7. 3.The E-string saddles can be used without the saddle sleeves, or you can install one or more of the sleeves, depending on the arch of the bridge top and the desired string height. In this article we will be going over guitar intonation, what it is, and how to adjust it. Intonation is how in tune your guitar sounds up and down the neck. Setting the intonation on a guitar basically involves moving the saddles forward or backwards until all of the notes all of the way up the fret board play as in tune as possible. 9. Acoustic guitar intonation will be discussed in another article. 2. This is rarely the case in the real world. 5. This "traditional" saddle slot should be from 3/32" to 1/8" wide (Photo 9). This means that the saddles can be moved forward or backwards to change the string length slightly. This lets you approximate any saddle radius, flat or arched, and any saddle height. In this lesson, you are going to learn how to set the intonation on your guitar. The higher the action is, the farther you have to bend the string down to the fret. Set the Intonator in place on the bridge with L-saddles under those two strings. The brass bar rests against the back of the bridge pins (Photo 2). The adjustment screw should be at the front or back of the saddle. This should protect the top if a screw driver slips. Players with a heavy fretting hand and a strong grip tend to go sharp when they play. The guitar isn’t the only one responsible! When you fret a string, you bend it down to the fret. Tune each string to pitch using the electronic tuner for reference. Install the remaining strings with only enough tension to hold the saddles. Carefully turn the screw to move the saddle. The four saddle height options are: the L-saddle without sleeves (3/32" / .093" / 2.4mm); the small sleeve (1/8" / .125" / 3.2mm); the medium sleeve (5/32" / .156" / 4.0mm), and the large sleeve (3/16" / .187" / 4.8mm) (Photo 3). We designed it for use prior to cutting saddle slots in new bridges, or when filling and recutting existing saddle slots (methods such as placing dowels or pins under the strings can be inaccurate, because string pressure tends to move the dowels forward). Layout a wider (1/8" to 9/64") slot to accommodate more of the intonation points you recorded (you may have to sacrifice exact intonation for one or two strings). It can be a little tedious, but it’s easy once you know how. A fully-compensated saddle can measure 3/16" or more in width. 6. This changes the spacing of the nut, frets and bridge that we discussed earlier. Think of it as how in-tune the fretted notes sound in relation to the open strings. Make sure that the string is in tune. There are only a few tools that you will need in order to set the intonation on your guitar. If the tuner is showing a perfect E at the 12th fret, the string is intonated. If the note was flat, move the saddle towards the neck. This was written with guitar and bass players of all levels in mind. Look straight down from overhead and mark perpendicular to the bridge top (Photo 6). The saddle for the low E string is now all the way back but there is still a gap in the sound. they wouldn't let me 'watch' what they did, but I can tell the pups were lowered, the truss rob was adjusted, the action was lowered and they re-balanced the saddle… Usually two saddles are used, one short section for the treble-E and B strings, and the other section for the G, D, A and E strings. Also be sure to grab your free copy of the Guitar Buyers Guide below!! Heavier strings will cause more neck relief and a higher string action. Play the note and check the tuner. The peak of each L-saddle is halfway between the two marks, and this point should be the peak of the permanent saddle. This is exaggerated on guitars with tall or jumbo frets. Rock on! , you’ll do just fine. Photo 2 A guitar with good intonation will sound in-tune anywhere along the neck. Record these measurements (Photo 8). If these two strings are intonated, the other strings will be close enough for most players. Theoretically, the guitar’s 12th fret should be exactly half way between the nut and bridge. Install the outer two E-strings and tune them slack. If the note at the 12th fret is sharp or flat, the saddle will have to be adjusted to compensate for it. If the fretted notes are sharp, the string needs to be lengthened slightly. Install the remaining strings with only enough tension to hold the saddles. fret. With a little practice, the job should only take about 20-30 min. Setting intonation on a guitar or bass is something that any player can learn how to do. Acoustic guitar intonation will be discussed in another article. Pencil in an approximate saddle line from this position, at the 3-1/2 degree angle you would normally see on a steel string guitar. Toll Free: 1-800-439-8921 So why does intonation matter to you as a player? Changing string gauges can affect not only your intonation but your overall setup. Privacy. 1. By using the L-saddles without the sleeves, or with any number of the three telescoping sleeves, four different saddle height options are available. between the nut and bridge. Re: saddle all the way forward, intonation still off flat I took it to a luthier yesterday - for $40 they did a great job and completely reset everything. The rest of your guitar’s setup can also affect it’s intonation. While the strings are at low tension, turn the thumbscrews to adjust all the saddles behind your penciled reference line. Adjusting the intonation is something that should be done at the end of a setup. If not, proceed to the next step. Layout a wider (1/8" to 9/64") slot to accommodate more of the intonation points you recorded (you may have to sacrifice exact intonation for one or two strings). There is usually a screw on the front or back of the saddle to adjust this. You will usually have to reset intonation after making any truss rod adjustments. This increases it’s tension and pitch slightly. Cords aren’t shimmering, riffs aren’t growling and leads aren’t singing like they should. Because it can make the difference between your guitar sounding as it should, or sounding like an out-of-tune mess!