Intonating 24 5/8ths scale guitar

AggressivePerfector

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Hey everyone! So of course I know this isn’t a perfect setup by any means but I play a BC Rich stealth in B standard in one of my bands and just wanted to see what feedback/options etc I can get from everyone here.
The stealth is a 24 5/8ths scale guitar and although my intonation is what I’d call close enough, I’m wondering if it’s possible to get it dead on or if it’ll be off slightly no matter what while tuned to B.

I guess what I’m asking is, would a certain gauge of string or setup be beneficial for more accurate intonation? is it even possible on such a short guitar tuned to B?
Any input is appreciated as I’ve pretty much concluded that it’s not possible to have perfect intonation but it’s also not far enough off for me or any other players in the community to care about. Thank you for checking out the thread and I appreciate all your responses.
 

AggressivePerfector

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Guitars will always be off on most frets, it's in the nature of the construction. Make friends with "close enough" and spend your time playing.
This is basically what I’ve ended up doing. I have other guitars to play if it bothered me at all.

Thank you for the input
 

cindarkness

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Mastodon goes down to A standard on a Gibson scale - and to me they sound tight and ol'right.
Scale length is more of a personal preference, yes the longer scale might be more suitable for low tunings, since you don't have to compensate with ultra gauge strings.
 

AggressivePerfector

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Mastodon goes down to A standard on a Gibson scale - and to me they sound tight and ol'right.
Scale length is more of a personal preference, yes the longer scale might be more suitable for low tunings, since you don't have to compensate with ultra gauge strings.
In my experience the tuner may read a hair flat/sharp at the 12th but it sounds good to the ear. It probably wouldn’t even make a difference if it were dead on honestly. I actually find that I get a better sound using a lighter gauges with the shorter scale rather than something like in the 60+ realm. The higher gauges tend to lack resonance (which makes intonation more of a pain) and sound kind of lifeless to my ears.
 

cindarkness

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Oh yeah, I hate using power line cables as guitar strings. I only ever go over 60 gauge on a 7 string.

On the 24,75 single cut that I keep in drop A# I use 12-56.
 

Robslalaina

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Doesn't Erik Rutan play the same scale length in Ab? That being said perhaps he also has to settle for good enough. But like you've already said, using lighter gauges is key + neck as straight as possible + lowest possible action without buzzing.
 

CanserDYI

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Oh yeah, I hate using power line cables as guitar strings. I only ever go over 60 gauge on a 7 string.

On the 24,75 single cut that I keep in drop A# I use 12-56.
You're like me, I have my normal Schecter with 11-54s in drop Ab, I love the brightness and snappiness of the light strings. That's gotta only be about 12 or 13 pounds of tension on it and still works for me. I used to be a tension queen, and one day just kinda wasnt haha.
 

cindarkness

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But when you dig in, it's more like drop B...
Shhh, they won't find out anyway if I crank the distortion to 11 ;)
You're like me, I have my normal Schecter with 11-54s in drop Ab, I love the brightness and snappiness of the light strings. That's gotta only be about 12 or 13 pounds of tension on it and still works for me. I used to be a tension queen, and one day just kinda wasnt haha.
Sounds about right and 12 or 13 pounds of tension is totally fine on some guitars. Actually the guitar started as a drop C machine (the metalcore kid inside me..) but one day I just went lower without a reason and it has been like it since then - and I absolutely love it! Apparently the slightly muddy and growling sound was something that I was missing all along.

That doesn't mean that all of my guitars are like this, but it's nice to have something different in my arsenal.
 

Tenaba

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You're like me, I have my normal Schecter with 11-54s in drop Ab, I love the brightness and snappiness of the light strings. That's gotta only be about 12 or 13 pounds of tension on it and still works for me. I used to be a tension queen, and one day just kinda wasnt haha.
I've done the same. At one point I was running about 23lbs of tension. Years later I started playing at 10lbs or so of tension. Now I prefer something in between. Who knows what tensions we're going to like next year lol.
 

wheresthefbomb

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One thing I have found is that the intonation issues are worst on the first few frets on scales that short tuning to B and lower. To compensate, I will cut the nut slots lower than normally would be considered sane on the offending strings (2nd string usually the worst by far) and add a little relief to the neck.

Probably not a big deal if you don't use a lot of cowboy chords, but I do, so it is.
 

ElRay

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... At one point I was running about 23lbs of tension. ...
Bridge Cable Players Unite!

I typically shoot for the lowest string to be in that 22-24 lbs range and then pick the gauge for each higher string that sets the tension one "step" lower.
 

ElRay

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...I will cut the nut slots lower than normally would be considered sane on the offending strings (2nd string usually the worst by far) and add a little relief to the neck. ...
I see what you're getting at trying to reduce the increase in tension when fretting close to the nut.

Has anybody in this thread looked at making a compensated nut? There's tutorials out there for adding thin shims of nut material to the font of the nut for the problematic strings.
 

bostjan

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One thing I have found is that the intonation issues are worst on the first few frets on scales that short tuning to B and lower. To compensate, I will cut the nut slots lower than normally would be considered sane on the offending strings (2nd string usually the worst by far) and add a little relief to the neck.

Probably not a big deal if you don't use a lot of cowboy chords, but I do, so it is.
Also, don't forget that you can set the intonation at any fret, and you don't have to use the same fret on every string. If the lowest string is an issue, and you rarely ever hold notes up high on the fretboard very long on that string, you might as well set the intonation so that the 3rd fret is perfect and the higher frets are wrong. It won't work for everyone, but, if you play the first 5 frets on the lowest string 7x more often than you play past the 12th fret, it makes no sense to set the intonation at the 12th fret on that string.
 

ElRay

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Also, don't forget that you can set the intonation at any fret, ...
We had a similar issue with a short-scaled classical: beautiful tone, but the 2nd & 3rd strings always seemed a bit off. Finding a classical set with a wound 3rd resolved one issue, but for the 2nd string, we tried compensating at the saddle, but just gave-up and tuned it so the 2nd string C was in tune. Since (at that time) my daughter was only playing in 1st or 2nd position, it worked.
 

bostjan

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I have a short scale guitar with a mahogany neck. If I intonate the 3rd string at the 12th fret, the 1st fret is 20 cents off. Since it's definitely a guitar more for mucking about, it makes way more sense to intonate the 5th fret and get everything from open to around the 9th fret tolerable, and then have the second octave be mostly useless. If I want to rip out some wanky high notes, though, I have to remember that the 3rd string is going to be unusable.

I don't think I've ever had a classical guitar with adjustable intonation (I know they exist, but are pretty rare), though, or do you mean you compensated the saddle with sandpaper?
 

wheresthefbomb

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I see what you're getting at trying to reduce the increase in tension when fretting close to the nut.

Has anybody in this thread looked at making a compensated nut? There's tutorials out there for adding thin shims of nut material to the font of the nut for the problematic strings.

I've thought about ordering one of those earvana compensated nuts but it just never seemed worth it since I was able to get my shorter scales "close enough."

I have also learned to compensate with my playing quite a bit. Even with compensatory setup schemes I have to "sweeten" my tunings and that means fretting differently at different spots on the neck, even between different strings in the same position, to get the best sound. "t0aN iS iN tHe hAnDs"
 

ElRay

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I don't think I've ever had a classical guitar with adjustable intonation (I know they exist, but are pretty rare), though, or do you mean you compensated the saddle with sandpaper?
Yup. Tried sloping the leading edge of the saddle away from the neck -- like those pre-compensated saddles you see for "standard" steel string acoustics. Everything (nut and saddle) were going to TusQ anyway, so it was worth a shot with the original plastic.
 


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