Set up question

MR D

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 9, 2021
Messages
1,034
Reaction score
474
Location
RIKER'S ISLAND,NYC
never had the pleasure.....IDK if I hav ever even seen one in person.....surely, but no recall.....
u make that one?
I've a question but it may come off as well, u might not like it....and I am sooo far past arguing with anyone...I'll pass.....
 

donepearce

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2012
Messages
5,081
Reaction score
4,481
Location
London, new hearing aid project - exciting
never had the pleasure.....IDK if I hav ever even seen one in person.....surely, but no recall.....
u make that one?
I've a question but it may come off as well, u might not like it....and I am sooo far past arguing with anyone...I'll pass.....
Not one of mine, but the same. But go ahead with your question. If I'm offended I shall go grrrr.
 

MR D

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 9, 2021
Messages
1,034
Reaction score
474
Location
RIKER'S ISLAND,NYC
Not one of mine, but the same. But go ahead with your question. If I'm offended I shall go grrrr.
Well, OK, but...you say you are a Luthier ? and have made 3 'Lutes' ? That would make you more of an 'apprentice', wouldn't it ? I am nowhere near being anything but a competent bench tech/player...........and wouldn't know where to even start besides choppin down a tree.

and BTW, did you do the 2nd octave OPEN E, A & D test w/Tuner attached on a GIBSON Solid-Body electric? and were those chords DEAD-ON RINGING ? or Sharp ? or Flat ?For me, One of the beautiful things about GIBSON Guitars is there ability to do exactly that.They really are fantastic guitars when setup correctly.

I've been havin a laugh the past few years...actually seein a few players I know that say they have really well setup GIBSON guitars and then I do the 2nd octave Open chord test and I laugh to myself......and I definitely aint doin any more free NUT adjustments either.....
 

Go Nigel Go

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2020
Messages
777
Reaction score
662
BTW, just for a laugh, if you hit an OPEN 'A' 'D' or 'E' chord on any of your GIBSON solid body electric guitars in the second octave, with a tuner clipped on the headstock.....does the chord RING DEAD-ON ? or is it Sharp ? or Flat maybe ? good question ?
What you are talking about is intonation. A properly intonated guitar should ring true to pitch in every octave all the way up the neck. Including open strings in a chord in any position should pose no challenge to a well adjusted instrument.

My Gibsons both have as near perfect intonation (open and all the way up the neck) as any guitar I have ever played. It is just part of the proper set up to get the intonation right, and it is always the final adjustment I make since everything else can effect it.

I only have one guitar that exhibits the quirk you are talking about, and that is an old Ovation copy of an ES-335. It has some neck and fret board issues that cause me to have to run the action a little higher than I prefer, and I have had to "split the difference" a few cents on a couple of strings at the tuner indicated pitches to get chords that sound right to the ear all the way up. She's a quirky beast, but she looks awesome and has those wonderful sounding DeArmond "toaster" style pickups. I wish I could get a better setup out of it, but it is what it is... Kind of like marrying your high school sweetheart and finding out she is a bit of a hot mess sometimes around the house, but still pretty great everywhere else. Nobody else will ever know.
 
Last edited:

donepearce

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2012
Messages
5,081
Reaction score
4,481
Location
London, new hearing aid project - exciting
Well, OK, but...you say you are a Luthier ? and have made 3 'Lutes' ? That would make you more of an 'apprentice', wouldn't it ? I am nowhere near being anything but a competent bench tech/player...........and wouldn't know where to even start besides choppin down a tree.

and BTW, did you do the 2nd octave OPEN E, A & D test w/Tuner attached on a GIBSON Solid-Body electric? and were those chords DEAD-ON RINGING ? or Sharp ? or Flat ?For me, One of the beautiful things about GIBSON Guitars is there ability to do exactly that.They really are fantastic guitars when setup correctly.

