Intonation issues - Offset Series Mustang

For help with setups and other technical issues.
Post Reply
User avatar
jmurph
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 83
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:41 am
Location: smallville

Intonation issues - Offset Series Mustang

Post by jmurph » Fri Mar 12, 2021 6:09 am

I've had my Offset Series Mustang for several years now and have properly maintained it the whole time. A few months ago I noticed it was time for its routine setup. This time was different though because no matter how hard I try, I can't get the sucker to intonate properly. The only mod I've ever done was put solid graphtech saddles on it because the vintage style were slicing up my hand. I found that it actually intonated better with the solid saddles. Now I'm at a loss.

Yes, I'm using a fresh set of strings; same brand/gauge as usual.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!

User avatar
adamrobertt
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 2001
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2010 10:28 am
Contact:

Re: Intonation issues - Offset Series Mustang

Post by adamrobertt » Fri Mar 12, 2021 6:22 am

What exactly is the problem you're having? Usually when you can't intonate a guitar properly it's because you run out of forward or backward adjustment on individual saddles. Is that what you mean?

User avatar
jmurph
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 83
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:41 am
Location: smallville

Re: Intonation issues - Offset Series Mustang

Post by jmurph » Fri Mar 12, 2021 6:52 am

I can get the open string and 12th fret harmonic in tune. However, when I adjust the saddles forward & backward, it just won't pull into tune when fretting the 12th fret. I used to have no problem getting it spot on. In fact, it was one of my most reliable guitars when it came to intonation. I'm going to give it another go today and provide a more detailed explanation.

User avatar
HarlowTheFish
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 498
Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2020 7:09 pm

Re: Intonation issues - Offset Series Mustang

Post by HarlowTheFish » Fri Mar 12, 2021 9:05 am

I've sometimes had strings (especially standard EB slinkies) just refuse to intonate before. Like, for no particular reason, it just will never get somewhere where it'll intonate properly. If you can spare another set, maybe see if that'll help out.

The other suggestion is to try using the neck pickup with the tone rolled off halfway when intonating. I find this works out a bit better especially on stuff like my Mustang, where the pitch warbles sharp more, because I can often get harmonics that confuse the tuner so I'll think I'm not intonated or in tune when in reality I am.

Is it too sharp or too flat? Is it a matter of you can't move the saddle far enough to intonate or of it'll be too sharp, then too flat, but never in the middle?

User avatar
schoolie
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 827
Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2010 4:25 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Intonation issues - Offset Series Mustang

Post by schoolie » Fri Mar 12, 2021 12:48 pm

If you're completely stumped, check the pickup heights. If the magnets are too close to the strings, intonation is impossible. Just one possible cause to rule out.

User avatar
rockerjeff
PAT PEND
PAT PEND
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2021 6:15 pm
Location: Silicon Valley
Contact:

Re: Intonation issues - Offset Series Mustang

Post by rockerjeff » Fri Mar 12, 2021 2:03 pm

Try intonating by getting the open string to be in tune with the 12th fret fretted (instead of matching the open string with the 12th fret harmonic).

User avatar
adamrobertt
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 2001
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2010 10:28 am
Contact:

Re: Intonation issues - Offset Series Mustang

Post by adamrobertt » Fri Mar 12, 2021 2:06 pm

rockerjeff wrote:
Fri Mar 12, 2021 2:03 pm
Try intonating by getting the open string to be in tune with the 12th fret fretted (instead of matching the open string with the 12th fret harmonic).
Yeah I was gonna say this. I find that using the harmonic is actually less accurate, since we aren't exactly playing harmonics all the time. Use the fretted note to intonate. You can double check with the harmonic, but I wouldn't rely on it.

ALSO, don't hit the shit out of the string - it'll make it go sharp and fluctuate. Try to hit it with the same force that you would use when picking, if not a tiny bit less.
Last edited by adamrobertt on Fri Mar 12, 2021 2:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
rockerjeff
PAT PEND
PAT PEND
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2021 6:15 pm
Location: Silicon Valley
Contact:

Re: Intonation issues - Offset Series Mustang

Post by rockerjeff » Fri Mar 12, 2021 2:09 pm

HarlowTheFish wrote:
Fri Mar 12, 2021 9:05 am
I've sometimes had strings (especially standard EB slinkies) just refuse to intonate before. Like, for no particular reason, it just will never get somewhere where it'll intonate properly. If you can spare another set, maybe see if that'll help out.
I've had the same problem with strings before (Dunlop).

User avatar
jorri
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 2492
Joined: Thu May 07, 2009 1:53 am
Location: bath, UK
Contact:

Re: Intonation issues - Offset Series Mustang

Post by jorri » Wed Mar 17, 2021 6:49 am

rockerjeff wrote:
Fri Mar 12, 2021 2:09 pm
HarlowTheFish wrote:
Fri Mar 12, 2021 9:05 am
I've sometimes had strings (especially standard EB slinkies) just refuse to intonate before. Like, for no particular reason, it just will never get somewhere where it'll intonate properly. If you can spare another set, maybe see if that'll help out.
I've had the same problem with strings before (Dunlop).
There are two simple things that cause bad intonation:
-pickups so high they magnetically pull strings.
-strings should be stretched after installation, and thick ones intonate a lot better if you push infront of the bridge to ensure they are straight, i always do that with bass strings. Plain strings, cant really do all that too much.

User avatar
Debaser
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 393
Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2014 2:12 pm
Location: Phoenix AZ

Re: Intonation issues - Offset Series Mustang

Post by Debaser » Mon Mar 22, 2021 3:45 pm

To be clear, the saddles were changed, THEN you had intonation issues? Or the saddles were swapped before and several subsequent string changes happened with no issues? Sounds like the latter.

If the first situation is the case, then it’s likely the saddle slots are not cut correctly thus don’t have a clean witness point.

If it’s the latter, then try another set of string, same make and model.

I’m gonna be a little presumptuous because you had no issues before, so you knew to stretch strings, and you don’t adjust your pickups after each string change. But what caused you to realize you need a whole new setup just for a string change?

There’s another option too, the graph tech substrate wore out or your nut chipped. It’s possible but only worth checking out after you try a fresh set of the same strings.
50,000 watts out of Mexico, this is the BorderRadio...

User avatar
jorri
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 2492
Joined: Thu May 07, 2009 1:53 am
Location: bath, UK
Contact:

Re: Intonation issues - Offset Series Mustang

Post by jorri » Wed Mar 24, 2021 1:20 pm

As soon as saw graphtech, i thought, gaps between saddles, saddles literally move around. Also sometimes its just because the string is on the intonation screw and it needs lowering with a hugher baseplate(a bit more obvious you move intonation forward it stops contacting and contacts when moved back)

User avatar
HarlowTheFish
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 498
Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2020 7:09 pm

Re: Intonation issues - Offset Series Mustang

Post by HarlowTheFish » Wed Mar 24, 2021 4:59 pm

jorri wrote:
Wed Mar 24, 2021 1:20 pm
As soon as saw graphtech, i thought, gaps between saddles, saddles literally move around. Also sometimes its just because the string is on the intonation screw and it needs lowering with a hugher baseplate(a bit more obvious you move intonation forward it stops contacting and contacts when moved back)
On the standard offset bridge (one that's got stock ~56mm spacing anyway), sure, but the Offset Series has the Strat hardtail, and the Graphtech saddles for that are actually really good.

Post Reply