General recommendations about setting intonation

living room rocker

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Probably should've left it alone, but my fat e-string sounded a bit sharp. So after working on that string, decided to check and adjust the others. I'm about done fartin' with it, but it's not perfection by any means. Obviously, you check at the 12th fret and mind you I'm using a Super Snark head stock tuner. I'm not doing the harmonic thing at the 12th, simply fretting the note. I can get the 12th fret of every string dead nuts but as I move towards the nut, some notes go sharp. Normal? Most of the sharp notes occur between the nut and 5th fret. Nut slots too high? Too much relief? Obviously, the harder I fret a note, the sharper it goes. Do you set intonation at the 12th fret with "normal playing pressure"? My string action is actually quite low and I'm two years into a fret level/dress job.
 

plankton

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Regardless of the intonation, if you're fretting notes on the first few frets and they're going sharp then the nut slots are too high.

Even when you get notes at the 12th fret in tune with the open string you will have some variation at other points on the neck, so if some are very slightly out of tune that's normal.

Remember when setting intonation do it when you put new strings on and hold the guitar in the playing position.
 

Bob Womack

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My tech says that if he has to choose, he will always choose to intonate a tiny bit flat rather than sharp. Why? With pressure, a good player can pull a slightly flat string into tune. Apparently we tend to do it naturally, in fact, without any thought. However, there is no way to selectively drop the pitch of a string that is intonated sharp.

Bob
 


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