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Guitar setup question

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  • Guitar setup question

    I just got a Les Paul Traditional Mahogany and I'm loving it so far. It plays great except for one problem. If I tune the 6th string to pitch (whether in standard or dropped D), the fretted notes are a bit flat. This is evident even when playing power chords (where there should be no beating/dissonance). If I fret a power chord (or even an octave) and strum it, then slowly tune the 6th string sharper until it's in tune, then consequentially the open note is quite a bit sharp. The 6th string is the only one that's like this; chords with the root note on the 5th string sound fine.



    I haven't checked the intonation yet, but is this as simple as an intonation adjustment? I used to have an SG that had the same issue and I had the intonation set up by a tech and it still had that problem though. The problem is evident even on the first fret though, which also makes me think it's not a matter of adjusting intonation.



    Does the nut need to be replaced/cut, maybe? Or perhaps do I need heavier strings (like Skinny Top, Heavy Bottom)? It's a fantastic guitar, and it seems intonated extremely well everywhere else. It's just that on the 6th string, I have to pick between fretted notes being in tune or the open string being in tune.
    http://simplehomerecording.com

  • #2






    Quote Originally Posted by Markdude
    View Post

    I haven't checked the intonation yet...




    Why not? It would have taken like 5 seconds...

    Comment


    • #3
      Because I got the flu on the same day I got the guitar, but have also still been going to work because I need the money. I've felt well enough over the past week to play this guitar for only a few hours, unfortunately.



      I'll definitely check it, but I just wanted to post about it before I head off to work. And like I said, I had this exact same issue on an SG I used to have, even after having the intonation set by a tech. I also figure that if intonation was the issue, it wouldn't be as drastic as "in tune open string, significantly flat first fret", and rather the problem would not be bad at all on the lower frets but would get worse further up the neck.
      http://simplehomerecording.com

      Comment


      • #4
        From my own experience......First make sure the intonation is correct. If it is still off when playing chords the nut probably needs attention. ie; VERY carefully file to deepen the nut slot just a tiny bit at a time until you find the sweet spot where open and chorded notes sound in tune. If you are not comfortable with this, any luthier or experienced shop hand can do it for you.
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        • #5
          First off check the intonation! If you have a tuner this should take all of a minute. If it is flat move the bridge saddle forward towards the neck. If it is sharp move it back.

          Comment


          • #6
            this sounds like a pretty basic intonation fix to me.



            if its only 1 string, its a 10 second fix. in the time it took you to create this thread, you could've had your guitar fixed and playing in tune.



            good luck and hopefully thats all it is. If its the nut then you're screwed because you wont be able to raise the string to make it sharper, so you'd have to get your nut replaced.
            <div class="signaturecontainer">Gibson Les Paul Jr. / Rockinbetter 330, Rickenbacker 360 <br />
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            • #7
              Thanks guys. I do know how to adjust intonation and I'm definitely planning on doing so. However, in my experience, improperly set intonation results in the problem not being very apparent at lower frets, but becoming significant and worse up the neck. The fact that there's a significant discrepancy even at the first fret is why I'm wondering if it's something else.
              http://simplehomerecording.com

              Comment


              • #8






                Quote Originally Posted by StevenJM
                View Post

                this sounds like a pretty basic intonation fix to me.



                if its only 1 string, its a 10 second fix. in the time it took you to create this thread, you could've had your guitar fixed and playing in tune.



                good luck and hopefully thats all it is. If its the nut then you're screwed because you wont be able to raise the string to make it sharper, so you'd have to get your nut replaced.




                I wouldn't mind buying a new nut and having a tech file it and install it, as long as that fixes the problem. :P
                http://simplehomerecording.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  Its the nut, not the intonation. The string is resting on the headstock edge of the slot rather than the edge closer to the body.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    +1 on a simple intonation job. Crappy tech, learn to do it yourself and never go back.
                    <div class="signaturecontainer"><font size="1">Good dealings with ~dcindc x2~alleytrash~ashasha~jjegg~Yavin</font></div>

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                    • #11
                      Did you consider checking the intonation?
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                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Just have a bone nut cut for it and have them intonate it and be done with it.

                        Comment


                        • #13






                          Quote Originally Posted by lz4005
                          View Post

                          Its the nut, not the intonation. The string is resting on the headstock edge of the slot rather than the edge closer to the body.




                          At first, I didn't understand why this would be true... but now that I've thought through all of the mechanics I'm pretty sure that you are right. Thanks, I learned something important here!



                          Waitaminute! Now I'm pretty sure this does NOT explain fretted notes being flat. Please explain why it would!
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                          • #14
                            It probably needs a good setup...all new Gibsons need a nice lil nut slot adjustment and a good intonation.
                            <div class="signaturecontainer">&quot;The function of music is to release us from the tyranny of conscious thought&quot;<br />
                            Sir Thomas Beecham</div>

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                            • #15






                              Quote Originally Posted by dabbler
                              View Post

                              Waitaminute! Now I'm pretty sure this does NOT explain fretted notes being flat. Please explain why it would!




                              I may have misread your post. I've had several guitars with badly cut nuts where the open note was flat relative to the fretted notes. Fixing the nut slot fixed the problem.

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