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Author Topic: 000-50 Intonation problem  (Read 2807 times)
Madisonian
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« on: October 11, 2007, 09:49:34 AM »

I recently found my 000-50 is 9-10 cents flat at the 12th fret on all strings,
and that the saddle is 1/16" farther from the 12th fret than my L-02 with the same scale.
We've discussed it a little on the Martin forum here:
http://p082.ezboard.com/ftheunofficialmartinguitarforumfrm2.showMessage?topicID=14496.topic

It doesn't look fully correctable with simple saddle compensation, or even reslotting the pyramid bridge.
Larrivee customer service hasn't answered yet (three days), and my dealer is not local.
Has anyone else had this problem?

Evan
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ducktrapper
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« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2007, 11:23:32 AM »

Nope, mine's perfect. Phone them. Email is a lousy way to communicate if you're in a hurry.
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Madisonian
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« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2007, 12:50:40 PM »

They don't list a phone number on their website, unless I missed something.
Just one email address for all of North America.
And with no reply of any kind from that address, this isn't starting off feeling very customer friendly!

Evan
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CF Larrivee
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« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2007, 01:02:05 PM »

Evan ...

I have an L-09 that had serious intonation problems. It had to go back to Oxnard for a new neck, fingerboard, and bridge. They got it right and you would never know it had undergone such repairs. However, the guitar was gone for over three months and it was a very nerve racking experience. If your intonation is that bad, I see no other recourse but to ship it back. If it is under warranty, need to get in touch with your dealer and also call Brian at Larrivee. You need to have a return authorization # before you ship it. You will also have to flit the bill for shipping. Sorry to hear about your woes.
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flatlander
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« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2007, 01:11:03 PM »

per web page                                       Consult Your Dealer

All Larrivee authorized dealers are qualified to advise you regarding the details of processing a repair or return. Contact your dealer first, before proceeding with any other action, to obtain a Return Authorization number. It is important to note that all returns must be preceded by a Return Authorization (RA) number. Returns that do not have a valid RA number number prominently displayed on the carton will be rejected and returned freight-collect to the point of origin. Obtaining an RA number is the responsibility of the dealer. Larrivee will not accept repair or return claims direct from end-user customers except in the event the dealer who originally sold the guitar is no longer accessible to that end user. If this is the case please call our number listed in the customer service section
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
altough it's been years ,larrivee's cust service was great to me, giving me a new inlaid ebony bridge after I'd had it like 15 years and told them it was my fault it split. Others have had good luck as well.



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CF Larrivee
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« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2007, 01:11:21 PM »

Wow ...
I just checked the site, too and could find no phone #. Anybody know it? I'm sorry, but that is just bad business not to list a phone #.
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Mr_LV19E
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« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2007, 01:21:49 PM »

Brian Trepanier
Customer Service Representative
Jean Larrivee Guitars, Ltd.
phone: 604.253.7111
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« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2007, 01:46:46 PM »

Thanks for the info, Mr. LV19.
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ducktrapper
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« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2007, 02:20:41 PM »

Didn't realize the phone # isn't listed on the website. There's always 411.  Sometimes it's hard to imagine how many emails a company receives per day. To answer every one is time consuming. Phoning Brian should get quicker results. I've always found Larrivée customer service first rate and then some. Good luck.   
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PortHueneme
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« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2007, 09:49:01 PM »

If you have not had the guitar professionally set-up, I would give that a try before panicking and shipping the guitar to Oxnard.
I have had instruments with off intonation and had it corrected with a setup. If the strings are stretched when fretting they sound sharp.
If the scale was really off, I would think every fretted note would be off.
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Madisonian
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« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2007, 11:29:10 AM »

It was professionally set up, and I took it back to the luthier (whose assistant had done the job), and he confirmed the problem.
And I suspect the notes are off - ever since I got it I've had a very definite sense that it didn't always intonate well and took more trouble to tune - which I stupidly attributed to it's huge resonance. I didn't detect the problem until recently using the D string at the 14th fret to tune to the open e, finding it obviously flat (and therefore unusable) while the open strings were right on. The 9+ cent difference between the harmonic and the fretted string at the 12th fret is surprisingly subtle, but he 14th D mentioned above is audibly striking, for some reason. Playing at frets 1 through 7, I think most of us are pretty oblivious to 3-5 cent intonation problems, and even 9.5 cents is not immediately obvious!

