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Buzz Feiten Tuning System: Any Experiences?
Old 7th August 2005
  #31
Understand the basic science and this stuff starts making a lot more sense -- and you can cut through marketing "science" a little easier...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equal_temperament
Old 8th August 2005
  #32
Gear Maniac
 

Earvana: my tech flat out refused to install it!

A guitar tech at world famous Willies American Guitars flat out refuced to install the Earvana nut I purchased. He said it was a gimmick. He tried to say that there is NO intonation problem with guitars???

Either every guitar I have ever owned (and that is quite a few) was a piece of junk or every tech I have ever had set-up my guitars was bad at his job.

So, he said "let me have a go at it" and he claims I won't need the Earvana nut. I pick up my Strat today!

Update to follow...
Old 8th August 2005
  #33
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cwillms
A guitar tech at world famous Willies American Guitars flat out refuced to install the Earvana nut I purchased. He said it was a gimmick. He tried to say that there is NO intonation problem with guitars???

Either every guitar I have ever owned (and that is quite a few) was a piece of junk or every tech I have ever had set-up my guitars was bad at his job.

So, he said "let me have a go at it" and he claims I won't need the Earvana nut. I pick up my Strat today!

Update to follow...

A casual check with a strobe tuner will prove that all/most guitars have this issue, though some more than others. When I first discovered this, it was like discovering that the Earth wasn't flat after all. But your tech is flat out wrong, and he needs to get a stobe tuner and educate himself. Should only take about five minutes for him to discover the curve of the Earth....
Old 8th August 2005
  #34
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crypticglobe's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by cwillms
A guitar tech at world famous Willies American Guitars flat out refuced to install the Earvana nut I purchased. He said it was a gimmick. He tried to say that there is NO intonation problem with guitars???

Either every guitar I have ever owned (and that is quite a few) was a piece of junk or every tech I have ever had set-up my guitars was bad at his job.

So, he said "let me have a go at it" and he claims I won't need the Earvana nut. I pick up my Strat today!

Update to follow...
Heh, heh. Over the years, with techs... I have learned to read between the lines.

This statement SCREAMS: "I don't want to learn how to instal another new piece of go... so that piece of gear must SUCK, and I will this this bonehead that so we will not harrass me to learn how to do it".

Greg at Classic Ax here in town is the perfect example of a great tech. He was a little wary at first, but interested. He did his homework on it, installed one perfectly on my strat. He and I both were very impressed with how much better the guitar intonated. He now sells the Earvana nuts and highly recommends them to his clients (many of whom are famous Nashville sessions players... or downright stars).

That's just my 2 cents..... but for me... it made dramatic improvements.
Old 8th August 2005
  #35
[Without weighing in on the practical merits of any particular guitar tuning/intonation system...]

I'm gonna throw this pearl out here one last time:

While individual guitars may have intonation problems -- the big 'problem' with 'out of tune' intervals is with the even temperament system, itself.

Until you can wrap your head around that, you're going to be at the mercy of pseudo-scientific marketing claptrap.

One last time:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equal_temperament



That's it. I'm outta here.
Old 8th August 2005
  #36
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1
[Without weighing in on the practical merits of any particular guitar tuning/intonation system...]

I'm gonna throw this pearl out here one last time:

While individual guitars may have intonation problems -- the big 'problem' with 'out of tune' intervals is with the even temperament system, itself.

Until you can wrap your head around that, you're going to be at the mercy of pseudo-scientific marketing claptrap.

One last time:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equal_temperament



That's it. I'm outta here.
Absolutely true, however, there's no reason why a guitar can't play as in tune as a freshly tuned piano, which a good example of tempered tuning. But as long as your open strings are playing flat, you can forget about that.
Old 8th August 2005
  #37
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doorknocker's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1
While individual guitars may have intonation problems -- the big 'problem' with 'out of tune' intervals is with the even temperament system, itself.

