S2120x Intonation (D string) - Jemsite
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-04-2003, 02:50 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2003
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S2120x Intonation (D string)


I have a strange problem with the intonation on my S2120x. I recently switched up to .010 gauge strings (Ernie Ball), and followed what seemed to be "best practices" described by Jemsite and Ibanez rules for adding springs (from 3 in a .|||. pattern to 4 in a ||.|| pattern), replacing strings, stretching strings, and adjusting trem angle and neck relief.

This is the second time that I have done this on an identical model. The first one I got from Rich (superbly intonated at 9 gauge) and when I did the same thing that I did today, it came out perfectly. Then it was stolen #$%#$%#$%#$%#$%! but I was able to find a slightly used (in mint condition though) replacement (Rich if you had s2120x's in stock at the time, you woulda had my business) for cheap. It came well intonated with 9 gauge strings.

Today's adjustment has resulted in no buzzing anywhere on the fretboard, somewhat low action (enough that i wouldn't want it lower), and perfectly (within 1 cent on my Korg CA-20 (using the input jack rather than the less reliable microphone)) intonated High E B G, pretty close Low A and E (i can probably tweak that a bit the next couple days)

But to my surprise, the low D (at the 12th fret in comparison with the in tune Octave harmonic) started off a good 17 cents flat. Upon unlocking the nuts, tuning the string down, moving the saddle up towards the neck, and tuning back up (and repeating this process over and over again), I was able to get the D string to be 7-8 cents flat with the saddle fully towards the neck.

I am pretty sure i stretched the crap out of the strings, and from what I can tell the guitar is set up well (i suppose i could make the neck slightly flatter and raise the bridge slightly, but that doesn't seem neccesary) and the other strings are in tune and intonated. I am just confused why I can't get the D intonated right.

Though, there is a slight difference between the setup of the two guitars;

s2120x #1 was setup with Elixers (also 10 gauge), and the extra trem spring was taken from my mexican strat who's bridged is locked down.

s2120x #2 was set up with the Ernie Balls, and the extra trem spring is new.

Thanks to anyone who has any input. Oh, and the reason for 4 springs. The trem cavity of this S model seems shorter than other ibanez models like the RG (and its a good deal shorter than my strats)...when I was setting up guitar #1 last year i just ran out of room to screw the springs in. So i added a 4th and unscrewed it all a bit. That was necessary on guitar #1, but i just did it by default on guitar #2. Was that a bad idea? Or rather, even though its set up fine now (and i don't wank on the bar as much as i use it for even vibrato) could that have anything to do with the D string problem? Thanks.

JohnL2112 is offline  
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-04-2003, 03:37 PM
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Santiago Chile
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Springs have nothing to do with intonation (since you adjust with the trem in the neutral position). Try changing strings first, and very VERY careful with those saddles (it's easy to damage the piezos).

Good luck!
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-04-2003, 03:41 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2003
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Yeah, I figured, but extra detail is better than leaving out important stuff. About the strings, they are brand new. Thats whats confusing. I know old strings can't be intonated reliably
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-05-2003, 04:21 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2003
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Ok, after checking everything over and over again, I noticed that the neck is set into the body witha slight gap. I am not going to mess with it right now. But it looks to be .5-1.5 milimeters (tough to see under the 22nd fret) it may be enough to mess up intonation ever so slightly.

Man i need one of those lo pro edge intonation tools. So much easier to set the intonation on my fixed bridge fretless bass (humor intentional).

Anyway, short of reseting the neck (I don't have a way to lock the tremelo angle) and starting from scratch, i am kind of at a loss for what to do at the moment. If only it were sharp! humans are less sensitive to slightly sharp rather than slightly flat. hehe.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-05-2003, 06:26 PM
Join Date: Jan 2002
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Granted this has only happened to me 3 times,you might want to check and make sure one of the wound strings isn't defective.Its very rare but when it does happen,it makes it impossible to intonate.
musicdr is offline  
post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-05-2003, 07:00 PM
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Santiago Chile
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That's what I meant with changing strings...I already assumed you were using new ones.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-08-2003, 06:02 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2003
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Thank you very much for suggesting I change the string. In retrospect I feel kinda silly for not trusting my ears. I kept thinking that I was doing something wrong, but it really was the D string being defective. I put another D string on today, stretched it and intonated it. The whole guitar is set up pretty good now. I'm not rich, but I am not the total newb i thought I was.

Thanks again!
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-08-2003, 06:37 PM
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: mn.
Posts: 808
Glad you got it sorted out.I've worked on guitars for awhile,I did the same thing,complete setup,moved saddles trying to get the intonation right,my trem angle looked like I put 12's on or something.My friend came over and said"that D string looks strange".Made me feel like an idiot,I just assumed new strings to always be made correctly.Changed the string and life was good.
musicdr is offline  

edge intonation tool , ernie ball , ernie balls , fixed bridge , gauge strings , ibanez models , intonation tool , mexican strat , neck relief , pro edge , wound strings

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