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Author Topic: guitar set ups  (Read 2971 times)

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Offline Jimbo

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guitar set ups
« on: April 25, 2010, 02:15:06 PM »
Hi Guys & Gals!

Well its getting near my birthday and I thought "what do I want"? I have given up on a Fender Strat or Martin D45 but I thought " I've only got an old Strat copy that is close to giving up th eghost so how about another one"??
I haven't got any disposable income so I bought a second hand copy of Ebay which, when I collected it sounded pretty good. The trouble is when I got it home the electrics didn't work!! Doh!!!
Any way I have managed to buy a loaded scratchplate, which I will be fitting, but I thought what about the set up?
That led me to Youtube and a video about setting intonation and I thought "how about trying it out on my old copy", which I did!!!
Magic!! It sounds far better than it ever has and, miracle upon miracle, it stays in tune along the entire neck!!!
Of course then I had to record something and this popped up after about 3 hours:

http://www.ttmbandroom.com/index.php?t=audio_player&song_id=929

When I get the loaded plate I will do the same set up with my replacement guitar and, hopefully, end up with 2 decent instruments!
What a great birthday pressie!!!
Jimbo 

Offline Brian

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Re: guitar set ups
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2010, 09:33:47 AM »
Sounds good Jimbo...   so how bout a link to the Youtube vid?
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Offline Schprocket

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Re: guitar set ups
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2010, 09:51:48 AM »
Err... you have to take your pick, Bri


Check this lot out !   :o
...they discovered only a small asteroid inhabited by a solitary old man who claimed repeatedly that nothing was true, though he was later discovered to be lying.

Offline Badfinger

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Re: guitar set ups
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2010, 09:53:05 AM »
cool tune, nice playing Jimbo.

Some of my guitar customers think I'm some kind of wizard or something with guitars, but it's almost always just because of a good set-up. Makes some kinda difference don't it?

Randal

Old Gibson Flying V.

Offline Jimbo

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Re: guitar set ups
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2010, 12:34:29 PM »

This is the one that I found easiest to follow!



Playing "by ear", as I do, the intonation is something I allways struggled with but now I can follow the lessons and get pretty reasonable results I am greatly happy!!

I have a question about electronic guitar tuners though. The one I used is part of the Cubase 5 programe and I am thinking of buying one just for the intonation and my new / old strat copy project. Anyone have any recomendations for "reasonably" priced electronic tuners like the one in the youtube vid?

Jimbo 

Offline rk

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Re: guitar set ups
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2010, 01:13:29 PM »
i've got in the habit of checking intonation every time i change strings on my electrics.  my ears are getting pickier i guess.  one would think (or me anyway) that acoustic bridges would be less accurate because most of the time they are not adjustable unless you replace the whole thing.  however, their intonation sounds just as good or better than electrics most of the time.  why is that?  bronze strings, better construction, etc.?

Offline Smurf

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Re: guitar set ups
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2010, 03:12:25 PM »
I am not a guitar tech, but I always thought that becasue an acoustic was "one piece of wood" that breathed & shifted together, it was more "stable" as a whole than an electric with it's bolt on neck, whammy bar, & the magnetic field of the picks pulling on the strings..... ::)

My deep thought for the day.... :P 8)
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Offline rk

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Re: guitar set ups
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2010, 03:22:49 PM »
that makes sense

and... bend two whole steps, pick in large wind mill hand motions, pick scrape, bang on the headstock, pick behind the nut, pick behind the bridge, kneel in front of four 12" magnetic speakers, power-slide into a camera, add a thicker seventh string (more tension), sling it over your shoulder, light it on fire, throw it in the crowd, etc. etc.

Offline Badfinger

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Re: guitar set ups
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2010, 05:37:16 PM »
 :D :D :D

Yeah, two primary differences are the pickups, which have more influence on intonation and tuning than most realize, and lighter (generally) strings. Lighter you go, the more sensitive to intonation they are.

Another factor, sometimes, is the generally narrower frets on acoustics... many electrics, with wide frets, have fairly shitty levelling and crowning jobs done on them at the factory and it can make it hard to get them to play in tune all over the neck. The wider the frets are, the more important a really good fret-job becomes.

bigest problem with the electrics from my metal players is they jack the pickups up way to close to the strings, and often with ceramic magnet-pickups also which is extra problematic.
At can also be a problem with standard-output single-coils, which have very concentrated magnetic fields at the pole pieces.

When holding down the strings on the last fret, you don't really need any pole-pieces to be any closer than 1/8th inch ( about 3.5 mm) to any string to have full output.... increasing that figure to 3/16ths can actually dramatically improve the tone of many pickups and really open the guitar up alot. A lot more harmonics and overtones. And a lot less interference with the vibration of the strings also.
Randal

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Offline Badfinger

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Re: guitar set ups
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2010, 05:42:21 PM »
It's hard to find a "bad" tuner anymore, even the cheap ones are really good these days.

