acoustic guitar intonation

Discussion in 'Luthiery, Modifications & Customizations' started by will_shred, Sep 30, 2017.

  1. will_shred

    will_shred not that good.

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    This morning I pulled out my moms 1976 Ibanez Concord because I wanted to use it on a recording session I have later today, and I found that it just will not intonate on the lower part of the neck, just playing your basic first position chords. I kept checking the tuning, is perfectly in tune, but the intonation is awful. I'm also using .10 gauge strings on it because I don't want to put too much strain on the top, but I'm thinking that might be the source of the issue. Will going to .11's help the intonation, or should I be looking for other issues?
     
  2. Lemonbaby

    Lemonbaby SS.org Regular

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    How bad is the issue? Unfortunately, that's a common problem with acoustics and there's no inexpensive way to fix it. I had to search a while until I found a steelstring that intonates well.
     
  3. vansinn

    vansinn SS.org Regular

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    Did it previously intonate correctly, meaning, has the intonation changed?
    If so, could be something has changed on the instrument.

    If it simply intonates badly, perhaps two pics: one of the nut and one of the saddle, both taken straight from above, might help commenting on how well it's been compensated.
     
  4. Lemonbaby

    Lemonbaby SS.org Regular

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    Doesn't necessarily have to do anything with compensating the unwound strings. My two steelstrings both have a dead straight saddle and intonate perfectly up to the 14th fret. Within the limits of an equal tepmperament, of course...
     
  5. vansinn

    vansinn SS.org Regular

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    Yeah, I know the intonation varies so much from instrument to instrument; I've had both situations, i.e. one with straight, one with intonated saddle, both doing just fine.
    And has played badly intonating acoustics with both type of saddles..
    I was just thinking this could be the cause :shrug:
     
  6. tedtan

    tedtan SS.org Regular

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    Those strings are pretty light - most steel string acoustics are designed to work with 12s or 13s in standard tuning.

    If the intonation is OK higher up the neck but is out near the nut, the nut slots might be too high. Or you could be pressing the strings down too far, causing them to go sharp (especially with those really light strings).

    But the guitar could be out of whack, too. Pics would help.
     

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