Until you can wrap your head around that, you're going to be at the mercy of pseudo-scientific marketing claptrap.
I agree 100%.

And don't forget that magical guitar idiosyncrasy: THE BEND. A lot of tuning 'problems' can be solved with great playing technique.

I really think that the most expressive notes on a guitar go beyond the half-step.
Microtonal bends, that's where the beauty of the guitar lies for me. Now try that on your freshly tuned Steinway Grand!

Hell, I'll even gently bend the neck to make the open string behave if necessary.

That whole discussion here to me is a bit like: Why do violin players torture themselves and their surroundings with mechanical pratice when they simply could install FRETS on their instruments and thus stay in tune?

Andi

www.doorknocker.ch
Old 8th August 2005
  #38
Thanks, man. Clearly, you get it.

To everyone else, sorry. I'm a bit grumpy today. (Not like all the other days. heh )


I think the reason this issue gets to me so much is that the problem of 'out of tune intervals' used to drive me batty back when (like, apparently, so very many musicians, trained and otherwise) I thought the even tempered scale used mathmatically 'true' values and that all the interfals on a perfectly tuned piano or organ were perfect intervals.

But they sure didn't sound right -- and I thought it was just me.

Then, when I finally sat down and looked at the even tempered system in which modern pianos, organs, and most stock synthesizers are intonated (and which virtually all conventional members of the guitar family are intonated to), I realized that everything I'd assumed was pretty much flat-out wrong.

That doesn't mean that the even-tempered system needs revision, necessarily. It's a compromise -- and a necessary one if we want to be able to use modal shifts, key changes, and the like.


There's one fundamental 'law' in operation here that undercuts a lot of marketing hype:

No intonation system that uses fixed pitches can offer true intervals in more than one key.


Any marketing goon who claims otherwise is just plain wrong. I won't say they're intentionally lying. But if they're not, they're woefully ignorant. (The 'woeful' part mainly owing to the fact that they're in effect claiming expertise they manifestly don't have.)
Old 8th August 2005
  #39
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Ruphus's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cwillms
A guitar tech at world famous Willies American Guitars flat out refuced to install the Earvana nut I purchased. He said it was a gimmick. He tried to say that there is NO intonation problem with guitars???

Either every guitar I have ever owned (and that is quite a few) was a piece of junk or every tech I have ever had set-up my guitars was bad at his job.

So, he said "let me have a go at it" and he claims I won't need the Earvana nut. I pick up my Strat today!

Update to follow...
The last guitar builder I spoke too said something similar surprising about pickups. Allegedly all hype. A decent one being just as good as any other.

And if you want to read more unconventional opinions somewhere else look here
Quote:
Every luthier has a plan with all the measure of every single piece of wood. Plans can be bought and it is just a matter of deciding which model to build. What you will find out eventually is that they are all, practically speaking, identical. They are all based on the Torres model. Some have an extra strut, or a strut less. Still, others make the struts longer or shorter... no matter what they do, the variation is unperceivable to the human ear. Just remember that a Stradivarius can barely be told apart from other violins even by experts, let alone a 2000 dollars guitar.
Guitar builders need the basic tools of a carpenter. All the parts, except for the neck, are straight, so, no special sculpting tool or skill is needed either. Bending the wood is as easy as heat and pushing.

...

I stress these facts because I think that builders have gone mad asking for astronomical amounts of money for a few pieces of wood, bindings and shellac. It can take as little as 14 days work (hard) to build the best of the best guitars...Therefore, anyone asking you to wait 6 months for a guitar, ought to be paid very little... he worked 5 and half months on everybody else's guitar and 15 days on yours...
-
Smallman makes guitars with laminated wood...my best concert guitar to date was made with laminated back and sides...but who cares !
http://www.mangore.com/about_the_classical_guitar.html

BTW, I bought one of his ( all his models being massive wood ) spruce top Fleta / Torres guitars.
It kills in overall sound and is set up for great playability. There was only one little thing about it that I wrote him about days after purchase. The intonation at the 12th fret.
And now that you have brought up this thread I feel that the intonation isn´t exact in general and likely being the point that keeps it subtly away from being 100% perfect for me.

