Bradley Gavel

New Member
Jun 14, 2021
Hello all, I've got a gorgeous blue Zach Myers 2020 SE. Love it to bits but I'm having some trouble.

I've gone through the TRAIN setup method, set the relief to .006, did the action, all that went off just fine. I noticed the 9-13th fret of each string buzzes a little bit but I'll get to that in just a second. G string always fretted sharp even with the saddle block all the way back, I didn't know about the counter-sunk allen screws in the adjustable bridge until very lately so on this most recent string change I figured I'd move the bridge back and get that G string closer to proper intonation (I know it will never be absolutely perfect, but it was fretting way, way sharp so I only wanted it to be closer at least).

So on this setup I've taken note that every string frets sharp. At this point, I'm not overly surprised since I moved all the blocks to the center to reset everything and do it from scratch this time i.e. get the bridge close as possible with the set screws, then fine-tune with saddle blocks. After moving the allen screws back and forth a little bit at a time (I was mostly curious to see what would happen as I've never done it before), there was no change either way, the 12th fret only fretted sharp. Btw I tune intonation to the natural harmonic to get a more consistent note. Then I moved the screws quite drastically and the same thing, no change in the fretted notes. I'm nowhere near a guitar tech or any sort of pro at this but I admit I'm rather confused. Given the notes are always sharp I assumed moving the screws counter-clockwise would lengthen the string making it a flatter note?

I did not loosen the strings to adjust the allen screws on the bridge so maybe that's it?
I'm a little afraid to mess with it a whole lot more as I don't want it to reach a point where I can't really fix it myself

Near as I can tell I'm doing everything mostly right? My guess is there's a high fret near the 12th, or the nut slots are too high specifically on the G string, or maybe the relief of the neck isn't quite where it should be so the strings are travelling too far down and bending sharp?

I'm essentially asking what you people much more experienced than I think is the most likely thing going on. Perhaps tomorrow I'll try again and notice something with fresh eyes but I've been at it for the last few hours and I'm kind of doubting myself and a bit overwhelmed to be quite honest
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You need to use fretted notes for the intonation. The harmonics are not a good way to do it because the half way point on the string is always going to be the half way point and the harmonic will be good. However, if you fret the note at the 12th fret, you are no checking a contact point on the string. The bridge you have can be a little bit of a PITA to adjust because it has two adjustment types to it.

Here is how I would approach it. Set the saddles in the middle again. Use the two screws on the side of the bridge to get both E strings intonated. Use fretted notes to do that. There are a bunch of theories as to which ones to use. The standard way of doing it is to use the 12th fret. You could also use the 7th and 15th frets. You have to make sure you are not applying more pressure to the string than you would when playing. Also, check them in playing position. Once you have the E strings intonated, adjust the other 4. You shouldn't have to to all the way in either direction to get them intonated. If you do, the bridge is not in the right place. You could also measure from the nut to get the bridge in the general area before you start adjusting things.
Ah right on, I never thought of just doing the low and high E strings first, I'll give that a try. I should have mentioned I knew about fretting the notes in different places in playing position with my general area of playing pressure, but thanks for the reminder cause it's easy to forget things like that when you're a bit flustered haha
You may also need to check the proper depths at the nut, if you haven’t already during the set up. May require some filing?
I also assume your radius is set properly at the bridge?
I think you need to use the adjustment screws to back off the studs some. Then intonate again with the individual saddles. What's your action level? I find with the ZM I couldn't go too crazy low or it would buzz.
If using brand new strings, make sure they're fully stretched in before adjusting intonation.