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Twang! Mandolin tuning/intonation
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BevvyB
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4th March 2004
Old 4th March 2004
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Twang! Mandolin tuning/intonation

Look, this is driving me nuts

I just can't get the intonation on my new mandolin to sit right. I've moved the bridge up and down, left and right, you name it

It's driving me MAD!

Any hints or tips? I'm fed up having the third fret be out of tune with open already.

cheers

Bev
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#2
4th March 2004
Old 4th March 2004
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is the not on the third fret sharp or flat??? that is the big question. If it is sharp then you could try packing inbetween the string & the bridge with stiff card.

If you have a floating bridge try angling it so that the lower strings stay in the right intonation while you adjust the higher ones or just pack.

what kind of instrument is it??

the cheaper taiwanese production line things you get in the UK are a bit of a lottery, some of them play well & have no inherant intonation problems while others are just totally out.

i used to play a LOT of mandolin...
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BevvyB
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4th March 2004
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it's a pile of junk i picked up for 70 quid

and yes it's so out its silly

how on earth and open string and then first fret can be that out is beyond me
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4th March 2004
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If it's not permanently attached to the top of the instrument, the bridge should be centered between the two f-holes on their cross, the line of the F if that makes any sense.
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BevvyB
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4th March 2004
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If only this thing had F holes
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5th March 2004
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I had a guitar drive me crazy like that- it turned out to be a problem with the nut.
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5th March 2004
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Quote:
Originally posted by BevvyB
If only this thing had F holes
How can it not have F-holes or anything similar?
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5th March 2004
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It has a hole at the end of the fretboard about3.5 inches from where the bridge currently is.

The bridge is roughly in the same place as it started life.

I would stick up a picture but my computers acting wierd.

It's made by the well known and respected 'Antoria' company (NOT, never heard of 'em)
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5th March 2004
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BevvyB,

If the neck is bowed, it makes perfect since that the 1st fret position will be the most out of tune of any of the positions. That is just the way it usually works...

Is the nut up very high? You may want to try sanding it down some... does it have a truss rod....if it does, I will tell you how to adjust it...

Do you know how to determine where to set the bridge, or do you need to go over that? You know about matching the twelth fret harmonic to the 12th fret fretted note?
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6th March 2004
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Quote:
Originally posted by BevvyB
It's made by the well known and respected 'Antoria' company (NOT, never heard of 'em)
I forget if Antoria was knockoff of Harmony, or a knockoff of Kay... but anyway.

Quote:
how on earth and open string and then first fret can be that out is beyond me
This definitely sounds like the nut is in the 'wrong place.' If the first-fretted note is higher than it should be, then the strings may be too high at the nut. If they're not too high, then you can take the nut off and cut the end of the fretboard so you can place the nut closer to the first fret. (this doesn't have a 'zero fret' next to the nut, does it? If so, you may have to pull it and put the nut in that approximate location).

Go ahead and hack on it, it sounds like you can't make it any worse. Do you have a strobe tuner? That can help with these things.
Worst case, do you have a fireplace?
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