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Difficulty setting intonation on low E string


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  • Difficulty setting intonation on low E string

    I'm having trouble setting the intonation on a low E string on a Yamaha Pacifica (with trem).

    All the other strings were easy to set. But, the low E string is sharp when fretted at the 12th fret, and goes very sharp above that.

    I've made the string as long as I can at the bridge, but it's too sharp. I'm now considering removing the string from the bridge saddle so that I can move the bridge saddle as far back (longer string) as I can. But, is there anything else I should be looking at?

    I've filed the nut on this guitar, and I'm confident that the nut is cut to a reasonable height for that string. The trem seems to be adjusted properly, and works fine. (Not that I use a trem much). The other strings are fine, being properly intonated at a reasonable (not extreme) position for the bridge saddles. It's only the low E string that's problematic.

    It's a pity really as particularly now that I've worked on the nut, it does seem a very nice guitar. But it has this intonation problem and I don't know what to do.

    Too much work keeping my sig up to date

  • #2

    Use a smaller spring behind the saddle, get a shorter saddle/saddles?  How much more space do you need?  Approximately.

    MIA Fender Strat / Gibson Les Paul Studio / Custom Telecaster / Washburn WI66 / Custom Stratocaster / Martin D15S / Guild D55 / Simon & Patrick Cedar / Martin HD16R LSH​


    • Annoying Twit
      Annoying Twit commented
      Editing a comment

      I don't know how much more space I need. I think it's worth trying no spring at all. Then, if the string goes flat if I utterly max out the saddle, I can look into a shorter spring.

      Reading around, I see that playing technique can cause  intonation problems. But I don't have problems on other guitars. It could be a faulty string. I have a new set on order and arriving soon. So, I'll try swapping them. But I'm still mystified as to what is causing this problem.

  • #3
    I think what you have is a nut problem. The slot needs enough of an angle so that the string only touches the very front of the slot.

    If it's touching further back your open note will be flat compared to the rest of the guitar. Once you do this you should be able to set the intonation.


    • Grant Harding
      Grant Harding commented
      Editing a comment
      Ah - never mind, I just read that you fixed the bridge.