PDA

View Full Version : How to set the intonation on a Taylor 310ce


Major
11-19-2004, 08:52 PM
Hi all, My first post here and I could sure use some help. I had my guitar in the shop, to get some new frets (the first 5) A pretty good job, I use to have elixars 12's on, but I wanted to go a little lighter and lower the action. As I understand it, to lower the action or the closeness of the strings, you need to lower the saddle, not mess with adjusting the trussrod, via the neck. Right before doing this though, I began to have problems with tuning and the B string. I could not get it to be like it was when new. Most of the open chords, E, D and A sounded great ,but G, C where off due to the B string being flat or sharp. Still using Elixers nanoweb strings. So I tried the "lower the saddle" idea. I took some material off the bottom of the saddle, and it did what I was hoping for. It lowered the action and seemed to help with the B string tuning issue. Now when I play with my keyboardist/piano player, I'm out of tune with the B and high E string. I bought a new Talyor saddle. Any ideas how to correct the intonation problem with the B string???? I have the 310 ce LTD model Maple back and sides. A really great sounding guitar!

Picker2
11-20-2004, 02:45 AM
Hi all, My first post here and I could sure use some help. I had my guitar in the shop, to get some new frets (the first 5) A pretty good job, I use to have elixars 12's on, but I wanted to go a little lighter and lower the action. As I understand it, to lower the action or the closeness of the strings, you need to lower the saddle, not mess with adjusting the trussrod, via the neck. Right before doing this though, I began to have problems with tuning and the B string. I could not get it to be like it was when new. Most of the open chords, E, D and A sounded great ,but G, C where off due to the B string being flat or sharp. Still using Elixers nanoweb strings. So I tried the "lower the saddle" idea. I took some material off the bottom of the saddle, and it did what I was hoping for. It lowered the action and seemed to help with the B string tuning issue. Now when I play with my keyboardist/piano player, I'm out of tune with the B and high E string. I bought a new Talyor saddle. Any ideas how to correct the intonation problem with the B string???? I have the 310 ce LTD model Maple back and sides. A really great sounding guitar!Intonation is sometimes tricky, as it depends on 3 different things you can do on a guitar (besides removing and re-setting the bridge or the frets):

1. change string gauge
2. change the string action
3. shape the bridge saddle

From this, you'll understand that intonation problems often arise after you change the factory strings for other strings, if you modify the action of the guitar, or if you change your bridge saddle.

First of all: intonation is 'flat' when the string played at the 12th fret sounds LOWER than the 12th fret harmonic, and ' sharp' when the string played at the 12th fret sounds HIGHER than the 12th fret harmonic. Just so that we understand one another. :)

When your intonation is flat, you can:

1. get a thicker string
2. increase the string action
3. shape the bridge saddle so that the total length of the string gets shorter

When the intonation is sharp, just do the opposite.

Before you do anything though, get yourself a good electronic tuner and brand new strings. Typically, you do not want to get a higher action on your guitar so modifying (=> lowering) the action only works in case of a sharp intonation.

Here are some tips:

1. Cut your bridge saddle into six separate pieces. This allows you to easily tinkertoy with each of them, without having to be afraid that you mess up for the other strings. You can also replace one single piece if, e.g., you sanded it down too much.

2. If you shape the individual pieces like this (when looked upon from the side)

ooo
o...o
o....o
o.....o
o......o
o.......o
o........o
o........o
o........o
o........o
ooooooo

...you can simply reverse them to increase/decrease your scale length for each strings, which often solves all intonation problems satisfactorily.

3. Get yourself a custom set of strings. Juststrings.com sells loose strings, and if you make an overview of your intonation problems, like

E flat
A OK
D OK
G flat
B OK
E sharp

...you get yourself a custom set of strings with

E a little thicker
A the same
D the same
G a little thicker
B the same
E a little thinner.

Repeat this every time you change strings until your satisfied.

Good luck!

Dan6712
11-20-2004, 06:07 AM
I'd just get a good repair person, preferably a luthier (not a tech), to make an intonated saddle. If you look at the Taylor saddle you'll notice only the B string is compensated, that leaves the other strings out of whack as far as intonaton. The strings should sit up and down relative to each other on the saddle like on an electric when looked at from above ( like this -_-_-_ instead of like ----_- with the Taylor saddle). Its just the way the saddle is made, they will never intonate correctly with the saddle they come with.

Fngrstyl
11-20-2004, 06:22 AM
Its just the way the saddle is made, they will never intonate correctly with the saddle they come with.

I agree! I have never played a Taylor that I didnt have a little intonation problem. And like mentioned in the thread, take the guitar to an experienced Luthier, and your problem will be solved.

Major
11-20-2004, 08:08 AM
Thanks for everyones input. I will give it a try with the new saddle and if that doesn't help, off it goes to Austin, for a luither to correct the problem.

rcolosi
11-20-2004, 11:51 AM
Major,
Dan is right on the money....and has outlined the correct way to do it, and probably the way that has the fewest drawbacks. I would strongly suggest avoiding any quick-fix intonation tricks, as they often lead to more problems.

Once you get the setup properly done, a good tech or luthier will be able to put your guitar on a strobe or other "accurate" tuning mechanism, install an intonation device and find out exactly where the crown of the saddle "should" be, and a customized saddle can be very easily fashioned for the guitar.
Setup complete, intonation fixed, end of story.... : )
I posted this pic in another thread, but this is an example of a custom compensated saddle on my 514CE.
http://pic7.picturetrail.com/VOL202/1541255/2945875/72221261.jpg