Got an Agile Chiral 10 string today

Discussion in 'Extended Range Guitars' started by Ern, Jan 13, 2022.

  1. Ern

    Ern SS.org Regular

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    Guys I don't want to drill into a beautiful brand new guitar. This thing shouldn't have passed QC. Factory set up intonation on this is garbage.
     
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  2. ArtDecade

    ArtDecade John Bohlinger's Miyagi-Fang Karate

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    10 string? Just play a lute.
     
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  3. spudmunkey

    spudmunkey SS.org Regular

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  4. GunpointMetal

    GunpointMetal SS.org Regular

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    The Chiral 10 was only a 28 5/8" on the low side, and if you're trying to tune it with the factory strings, good luck. I love my Agiles, but they beefed it on the 9-10 string headless by not having a 30" scale on the bottom end. You'll probably need at least a .120 to get that G# and intonate it. As a side note, having to do some mods to a budget-priced extreme ERG is kind of par for the course. There's a reason recreating the Octavia costs $3500+ and there's a reason the Agile isn't $3500+.
     
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  5. Dayn

    Dayn SS.org Regular

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    Check your string to make sure it's absolutely seated properly across the saddle. I've made that mistake a couple of times with thick, less flexible strings, where they would stick up and over the saddle rather than on the saddle. That, and check if there's anything else out of the ordinary, like the taper of the string not being fully behind the nut. It may sound silly, but after making a couple of moronic mistakes, the lessons are burned in my mind.

    For similar reasons, I've opted for slightly lighter strings on a similar-scale headless just to ensure intonation isn't a hassle. With these instruments and tunings it's unfortunately a matter of compromise, not perfection - especially when the string is so thick that the slightest difference in pressure and position while fretting can change the intonation wildly.
     
  6. Ern

    Ern SS.org Regular

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    Good points good points.
     
  7. Hollowway

    Hollowway Extended Ranger

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    Yeah, I was thinking the same thing, but the Chiral has the strandberg type tuners on the end of the body.

    @Ern i’m 99% sure there’s a way to modify those tuners to move the saddle farther back. I’ll have to Google around a bit to find it….
     
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  8. Grindspine

    Grindspine likes pointy things

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    I could not load the pictures that you posted, however, intonation can be affected by more than scale, perpendicular fret placement, and saddle placement. String gauge, string tension, tuning, relief or bow of neck, and action height all contribute to the intonation when each string is fretted.

    At this point, if you are unsure of a proper setup, you would need to take the instrument to a luthier or guitar tech who is comfortable with extended range instruments. Finding someone to do this set up might be a challenge. You will have to ask around locally. Where in the country are you located?
     
  9. Ern

    Ern SS.org Regular

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  10. nickgray

    nickgray SS.org Regular

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    All too sharp starting from where? Open strings are too sharp? The 12th fret it too sharp vs. the open string? How are you tuning your guitar? Have you tried tuning and intonating by ear because the low strings are actually quite finicky to tune with the tuner - they go sharp and then flat way, way more than higher strings unless you use very thick gauges. You can mitigate this easily by tuning the strings a bit flatter than they should be.

    How's the setup on the guitar? If the nut slots are too high, you're having too big of a difference between the open string and fretted notes, this will cause intonation problems. Same for too much string height from the frets due to neck relief or saddle height.

    Have you restringed the guitar? Have you tried using thinner strings?
     
  11. Ern

    Ern SS.org Regular

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    How can the open strings be too sharp hehe? Im talking about the intonation, its too sharp at the 12th fret. Saddles are all the way back, action and neck are Ok, factory gauge strings. My issue is with this new Chiral. Totally off on the 10th strings, factory tuning. The opening of my post was in reference to my old guitar.

     
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  12. nickgray

    nickgray SS.org Regular

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    If you haven't replaced the strings - that's absolutely the first thing you should do.

    Because I don't know how familiar you are with tuning and setups. Low tuned strings are far more prone to go sharp and then settle flat when you pick them, especially thinner gauges tuned low. It could be simple user error on your part, there's no way of knowing from the information you've provided.
     
  13. ixlramp

    ixlramp SS.org Regular

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    You might know to do this already, but 'set the witness point' at the nut. Not doing this can put the open note out of tune with the lowest frets, which will make the 'open and 12th' intonation method useless.
    Tune the open note and then check the pitch of fret 1, to check if the open note is significantly out of tune with the lowest frets.

