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Author Topic: Bridge Position Problem?  (Read 3970 times)

Offline CIM

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Bridge Position Problem?
« on: September 21, 2010, 05:27:16 PM »
I am struggling to set intonation on a HB32, bridge seems to be too near the neck by around 1 or 2 mm.

When E and G saddles are at the end stops the strings play slightly sharp at 12th fret.

The 6th string saddle is about 321mm from the middle of the 12th fret - half the scale length would be 12 3/8 or 314mm so the adjustment available is about 6 or 7mm past the ideal - does that sound right?

Anyone know or can measure how far back a 6th string saddle should be able to move away from the 12th fret on a tune-o-matic style bridge?
 

Offline NickS

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Bridge Position Problem?
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2010, 07:24:39 PM »
What size strings are you using - Stock are 11's. Is the neck straight or at least a slight bend up in the middle? Did you raise the bridge to make the strings higher off the fretboard? Are you ever so gently pressing the string on top of the 12th fret, not between the frets?  I have a bunch more questions, but it's your turn right now.
 

Offline CIM

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Bridge Position Problem?
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2010, 04:15:22 AM »
Thanks for response.

Actually the instrument arrived with 10-46 strings fitted (as measured by my digital calipers). No reason to assume they were not the factory strings as the instrument was still rattling with numerous wood fragments and sawdust which I had to shake out of the f-holes.

The neck is now what I would call straight. It arrived with the truss rod completely loose hence had lots of relief - I adjusted it and now it is straight with just a small hint of relief.

The action was a bit high even after truss rod adjustment (very high before) so I lowered the bridge a bit. It is now set up with what I would describe as a medium-low action. Possibly a fraction lower than I would normally set but I thought that may assist intonation.

I am aware of the pressure effect on pitch at 12th fret - I press with minimum force when checking intonation. I have a chromatic tuner so can check intonation anywhere on the neck but just seemed to me if I can't set a 12th fret pitch then something is not quite right.

I got some info elsewhere which suggests that the bridge is correctly positioned and also that +0.25 should normally be enough extra adjustment length for the low E on top of the nominal 24.75 scale length and there is that much available.

My next thoughts are try some other strings and check that the nut is correctly cut.  I was going to try 11-54's but not sure that won't make intonation problems worse - I may stick with 10-46 for now and see what happens...
 

Offline ncmreynolds

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Bridge Position Problem?
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2010, 05:02:47 AM »
Have I misunderstood this or could you turn the treble saddles round to get the extra range of adjustment?

OK not something you want to do on a new guitar, but I've done it to deal with intonation problems before.



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Offline CIM

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Bridge Position Problem?
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2010, 05:05:12 AM »
quote:
Originally posted by ncmreynolds

Have I misunderstood this or could you turn the treble saddles round to get the extra range of adjustment?

OK not something you want to do on a new guitar, but I've done it to deal with intonation problems before.



No, I could flip the G string saddle - that had occurred to me, but the 6th string is already 'the long way round'.
 

Offline ncmreynolds

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Bridge Position Problem?
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2010, 05:48:46 AM »
quote:
Originally posted by CIM
No, I could flip the G string saddle - that had occurred to me, but the 6th string is already 'the long way round'.



I've had just this problem with a cheap-ass secondhand Dean and in the end I sold it on before I really sorted it out. You could just get it intonated acceptably (but not perfectly) with the saddles turned round and at the furthest position.

My longer term plan was to buy a 'Nashville' bridge which is slightly deeper offering a greater degree of adjustment but like I say I got rid first.

If it's a new guitar (sounds like it is) I'd seriously consider doing a warranty return.



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« Last Edit: September 22, 2010, 05:49:54 AM by ncmreynolds »
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Offline NickS

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Bridge Position Problem?
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2010, 07:16:20 AM »
Take it or send it back, if you purchased it as new. Could have been a bad day at the factory. I don't know of any new guitar that does not have the truss rod tweaked a bit from the factory. Could be someone had it, returned it, after messing with it, kind of thing.

How is the rest of the geometry for the bridge and stop tail piece. Tail piece all the way down. Bridge straight, strings not touching anything but the saddles.
 

Offline CIM

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Bridge Position Problem?
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2010, 07:46:24 AM »
quote:
Originally posted by NickS

Take it or send it back, if you purchased it as new. Could have been a bad day at the factory. I don't know of any new guitar that does not have the truss rod tweaked a bit from the factory. Could be someone had it, returned it, after messing with it, kind of thing.

How is the rest of the geometry for the bridge and stop tail piece. Tail piece all the way down. Bridge straight, strings not touching anything but the saddles.



Yes, I agree I will have to return...

I have now noticed a hairline crack between the fingerboard and the rest of the back of the neck on the Low E side running from around the nut and several inches up the neck. It is only hairline with no big gap as such (yet) and I don't know whether it opened as a result of tensioning the neck or was there before and I didn't spot it.

In case anyone wonders I didn't go crazy or over adjust - it only needed a couple of quarter turns from loose to straight and the rod adjusted nicely without much force at all.

But I do think that piece of wood should be securely glued to the rest of the neck.

I think I will return without wasting a pack of strings to fix intonation. Would have been nice to get to the bottom of that problem but will have to remain a mystery.

Thanks again for all responses.
 

Offline Rocket

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Bridge Position Problem?
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2010, 08:39:43 AM »
quote:
Originally posted by CIM

Yes, I agree I will have to return...

Where did you buy it from?

Offline CIM

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Bridge Position Problem?
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2010, 10:18:58 AM »
quote:
Originally posted by Rocket
Where did you buy it from?


A UK mail order supplier. Just called them and they agreed it sounds like a Friday afternoon job and arranged collection and refund/exchange. I don't want to name names, so far the only thing I could blame the supplier for is lack of any setup but it was an inexpensive guitar.

Anyway I decided on a refund as my confidence in the model has been dented.

BTW It did have some good points e.g. tonally much more lively than I expected for a mahogany construction - sounded good and looked good - and I imagine that if you get a good one you could be very happy with it - but once bitten...

There were several other quality issues (minor finish blems and the nut B slot needed dressing as it sounded like a sitar on open notes) which are less noteworthy in the context of the price - but the unavoidable impression is limited attention to quality based on this example.

I do not assume my experience is typical, but replacement stock sometimes comes from the same batch. I suppose most stores will inspect a replacement carefully - and maybe shake the sawdust and wood chips out the f-holes before sending the replacement...

Thinks to self - do Chinese guitar builders actually get a weekend off work (I do hope so) - if not how would they know when to rush out the bad ones? [;)]
 

Offline boynamedsuse

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Bridge Position Problem?
« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2010, 01:12:07 PM »
The same batch could involve different craftsmen, so even in guitars made on the same day, things will likely change from guitar to guitar.

If you like the sound of the guitar, you should consider another--or if you are really nervous, perhaps a different model like the HB35.
 

Offline NickS

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Bridge Position Problem?
« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2010, 07:35:18 PM »
If you can afford an HB35, even a good used one, it's quite worth the money. I have one I play about 65% of the time. After tweaking the pickup height I am extremely happy with it totally stock. Others opt to change the pickups, but I found that happy spot where they sing. A very nice rich creamy tone.

Fit and finish is great. Heads above anything Epiphone puts out.
 

Offline NickS

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Bridge Position Problem?
« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2010, 10:07:16 PM »
CIM - What did you get to replace it... I hate it when they just go away....