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Something Wrong With My Guitar?

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Guitar is an ibanez RG350DX.

I have owned the guitar for about 5 years.

Recently, i found that the fretted note are not really staying in tune even when the open strings and innotation are tuned perfectly right.

Basically...on the low E, open string is perfect E, but when I play fret one, it is not a perfect F, it is higher, it is almost half way between F and F sharp.

Playing around with it more, I found that basically the harder I press, the higher the note. With normal fretting pressure, it is about 30% higher. If I fret it REALLY hard, it is about 60% higher (the note is closer to F sharp than to F) If i fret by barely touching, it is perfect.

This problem is more appearent in fret 1-5, and less on the higher fret.

It is probably not the strings, coz I just replaced them.

Could fret wear possibly cause this problem? (There are some degree of fretwear, the top of the fretwire is starting to get flat.

Any expereinced guitar tech know the cause of this?

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Its funny how you just seem to notice these things after years. Fret wear is very gradual and so is the way the human ear detects notes and tones. When I first started playing guitar I wasn't aware that half the time my guitar was out of tune. As time passed and my hearing became more sensitive to "notes" in general, I began to be more attentive to tuning my guitar.

Anyway, did you change to lighter gauge strings? Thats all it takes, especially if you have high frets. As a result your normal finger pressure will stretch the lighter string more than usual causing the fretted note to sound sharp.

If the tops of the frets are noticeably flat then you are due for a fret dressing/crowning. I can visualize the string bending abruptly over the sharp corner of the flat fret. With a normal rounded, "crowned" fret the string will arch along the curvature of the top of the fret.

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Its funny how you just seem to notice these things after years.  Fret wear is very gradual and so is the way the human ear detects notes and tones.  When I first started playing guitar I wasn't aware that half the time my guitar was out of tune.  As time passed and my hearing became more sensitive to "notes" in general, I began to be more attentive to tuning my guitar.

Anyway, did you change to lighter gauge strings?  Thats all it takes, especially if you have high frets.  As a result your normal finger pressure will stretch the lighter string more than usual causing the fretted note to sound sharp. 

If the tops of the frets are noticeably flat then you are due for a fret dressing/crowning.  I can visualize the string bending abruptly over the sharp corner of the flat fret.  With a normal rounded, "crowned" fret the string will arch along the curvature of the top of the fret.

Thanx for the suggestion.

Yea..i changed from 9-46 to 9-42.

The guitar originally came with 9-42 strings actually.

But as far as I remember, I don't have much of this problem (at least not as much as now..) when I first got the guitar (with 9-42).

Maybe i should take some pictures of the fret and post it...so someone can tell me is the neck due for some fret work...

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Truthfully it sounds like the lighter set is causing you to fixate on something that was always there! Frets on that guitar are huge and intonation issues by fretting too hard is extremely common. I'm just guessing you're having a larger affect because of the lighter E string.

Otherwise going to the lighter set would be just cause for a complete setup and it might eliminate some of what you're expriencing.

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