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Interesting Intonation Problem

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So I've got some semi-old strings on my MIM Strat, maybe 2 months old, but I clean them very well every time I touch the guitar, so they're still in good shape and sound good. Except the high-E intonation got worse over the last few weeks. It would be bang on pitch up to about the 9th fret, then be really flat from #12-#22. I moved the saddle as far forward as it would go....no dice, I could not move it far enough to get proper pitch at #12 even though everything would be great from open to #8. High-E string only.

Yesterday I change all the strings, putting the high-E saddle back to its normal position. Intonation is now spot-on every where along the high-E.

The only possible explanation that I can see is that I had non-uniform string tension along the length of the string, with higher tension over frets #1-8 and lower tension over frets #12-22 (probably from bending). The overall (average) tension must have been OK on the lower frets, but higher-up on the neck the string must have been stretched out making me flat in the upper register. :D

First time I've ever seen this.

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Same strings I've used for 20 years, Ernie Ball medium slinkys. My sweat is very acidic, so usually they start to really tarnish and I change 'em out before they stretch too much. In the humid summer, if I don't wipe 'em down, the next day they are literally fuzzy with rust.

For some reason, this time I was extra careful to keep them super clean, wiping down with acetone every single time I touch the guitar. That's what it gets me.

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I explained this exact problem I had on this thread. I just finished a guitar and was intonating it and the little E string wouldn't intonate for anything. I later noticed it had a kink in the string probably because I had put the strings on and off a couple of times while doing the setup process. Now I know why Dan says have two sets of strings when setting up... lol So after driving myself crazy trying to figure out why it wouldn't intonate and knowing that the bridge was in perfect placement , I did a last ditch effort and decided to change the strings. Volia.. problem solved, just like the way it fixed your problems.

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ive had this problem, except it was nearly a semi-tone out,

I think what it is the part of the that has corroded looses some thickness,due to oxidization, and the streches a little more. while the bit that isnt as corroded looses less diameter and doesnt stretch as much. that would create un even tension, and therefore making u sound crap

am i right or am i correct B)

thats my two years of physics and chem, see it didnt go to waste, i may be right on, i may be well wrong, but now i have a little ribbon that says compeditor! :D lol



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People tend to forget about bad strings coming straight from the packet because we are lucky. String manufacturing is a lot more accurate than it used to be so it aint something we think about as much.

But it does happen every now and again, even with the expensive strings. It just happens more with cheap strings.

Sounds like you are at least aware that you need to look after your strings, i havnt heard of using acetone to wipe down though. I have had to tell alot of people that they should be wiping there guitars down after playing, when a set of 11's turns black in a couple of days its time to take preventative measures

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Rereading Hiscock last night and came across this (paraphrased):

"If you can't set the intonation, it's probably a bad string."

Funny how things pop up like that. :D

It seems like I've read that book a million times yet I never remember him mentioning that.. lol.. Weird how you can overlook things sometimes.. I still ended up learning the hard way on that one.. :D

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