Still, the guitar has such a general sound that I´m in love with it. However, if you consider buying one, lemme know before. I´m yet investigating whether the story of building them is true or whether he eventually buys them in elsewhere for much less.

If so, then you could possibly have similar for an only outrageous couple hundred Euros in Germany. That would be for a sound that you´d usually get from ~ 3000 Euros upwards instruments. No joke.

Ruphus
Old 8th August 2005
  #40
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Ruphus's Avatar
 

Can´t resist heh
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Old 8th August 2005
  #41
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it's true that the even tempered system has built in flaws that there is no way around. if you want music that modulates from one key to another there is nothing we can do about it. that is part of the reason why all the non western music that never modulates or really has many chords sounds the way it does. what it lacks in harmonic interest it makes up for in rhythm!

one a related note the most painfully intonated guitar music i have heard is on nylon string classical guitars. some of that stuff just hurts when they modulate and/or move around from one region of the neck to another....and on classical guitars you cannot even intonate the bridge when the weather changes, let alone intonate the nut.
Old 9th August 2005
  #42
Gear Maniac
 

While the discussion about tempered tuning is valid, I don't think it pertains to the discussion at hand, that of how guitar nuts effect the ability of the instrument to be in tune. JS Bach proved centuries ago, with the Well-Tempered Clavier, that by using a tempered system, one could plays in all keys "accecpably". For those who don't know, that is a series of Preludes and Fugues, written in ALL twelve major AND minor keys. And just for good measure, he includes another complete set, for a total of forty-eight pieces.

Properly tuned pianos are a joy to play, and are "in tune" enough for me, and most other critical listeners. A guitar, however, is a horror show by comparison. But if one fixes the problem at the nut, and has taken care of the other issues of note as well (stright neck, proper bridge placement, fresh strings, and non-sloppy playing (!), one can have a guitar as in tune as said piano. I have seen it, I have done it. And the strobe tuner offers the scientific validation.

As noted above, some guitar techs don't know about this, and may even go as far as to try to argue their way out of learning it. This is sad, as they are badly mistaken, and only need to play with a strobe tuner for five minutes to see that a lifetime of assumption was, well, plain wrong.

The doubtful might well Google Copernicus.
Old 9th August 2005
  #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark107
For those who don't know, that is a series of Preludes and Fugues, written in ALL twelve major AND minor keys.
Book II rocks.

Oh, and another thumbs up for Earvana.
Old 9th August 2005
  #44
Gear Addict
 

That's it!....I can't take it anymore.....

I'M INSTALLING HYDRAULIC AUTO-TUNE ON ALL MY GUITARS!!

Bending-schmending.
Old 9th August 2005
  #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark107
Absolutely true, however, there's no reason why a guitar can't play as in tune as a freshly tuned piano, which a good example of tempered tuning. But as long as your open strings are playing flat, you can forget about that.

i'm just not sure a six stringed instruments with frets can ever be as in tune as a piano where every note has it's own string...even w/ this nut.
Old 9th August 2005
  #46
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
I personally know and frequent three HIGHLY competent guitar techs that make a decent buck from deinstalling compenstated tuning systems. And these are guys within a 20 minute drive...I'm not TOUCHING the NYC guitar techs.

Most of the tuning "systems" rely on relocating the nut and some intonation wizardry.

Think about it for a minute...

As soon as you fret a note...does the nut to bridge distance REALLY matter?

Nope.

