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Author Topic: Intonation Issues.  (Read 887 times)
Caleb
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« on: December 29, 2016, 03:56:15 PM »

I've noticed of late that my high E string is a little out of whack.  I noticed it most when I play a Dm chord - it just sounds off in that particular chord shape.  The last time I was having a similar issue (get all tuned up and things are still out of whack) I needed a fret job, but I got that done last year.  Any advice on how I can fix this?  I could take it to my local tech, who will no doubt do a great job, but it will set me back $35-$50 and I'd like to avoid that.
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eded
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« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2016, 04:37:17 PM »

The first thing that comes to mind is the nut slots not being perfect (if they're a little high, the string goes a bit sharp when fretting), though if the guitar is old enough to have had a refret, that's unlikely.

Ed
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Caleb
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« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2016, 04:42:21 PM »

It's a 2003 D-03BW and I've owned it since 2003.  It's got a lot of miles on it but is really just getting started.  As far as I know the nut is in good shape.
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Blues
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« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2016, 04:52:48 PM »

Hi Caleb,
Have you checked the intonation at the 12th fret using the harmonic and also your tuner playing the high E octave? Also use your tuner starting at open E and work your way up the fretboard in 1/2 step increments to see if F F# G et. Al. Are in tune when fretted. Maybe something will jump out at you

Best,
Blues
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Barefoot Rob
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« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2016, 07:36:53 PM »

The first thing that comes to mind is the nut slots not being perfect (if they're a little high, the string goes a bit sharp when fretting), though if the guitar is old enough to have had a refret, that's unlikely.

Ed


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« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2016, 03:32:29 AM »

Got my tuner out and checked the high E.  It's dead on except for the first 3 or 4 frets where it goes a tad sharp.  When I chord it all sounds pretty good now, near perfect in fact. We had a sudden cold spell last week and now it's warming up again.  Perhaps the weather affected it for a bit?  I've been playing mostly mandolin for the past couple weeks and ignoring my guitar. 
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L07 Shooting Star
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« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2016, 05:42:45 AM »

One thing you could try is lowering the treble e's nut slot a teeny bit if you have room to do so without making it buzz on the first fret.  You could also try polishing the nut slots to make sure the string isn't hanging up there when you fret on the lower frets.  Try folding a long thin strip of extra-fine sandpaper (600X or higher) in half lengthwise, making a sharp crease, and run it back and forth in the nut slot.  Follow up with a piece of string which has been saturated with polishing compound.  You will be surprised how black the polishing-string will get after dragging it through the slot a few times.

Keep in mind, guitars are "even tempered" instruments, and perfect intonation can't be achieved, technically.  Any tuning is, in theory, a compromise.  Certain chords may sound a bit sour in spite of most others sounding fine.  You are probably very sensitive to this (as I am).  It can drive you crazy sometimes.   wacko 

Hope this helps.
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Caleb
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« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2016, 03:38:46 PM »

I think I am pretty sensitive to tuning issues.  Drives me nuts.  I have been playing a long time but never realized there was no such thing as perfect tuning. It makes sense though. Thanks for all the help. 
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