I've been havin a laugh the past few years...actually seein a few players I know that say they have really well setup GIBSON guitars and then I do the 2nd octave Open chord test and I laugh to myself......and I definitely aint doin any more free NUT adjustments either.....
Well, I had no master so apprenticeship was not an option. My instruments were good enough to sell to serious players but I knew there was never a living in it. In any case I preferred my career in science designing experiments for spacecraft. So luthery is strictly a part time thing.
As for your question about open chords - that is just intonation. Any guitar can be adjusted to make that work perfectly. Tracking of fretted against harmonic notes does depend on build accuracy, and particularly on an action low enough that string tension is not changed appreciably when fretting the note.
Nut adjustment is vital for low fret note accuracy. Manufacturers will never adjust a nut properly because that requires you to be one file stroke away from too far. Any new guitar needs a setup from a decent luthier who is willing to take time. And time costs.
 

smitty_p

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2012
Messages
5,000
Reaction score
3,607
Well, I am an actual luthier - I have built three lutes.
That's pretty cool, Don!

Did you make them with the traditional gut frets?

You don't, by any chance, have any pictures of any of the lutes you built, do you?
 

donepearce

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2012
Messages
5,081
Reaction score
4,481
Location
London, new hearing aid project - exciting
That's pretty cool, Don!

Did you make them with the traditional gut frets?

You don't, by any chance, have any pictures of any of the lutes you built, do you?
I wish I had taken pictures but somehow I didn't. They were traditional - but the frets were nylon, not gut. Spruce top, linden neck block and maple neck. They were all 13 course Renaissance copies. At one point I thought I might show off with a theorbo. Google will show you why I abandoned the idea.
 

smitty_p

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2012
Messages
5,000
Reaction score
3,607
I wish I had taken pictures but somehow I didn't. They were traditional - but the frets were nylon, not gut. Spruce top, linden neck block and maple neck. They were all 13 course Renaissance copies. At one point I thought I might show off with a theorbo. Google will show you why I abandoned the idea.

That sounds very rewarding. Did you carve your own rosette?

As to the theorbo...yes...that does seem particularly challenging. Though, I do find the videos of them being used to be pretty fascinating.

I'm sure you've seen this video:

 

MR D

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 9, 2021
Messages
1,034
Reaction score
474
Location
RIKER'S ISLAND,NYC
What you are talking about is intonation. A properly intonated guitar should ring true to pitch in every octave all the way up the neck. Including open strings in a chord in any position should pose no challenge to a well adjusted instrument.

My Gibsons both have as near perfect intonation (open and all the way up the neck) as any guitar I have ever played. It is just part of the proper set up to get the intonation right, and it is always the final adjustment I make since everything else can effect it.

I only have one guitar that exhibits the quirk you are talking about, and that is an old Ovation copy of an ES-335. It has some neck and fret board issues that cause me to have to run the action a little higher than I prefer, and I have had to "split the difference" a few cents on a couple of strings at the tuner indicated pitches to get chords that sound right to the ear all the way up. She's a quirky beast, but she looks awesome and has those wonderful sounding DeArmond "toaster" style pickups. I wish I could get a better setup out of it, but it is what it is... Kind of like marrying your high school sweetheart and finding out she is a bit of a hot mess sometimes around the house, but still pretty great everywhere else. Nobody else will ever know.
Yes, I know what it is.....my SINGULAR point being almost none , in fact less than 5%, of the GIBSON Solid-Body Electrics I set-up ever have arrived w/DEAD ON RINGING 2nd Octave Open chords...people/even most players have the opine that their guitars are intonated well enuff at the 12th fret (and maybe they are.....but, Then why are the 2nd octave open chords sharp then, eh? WELL? )...I had thought to post a thread about this... but....but.... nah.....I get my chucles elsewhere......and IDG enuff of A $#!T about the debate that could follow such a thread......this phenomena, DEAD ON RINGING 2ND Octave open chords is one of the bigger reasons I find GIBSONs to be superior guitars....I've found that not every guitar brand can do what I am speaking of here (and, no, IDGAS about the science behind it...if a guitar can...it does...if it doesn't, and I cant make it do it...at least I gave it a shot) as is mentioned above.......BUT currently every one of the GIBSON USA/CUSTOM Solid-Body Electrics I own does and I think GIBSON deserves kudos for this....... the GIBSON "Memphis" ES-335 TRAD. i've got does as well....and I do not recall the last time someone brought me a guitar to set-up that did have 2nd octave DEAD-ON RINGING Open chords....it has been a very long time, in fact....just about never.
 
