Jump to content

Gibson ES Intonation Problem - Help!


Recommended Posts

Hey Gang - I have a 1960's Trini Lopez ES 335. It has a non-original Gibson fixed or "stop action" bridge.

The guitar tunes up fine, holds a tune and passes the 12th fret intonation test fine too.

Trouble is when I play the strings down at the lowest first and second fret (on the machine head end of the neck) they go sharp.

The strings get progressively more in tune as you go up the neck towards the bridge - the opposite of the usual problem!

The neck looks pretty good to the eye.

Can anyone help?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have been hearing that the Earvana compenstated nuts are great, if you end up trying one or if anyone does for that matter, lemme and the rest of us know if its worth it or not, as for me, I rarely tune up and change strings as faithfully as my oil, wich means hardly ever, anyways, just mentioning that, changing string guages could help or just simply a fresh set of strings of same guage, sometimes you just get a crappy string, it happens or especially if the ones on it are reasonably played out like mine usually are, good luck

Jeremy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I'd also check your nut height - a slightly high nut will help get buzz free play, but will always throw the first couple of frets out of whack. Try fretting a note at the third fret, and see how much clearance you have between the string and the first fret. If you have no gap the nut is cut too deep, if you have an obvious gap, it's too high. You really want it so close that you can't see the gap...

You can tell if there is a gap you can't see by tapping the string between the nut and first fret, whilst still fretting it at the third. If you hear a tiny metallic ' tap' when you tap it, theres a gap. If it's actually touching the fret you won't hear anything but your finger striking the fretboard.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I second that - check both your string height at the nut as well as the angle at which the nut slots are filed, if they don't follow the headstock angle, you could have improper string length...

Now that I think about it, I could *never* get the 3rd fret G on the low E string to sound "right" on my LP...

~d~

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Now that I think about it, I could *never* get the 3rd fret G on the low E string to sound "right" on my LP...

I've always seemed to get this problem on Gibson scale lengths - but more with the first fret on the G string. Getting the nut slot correct does help - but often not completely. It drives me nuts.

I too have thought about the Earvana system, but I've just Fenders with no probs at present, but would love to hear any experiences of them as I quite fancy an LP DC at some stage.

Another point, although it's unusual these days, a wound 3rd G string does help enormously. The string doesn't bend so much when it's fretted with a high nut slot.

:D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

what I meant re the wound G is this - if your nut is cut too shallow, simply the pressure of your finger fretting the note can bend the string even if you push straight down - almost the same as if the board were scalloped, but not as extreme.

It makes it impossible to play open chords and barred chords in tune with each other. If you can notice this (any many don't) it can be painful to the ear. As I said, it annoys the **** out of me.

Using a thicker, stiffer or tighter string helps this odd artifact. EVERY Gibson type I've owned has had this to some extent or another, & needing reslotting. A thicker string set is better for many reasons, arguably, but I'm a lazy git and use 9-42s. Used to play 13's when I was playing bass a lot, and used to bend those suckers all over too.

:D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...