Truthfully, the best you can do with ANY tempered system and yes, the 12 notes in the western scale ARE tempered...is to adjust the intonation so that you have an equal balance of falt to sharp. Meaning, if the note 'C' at the 3rd fret (on the A string) is 4 cents sharp, make it 4 cents flat an octave up at the 15th fret.
Old 9th August 2005
  #47
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Gregg Sartiano's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Kahrs
As soon as you fret a note...does the nut to bridge distance REALLY matter?
Yes, of course it matters. You tuned to the open (bridge to nut) string, and then you fretted it, which stops it at an in between point, with the proportionate distances (hopefully) providing a meaningful and accurate relationship within the tuning system -- i.e.: 12th fret isn't a 'certain distance' from the bridge so much as it is a fractional length which divides the nut-to-bridge distance by 2 (this is oversimplified, of course).
Old 9th August 2005
  #48
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Kahrs
Think about it for a minute...

As soon as you fret a note...does the nut to bridge distance REALLY matter?

Nope.
Yes, very much so. The open strings tend to play flat, some strings more than others, some guitars more than others. This particular problem goes away when a capo is used. The reason why the open strings are an issue (even when the guitar is fretted) is that the guitar is generally tuned USING THE OPEN STRINGS. This results in the fretted notes playing sharp. Guitars are generally intonated USING THE OPEN STRINGS. Which further messes up the intonation of the fretted notes, as the notes at the 12th fret now play flat compared to the notes played the lower frets. So the intonation that the nut contributes is vital. Especially because it is generally wrong.
Old 9th August 2005
  #49
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Gregg Sartiano's Avatar
 

In addition, "just tuning" (i.e.: NOT EQUAL TEMPERAMENT) is very annoying to western ears used to, ummm, our common 12-tone system.

There are guitars made with interchangeable fingerboards to provide "just" tuning in different modes. I have heard rock music recorded like this. It sounds like s&*t. Trust me.

If you would like to experiment with a beat-less, naturally tuned chord, try this experiment. You'll go back to equal temperament SOOOOOOO fast:

Let's use "harmonic series" for tuning: you know, 12th fret (2:1) = octave, 7th fret (1:3) = oct+5th, 5th fret (1:4) = 2 oct, and there's a 2 oct + 3rd around 4th fret. Somewhere just shy of 3rd fret is a 2 oct + 7th which is somewhat flat from our 12 tone system
______

O.K., so we'll tune an A DOMINANT SEVENTH to HARMONIC SERIES on the A string:

(You know: X 0 2 0 2 0)
E A D G B E
Open A string

E (2nd fret D string) tune to 7th fret harmonic (A)

Open G string tune to the 2 oct + 7 harmonic (closer to 3rd fret than 2nd) (A)

C# (2nd fret B string) tune to the 4th fret harmonic (A)

Open E string again tune to 7th fret harmonic (A)

_______

Try it. You probably won't like it, and your friends will hate it. But if you do it right, the chord will virtually lack dissonance. VERY strange...
Old 9th August 2005
  #50
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doorknocker's Avatar
I checked the Wikipedia link provided by theBlue1 above and found a further link on the site:

A beginner's guide to temperament

Great info and a nice read. Check it out, it really clears up a lot of mystery about tuning and its history.

A most interesting point is the loss of 'key colors' that happens with our modern 'equal-tempered' system. Note the difference to the 'well-tempered' system as used by Bach that gave him the ability to 'color' the modulations.

The equal-tempered system gave us the freedom to play in all keys but since the 'individualism/color' of the keys was leveled out the question remains why exactly we need to be able to play in all keys?
Bach using modulations to 'odd' keys to create tension by using the 'built-in' dissonances of the latter is a most interesting subject brought up in the great essay above.


Getting back on the guitar subject at hand, don't forget that the fretted guitar is only ONE kind of guitar among many.

I've been really getting into lap slide playing lately and part of the beauty (and the difficulty) of it is the freedom from the absoluteness of the fret. But really, even a vibrato bar and more recent inventions like the whammy pedal are steps into the vast landscape of microtonalism.

I guess the future of Western music lies there and I also guess that the days of the 'equal-tempered' system are numbered.

Modern technique might lead the way back to the purity of true tuning system, I guess keyboards could really profit in that way.

