"/4th to make sure its an "E"
THe first fret of the "G"/3rd should be a G#
THe 2nd string check is to insure the third fret is in fact a "D"
And then lastly the first string/ high "E" should be an F# at the 2nd fret .
I check each fretted note AFTER I tune the open string to its normal note... I use a PETERSON 490 tuner.
I never use a tuner with LED lights.
"Why not ?"
Because there is too much +/- between the points of those LED bulbs. Nice for stage quick tuning ... but not that accurate."
Nut, truss rod, action, saddles, intonation all inter-relate. Nut has to be cut correctly as the starting point. There is fairly large intonation sweet spot but you'll find that guitars with too much relief or a back-bow never intonate correctly. Think of a guitar neck like a V but a very large angle like 170 degrees with the 7th fret being the low point and that's how it's designed, planned, angled for, everything. All inter-relates.TRG wrote:So when you say the truss rod plays a roll (which I can completely understand)...are you saying in so much as the screw adjustment has only so far that it can go...and if you've gone all the way front/back and your still sharp/flat that one of the next courses of action would be a TS adjustment?