    A better intonation method is to tune the open note, then check the pitches of fret 1 and several frets spaced out along the string, up to the highest fret you are likely to play. Then shift the saddle to minimise and balance the pitch errors.
    I advise against intonating 12th against open by ear, the ear can be unreliable, especially with low pitches.
    Use a cable (never a clip-on) tuner for intonation.

    Intonation is more complex than commonly understood. Your guitar *might* actually have good bridge placement.

    Also, i am confirming what 2 others have stated: You cannot judge the placement of individual saddles by looking at the bridge angle of a different guitar with different multiscale geometry. The basic bridge angle is determined by the multiscale geometry and has nothing to do with any additional possible intonation offset.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2022
  14. Ern

    Ern SS.org Regular

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    I tuned the 10th to G# on a strobe tuner as accurately as possible, I watched all the wavers carefully to weed out possibly inaccurate tunes. At first only the 12th fret but more of the frets eventually. Its off up and down the neck.
    The 9th string tuned to C# proved to be dead on. The 8th at F# was off and a couple other ones too. I fixed those by adjusting the saddles.
    The 10th and 8th would not intone with basic saddle movement and I finally tried to unscrew the 10th saddle and manually push it further back but only saw some improvement. At this point I decided messing with this guitar is futile. They did not R&D and QC this enough for me.

    And I guess if I need to immediately change the strings on a 10 string to have a chance at seeing correct intonation then Agile is not for me.

    Oh and yes besides for all the mechanical terms I can simply hear that the intonation is off, especially further up the neck.

    Same as my current Pendulum, saddles all the way back, various guages and neck and action adjustments later. There is a video on YouTube of someone explaining why this guitar pretty much can't be fixed without drilling.
     
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  15. Hollowway

    Hollowway Extended Ranger

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    You're right that it's possible the bridge is just not in the right position. I don't think the Agile's are designed to tune down beyond E1, even though that's what most of us do. So there's that.

    What people are suggesting about the string is basically that sometimes you have a dud string. And Agile guitars aren't going to use nice strings anyway - they'll be generic. So it's possible that a new string will do the trick. But, you may be right - it could just be that it's not going to work with the saddle where it is. Any chance you can take a close up of where the saddle is now?
     
  16. GunpointMetal

    GunpointMetal SS.org Regular

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    I’ve never bought an ERG that shipped with a decent set of strings, and most have absolutely wacky gauges when it gets to the wound strings. They probably have either a bass string or something way too small on that 10th string. Bass string is going to (usually) have a much thicker core and be made for about double the tension, so setup would be hard.
     
  17. Gtan7

    Gtan7 SS.org Regular

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    Maybe somebody already said (and the picture of bridge isn't real clear but): first you can cut the spring in the bridge for a little more travel, then dremel the back of the saddle for more travel (make sure you don't spray metal bits all over the pickups)
     
  18. Ern

    Ern SS.org Regular

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    Thanks for all the dope info. Im going to send the new Chiral back, if anything the intonation is not improved and the cut away is a no thought recycled design...the 10 string neck is too thick and the highest frets start so far back into the body that they are literally unreachable. And I will look into the short saddles and do some drilling/cutting work to try and fix the intonation on my old Pendulum.
     
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  19. Hollowway

    Hollowway Extended Ranger

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    Good call. Returning an instrument you don't like is always the best call, but sometimes hard to do, because it's already there with you. But I think you'll be happier in the long run this way.
     
  20. wcw

    wcw SS.org Regular

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    i have a 30" agile pendulum 10 and i use the dunlop robert trujillo 0.105-0.045 4 string set for my low strings in ADGC they have tapers on the ball end which solve my intonation issues I've tried some of other solutions (sanded down saddles and using tiny screws) and from my experience tapered strings are really the only way you're going to solve intonation issues on those guitars if you're looking for tapered strings to hit G# then maybe you can look into the DR bass strings from what I remember they do have strings that are around 0.110 to 0.125 so you can try them out I've never tried those alternatively you can use stupidly light gauges like 0.09 or whatever like Josh Travis does and have them flop around like rubber bands 0.105 in A is somewhat loose but its stable enough for my picking strength but it will gradually go sharp after some playing I've also tried 0.105 in B which is very stable and I wouldnt be able to punch it out of tune which is also a downside because I like the funny bwoom sound of loose strings so those are just some of my experience with that gauge and the tunings I've done with them some people have raised concerns about using bass strings for your low strings (heavier core etc) but I have yet to experience any issues with them and tone wise it sounds perfectly fine to me (i may be tone deaf so grain of salt)
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2022 at 10:17 AM
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