Bought a vintage guitar but intonation is really bad

Discussion in 'Other Guitars' started by ILIKEPUNKROCK93, Mar 21, 2020.

  1. ILIKEPUNKROCK93

    ILIKEPUNKROCK93 Squier Talker

    Age:
    18
    12
    Mar 8, 2020
    Bradford
    Today I bought a beautiful 70s audition guitar with a refinish. I got home tuned it up and went for an E chord but noticed everything was out of tune so then I had a look at the tuning but it was fine. All the frets make the strings sound out of tune when in fact the tuning is fine. Please help. I did buy it for 75 quid though.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Squier-holic

    Edited after noticing the zero-fret... see below.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2020
    mb doug and ILIKEPUNKROCK93 like this.
  3. mwmeci

    mwmeci Squier-Meister

    359
    Jun 28, 2015
    Minneapolis
  4. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Squier-holic

    Eek... I didn't look at the bridge until your post! But still, if an open E chord is out of tune, that particular problem might not be because of the bridge. Multiple problems likely.
     
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  5. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Squier-holic

    Looking again, I see you have a zero-fret. If the nut is keeping the strings off that fret, and in the photo it looks like it is, it's going to cause a huge tuning problem. The nut should maintain the string spacing, but not lift the strings off that fret.
     
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  6. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Squier-Nut

    Age:
    60
    982
    Jan 19, 2018
    GA USA
    Exactly. This was a significant problem with my Mosrite JR style kit build. I had to cut the nut slots a lot lower to get it to intonate properly.
     
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  7. radiotech

    radiotech Dr. Squier

    Apr 23, 2014
    Chicago
    Umm....

    The threaded rod should have sleeves over it that serve as the saddles for the strings, like this:
    DDF3F13B-B117-4B8F-B2D4-D2CA68D315B8.jpeg

    even if it had those saddles, it’s a challenge to Intonate. Much like an acoustic, you have to tweak A combination of relief, and bridge height to get it as close as you can, since the saddle position cannot be adjusted forward or back.

    concerning the zero fret, if you put a capo above the zero Fret (might be a challenge, it’s pretty tight), that eliminates any issues with it.

    there are some other types of bridges these guitars used, but they also did not have adjustable saddles. 9C16F946-FA13-4F84-823F-441EAAB77665.jpeg

    your best bet is to measure the post distance, and the height of the strings, and see if you can find a way to Tune-O-Matic style bridge that will fit.
     
  8. Oldguitarguy

    Oldguitarguy Squier-Nut

    650
    Mar 2, 2019
    Nj
    Wow. Interesting. You learn something new everyday - particularly on ST. Never knew about “zero frets”. Is there any advantage or reason for the zero fret design?
     
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  9. Angry Possum

    Angry Possum Squier-Nut

    Age:
    57
    951
    Oct 30, 2019
    Squier Town NY
    You can also reverse the saddles u currently have now. I would try that first. I had to do that with my 76 Greco LP Copy. Just Unscrew the intonation screw along with the spring and reverse the saddles that are out of intonation.
     
    mb doug likes this.
  10. radiotech

    radiotech Dr. Squier

    Apr 23, 2014
    Chicago
    Take a look at the picture... there are NO saddles on the bridge.
     
  11. Angry Possum

    Angry Possum Squier-Nut

    Age:
    57
    951
    Oct 30, 2019
    Squier Town NY
    Yes I see it now. My bad. Thanks, I didn't have my bifocals on.
     
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  12. Marko60

    Marko60 Squier-Nut

    606
    Oct 4, 2012
    England
    I remember these Audition guitars, in the UK they were only available from Woolworth's, around 74-75 they were about 25 quid. The pick up were from Silvertone, Robert Smith from the Cure recorded half of their first album with a Woolies special until his label took him shopping for a 'Real' guitar, he came away with a 64 Jazzmaster, he had one of the Silvertone pups fitted to the Jazzmaster as a homage, he still has the Audition to this day. They make really good tennis racquets
     
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  13. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Squier-holic

    The advantage is that you don't have to accurately cut a nut. If the strings lie against the zero fret, the height is theoretically perfect... just like when you finger a fret. The disadvantages are things like the strings moving around on the zero fret when you bend a note near it, and not ending up with ideal spacing all the time. Also, because of that the zero fret wears (assuming you bend notes near it), and it doesn't take much to have the strings too low. I have a zero fret guitar that I recently refretted with stainless, so the wear problem will be greatly reduced, but the strings still move around a little.
     
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  14. ILIKEPUNKROCK93

    ILIKEPUNKROCK93 Squier Talker

    Age:
    18
    12
    Mar 8, 2020
    Bradford
    So what should I do buy a new tremolo and bridge and a nut or?
     
  15. Lonn

    Lonn Squier-holic

    Age:
    57
    Dec 19, 2009
    Carmel IN
    Take up tennis.
     
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  16. ILIKEPUNKROCK93

    ILIKEPUNKROCK93 Squier Talker

    Age:
    18
    12
    Mar 8, 2020
    Bradford
    Does anyone have a link for something that might work
     
  17. Marko60

    Marko60 Squier-Nut

    606
    Oct 4, 2012
    England
    Heres Robert Smith with the Jazzmaster I mentioned, note the Audition pick up Screenshot_20200321-153417_Google.jpg
     
  18. radiotech

    radiotech Dr. Squier

    Apr 23, 2014
    Chicago
    The vibrato BAR should be fine. The bridge is the issue, and all the “drop-in” replacements you can find online that are made for it, will have problems getting good intonation as well (tho’ they will be better than the one you have now that is missing the saddles).

    as I mentioned before, you need to measure the width of the bridge, the spacing, and size of the holes, and the overall height of the bridge mounting studs. Then look for a Replacement bridge that matches those dimensions as closely as possible. if you can get it over the studs, and get the height right you’ll have intonatable bridge.

    Or you can like the thousands of other people who have had these guitars, and lived with it.
     
  19. ILIKEPUNKROCK93

    ILIKEPUNKROCK93 Squier Talker

    Age:
    18
    12
    Mar 8, 2020
    Bradford
    When I play an e it sounds realllyyyyout of tune like as if you put the stings 7 cents higher
     
  20. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Squier-holic

    Start with the zero fret and make sure the strings are firmly against it. Are they? If not, the nut slots need to be cut deeper or the bottom of the nut sanded so the strings do sit firmly against the zero fret.
     
    so1om likes this.
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