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Setting Up A Saga St-10


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Well, I put together a Saga ST-10; it's the strat replica. I have been having a lot of trouble setting the thing up. First, I have to adjust the string height pretty high to avoid fret noise. But secondly, the low e-string and the g-string are proving difficult as far as adjusting the intonation.

The instructions say for each string to pluck a harmonic at the 12th fret and tune the string. Then fret and pluck the string at the 12th fret. If the fretted note is sharp, tighten up the bridge saddle. This lengthens the string. If the fretted note is flat, lossen up the bridge saddle. This shortens the string.

So far so good. I understand how this works as I've set up my Les Pauls in the past. But both the the low e-string and g-string are still sharp even after tightening the bridge saddle as tightly as it will go. I just can't get the intonation right, and man you can really tell it when I try tunning it and playing chords. Any advice?

PS I hope this is the right forum. Wasn't sure which one to post this question to.

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If you've already moved them as far as they will go in their saddles, you're pretty farked without inconvenient modifications.

There are usually springs behind the saddles. Remove those to give yourself an extra 2mm of play, which might be enough.

Greg

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There are usually springs behind the saddles.  Remove those to give yourself an extra 2mm of play, which might be enough.

Thanks! I tried this, and it did help, but the intonation isn't quite there for the g-string. For the e-string, taking the spring out and tightening the screw all the way put the screw against the string. So when I tuned up the string, it broke. This turned out not to be a bad thing, however. When I took the string off, I noticed a problem with the nut.

The nut came separate from the neck, so I had to put it on by sliding it into the slot on the neck after I completed finishing it. I figured that I needed to glue it in (the instructions didn't say), so I put some super glue into the slot. Problem was that I didn't check to make sure that the nut was inserted all of the way into the slot. I thought that it was, but it wasn't. Below the high e-string, the nut was snug, but below the low e-string it wasn't; there was a gap.

Um, so I took a rubber hammer and tried bumping it into place. It looked like it worked, but when I took the broken string off, I noticed that all I did was to break the nut below the low e-string. Ugh. The glue had dried too quickly for the hammer to knock it in place. So apparently the nut is not as low as it should be slanting down towards the high e-string. Could this be responsible for the intonation problems?

Ah man, just adventures of a clueless newbie.

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A loose nut won't have caused intonation problems; however, if the slots aren't cut low enough, the downward pressure as you fret a string can pull a string significantly sharp. You may need to file the nut slots, or if they're ALL really high, and you already have experience with a nut, you could file down the entire bottom of the nut. :D

Greg

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I usually set my intonation by plucking the open string and tuning, then fretting the same string at the 12th fret and checking the variance. I've come pretty close to using up all of the spring travel on the saddles, but never had to remove any of the saddle springs. Try it that way and see if it helps, it may or may not. Sounds to me like the bridge probably wasn't routed in the proper location in the first place and may be off scale. Either that or the frets are off scale, both are very possible given the price of the product.

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I've fiddled with a couple of Sagas now and it isn't unusual for the slots in the nut to be too deep. This makes you have to set the saddle too high and causes intonation problems, at least for me. I put a drop of CA on the slot and recut it after it's dry. This may not be the way most repair guys do it but it has worked for me.

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I hate Saga kits like I hate the gas station but I think the most simple approach to getting this intonation thing figured out (I didn't say fixed) is to do the old cardboard under the string at the nut deal and see if it is a nut problem. I do not know how people determine if their neck is "flat" enough to do a proper setup but when I am happy with a neck, the fretwork IS the next step. I HATE FRETWORK!!! I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT!!!!!!! I really hope your nut is cut too low. Do I know you well enough to say that?

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  • 1 year later...

I think i have a similar problem, If I capo at the first fret and re tune everything tunes and sounds ok. but when i tune normally open chords all sound very sharp.

what would I be best to do?

1. remove the nut and reduce the hight from the bottom

2. cut deeper grooves in the nut

any ideas

Thanks

Dave

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I think i have a similar problem, If I capo at the first fret and re tune everything tunes and sounds ok. but when i tune normally open chords all sound very sharp.

what would I be best to do?

1. remove the nut and reduce the hight from the bottom

2. cut deeper grooves in the nut

any ideas

Thanks

Dave

Have you tried setting the intonation at the bridge first?

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I think i have a similar problem, If I capo at the first fret and re tune everything tunes and sounds ok. but when i tune normally open chords all sound very sharp.

what would I be best to do?

1. remove the nut and reduce the hight from the bottom

2. cut deeper grooves in the nut

any ideas

Thanks

Dave

Have you tried setting the intonation at the bridge first?

doesnt the fact it plays in tune when the nut is eliminated prove its the nut thats at fault?

if all 6 slots are high, lower the entire nut, otherwise lower individual slots.

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Thanks For the replies, This is my first kit I'm not really sure, I have tried adjusting at the bridge the high E, B and G are all adjustable without the capo but The other 3 are not. but are adjustable with the capo. Am I right in thinking it is the nut at fault?

Thanks

Dave

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