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Thread: Sharp notes, even when in tune! Whats the problem??? S2 Custom

  1. #1

    Sharp notes, even when in tune! Whats the problem??? S2 Custom

    I've noticed that my strings can be perfectly in tune, but when I start playing scales and leads on the mid to high frets, the notes are a little bit sharp. Even when the string is still in tune. I checked with a tuner to confirm it. This is becoming irritating. I'm sure no one else notices it when I play, but I have a pretty good ear so it bothers me. Does anybody know what could be causing this?
    I have an S2 Custom 24. I bought it a couple months ago and it still has the factory strings on it.

  2. #2
    I've had that problem at times...once it was when I was playing a new guitar strung with 9s instead of my normal (at the time) 10s. I was pushing certain notes sharp as I fretted them. Most of the other times when I've noticed this I've also noticed that I'm gripping the neck more tightly (tense over a particular passage, distracted by stressful things, lot of things can cause it).

  3. #3
    My name be scrambled ElrytNamrogo's Avatar
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    Just like David said, pressing too hard on the strings can cause a note to go sharp. You can check this by simply lightly fretting a note and, while it sustains, apply more pressure. You will notice the note go sharp. Also, have you checked the intonation with your tuner? Try fretting the twelveth fret on each string with your tuner plugged in. If those notes are slightly sharp compared to your open string tuning, then you will need to adjust the intonation with the bridge saddles.
    Last edited by ElrytNamrogo; 04-10-2014 at 11:09 AM.
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    Yeah it sounds like a grip issue. I was playing 12 string guitars for several years and developed a really tight grip. Played a couple guitars with jumbo frets (really tall fret bars) and I was sharp all over the place due to pressing down too hard. The S2 Custom 24 should have standard frets, and it sounds like the issue is showing up on mid-high fret locations. That may just be you pressing harder at those locations due to arm/wrist angle or something. For me, it's taken quite a bit of focused effort to loosen my grip. Fortunately I no longer have a 12 string, so that helps.
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  5. #5
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    Check Intonation?
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  6. #6
    Bobble Head Moderator JMintzer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JRod4928 View Post
    Check Intonation?
    DING, DING, DING!

    Your intonation is off. You can be completely in tune on open strings, but if your intonation is off, the fretted notes will be off, especially in the upper registers...
    Last edited by JMintzer; 04-10-2014 at 05:35 PM.
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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by JMintzer View Post
    DING, DING, DING!

    Your intonation is off. You can be completely in tune on open strings, but if your intonation is off, the fretted noted will be off, especially in the upper registers...
    I'll add dong to his ding. Your intonation is off.
    If something is too hard to do, then it's not worth doing. You just stick that guitar in the closet next to your short-wave radio, your karate outfit and your unicycle and we'll go inside and watch TV.
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  8. #8
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    Yep, check the intonation. I had this problem with my CE22. I could see the notes go sharp on the tuner when I lightly pushed them straight down on the fretboard. Took it to a really good tech and it has sounded great since then.
    2008 CE22 MT- 2003 Singlecut Trem - 2013 Tremonti SE custom - 2011 2 channel H combo - 2006 Chicago Blues Box combo - Arc effects klone - Hermida Zendrive2

  9. #9
    Member Richard Lainegard's Avatar
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    Intonation yes... Things to consider:
    1.) Only checking intonation the classical way (12th fret harmonic vs 12th fret fretted) is not always enough.
    I tend to check intonation way more thoroughly on my axes, with many, many reference points throughout the neck.

    2.) If you use thinner strings, you may indeed be pressing the notes slightly sharp down between the frets,
    or even slightly "Micro-bend" them when fretting without really thinking about it.

    3.) And this is often overlooked. If you have a tad too much bow on the neck, and action that is not
    really low, you WILL push the notes sharp especially in the mid to higher parts of the neck, since the
    distance the string has "to travel" before making contact with the fret will be equal to bending a note
    many cents of pitch. Remember, the placing of the frets and "theoretical" intonation is based on a string that
    is completely flush against the fretboard and with zero relief. This will result in the best intonation, but will of course
    make the strings choke. Thus we always need some relief and string height to get a clean tone.

    This can be compensated by moving the bridge/individual string saddles further away from the neck to compensate
    (thereby lengthening the string portion between the fretted note and the bridge).
    However, with high enough action and relief, you run out of options. You simply will not be able to compensate the upper
    fret intonation without negatively impacting overall intonation at the lower frets.

    These are one of the reasons I use 0.11-49 strings, have a very slick relief and quite a low action.
    The larger frets still give me enough grip on the strings for perfect control when bending,
    and the heavier gauge means I can go lower and slicker without "choking" the notes.
    Thus, you can actually a better intonated, better sounding, slicker playing instrument with heavy gauge then light.
    It comes down to very, very, very meticulous setup though. The stock PRS setups are very well suited for all-round
    playing and intonation with 0.10 strings (or even 0.09), but when doing setup work on PRS guitars with 11's,
    I always tweak them quite a bit. And the proof is in the pudding. Having tones of great players test drive my PRSi
    at the trade shows around the globe, and every single player commenting that they have never felt a more
    "effortless" instrument (even legato meisters like Tom Quayle for one) is a testament to this.
    Not blowing my own horn here, but have been fine tuning this setup since -94 on every conceivable guitar brand
    so I got it down by now
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  10. #10
    Happy Egads's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    I'll add dong to his ding. Your intonation is off.
    Les, what have we told you about putting your dong on the interwebs?

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