Frustrating Intonation Issues On New 594

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by Geoff B, Mar 27, 2020.

  1. Geoff B

    Geoff B New Member

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    I am running into a bizarre situation trying to get my new 594 to intonate. With the low E and A string saddles all the way back, the fretted 12th note is still sharper than the harmonic or open string. I am using the flat/forward, sharp/back technique.

    Am I nuts? Is there something I am not getting here? Is it possible that PRS made a guitar that I cannot intonate?

    Any help or insight would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Tucson Thump

    Tucson Thump Mint Heavy Relic

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    Never had the issue on the three I have. Stock strings I assume. Are the D>E saddles positions relative to where you would expect them and the E+A comparatively off from those? Truss rod setting correct?
     
  3. shallbe

    shallbe New Member

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    When you received it with the original strings, was it intonated then? I have had a string brand (DR Blues, which I no longer use) be the culprit---where some strings in some packs simply would not intonate.
     
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  4. garrett

    garrett knows just enough to be dangerous

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    If you take a look at mine, you'll see the E and A saddles are moved quite far forward. Came from the factory this way. I haven't touched them at all and have no complaints about the intonation. I've noticed others like mine, while others have the typical stair step look.

    Could be the particular strings. I've heard that sometimes a string won't intonate. What gauges are you using?

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Geoff B

    Geoff B New Member

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    I just replaced the stock strings with a set of Stringjoy 10-48, stretched them out well, and the problem persists.

    The neck has some relief, not flat. I am not sure if that would change anything to flatten it up some.

    When I got it, the saddles were set to the typical stairstep positions.
     
  6. Geoff B

    Geoff B New Member

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    No, the intonation was off from the beginning.
     
  7. dcm_guitar

    dcm_guitar New Member

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    While every factory produces a "clunker" sometimes, I'd be very surprised if your guitar was one of them. It does happen, but the attention to detail prior to leaving the factory at PRS is pretty stunning. Additionally, the care taken to shape, fret and attach the neck is bordering on the obbsessive.

    Having the saddles all the way back strikes me as odd. Did it come from the dealer this way, or did you adjust these when you put on your new strings?

    Let's start from the obvious and see if that helps. I would NOT adjust the truss rod at this point.

    Are you dealing with the phase III locking tuners or the new vintage tuners?

    If these are the locking tuners, are you using the lock or are you wrapping the strings around the post? If you have the locking tuners, then don't wrap around the post and see if this helps.

    If these are the vintage tuners, how many wraps around the post are you using? Finding the right amount of slack to allow for two FULL turns around the post influences intonation stability on non-locking tuner guitars.

    Are you hearing any "pings" as you adjust the tuning. A slight filing of the nut or some graphite in the nut slots might be helpful.

    I know this is obvious and you may be rolling your eyes, but it's best to start at the beginning.


    PS Two other things to add:

    When you tune, are you tuning up to the correct pitch, or down to the correct pitch. I've found that always tuning up to the correct pitch improves intonation.

    Also, is this something you are actually hearing, or is it something you are seeing on your tuner (but not necessarily hearing as you play)? All guitars are intonated with a compromise. All of my guitars have a little give and take when played open, fretted at the 12th and playing the 12th fret harmonic. Just trying to figure out if this is a "I can't stand the way it sounds" thing or a "Why is my tuner showing something?" thing.
     
    #7 dcm_guitar, Mar 27, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2020
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  8. Rider1260

    Rider1260 New Member

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    Unlikely that your 594 will not intonate but not impossible.
    First thing I would do is run the saddle thru its complete travel checking the entire way , I have had some " magically " come into tune.
    The 594 I worked on took me a couple of tries to get the way I wanted , I think the frets are higher than I am used to and at first was fretting to hard with the 9s Brian wanted
    There is also the loosen everything and reseat that I have done to some Les Pauls or turning the bridge around or shaving a saddle in extreme cases.
    What kind of tuner are you using ? Different tuners give far different reading the only one I trust 100% is a Peterson , My TC electronics Polytune is a close second
     
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  9. Shawn@PRS

    Staff Member Moderator

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    Flatten out the neck first, then check your intonation. There is probably too much relief in the neck, so when you depress the string, the note goes sharp. Keep in mind, these frets are pretty tall, so if you're burying the string to the fretboard, the note will go sharp even if the neck relief is set properly.
     
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  10. Geoff B

    Geoff B New Member

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    The saddles came in the typical stairstep pattern with space on both the front and back on all the saddles - exactly what I expected to see. The intonation was off from the beginning. I adjusted the saddles on the stock strings and ran into the problem I'm describing. Then I just did replace the strings with Stringjoy 10's, did healthy stretching and the problem persists.

    I have Phase 3 locking tuners, and I use the lock as instructed on the PRS site. I do have some nut lube that I haven't used yet - I wanted to work with the saddles first since the intonation is so far off.
     
  11. Geoff B

    Geoff B New Member

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    Thanks for the suggestion on the saddles - I am using a Peterson StroboStomp.
     
  12. Alnus Rubra

    Alnus Rubra Loving nature’s wonders

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    Can you upload a photo of your current bridge set up please?
     
  13. Geoff B

    Geoff B New Member

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  14. Alnus Rubra

    Alnus Rubra Loving nature’s wonders

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    How out of tune are we talking?

    Your tuner looks to be pretty accurate.
     
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  15. Geoff B

    Geoff B New Member

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    Significantly out of tune.
     
  16. Alnus Rubra

    Alnus Rubra Loving nature’s wonders

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    Ok, are you the first owner and is it a recent purchase?
     
  17. Geoff B

    Geoff B New Member

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    Yes, brand new - 10 days old.
     
  18. Alnus Rubra

    Alnus Rubra Loving nature’s wonders

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    I would contact your dealer and see what you can organise.

    I know it isn’t a course of action that you probably want to take and they can assess it themselves.
     
  19. Geoff B

    Geoff B New Member

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    Yeah, it may go back to Sweetwater...
     
  20. Alnus Rubra

    Alnus Rubra Loving nature’s wonders

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    What I do notice from your photo, is that the bass side of your bridge appears to be quite a bit higher than the treble side.

    Is the action on the bass side quite a bit higher on the fretboard, if yes then I refer you to Shawn’s comment.
     
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