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  #1  
Old 04-05-2009, 11:05 PM
edensharvest edensharvest is offline
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Location: Olympia, Washington
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Default Archtop intonation problem

Okay, so I recently picked up a 1968 Ovation 12-string hollow body electric guitar, which I put a whole new electronics kit in and cleaned up a couple weeks back. I've been tinkering with it ever since trying to get the setup and intonation right. The low E and A strings had a lot of buzz since the nut slot was worn down pretty good, so I worked in a shim and got the action set properly today.

Problem is, I still can't seem to get the intonation right. I can get the strings all tuned up (according to my Boss TU-2), but the sound when played together is awful, and the strings are not tuned from one to the other, regardless of what the tuner is telling me.

Is there a special trick to setting up an archtop, or a 12-string specifically? My tuner is working fine on all my other guitars - do I need something different to adjust this one?

Here's a couple pics of my baby:




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Blessings,

Andrew
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2009 Cornerstone SJ BCS/Ziricote
2009 Woody SG-style Maple top
2008 Takamine OM-VSB
2009 Telecaster Purple Heart
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  #2  
Old 04-05-2009, 11:46 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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Andrew -

The photos aren't detailed enough for me to tell, so I have to ask: do the strings themselves have individual string saddles for each of the octave strings, or does each pair occupy the same saddle together?

This is often the case on electric 12 strings, and it's a total pain when the octave strings have to share a saddle.

Because they won't play in tune together if both are on a saddle that puts them both at the same string length. The only way to get them to function perfectly is to get individual saddles for each string.

This is more complicated, naturally, and you will probably have to find some aftermarket supplier to sell you one.

Rickenbacker 12 strings are noted for the same problem, and it's only been with a few recent signature model Rics that any of their 12 strings have had individually adjustable string saddles.

I'm not an electric guitarist, and so others here will be better situated to give you leads as to where you might find a replacement bridge. But that may very well be your best option.


Wade Hampton Miller

PS If this guitar DOES have adjustable saddles for each and every string, then getting it to play completely in tune is probably just a matter of getting the saddles dialed in properly.
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  #3  
Old 04-06-2009, 08:41 AM
Scott Rucker Scott Rucker is offline
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Are you familiar with setting up 6 string guitars or mandolins with floating bridges? It could be a bridge placement problem.

http://www.frets.com/FRETSPages/Musi...tstring01.html

Frank Ford descrbes setting the intonation on a 6 string archtop on the second page.
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  #4  
Old 04-06-2009, 09:35 AM
edensharvest edensharvest is offline
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Thanks guys. The bridge for this one is at a fixed position, so there's no movement of the whole piece. It has two height adjustment knobs to individually raise or lower the treble and bass sides of the bridge, and then the string saddles are set up to adjust for both octave pairs, not individual strings. The whole thing is original stock parts.
__________________
Blessings,

Andrew
_ _ _ _ _ _ _

2009 Cornerstone SJ BCS/Ziricote
2009 Woody SG-style Maple top
2008 Takamine OM-VSB
2009 Telecaster Purple Heart
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