Only thing I would reccomend is one that also has a 1/4 jack so you can plug the guitar into it, and also a mic for acoustics if you have one. You'll get much easier readings and more accurate results with an electric plugged in and reading right from the pickups. Especially strats, the bridge-springs can make intonation a pain with a mic-style or contact tuner sometimes.
Randal

Old Gibson Flying V.

Offline Brian

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Re: guitar set ups
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2010, 08:41:47 PM »
Thanks for the link Jimbo...   I'm gonna try it out on my Squire.
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Offline Jimbo

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Re: guitar set ups
« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2010, 02:16:06 AM »
Thanks BF, I will have a look around for a tuner!
I read somewhere about pick up height affecting the intonation but I didn't really check that part of the set up. My string gap to pole was about 0 so I have lowered the pick ups to 3/16 and will test out later.
I am using stainless steel Fender strings ( 'cos the guitar shop was selling them at a low price ) but I was wondering if there are any comments about them? They are .009 to .042 bullets.

Jimbo

Offline Schprocket

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Re: guitar set ups
« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2010, 03:16:33 AM »
Ok, so that's the easy guitars sorted :), what about acoustics? 
...they discovered only a small asteroid inhabited by a solitary old man who claimed repeatedly that nothing was true, though he was later discovered to be lying.

Offline Brian

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Re: guitar set ups
« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2010, 05:08:44 AM »
That my friend takes a Master Craftsmen.  ;D
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Offline Smurf

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Re: guitar set ups
« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2010, 08:50:21 AM »
I use to use the Fenders strings for guitar (10's), and still do for my basses (Light Round & Flat's), and thought they were fine.

I have used the Musicians Friends Electric & Acoustic strings for a few years now, and have been happy with them. At $2 a pop they are the best deal out there, even with shipping, IMHO. ;)

I put a compensated saddle in my old Rogue Dreadnought, and it totally thru out the intonation. Went back to a straight saddle and everything was fine. The same for my Seagull, I bought a Seagull specific Tusq compensated saddle and it messed it up totally, had to go back to the non-compensated one. :(

FRETS is a great site to read up on all things acoustic, and This Site is a way cool place to check out various woods.....a lot of reading, but a great way to kill a few hours! :P

Sorry....went off on a tangent there..... ::) 8)
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Offline Badfinger

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Re: guitar set ups
« Reply #15 on: April 27, 2010, 08:56:30 AM »
Thanks BF, I will have a look around for a tuner!
I read somewhere about pick up height affecting the intonation but I didn't really check that part of the set up. My string gap to pole was about 0 so I have lowered the pick ups to 3/16 and will test out later.
I am using stainless steel Fender strings ( 'cos the guitar shop was selling them at a low price ) but I was wondering if there are any comments about them? They are .009 to .042 bullets.

Jimbo

Dunno, I'm not sure if I played any fender strings on somebody else's guitar or not, but I havn't bought a set myself at all as far as I can remember. I think when I was a teenager I got onto Dean Markley electric and acoustic strings both and just never really strayed from that, mainly cause they seem to be really break-resistant and everytime I try another brand I bust em. I bend alot.
But not a fair endorsment though cause I really havn't bothered to try much else, with the exception of these coated Earnie Ball strings that have come out lately, which I like fine. I don't quite like the tone as much as the Markley's, but they last forever and seem pretty tough, and the coating cuts down on the finger noise for recording a lot.
Randal

Old Gibson Flying V.

Offline Schprocket

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Re: guitar set ups
« Reply #16 on: April 27, 2010, 10:27:01 AM »
Excellent stuff, guys, thanks.

I've stickied this topic so it won't get lost. :)
...they discovered only a small asteroid inhabited by a solitary old man who claimed repeatedly that nothing was true, though he was later discovered to be lying.

Offline Smurf

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Re: guitar set ups
« Reply #17 on: April 27, 2010, 11:07:35 AM »
Your Welcome S! 8)
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Offline rk

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Re: guitar set ups
« Reply #18 on: April 27, 2010, 12:54:56 PM »
with regards to tuners, i'm partial to the chromatic setting on those that have it.  i know they are normally not as accurate, but i find them necessary for non-standard tunings.

Offline AsWeGoHomestead

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Re: guitar set ups
« Reply #19 on: April 28, 2010, 04:00:17 AM »
That sounded really nice Jimbo.  I still use my old Boss TU12 tuner I found in a pawn shop years ago for $20. It has taken a beating over the years and keeps on ticking. ;D