Join Strat-Talk Today

Need advice on setting intonation

Discussion in 'Non-Fender S-Type Guitar Forum' started by Maurice, Dec 4, 2019.

  1. Maurice

    Maurice New Member!

    Age:
    62
    Messages:
    6
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2019
    Location:
    Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
    This is my first guitar build, Warmoth roasted swamp ash body, roasted maple neck, Gotoh tuners and Tremolo, Gen 4 noiseless Fender pickups. I am at the stage of setting the intonation. Due to being a first timer I am somewhat confused about how to begin this process, prior to tuning where should my bridge saddles be positioned and can anyone please give the steps in the right order, it would be greatly appreciated. finished strat 1.JPG finished strat 2.JPG finished strat 3.JPG
     
    Lovnmesomestrat likes this.
  2. elduderinoTF

    elduderinoTF Strat-O-Master Strat-Talk Supporter

    Messages:
    787
    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2017
    Location:
    Texas
    Neck relief, string height then intonation. Your saddle positions will be determined by the intonation.
     
    Mr Swisher and CB91710 like this.
  3. nutball73

    nutball73 Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    2,144
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2013
    Location:
    Southern UK
    I'm sure someone else will come up with some good videos, but here's how I do it:

    1. Set the action, neck relief and cut the nut slots accurately.

    2. Tune the whole guitar to pitch, roughly.

    3. For each string, tune to the 12th fret harmonic, then fret the string at the 12th fret

    4. When you fret the string af the 12th fret, if it is sharp, then move the saddle away from the neck. If it is flat, move the saddle towards the neck.

    5. Repeat for all 6 strings.
     
    dueducs and Namelyguitar like this.
  4. henderman

    henderman Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Messages:
    8,289
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2013
    Location:
    largo,fl
    start with fresh strings that have been stretched, all 6 in tune and use an accurate tuner. if the strings are not stretched you will chase your tail.

    fret the low e string at the 12th fret with the guitar in the playing position, not laying on a bench or table and fret it like you would play it - if it is in perfect tune you are done !

    but if it is sharp, then you need to move that saddle back and away from the neck and try again. if the note is flat then move the saddle forward. rinse and repeat until you get it and then do the same with the other strings.
     
    Namelyguitar likes this.
  5. CB91710

    CB91710 This is a Custom Title Gold Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Messages:
    2,141
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2019
    Location:
    SoCal
    And lower your pickups as low as you can get them.
    Those pictured are too high and you'll spend weeks trying to get it intonated.

    Flush them with the pickguard, set everything up, then gradually raise them for a good sound, but without getting "spiky" or impacting the tuning.
    Most people tend to run their pickups too high.

    For a starting point on the saddles, I'd start right there.
     
    Bob the builder and elduderinoTF like this.
  6. Jimgchord

    Jimgchord Strat-O-Master

    Age:
    46
    Messages:
    640
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2016
    Location:
    New york
    25-1/2 from the edge of nut to where the string hits the saddle is a good rough starting point.
     
    fezz parka, Stratoskater and duzie like this.
  7. 3bolt79

    3bolt79 Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    4,285
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2018
    Location:
    The Woodshed
    Lots of good advise above. Welcome to the forum, and good luck with the work ahead.
     
    Namelyguitar likes this.
  8. dirocyn

    dirocyn Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    44
    Messages:
    2,082
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2018
    Location:
    Murfreesboro, TN
    This is the right place for the high e saddle. All the other saddles need to be further away from the neck.
     
    3bolt79 likes this.
  9. Silvercrow

    Silvercrow Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    2,921
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2014
    Location:
    Bucks County, Pa.
    WHEEEW_EEE! NICE lookin' guitar you built! CONGRATS!

    Not much more to say than was said above. Take your time- the investment will be worth it (time, I mean) and once you do it a time or two- you'll be 'in like Flynn' (whatever that means) AND you'll smile, knowing the extra money you'd be paying someone else to do it for you is NOW in YOUR pocket!!

    BEST WISHES!

    Brian
     
  10. 33db

    33db Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    39
    Messages:
    1,077
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2018
    Location:
    Earth
  11. jaxjaxon

    jaxjaxon Strat-Talker

    Age:
    66
    Messages:
    479
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2019
    Location:
    SanluisObispo California
    Don't forget to adjust the spring claw, and the 6 tremolo screws. Unless you block the Tremolo. Which you might want to do to help with stability when intonating, then take the block out to set the Tremolo balance.
     
  12. Class A Knob

    Class A Knob Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    1,534
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2017
    Location:
    California
    Here's a trick called "chasing the needle" (or LED of your tuner).

    Tune your strings and compare each string at the 12th fret.

    If the 12th fret tuning makes your needle move to right of being in tune (aka sharp), move your saddle to the right (looking at the saddle as-viewed when playing).

    If to the left (aka flat), move saddles to the left.

    Repeat until both open note & 12th fret are both dead on.
     
    CB91710 and Guitarmageddon like this.
  13. hippychip

    hippychip Strat-Talker

    Age:
    54
    Messages:
    145
    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2015
    Location:
    Florida
    I set the low E saddle at 25-5/8, A at 25-9/16, D at 25-1/2, and repeat the measurements for the G, B, E strings. This will be your starting point. Tune the guitar to pitch. If the fretted note at the 12th fret is sharp move the saddle farther from the nut, and if it is flat move the saddle closer to the nut.
     
    CB91710 likes this.
  14. Maurice

    Maurice New Member!

    Age:
    62
    Messages:
    6
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2019
    Location:
    Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
    Thanks for all the replies, I'm really impressed that so many of you offered help, starting to make sense now, going back down in the dungeon to tackle this.
     
    Lovnmesomestrat likes this.
  15. Lovnmesomestrat

    Lovnmesomestrat Strat-O-Master

    Messages:
    998
    Joined:
    May 11, 2014
    Location:
    At Home
    Welcome to the group Maurice.

    LMSS
     
  16. Sybo

    Sybo Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    62
    Messages:
    28
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2019
    Location:
    Nashville Tn
    GREAT advice here and Man, what a great looking guitar!
     
  17. Maurice

    Maurice New Member!

    Age:
    62
    Messages:
    6
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2019
    Location:
    Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
    Thanks to everyone's advise I managed to get it all done, the guitar sounds great and I am thrilled with it. Starting on a new build as soon as my roasted bamboo gets here, I will be attempting to make a chambered Strat body with a flame maple neck. I was lucky to meet a retiring luthier (really nice guy) who had several necks that he had made for himself, a flame maple Strat neck, bone nut, jumbo frets including Gotoh vintage tuners and a Tele neck ( flame maple neck.JPG tele neck 1.JPG tele neck 2.JPG ziricote neck 2.JPG ziricote neck.JPG made for a Strat) made of Honduran mahogany and indian rosewood with bone nut, jumbo frets and Gotoh vintage tuners, only a few hours use on his own guitars like brand new, sold them to me for $200.00 for both necks. He also has a solid ziricote neck minus nut that I could buy for $290.00, never heard of this wood, would greatly appreciate your opinions as to whether this is a good deal for this neck, he says they are quite rare. It certainly is beautiful but wondering if it is worth the money, could you let me know your opinions. a few pics below.
    Regards to all and Merry Christmas
    Maurice
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.