Thanks for Brian's number above!
I plan to visit the local Larrivee dealer this weekend and compare the measurements to his 000-50 and be sure I'm not missing something.
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Madisonian
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« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2007, 02:04:22 AM »

Update:

Took it to the Larrivee dealer/luthier and compared to a floor model 000-50, and they measured the same!
The problem was confirmed, but the cause unclear. He thought it was due in large part to the set up, and likely could be corrected, but isn't sure. It was moderately better after adding a little neck relief. He'll work on it this week and we'll see.
He said some guitars are just slightly different, and this was likely fine at the factory with mediums. If we can't make lights work, with a standard "3/2" 12th fret action, we'll just re-cut the saddle slot.
Whether that would be covered under warranty is unclear.

Evan
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bjstrings
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« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2007, 12:45:37 PM »

I hope this solves the problem.  Please let us all know how it works out.
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« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2007, 01:21:46 PM »

Update:

Took it to the Larrivee dealer/luthier and compared to a floor model 000-50, and they measured the same!
The problem was confirmed, but the cause unclear. He thought it was due in large part to the set up, and likely could be corrected, but isn't sure. It was moderately better after adding a little neck relief. He'll work on it this week and we'll see.
He said some guitars are just slightly different, and this was likely fine at the factory with mediums. If we can't make lights work, with a standard "3/2" 12th fret action, we'll just re-cut the saddle slot.
Whether that would be covered under warranty is unclear.

Evan

I guess I unofficially met you at Spruce Tree.

FWIW: They did a good job of getting my Martin HD-28 that had terrible setup (but great tone) to play and tune well with lights. The wait was longer than I had hoped because one of their employees had some family problems at the time.

Good luck in resolving matters.
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ducktrapper
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« Reply #14 on: October 14, 2007, 02:21:40 PM »

I didn't realize you had put lights on it. First thing, try mediums on it! This guitar kind of demands them. Hopefully solve it will your problem, it will also make that guitar roar. 
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Madisonian
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« Reply #15 on: October 14, 2007, 04:46:43 PM »

imwjl,
It's a small world, isn't it! It briefly crossed my mind that someone with a(n) HD-28 talking about tonal comparisons with his Larrivee might be a forumite, but I wasn't going to go there! The store was pretty busy but Will was helpful and dead honest, as always, which is why I appreciate him so much. I felt sheepish I didn't buy the 000-50 from him, but he seemed to understand that I wouldn't have bought it at all at retail since my 000-28VS filled that "slot" in my collection.

ducktrapper,
I'm just an anomaly with my focused fingerstyle. I play pretty lightly, and really like lower string tension. I wouldn't sacrifice sound, however, and played mediums for 30 years on my 12 fret dread until recently, when it began sounding really nice with lights. I initially used several sets of mediums on my 000-50. For my style it actually sounds cleaner with lights, and is still more responsive/louder than anything I've played except the  D-28S - they're close.
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Hoser Rob
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« Reply #16 on: October 14, 2007, 05:52:29 PM »

Actually, a little flat is a lot better than a little sharp, which is the norm.  It's not unusual for the intonation to be set a hair flat by people who know what they're doing.

It's really easy, when you're playing and getting into it, to press a lot harder than you do when you're checking it.  When you're testing it you tend to press down with moderate pressure.  When you're excited it's easy to press a bit too hard.

A guitar that's intonated 'properly' will play sharp when that happens.  A little sharp sounds much worse than a little flat.  That's why many pros set it a hair flat.  It'll often work better in the real world.

But not for everyone.  You need to have it set up for you.
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flatlander
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« Reply #17 on: October 14, 2007, 08:52:14 PM »

Actually, a little flat is a lot better than a little sharp, which is the norm.  It's not unusual for the intonation to be set a hair flat by people who know what they're doing.

It's really easy, when you're playing and getting into it, to press a lot harder than you do when you're checking it.  When you're testing it you tend to press down with moderate pressure.  When you're excited it's easy to press a bit too hard.

A guitar that's intonated 'properly' will play sharp when that happens.  A little sharp sounds much worse than a little flat.  That's why many pros set it a hair flat.  It'll often work better in the real world.

But not for everyone.  You need to have it set up for you.
Good tip Rob, I that makes sense to me as I often squeeze her too hard. And I agree flat sounds better than sharp. Its more mellow.
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Madisonian
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« Reply #18 on: October 14, 2007, 11:52:36 PM »

Yes, that's a nice tip, Rob. I tried it and, of course, you're right. So a cent or two perhaps shouldn't be too much?
OTOH, I checked my Martin and it's right on everywhere, and it sure sounds nice!

Evan
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« Reply #19 on: October 15, 2007, 03:00:09 PM »

  It's not unusual for the intonation to be set a hair flat by people who know what they're doing.

I take exception to the implication that I know what I'm doing, but I set my B string a tad flat because it sounds better.
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