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Intonation Problem

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Hi guys.. First post in this section but anyway, I've got an old Seagull acoustic (I think it's an S6) that has only recently begun to develop a problem with the intonation of its high e string.. It's almost a full semitone flat at the 12th fret.. In tune when open, though.. The funny thing is that the rest of the strings intonate just fine all up the neck.. This has only developed over the past half a year or so.. As far as I can tell, the neck seems to be normal.. Any idea what the problem could be? Thanks!!

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it's usually the string in that kind of situations. you should also check that the bridge and nut look ok. does the string rest on the edge of the nut right where the fingerboard ends and how deep? i can't think of anything else that might cause such problems. again.. it's probably the string. if you haven't changed strings for a long time, you should change them all. you'll be surprised with the sound!

just ignore the error message next time. it works.

btw.. seagulls are fantastic acoustic guitars! some are so good you can't even play because you're so amazed by the sound :D

Edited by samoht
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Check the bridge. Is your saddle low? If it is, then if your top pulls forward a little, from the string tension, or simply from age and temperature changes, it could be enough to cause your string to fulcrum back at the bridge pin, and not be making pitch at the saddle. In other words, the E is intonating back at the bridge pin. Try pressing down with a pick or your fingernail behind the saddle and see if the sound changes at all. There's a few fixes for that. One is to plane the bridge down, the other is to raise the saddle, thus raising the action, and the other is to file a nut-like groove behind the saddle so the string has some relief to angle down.

Yet another possibility is that I'm wrong, since I haven't seen your guitar. In which case try to erase all previous information from your memory, and, um...good luck with all that.

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Hey, thanks for the help, guys.. It actually belongs to a friend of mine and I only play it when I go to his place but it still bugged me endlessly.. Just thought I'd fix it up for him..

And yes, it does have a wonderful tone.. That's what makes the intonation thing such a shame..

I'll change out the strings the next time I'm over..

Frank: The bridge and saddle look ok.. The saddle has been lowered by someone in the past but he or she did a pretty neat job of it and the strings still break nicely over the saddle.. The high e does bite quite deep into the wood of the bridge itself.. Would that be a source of problem?

Whatever it is, I'll change the strings first.. Thanks again guys!! :D

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