Andi

www.doorknocker.ch
Old 9th August 2005
  #51
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark107
Guitars are generally intonated USING THE OPEN STRINGS. Which further messes up the intonation of the fretted notes, as the notes at the 12th fret now play flat compared to the notes played the lower frets. So the intonation that the nut contributes is vital. Especially because it is generally wrong.
I learned how to set intonation by balancing the open strings vs. 12th fret opne harmonics vs. fretting a note at the 12th fret.

If it done well, the guitar is tempered to it's self and will play pretty much in-tune. At least it'll be in-tune enough for rock & roll...Let's not forget how out of tune Hendrix or Van Halen or any of those cats were/are. Not only that, but I've seen and heard MANY players that put so much force on the fretted notes and chords that they're pulling them out of tune while they play.

BTW, PRS guitars have a compensated nut. Measure it out, it's closer to the bridge on one side!!!
Old 9th August 2005
  #52
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Kahrs
I learned how to set intonation by balancing the open strings vs. 12th fret opne harmonics vs. fretting a note at the 12th fret.

If it done well, the guitar is tempered to it's self and will play pretty much in-tune.

"Pretty much" is the operative term here. For some people, it's clearly not good emough. Setting intonation using open strings will likely yield errors, as the open strings are flat, and some more than others. All of this is very easy to see with a strobe tuner. It would be better to set intoation with the 1st fret and 13th fret, thereby removing the open strings from the equation, but of course you still have this lingering problem. But like I said, playing with a strobe tuner for five minutes will quickly end a lifetime of misconceptions. When you see frets 1-5 more or less read the same, but the open string read flat, you can never go back to believeing that your guitar intonation is "okay".
Old 9th August 2005
  #53
Well all I can say is my Gold Top is about the most hard to tune guitar I own regardless of how well intonated and set up it is. An open G major and first position F major is night and day. I can't tune the G in such a way as to make the F sound good and I bend the F into place when I can but it does not always work out so well.

Something that would help with this situation would be great and I am willing to try anything at this point.

Others have covered this but.... to Blue1

You said
Quote:
No intonation system that uses fixed pitches can offer true intervals in more than one key.
Well the Feiten and Earvana systems are not really solving an issue with tempered tuning, they are just trying to get you there. Yes I see your point and this is something that has been a problem for composers and players since before Bach but that is not what we are talking about here.

If I bar the first fret of all 6 strings then the nut does not make a difference (it still does make a difference in tone but not in pitch). If I tuned the guitar using 5th tuning from the open strings and the adjacent 5th fret or if I use the 5th harmonic the nut does come into play.

Basically the Feiten system is just helping to adjust the open string tuning. The rest is up to your bridge intonation and your neck / fret condition. The Feiten and Earvana systems are just trying to get you as close to true even tempered as you can, flawed as even tempered may be (a well tuned Piano in even temper is fine by my ears but....).

If you have a good starting point the rest of the guitar should be in tune and the systems above help you to get a good starting point.
Old 9th August 2005
  #54
Oh and in my experience Mark is dead on Jay, sorry. I guess we agree to disagree.

Old 9th August 2005
  #55
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doorknocker's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by not_so_new
Well all I can say is my Gold Top is about the most hard to tune guitar I own regardless of how well intonated and set up it is. An open G major and first position F major is night and day. I can't tune the G in such a way as to make the F sound good and I bend the F into place when I can but it does not always work out so well.
It might be something else and it brings up a point that didn't seem to get mention here: The overtone character of the guitar itself.

Any note on any instrument will produce overtones that follow nature's harmonic series i.e that are definitely non-tempered. Depending on the character of the instrument in its totalness (body/neck/strings/etc) some guitars will provide MUCH more pleasant harmonics than others. But often it's also a matter of 'burn-in' and I'm a big believer in the theory that it really matters HOW you play an instrument that ultimately defines its character.

