Intonation problem

Mr Pringles

PRS Custom 24 Owner
Jul 4, 2012

I'm having an intonation problem on my PRS Custom 24: open strings and 12th frets are in tune and other are from slightly to a half semi tone out of tune. I'm using the stock gauge ie 9.5-44. I don't recall having intonation problems when I bought it. What can I do to fix this?

I can recommend this book for you.
Its time you start learning something about guitars :).For me living in Sweden i have to do a setup at least twice a year and checking intonation is something you should check everytime you change strings basically.I check intonation perhaps four time a year.When you start learning something about guitar you will realise PRS isnt some kind of magical thing you never have to work on since the day you buy it.It´s a guitar just like all the other guitars out there and it needs to be nursed by the owner or a repair guy.And dont forget to buy a good tuner for setting the intonation.I can recommend a Peterson stroboflip.
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Pretty much the same here... Usually at the start of winter and the start of summer.

If you never setup your instrument on a reasonably regular basis then it will go out of whack eventually. Doesn't matter who made it or how much it cost - it needs occasional maintenance.

You can, of course, pay for a good tech to sort it but the truth is it isn't hard to do yourself, and you can guarantee that it's the way you want it everytime and not the way someone else thinks it should be.

Some good info here:

Swede mentions a good tuner. I've got a Korg Pitchblack that's good enough to do setups, though strobe tuner like the Peterson will be even more accurate.

As well as setting the intonation it's worth checking other things such as your neck relief. How are your frets looking? The nut? Etc..

Plenty guides on how to set the intonation on the web and plenty vids on Y'tube.

May be worth taking it to a tech for the first major setup and let him have a good look at it....? Maybe he / she will give you a few pointers along the way.

But anyhoo... It really is worth learning to do setups yourself. You'll save money in the longrun and the guitar will always play the way you like it.
Thanks guys, I just watched a video on youtube of a PRS tech setting up intonation and he didn't do more than what I did: i.e. moving the saddles forward or backward to get the open string and the 12th fret in tune. I didn't know setting up intonation was just doing that. So yes Swede, I know how to set up the intonation ;) I'll still check out the book you recommend, it can't hurt.

But, the thing is, like I mentionned in the 1st post, my open strings and 12th are in tune but other frets aren't (like the 2nd, 3rd...) and they go from slightly out of tune to a half semi tone out of tune. I'm scratching my head.
50 cents is a fair whack to be out of tune...

So you believe you intonation is perfect - or as close as you can possibly get - at the 12th fret?

As I said in my post above, there's more to it than just setting intonation.

How is you neck relief? Press the low E down at the 1st fret (Or use a capo) and the last fret in the playing position. There should be a tiny gap around the 8th fret or so. About the width of a B string (As a crude example).

How is your nut looking?

Are your frets looking particualarly worn or any other issues with them?

How high is your action at the 12th fret?

Do you tune to anything other than standard?

Have you go a heavy touch?
Sounds you have the worst PRS ever built Mr Pringles:)Personally im amazed how well in-tune a PRS guitar is.Being so much out of tune at the 2nd and 3rd fret sounds like a nut too high but that i can guarantee you is nothing you will see on a PRS guitar.Check this vid....
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Any chance you're pressing too hard? If you press the string just enough to sound the note, do you still have the same issue?

Yup. If your action is a little on the high side and you've got a heavy touch and pressing the string down to hard behind the fret you're going to wind up with a note that's sharp. If your intonation is out as well then that's going to make things worse.

So the 12th and open is in tune? Did you use a good quality tuner to check that?
Wow...saw the post from Mr Pringles and though it was mine. I am Jimmy Pringle in Texas and just purchased a 2009 Hollowbody ll . The G string especially is fretting sharp on the 2nd fret and gradually improves as I move down the neck. open and 12 th fret intonation is perfect. The nut height seems appropriate. I love the guitar but cant stand even the slightest intonation problems. My Martin 00028 tunes better. Very discouraged

How can I fix this? Using EXL115, 10-49 strings. I understand the factory sets up with 11's and wound 3rd so this should be fine.

Any ideas on how to remedy this? Thank you!!!
Hi everyone
I have bought a PRS SE Santana week ago and in all honesty it is the worst guitar I ever had. Ever!!!
No way to stay in tune for more than 2 chords or very small phrase. And the intonation it's totally so so bad.
Open strings and 12th fret ( harmonic and fretted) are in tune perfectly but once I play the first chord the sound is horrible: all out of tune. Specially first 3 frets and so on. New Graphite nut, new locking tuning machines, new saddles but till now no improvement! This guitar is wasted money
Hi Egads. No I am not Paul sorry. My name is Pino and I'm an Italian guitar player.
Hi Pino. Sorry you are having issues. Did you come here for help, or just to talk trash? If you are looking for help, this is a really friendly, active group of people (on a PRS site) that would be happy to help you troubleshoot your issues.

If you are just here to say things suck, thanks for stopping by, and good luck.
Be nice to Pino. It doesn't sound like trash talk, he just sounds frustrated. I have a similar problem with my PRS guitars. I haven't yet had a pro look at it.
Hi everybody.
Absolutely I didn't mean to be rude to anyone. I feel just i have no room left to move. I have tried all the available possibility without any improvement. I also block the tremolo from the back to check if the issue was it but intonation problem still on. Less than before but still. I had a couple of nut from American PRS and I swapped with the stock one. Nothing. As soon as I start playing it is going out completely. And at the first 3 frets totally out. If you have any suggestion I will appreciate and I will be so grateful. Again sorry if I gave you the feeling to talk rude. Regards
Hi Pino, welcome to the forum.

Is yours a new instrument?

If yes I would talk to the shop where you bought it, if they’re open at the moment.

If bought used, other than the nut change and blocking the tremolo, what other things have you tried?

A guitar that doesn’t intonate, needs adjustment. Photos of your guitar would help us help you. Especially close ups of the bridge and nut.