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carol m

Intonation problem

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I've inherited a Seagull S6 guitar but the intonation is way off - for example the B string is pretty much a full half tone flat at the second fret, then progressively less until it's more or less back in tune by the 12th fret. The other strings are also off but not quite as much, all in various ways.

My question is, how much would it cost to fix this? I don't really need the guitar, but it's got an ok sound, cedar top, and a slightly wider fret board. I'm tempted to just pass it on, but that wouldn't be fair either. It's not worth me investing much time and/or money on it. Any ideas?

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So I checked on my good Tanglewood guitar, and it's 4/10th sharp at the second fret B string (the Seagull is 5/10+th sharp) and only my best guitar (Takamine) is anywhere close at 2/10th sharp there. The Takamine is pretty close on the other strings and the Tanglewood is about 2-3/10ths sharp on all other strings until it gets around the 7th fret.

I've been playing open D which seems to make the out-of-tune 2nd fret sound really noticeable, even to my ears, which I suppose is good in another way.:dunno:

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Unfortunately, Eddie, I think it's more structural than that because I noticed it when I first tried to play the Seagull and it hasn't improved or got worse, just stayed the same. Maybe I'll phone a guitar tech person and get a rough idea of the cost. I imagine it'll have to have the frets changed in some way. I imagine the cost would be more than the guitar is worth. It's not really playable as it is, the out of tune-ness is too noticeable, even on strumming.

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Setup is important too. Too high a nut or saddle and it may force pulling the string out of tune kind of like jumbo frets. Kind of creates a pitch bend issue. I know the frets did not move. Saddle may have been changed.

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Are you stringing this to play left handed,by any chance?

No, not this time OldG, it's a real lefty guitar. I phoned my local techy guy and he had a few good facts to consider.

He says the worst string for intonation problems is almost always the B string, followed by the low E string. The G string almost never has a problem.

Any intonation problem will show up more with lighter guage strings, especially if the guitar is tuned down to open D, which this one was.

The first thing to do would be to change the B string to a heavier guage. Then tune it up at the nut slightly so it's less flat at the second fret - he says the Beatles often did this. And then if all else fails, capo it at the 7th fret - or put it in the bin unless you want to pay a lot of money to re-calibreate the frets.

And before you question his credentials, here is a pic of their workshop from April this year: the string guages go from 11 to 49.

And apparently they addressed him as Mr Slash. I wonder what he wears at home.









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