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  • Intonation - the compromises YOU make ..

    Hi - I'd be interested to hear where you folks make the intonation compromises on guitar.

    I could tune the guitar perfect at say the 5th fret and adjust saddles so that the fretted notes at the 17th fret are also in tune. I have thus achieved a pretty good tuning from frets 5 to 17 but the notes at the frets 4 to 1 and 17 to 21 will be progressively sharp and the open strings will be somewhat flat. That's the compromise.

    If I tune for example the 1 st fret to be perfect ( e.g from 1 to 21) then the open notes are going to be even more flat than in the example above.

    So where do you get the best tuning and where do you make the compromise? It's a matter of taste and I'd be interested to know where you draw your lines. Thanks.

    Tremblox

    PS Anyone who intonates by looking at the difference between the 12th fret flageolet and the fretted note really should not reply.

  • #2
    Originally posted by tremblox
    PS Anyone who intonates by looking at the difference between the 12th fret flageolet and the fretted note really should not reply.


    Make up your mind - do you want people's opinions or not?

    I intonate using the 12th fret because if it's in there then it'll be *close enough* at the 5th and 17th. However I also intonate intentionally a touch flat at the 12th. The reason is that I tend to fret hard, and going a touch flat means that most of the time the intonation actually turns out dead on.
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    • #3
      Originally posted by tremblox
      Anyone who intonates by looking at the difference between the 12th fret flageolet and the fretted note really should not reply.


      As you wish.

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      • #4
        I use the harmonic & fretted note comparison at the 19th fret. I feel it's more accurate than 12th fret based adjustments.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Matter-Eater Lad
          I use the harmonic & fretted note comparison at the 19th fret. I feel it's more accurate than 12th fret based adjustments.


          Yeah, I tend to use the 19th fret too I think.


          Who adjusts intonation by ear, and who uses a tuner? I use my ear, partly because my tuner's just not really good enough. I find it much easier to just trust my own sense of pitch rather than trying to get the stupid tuner's LEDs to make up their frickin' mind as to what the situation is.
          Originally Posted by Norton666 (15/07/2009)


          Give it 6 months and the Axe-Fx will be mentioned in the same sentence as the Johnson Millenium stuff.

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          • #6
            I turn the gain and volume up on my amp, and the intonation fixes itself...
            Shovelhead

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Shovelhead
              I turn the gain and volume up on my amp, and the intonation fixes itself...


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              • #8
                Originally posted by DeadNight Warrior


                Yeah, I tend to use the 19th fret too I think.


                Who adjusts intonation by ear, and who uses a tuner? I use my ear, partly because my tuner's just not really good enough. I find it much easier to just trust my own sense of pitch rather than trying to get the stupid tuner's LEDs to make up their frickin' mind as to what the situation is.
                I have done that when I was frustrated by the tuners wobbling around. It's actually pretty easy to get it with my ear and even if it's not strobe-tuner-perfect, it's close enough for a guitar which can never be perfect anyway.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Shovelhead
                  I turn the gain and volume up on my amp, and the intonation fixes itself...


                  LOL!

                  I'm glad I don't have anal ears that pick up everything. I just get close enough an go.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by DonP


                    LOL!

                    I'm glad I don't have anal ears that pick up everything. I just get close enough an go.


                    Yup. Close enough for rock and roll.
                    No eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn.

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                    • #11
                      If you don't play way up the neck, there's no reason for the intonation to be good way up the neck.

                      I intonate this way:

                      Tune open strings.
                      Fret a B chord at the 7th fret, and check each string for pitch.
                      Adjust intonation for any string that isn't perfect.
                      repeat.

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                      • #12
                        Anyone here use the Buzz Feiten offsets ? Care to comment ?

                        Tremblox

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                        • #13
                          I play a Tele with a vintage style 3 saddle bridge. I gave up on having perfect intonation awhile back.
                          "Oh my God!" Ignatius screamed. "My valve!"

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by BC Powder
                            I play a Tele with a vintage style 3 saddle bridge. I gave up on having perfect intonation awhile back.


                            Those dual vintage saddles help to give the Tele, "The Tele tone". I can't help wondering how much the out-of-tune nature is a part of that tone. A bit like a honky-tonk piano.

                            Tremblox

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Matter-Eater Lad
                              I use the harmonic & fretted note comparison at the 19th fret. I feel it's more accurate than 12th fret based adjustments.


                              I do it at the 12th, THEN the 19th to fine tune it.

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