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Acoustic intonation problem

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Steve-0
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I was just wondering if anyone knew how much it would roughly cost to get the intonation done on my acoustic guitar, the problem is that it doesn't have adjustable saddles so the entire bridge would have to be removed and reglued. I really like the guitar, even though it's more of a cheaper, beginner guitar. I was told that it would be expensive but I don't understand how, it's not like i'm getting a full set-up done or anything.

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Nils
 Nils
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If it is a screw on like some Martins it could be up wards of $200 since the holes may need to be filled and refinished. If it is a glue on like most it is a lot cheaper and probably in the $50 range.

Have you checked to see if it is loose? You may be able to move it yourself.

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Steve-0
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If it is a screw on like some Martins it could be up wards of $200 since the holes may need to be filled and refinished. If it is a glue on like most it is a lot cheaper and probably in the $50 range.

Have you checked to see if it is loose? You may be able to move it yourself.

I have no problem with trying to move the bridge itself, the problem lies that I wouldn't know where to move it to correct the intonation. I'm about 90% sure that the bridge is glued on, it does have two screws on it but it seems like the screws are only there to hold the saddles in place, unfortunately i can't find a picture of the same kind of bridge anywhere, and i don't have a way of taking a picture of my guitar :? , but maybe i'll try looking around for a good guitar repairer and seeing what they have to say, thanks.

Steve-0


   
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Nils
 Nils
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The two screws could be action adjustment. Some acoustics have them.

If you can move the bridge it is just a matter of moving each side forward and back to find a Happy medium in the intonation from end to end.

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Steve-0
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Makes sense, but wouldn't i have to remove the strings to move the bridge?? I don't understand then how I would check the intonation without some "trial and error" sort of a thing (i.e- moving the bridge, reglueing, finding out the intonation is off, repeat process a thousand times).

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Ricochet
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How much is the intonation off, and is it the same for all strings, or just certain ones that are off? Have you changed string gauge? Use an alternate tuning? Are your strings fresh? These things can markedly affect intonation.

I've never seen a fixed-bridge acoustic that was perfectly intonated. There must be one out there somewhere, but I haven't tripped over it yet. (And when I do, it'll likely mess it up.) You can make a compensated saddle to get it just about perfect for one set of strings in one tuning, but change either factor and they'll be off again.

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Steve-0
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How much is the intonation off, and is it the same for all strings, or just certain ones that are off? Have you changed string gauge? Use an alternate tuning? Are your strings fresh? These things can markedly affect intonation.

I've never seen a fixed-bridge acoustic that was perfectly intonated. There must be one out there somewhere, but I haven't tripped over it yet. (And when I do, it'll likely mess it up.) You can make a compensated saddle to get it just about perfect for one set of strings in one tuning, but change either factor and they'll be off again.

It's mostly on the bass strings (E, A and D) that are off, and i don't mean a little bit: i mean by about a semitone or so (a fretted note in standard tuning at the 12 fret on the E string sounds like an F).

Now I have changed string gauges before and used alternate tunings. However I put new strings on when I noticed this problem because when i took it in to a music store to see if they had any opinions on this problem they told me basically that acoustic intonation can't be fixed and to put a new set of strings on and deal with it. Well, the new pair of strings DID help, but I really think it still needs to be fixed.

I understand that it won't be perfect... but if I can play some chords and get through a song without cringing, then i'll be more then happy :lol:

Steve-0


   
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PsYcHoNIK
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The compensated saddle idea is good... but a semitone is also ALOT to be out of intonation... is the neck warped? tried adjusting the truss rod? Maybe the glue joint on the neck where it meets the body is pulling apart. What kind of guitar is it?


   
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Nils
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If it is off that much it does not sound like it is the actual intonation caused by the angle of the bridge. The factory placement should be reasonably close like a cent or two.

I would check the neck relief first: Fret a string at the 1st and 14th fret and measure the distance between the bottom of the string and the top of the 7th fret. It should be in the range of 10 to 15 thousandths.

I would then check the action: Without fretting anything measure the gap between the strings and the top of the 12th fret. On an acoustic is should be around 4/64" (1.59 mm) on the treble side and 6/64" (2.38 mm) on the bass side.

If either of them are high it could be causing you to pull the strings out of tune when your fret. Especially if you fret hard.

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greybeard
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Er, you don't have a floating bridge, do you? If you do, it's not even attached to the guitar, so you could loosen the strings and move the bridge, as you wish.

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Steve-0
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If it is off that much it does not sound like it is the actual intonation caused by the angle of the bridge. The factory placement should be reasonably close like a cent or two.

I would check the neck relief first: Fret a string at the 1st and 14th fret and measure the distance between the bottom of the string and the top of the 7th fret. It should be in the range of 10 to 15 thousandths.

I would then check the action: Without fretting anything measure the gap between the strings and the top of the 12th fret. On an acoustic is should be around 4/64" (1.59 mm) on the treble side and 6/64" (2.38 mm) on the bass side.

If either of them are high it could be causing you to pull the strings out of tune when your fret. Especially if you fret hard.

You'll probably laugh after reading this :shock:

I measured the action and it's much higher then 4/64" and 6/64", it's about 4/32" and 6/32", however I measured the top of the 7th fret to the bottom of the string and it looks like it is about 1/64", which (if my math is correct) is about 15 thousandths.

You have a VERY good point about pulling the strings out of tune when I fret, because I tuned it yesterday and played a couple of chords and it actually sounded decent, that's why I don't really think there is anything physically wrong with it: i doubt the neck is warped or anything like that.

Steve-0


   
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