Slight Tuning and Intonation Issue

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by SeanBrookes, Feb 22, 2017.

  1. SeanBrookes

    SeanBrookes New Member

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    Hi All,

    Had my Gibson SG Special Faded for about a year now and it's my main guitar. Love it.

    I've had a slight issue however with it's tuning and intonation. I used to play a strat, and the thing would always be fantastically in tune and stay there. My SG doesn't seem to have a the same reliability at the moment. Frequently just out and chord shapes don't always sound great across the whole neck.

    Anyone have any tips and/or similar problems? If so, what can help?

    Read a past thread on intonation which was helpful, but now looking for any practical adjustments and/or mods I can do with my instrument.

    Thanks,

    Sean
     
  2. Paul G.

    Paul G. Well-Known Member

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    It's worth the money to get your guitar set up by a pro. In my part of the country it's about $60.

    The nut slots may be tight or high which is common and causes strings to go sharp after bends or play sharp in the first few positions. This is best left to a pro in my opinion.

    The rest of setup is pretty easy, but the first time is critical.

    P.
     
  3. SeanBrookes

    SeanBrookes New Member

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    I think your right Paul. I'll go get it set up properly!
     
  4. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    First: new strings (but that's always part of a setup)
    old dead strings will NOT stay in tune. many threads about intonation issues could be
    answered by saying: "if you can't remember when you last changed those strings,
    then they are too old." And really, if they are more than a month old, intonation issues are NOT
    the guitar's fault, IMHO.

    Second: Expert setup by the best luthier you can afford... this excludes the sales guys at GC.
    I recommend getting it done right the first time by a professional guitar tech.
    A pro setup job should check the neck for straightness, check the nut slots for proper depth and
    width, set the bridge height for the action you prefer and then adjust the intonation for the strings
    you intend to use
    . I like to get this done soon after bringing home any new or used guitar...
    I look at it as part of the price of the instrument.

    Once I've gotten it done properly, I can usually keep it that way. Guitars change with the seasons, and
    the setup has to be monitored periodically, or before important gigs or recording projects. We see a lot
    of whiney posts about "quality issues" on new guitars that could be resolved easily by pro setup. ALL
    guitars need this, expensive Gibbie Les Pauls and inexpensive Epis and Squiers.

    Third: Lube your nut slots! I use a home made mixture of vaseline and powdered graphite...
    About a tablespoon of this kept in a medicine bottle is a lifetime supply. A tiny dot on the end of
    a toothpick is enough for a nut slot. I also use it on the bridge saddles and under the string tree
    on a fender... also on open gear tuners. Some players use a pencil's graphite,
    and there are commercial products for sale like Big Bend "Nut Sauce" ...and Stew Mac's "Guitar Grease.
     
    Gahr likes this.
  5. SeanBrookes

    SeanBrookes New Member

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    Col Mustard. That is fantastic and duly noted. Thank you.
     
  6. DCCable

    DCCable Active Member

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    Last edited: Feb 24, 2017
  7. jtcnj

    jtcnj Well-Known Member

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    Sage advice from the Col. as usual.
    I only have cheap guitars to comment on.
    I leave my clip on tuner on sometimes when playing scales or finger dexterity drills / warm ups, etc. to help me learn the map of fretboard notes.
    Usually I have a printed map nearby, but sometimes not.

    I have noticed it varies and some notes are usually a bit sharp if anything.
    I fret not over it; it is a compromise and there is nothing "wrong" except maybe the fret slots cut into the fretboard were off a hair. But then each string would be off at that same fret and that has not been the case.
     

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