If you think about it, any single note you play is really a chord in disguise. Using distortion/compression/etc can really bring that out. Naturally the ear will in most cases still focus on the root and therefore be able to 'define' the pitch but the note WILL include harmonics that aren't ruled by 'equal-temperedness', no matter how many modifications you perform to the instrument itself.

I bought a '59 Gibson LG-2 acoustic a few months ago. A fantastic little axe I must say and it's amazing to me how I suddendly discover and rely much more on involved chords mainly because the guitar has such an amazing hi-end and very pleasant harmonics.

It's also interesting how certain guitars seem to always stay in tune while others are very prone to changes. And, given a decent instrument, it's NOT just a matter of the tuner mechanics.

And if it's really so horrible listening to a 'uncompensated' guitar how a lot of folks here are saying it is, then what about a lot of the 'classical' instruments like cello, woodwinds,etc who sport their own pecularities and 'wolf' tones?

Part of the beauty of music is the different character of the instruments/voices and
the effect it has on the corresponding means of expression.

Anyway, if the Feiten system helps with tuning the open strings, great! But don't forget that it's only a small part of the game and praising this system as a magic 'solution' to a problem that can't be solved but merely interpreted is just a joke.

Andi

www.doorknocker.ch
Old 9th August 2005
  #56
Quote:
Originally Posted by doorknocker
It might be something else and it brings up a point that didn't seem to get mention here: The overtone character of the guitar itself.

Any note on any instrument will produce overtones that follow nature's harmonic series i.e that are definitely non-tempered. Depending on the character of the instrument in its totalness (body/neck/strings/etc) some guitars will provide MUCH more pleasant harmonics than others. But often it's also a matter of 'burn-in' and I'm a big believer in the theory that it really matters HOW you play an instrument that ultimately defines its character.
No this is not an "overtone" issue it is distinctly a tuning issue. As I said I can bend the F into pitch if I compensate on the open tuning with the G cord. This is a pain in the ass and frankly is not possible with quick cord pergressions.

Also this is an early 70's Gold Top in A - or better shape. Not sure were you are going with the "burn in" argument but no matter how the guitar is set up it still has this nagging issue, neck is good, frets need changed now but it was the same when they were new.

I also believe in the HOW of playing the guitar. Not trying to be a cocky bastard (honest) but I have been playing for 25 years and I might not be the best guitarest on the planet but I am most difinatly better than most. I have been playing and living with this strangness in this Gold Top for going on 10 years, I deal with the tuning weirdness because the damn thing just sounds soooo good.

Quote:
If you think about it, any single note you play is really a chord in disguise. Using distortion/compression/etc can really bring that out. Naturally the ear will in most cases still focus on the root and therefore be able to 'define' the pitch but the note WILL include harmonics that aren't ruled by 'equal-temperedness', no matter how many modifications you perform to the instrument itself.
I just don't see how I can say it any better, THIS IS NOT AN ISSUE OF equal-temper!!! This is an issue of the open strings of the guitar and their relative pitch to the fretted strings around them.

Even tempered tuning is part of the point but that is not the thing in question. You tune to open strings, most people do anyway so you need to start with open strings in tune that will stay even tempered when fretted. Even if you start by tuning to the first fret (which would be better for the rest of the voicing on the neck) the open strings are still going to be out, either way you are loosing even temper on some part of the instrument.

I will say it again....

Quote:
Basically the Feiten system is just helping to adjust the open string tuning. The rest is up to your bridge intonation and your neck / fret condition. The Feiten and Earvana systems are just trying to get you as close to true even tempered as you can, flawed as even tempered may be (a well tuned Piano in even temper is fine by my ears but....).
I have very good relitive pitch and you can not convince me that what I am hearing is an overtone issue with my Les Paul (or my Stat but that is another kettle of fish) or that this is a problem with even tempered intonation. It is not!!

