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Unread 11-19-2007, 08:23 PM   #1
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Problem with Intonation (?)...advice...

Okay, so I'm not 100% sure what to do here, but my acoustic has an issue. When I try and play a note on the 13th fret of the high E string, it gives me the note for the 14th fret, with a bit of rattling. I also get the rattling on the 7th fret of that string, but it's the correct tone. Weirder still, I can bend the E string at the 13th fret, and I can get the correct note...when it's bended!

I think the neck is also slightly bowed.

What can I do to fix it?

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Unread 11-19-2007, 08:33 PM   #2
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Your 14th fret is a little high on the high E string side. It can be tapped down a bit, though I don't know if you really would want to do it yourself.
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Unread 11-19-2007, 08:38 PM   #3
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Okay, thanks. Is that all, then? (And how much does that usually cost?)
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Unread 11-20-2007, 11:14 AM   #4
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I think that could also be a problem with humidity. I believe I just read an article stating that one of the signs of a dry guitar is bowing at the 14th fret. You can get all kinds of good info relating to humidity and guitars here at Taylor's website.

Even if humidity's not your problem it's good to know about when your dealing with acoustics in the winter time. Hope this helps.
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Unread 11-20-2007, 12:39 PM   #5
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I have this problem with the 18th fret of the third string on my electric....is it the same cause?
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Unread 12-07-2007, 10:03 AM   #6
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Sounds like you need a good setup and possible some fret leveling. If you are handy with tools you can carefully make some small changes. A good luthier can do the work, probably for $50 to $100 depending on how much needs to be done.

First thing, capo the first fret and hold down the 6th string at the 13th fret. At the 6th fret there should be an ever-so-small gap. About .010 to .013 inches. Just enough to see if you look carefully. If the gap is not correct, your truss rod needs adjustment. Instructions abound on the internet. Just be sure to make very small adjustments, about 1/4 turn of the nut max. Let it sit for a while or even overnight, then make an additional adjustment if needed.

If the truss rod is ok, then look at the nut and see if the slots are deep enough. Basically, fretting at the first fret should be fairly easy. There are instructions on the internet for measuring this also. If the nut is too tall, and most are, it takes an experienced person with the right tools to cut the slots deeper. It is a quick job and won't cost much, and is included in a professional setup if you take it to the shop.

Next, measure the height of the strings at the 12th fret. This tells you if your saddle is the correct height. If it is too high, it is hard to play. If it is too low, you get fret buzzing.

For fret buzzing above approx the 12th fret, adjusting the truss rod won't help because it doesn't reach that part of the neck. If your basic setup is ok, you are looking at having frets leveled or filed, or possibly a loose fret hammered in firmly. Filing your frets isn't difficult, but is something that should be done with care and in small increments. If there is one high spot or rough spot, I am happy to make a try at it, but if it isn't fixed with a minor amount of work I would just take it to a good luthier.
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Unread 12-07-2007, 10:40 PM   #7
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If it's only one fret, though, it shouldn't need a total set up to fix.
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Unread 12-08-2007, 07:46 AM   #8
Hey, I can change this!!!
 
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Yup, it's a high fret.

NOTHING to do with intonation and NOTHING to do with the truss rod

set a straight ruler between the strings and it'll rock slightly, pivoting on the high fret.

if it's ok in a bend then its only very slightly high.

I use very fine wet & dry sandpaper, leaving the strings on, and just buff the area of the high fret, then try it again..... you need about 1/10 of a mm off it, VERY little!!
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