Bought a vintage guitar but intonation is really bad

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

  1. so1om

    so1om Squier-Axpert

    Feb 10, 2010
    Chicago now Sarasota
    This is the order. 1) you’re missing bridge pieces. You either need those or a new bridge. Got it? Check.

    2) you have a zero fret. The nut slots have to be deep enough that the strings are forced down on it, just like a bridge break angle. Got it? Check.

    3) the distance from the zero feet to the 12th fret and the distance from the 12th fret to the center of the bridge must nominally equal. Got it? Check.

    4) if the bridge is floating, it can be nudged and angled to get the intonation better. If you buy a Bigsby like @BorderRadio suggests, even better.

    But a zero fret and a roller bridge is no different than my 1967 Gretsch. That intonation is fine.
    drewcp and BorderRadio like this.
  2. Harold Finch

    Harold Finch Squier Talker

    Mar 22, 2020
    Sulligent, AL
  3. Harold Finch

    Harold Finch Squier Talker

    Mar 22, 2020
    Sulligent, AL
    Check to see if the neck is bowed which would shorten the distance between zero fret and the bridge.
    May check on an intonation adjustable bridge saddles that would replace the non adjustable fixed bridge on your guitar.
  4. Rodiebobw

    Rodiebobw Squier-Nut

    Jan 12, 2020
    Rockwall, Tx.
    This is some brain tornado voodoo here!
  5. Marko60

    Marko60 Squier-Nut

    Oct 4, 2012
    This guitar is like a drowning Adolf Hitler
  6. GustangMcstang

    GustangMcstang Squier Talker

    Nov 9, 2018
    London UK
    The 1st ever electric guitar I got may hands on back in the 70's was one of these.
    My auntie actually won it at the bingo! I remember just sitting and staring at it.
    It was exactly the same as this one.
    Just a shame that they're not very good guitars, you'll have to do a lot of work to get that thing to play in tune and sound decent.
    That being said, Ry Cooder regularly plays Teiscos (the brand name that these things had stuck on them in the USA) so they evidently have some merit.
    I really hope you get it working and it'd be fun to see/hear it when/if you do.
    One String Sam likes this.
  7. metalmerchant

    metalmerchant Squier Talker

    Mar 25, 2011
    cornwall UK
    Yeah, I'd like to know how it turns out. Funny seeing these guitars again. My first school band boasted a Jedson, an Audition, and my Kay. I was very happy to part with mine in favour of an Eros LP. Now this axe felt like luxury after the Woolworths ones!
    How times have can't really buy a bum starter guitar these days.
    Unless you fancy an Audition....
    daan likes this.
  8. JohnnyMac

    JohnnyMac Squier-Nut

    Mar 5, 2018
    Front range Colorado
    That is my guitar. It sure looks the same as the OPs but is called a G Holiday.

    The saddles on this one are adjustable but it's a pain when it's strung up. The action was too high and when I lowered the bridge to get proper string height I got buzz on open strings near the nut. A little neck shim took care of that it it plays pretty well now. I can't say that the pickups are very exciting though.

    Have we heard from the Op if the strings are making contact with the zero fret? If not it will be impossible to tune.

    Last edited: Mar 25, 2020
  9. daan

    daan Squier-holic

    Oct 21, 2013
    Twin Cities
    These guitars were all we had when they were new, so we either didn’t know better. Or we did but knew it would be a loooong time before we got something decent. The OP’s guitar isn’t a lost cause, it just needs some work to get it where it needs to be. (And it looks really nice, too)
    JohnnyMac likes this.
  10. radiotech

    radiotech Dr. Squier

    Apr 23, 2014
    Yea, I hope we didn’t scare him off..
  11. JohnnyMac

    JohnnyMac Squier-Nut

    Mar 5, 2018
    Front range Colorado
    Me too. They are kind of fun and funky with a little work.

    Here is mine finished. It took a bit of work but it really does play well now and was worth the effort. ;)

    Last edited: Mar 26, 2020
    metalmerchant and GustangMcstang like this.
  12. Idaho Red

    Idaho Red New Member

    Dec 27, 2009
    Have you tried using a capo on the 1st fret to see if it sounds any better? If it does then cutting the nut slots deeper will help if it doesn't Your issue is more with the bridge. I hate to say it but you may be better off hanging it on the wall and getting a different guitar. Then after a few years of experience tweaking with things and collecting a few parts, give it a shot
  13. metalmerchant

    metalmerchant Squier Talker

    Mar 25, 2011
    cornwall UK
    I just had a thought regarding the issue of the the strings on his Audition clearing the zero fret by a mile.
    He told us that the guitar had been refinished. Could it be possible that the previous owner also replaced the nut and just stuck the new blank on without first reducing its height?
    Because judging by the pic, the nut looks pretty pristine for a guitar getting on 40 plus years old.
    Ray Stankewitz likes this.
  14. metalmerchant

    metalmerchant Squier Talker

    Mar 25, 2011
    cornwall UK
    Interesting inlays.
  15. fuelish

    fuelish Squier-Nut

    I can intonate my '64 Harmony H15 (floating bridge) well enough … close enough for gov't work, and it is a riot to the refrigerator magnet DeArmond goldfoils upload_2020-3-27_10-59-34.png
    radiotech and GustangMcstang like this.
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