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Is my neck warped

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all my open strings are in  tune the harmonic at the 12th and the 12th note are both out by a full tome 6 string shows D 5th string shows G and so on iv moved saddles all the way forward all the way back lowered the action lifted the action nothing will alter this problem.

So whats the deal Thanks Gary

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Is that a guitar you've built, or have you changed the neck from 21 to 24 frets?

I'd start by measuring from the inner edge of the nut to the top of the 12th fret and compare that to the distance from the top of the 12th fret to the tip of the bridge. They should measure the same (±3 mm for adjusting the intonation).

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yeah... what biz said... also - what are you using as a tuner?  is it broke?

I ask because if the guitar is tuned correct... the harmonic at the 12th should always be correct... it is only the fretted note that would be incorrect if intonation was bad. 

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The way I understand it, and I could be wrong, but the nut has very little to do with intonation, but where the scale starts and it ends at the saddle.

If the string is leaving the nut as close to the front as possible, then that's where the intonation begins. You can't move it and it is what it is.

The only things you can do with a nut is to relief the back to provide string clearance to insure that there's no buzz there and that the string leaves it as close to the front as possible . And that the string depth is not too deep or is too narrow causing pinching of the string. If a string is pinched by the nut, it's possible that after tuning the guitar to pitch it could "jump" or relieve the tension, causing the tuning to change when you start playing the guitar.

The bridge and saddle location is movable. So, if it can't stay in tune or your intonation is wrong, then you have to move or fine tune the bridge and saddle position to adjust the intonation.

If at the 12th fret it's sharp the saddle has to be be moved in a direction away from the nut. If it's flat, then the saddle has to be moved closer to the nut.

If it's a full tone off, then your fret scale is not the correct one for the bridge and saddle position that is currently on the guitar.

It would be a good idea to try with another tuner just to eliminate the equation of a bad tuner giving a false reading.

I could be totally wrong, but that's the way I understand intonation.

It would be nice to have some feed back form the OP in order to give a better evaluation of the actual problem.


Edited by RonMay
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The nut does have an effect. If it's too far forward, the note at the 12th fret will sound flat in comparison to the harmonic over 12th. That would lead one to compensate at the saddles which throws everything else out of whack. But yes, this does need a controlled diagnostic approach. First of all you eliminate variables to reduce down anything that can affect the tests. Taking the nut out of the equation is good in that respect, but equally it's wise to check the validity of the nut placement and break point.

The OP should confirm whether the distance from the nut to the 12th fret is the same as that from the 12th fret to the bridge....like you say, if it's a conversion neck then everything could be wrong.

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16 hours ago, mistermikev said:

the harmonic at the 12th should always be correct

This.  I was about to ask how old the strings are, because very old or used strings can give some exceptionally weird results for intonation.  But even there, Mike is right, the harmonic simply HAS to be an octave higher than the open string, whatever it is tuned to and wherever the frets are below it.

If not, then a new branch of physics has been discovered :D

@Gary1 - can you describe to us how you are playing and measuring the harmonic?

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