Last edited:

donepearce

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2012
Messages
5,081
Reaction score
4,481
Location
London, new hearing aid project - exciting
Yes, I know what it is.....my SINGULAR point being almost none , in fact less than 5%, of the GIBSON Solid-Body Electrics I set-up ever have arrived w/DEAD ON RINGING 2nd Octave Open chords...people/even most players have the opine that their guitars are intonated well enuff at the 12th fret (and maybe they are.....but, Then why are the 2nd octave open chords sharp then, eh? WELL? )...I had thought to post a thread about this... but....but.... nah.....I get my chucles elsewhere......and IDG enuff of A $#!T about the debate that could follow such a thread......this phenomena, DEAD ON RINGING 2ND Octave open chords is one of the bigger reasons I find GIBSONs to be superior guitars....I've found that not every guitar brand can do what I am speaking of here (and, no, IDGAS about the science behind it...if a guitar can...it does...if it doesn't, and I cant make it do it...at least I gave it a shot) as is mentioned above.......BUT currently every one of the GIBSON USA/CUSTOM Solid-Body Electrics I own does and I think GIBSON deserves kudos for this....... the GIBSON "Memphis" ES-335 TRAD. i've got does as well....and I do not recall the last time someone brought me a guitar to set-up that did have 2nd octave DEAD-ON RINGING Open chords....it has been a very long time, in fact....just about never.
Why are you so hung up on this? It's just an adjustment of no consequence.
 

MR D

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 9, 2021
Messages
1,034
Reaction score
474
Location
RIKER'S ISLAND,NYC
Why are you so hung up on this? It's just an adjustment of no consequence.
Just an observation........and the part 'Not all guitar brands...' might clue you in to the answer to your question...some players even appreciate perfection, even in a setup....intonation is consequential....granted not everyone in an audience is standing there with a truner in hand.DOH !

I am Glad I did not make a thread out of the question....when is a guitar really intonated ? Every GIBSON I've tried to get this to happen to, has been up to it...Fenders not so much.......takes a bit of NUT filing usually.
everyone has an opinion........maybe.
 
Last edited:

donepearce

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2012
Messages
5,081
Reaction score
4,481
Location
London, new hearing aid project - exciting
Just an observation........and the part 'Not all guitar brands...' might clue you in to the answer to your question...some players even appreciate perfection, even in a setup....intonation is consequential....granted not everyone in an audience is standing there with a truner in hand.DOH !

I am Glad I did not make a thread out of the question....when is a guitar really intonated ? Every GIBSON I've tried to get this to happen to, has been up to it...Fenders not so much.......takes a bit of NUT filing usually.
everyone has an opinion........maybe.
It's an interesting observation, but I'm recalling a recent picture posted by someone in the Pelham Blue thread of an SG. The saddles were largely rammed up against the back of the bridge and it was clear that this guitar was impossible to intonate because the bridge was actually in the wrong position (from the way they are made it is more likely that the neck was set too deep, but the effect is the same).
Anyway, intonation inaccuracies should never get as far as an audience. Even without a professional setup, intonation is one of the things I expect any guitarist to tweak within minutes of unboxing.
 

jtees4

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2014
Messages
526
Reaction score
327
This intonation stuff is interesting, in a boring theoretical way :cool: but seriously, it reminds me of my old Parker Fly Deluxe 1997, great guitar in every way but looks (I thought it was pretty), saved my life when it was the only guitar my bad back could handle.4.5 pounds! Anyway, I remember reading about ken Parker and why they used to GLUE stainless frets to the carbon fretboard instead of cutting a slot....it was because the frets could be put exactly where they needed to go on each guitar independently to make the intonation as close to perfect as possible, it kind of made some sense. Theoretically, a fret did not have to be exactly 90degrees to the neck either, they could be slightly off to make things as close to perfect as possible at each fret. Interesting concept. Great guitar, neck was TOO thin, that was my ultimate issue. Great trems too!
 