Quote:
I bought a '59 Gibson LG-2 acoustic a few months ago. A fantastic little axe I must say and it's amazing to me how I suddendly discover and rely much more on involved chords mainly because the guitar has such an amazing hi-end and very pleasant harmonics.

It's also interesting how certain guitars seem to always stay in tune while others are very prone to changes. And, given a decent instrument, it's NOT just a matter of the tuner mechanics.
Sure thing, it is a matter of the neck condition, fret wear, how the neck is joined to the body, how the bridge is intonated, how the strings pass over the saddles and the nut on the way to the tuners how straight the neck is etc.

BUT

None of that makes something like quality open string tuning irrelevant does it?? Of course it does not. If the neck to body joint is cracked the way the strings pass over the nut still matters because these two things are related. All the elements of the guitar go into the whole instrument and can not be separated. Something like the Earvana system is just an extension of that, the other things still play a part but this is one more thing in the list of "things" that go into how a guitar is tuned.

Quote:
And if it's really so horrible listening to a 'uncompensated' guitar how a lot of folks here are saying it is, then what about a lot of the 'classical' instruments like cello, woodwinds,etc who sport their own pecularities and 'wolf' tones?

Part of the beauty of music is the different character of the instruments/voices and
the effect it has on the corresponding means of expression.

Anyway, if the Feiten system helps with tuning the open strings, great! But don't forget that it's only a small part of the game and praising this system as a magic 'solution' to a problem that can't be solved but merely interpreted is just a joke.
First off I don't have a Feiten or Earvana system so I don't know if they help but I am not so jaded as to think everything under the sun is a scam. A Liquid Channel may be junk but it is not junk because it is new, it is junk because it does not work i.e. produce a quality sound. Also just because the Liquid Channel is new and is junk does not mean that the Portico is junk as well because it is new.

That said I do not believe anyone is saying that this is a "magic solution" at all, were did you get that?? I will repeat that these systems in question are not trying to "fix" any fundamental flaws in even tempered tunings, these are just tools to help get you closer to being truly in tune in even temper. That is a HUGE difference.
Old 9th August 2005
  #57
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doorknocker's Avatar
Wow, I seem to get some tense replies today!

not_so_new,

I wasn't questioning your skills or hearing and BTW you also quoted text that wasn't my doing. Anyway, I just tried to bring up something that I thought is vastly overlooked in this whole disussion.

I'm sorry if your Les Paul behaves like this but how could you live with this for so long?

Personally I never had any issues with open strings and I do use 'em a lot.
I wonder whether it's a case of player's being 'made aware' of a problem they never thought about before, well at least before the 'solution' in question came unto the market.

What I don't like about the whole thing is the 'you were all out of tune before' hype. There are no quick and easy solutions, anybody remember Floyd Rose tremolos? You solved a problem by bringing on a new one, and a much bigger one at that.

I take a bow and I am out of here.

Andi

www.doorknocker.ch
Old 9th August 2005
  #58
Quote:
Originally Posted by not_so_new
Well all I can say is my Gold Top is about the most hard to tune guitar I own regardless of how well intonated and set up it is. An open G major and first position F major is night and day. I can't tune the G in such a way as to make the F sound good and I bend the F into place when I can but it does not always work out so well.

Something that would help with this situation would be great and I am willing to try anything at this point.

Others have covered this but.... to Blue1

You said

Well the Feiten and Earvana systems are not really solving an issue with tempered tuning, they are just trying to get you there. Yes I see your point and this is something that has been a problem for composers and players since before Bach but that is not what we are talking about here.

If I bar the first fret of all 6 strings then the nut does not make a difference (it still does make a difference in tone but not in pitch). If I tuned the guitar using 5th tuning from the open strings and the adjacent 5th fret or if I use the 5th harmonic the nut does come into play.

Basically the Feiten system is just helping to adjust the open string tuning. The rest is up to your bridge intonation and your neck / fret condition. The Feiten and Earvana systems are just trying to get you as close to true even tempered as you can, flawed as even tempered may be (a well tuned Piano in even temper is fine by my ears but....).