donepearce

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2012
Messages
5,081
Reaction score
4,481
Location
London, new hearing aid project - exciting
This intonation stuff is interesting, in a boring theoretical way :cool: but seriously, it reminds me of my old Parker Fly Deluxe 1997, great guitar in every way but looks (I thought it was pretty), saved my life when it was the only guitar my bad back could handle.4.5 pounds! Anyway, I remember reading about ken Parker and why they used to GLUE stainless frets to the carbon fretboard instead of cutting a slot....it was because the frets could be put exactly where they needed to go on each guitar independently to make the intonation as close to perfect as possible, it kind of made some sense. Theoretically, a fret did not have to be exactly 90degrees to the neck either, they could be slightly off to make things as close to perfect as possible at each fret. Interesting concept. Great guitar, neck was TOO thin, that was my ultimate issue. Great trems too!
Big problem here. The issues he is trying to fix are tiny, and will be different at every string change. Frets need to go where they are supposed to go so you can be sure that errors due to different strings will be evenly distributed around the mean.
Remember the compensated nut? Can't remember the name of the guy who came up with it but he thought he was doing a good thing. The problem was he hadn't researched properly what the problem was. It finished up that what he was compensating was not wrong fret positions but a nut that was cut too high. So those things have gone the way of snake oil.
 

MR D

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 9, 2021
Messages
1,034
Reaction score
474
Location
RIKER'S ISLAND,NYC
Big problem here. The issues he is trying to fix are tiny, and will be different at every string change. Frets need to go where they are supposed to go so you can be sure that errors due to different strings will be evenly distributed around the mean.
Remember the compensated nut? Can't remember the name of the guy who came up with it but he thought he was doing a good thing. The problem was he hadn't researched properly what the problem was. It finished up that what he was compensating was not wrong fret positions but a nut that was cut too high. So those things have gone the way of snake oil.
No, I do not...I cant even picture it..but That sounds like it had to suck ! What I have also found on a GIBSON that is assembled correctly out of the factory (Bridge holes in correct place, no wood jammed in the place its stuck in before drilling) is that it is the NUT that is the key (provided everything is correctly assmbled) to the setup I mentioned, string height at 1st fret..........of course the neck relief has to be no more that say.... .005" @ 8-9th Fret........or as close to DEAD Straight as possible.
B4 I got to this conclusion/observation I mentioned above..... I did not know that GIBSON USA designs its guitars to be played with as close to DEAD STRAIGHT NECK as possible (Slim-Tapers being an unfortunate exception due to twists/ kinked bindings etc etc)....this I was told by an employee of GIBSON I was fortunate enough to become friends with for a bunch of years in the 1990's....he taught me a lot and IDK if he ever even realized it.....
 

MR D

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 9, 2021
Messages
1,034
Reaction score
474
Location
RIKER'S ISLAND,NYC
This intonation stuff is interesting, in a boring theoretical way :cool: but seriously, it reminds me of my old Parker Fly Deluxe 1997, great guitar in every way but looks (I thought it was pretty), saved my life when it was the only guitar my bad back could handle.4.5 pounds! Anyway, I remember reading about ken Parker and why they used to GLUE stainless frets to the carbon fretboard instead of cutting a slot....it was because the frets could be put exactly where they needed to go on each guitar independently to make the intonation as close to perfect as possible, it kind of made some sense. Theoretically, a fret did not have to be exactly 90degrees to the neck either, they could be slightly off to make things as close to perfect as possible at each fret. Interesting concept. Great guitar, neck was TOO thin, that was my ultimate issue. Great trems too!
Yes, exactly...in a BORING theoretical way.....LOL !!! I did get obsessed with the whole perfect intonation thang once I was able to figure out what I figured out over many years....and now? Its been a fulll blown obsession for over 15 years now, **** ME !!!!.....my guitars have to have DEAD-ON RINGING 2nd Octave Open A's, E's & D's.....they just have to. BUT, I will not do this to every GIBSON I set-up, no.....$50-$60 for a set-up is not mega $$$ and taking time to get the second octave open chords to RING correctly can take more time than it is worth....so in the cases where an input jack needs to be tightened, pickups adjusted etc etc then I settle for 12TH Fret usualness and no one complains anyway.
 
Last edited:


Latest posts

Top