If you have a good starting point the rest of the guitar should be in tune and the systems above help you to get a good starting point.

I should have stipulated that I was not commenting directly on either the alternative guitar intonation systems here.

I'm fairly open (and have been for some time) to the idea that they may, indeed, have practical benefits. When I first read about the Feiten system on their website a number of years ago, however, there were a number of, shall we say, inaccurate statements about temperament, which I'd been reading up on at the time. That has perhaps shaded my overall skepticism. But I always assumed that, theory aside, there might well be improvements that could be made to the basic guitar nut/fret/bridge system. I'm certainly no luthier.

Anyhow, sorry if my stridency was annoying. I think I've just been in an annoying mood, lately. Heaven knows, I've been annoying myself.

heh
Old 9th August 2005
  #59
Quote:
Originally Posted by doorknocker
Wow, I seem to get some tense replies today!
Nope not tense, sorry if it comes out that way.



Quote:

not_so_new,

I wasn't questioning your skills or hearing and BTW you also quoted text that wasn't my doing. Anyway, I just tried to bring up something that I thought is vastly overlooked in this whole disussion.

I'm sorry if your Les Paul behaves like this but how could you live with this for so long?
heh As I said it sounds sooooooo good with a Marshall Plexi or my Reverbarocket that I just can't part with it. In fairness I hear the same thing on all Les Pauls to some degree, my ears are pretty tuned to bad tuning.

Quote:
Personally I never had any issues with open strings and I do use 'em a lot.
But I bet that you tune your guitar with open strings and that is where it all starts right?? THAT is the point here, we tune off the open strings and if they are not exact then tuning issues will show up on fretted notes. You can tune off the first fret is you wish but then the open strings wil be out.

Quote:
I wonder whether it's a case of player's being 'made aware' of a problem they never thought about before, well at least before the 'solution' in question came unto the market.
Well as a Jimi Hendrix fan I have been hearing out of tune guitars since I was a pup, that does not mean they make me happy. I LOVE all the old out of tune blues and rock players but the out of tune part did not make it better it was something that I live with as part of the vibe.

Quote:
What I don't like about the whole thing is the 'you were all out of tune before' hype.
But what if we were?? Again just because it is not a big issue with VH and Page does not mean we have to live with things as they are even if the solution is only helping 5% it is still a solution.

Quote:
There are no quick and easy solutions, anybody remember Floyd Rose tremolos? You solved a problem by bringing on a new one, and a much bigger one at that.
Sure there are quick easy solutions. I used to use the graphite off the end of a pencil to help my G and B string on my early 70's Strat from getting hung up on the nut when using the tremolo. I switched to a quality cable and instantly got better tone out of all my amps. I started using 9 volt batteries instead of wall warts for my effects and my tone got better. I learned how to back down the gain and the reverb on my amps and I could hear myself play.

There are plenty of quick and easy solutions that work, there are many that do not the goal is to find the ones that do work and toss out the ones that don't.
Old 9th August 2005
  #60
Gear Maniac
 

Les Pauls are among the harder guitars to get in tune (REALLY in tune) because of the shorter scale length (hence looser strings - less tension), as well as the highly angled headstock. The angled headstock puts a lot on downward pressure on the nut, making tuning a moving target. For example, you bend a string, and the string slides over the nut as it is "pulled". Because of the excessive downward pressue, the string usually doesn't slide all the way back. Simple physics of friction. Now you are flat. A non-friction nut helps greatly with this, but is not supplied stock from Gibson. Now none of this has anything to do with our discussion about how nut PLACEMENT effects guitar intonation. But Les Pauls by design are further afflicted with issues that, though not unique to that design, but present nonetheless. The fact that LP players tend to use light-to-extra-light strings only makes matter worse. Of course a lot of LP players are rock guys, who often don't need very exacting intonation, but if you are on of those who do, owning an LP is not an easy path to intonation bliss.
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