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low E on Gibson not playing proper pitch

22 Jul 06 - 08:44 PM (#1790269)
Subject: Tech: low E on Gibson not playing proper pitch
From: erinmaidin

my bottom E string (the low one...)when tuned to 440 goes noticably out of pitch when fretted....all other strings are fine...what do i do?!(would like to say f*cksake here but know it's not allowed)


22 Jul 06 - 08:48 PM (#1790271)
Subject: RE: Tech: low E on Gibson not playing proper pitch
From: GerryMc

intonation out perhaps. What type of Gibson do you have? If it's a leccy one you can easily adjust intonation. Acoustic? go to a good luthier.


22 Jul 06 - 08:48 PM (#1790272)
Subject: RE: Tech: low E on Gibson not playing proper pitch
From: Peace

440 is an A note.


22 Jul 06 - 08:49 PM (#1790273)
Subject: RE: Tech: low E on Gibson not playing proper pitch
From: Peace

I assume you are tuning down. If so, your string is relatively lax. When you fret it (put yer fingers on it), you may be applying more than enough pressure to make it raise in pitch.


22 Jul 06 - 09:52 PM (#1790326)
Subject: RE: low E on Gibson not playing proper pitch
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker

sell it for a better made chinese copy..

then spend the surplus cash on a good computer and recording software..


22 Jul 06 - 10:03 PM (#1790329)
Subject: RE: low E on Gibson not playing proper pitch
From: Little Hawk

It probably needs the intonation adjusted on the 6th string, at the saddle. A good luthier or guitar repair person can do that for you.

6th strings are often tricky that way on acoustic guitars. Sometimes the way you finger the chords is throwing the string sharp, because you're pressing it down too hard or too close to the fret. Capos often cause a 6th string to go sharp for the same reason...but I'd bet you still need an intonation adjustment anyway.


22 Jul 06 - 11:04 PM (#1790364)
Subject: RE: low E on Gibson not playing proper pitch
From: Bee-dubya-ell

Compromise. Don't tune the guitar so the E note is in tune. Tune it so that the G note at the third fret is in tune. If that leaves the open E noticeably off, "split the difference" so that one note is a tad sharp and the other a tad flat. If it still sounds like crap, take it to a luthier and have him install a compensated saddle.


22 Jul 06 - 11:06 PM (#1790365)
Subject: RE: low E on Gibson not playing proper pitch
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker

why spend big money buying Gibsons

if they are shit guitars !!????


22 Jul 06 - 11:41 PM (#1790378)
Subject: RE: low E on Gibson not playing proper pitch
From: Bee-dubya-ell

Who said anyone spent big money buing a Gibson? For all we know he may have inherited it from his grandfather.


23 Jul 06 - 12:51 AM (#1790406)
Subject: RE: low E on Gibson not playing proper pitch
From: GUEST

or she may have inherited it from her grandfather.


23 Jul 06 - 02:20 AM (#1790442)
Subject: RE: low E on Gibson not playing proper pitch
From: s&r

Small hand fingering - say - G will often pull the string sideways enough to sharpen the note. To check, look in a mirror. Get another player to try to see if it's the guitar or you. Put a new string on. Has it always had this problem?... More info would help. BTW I took it that you had tuned properly to E with a tuner calibrated to A=440

Stu


23 Jul 06 - 02:25 AM (#1790445)
Subject: RE: low E on Gibson not playing proper pitch
From: GUEST,Jon

Try a different E string.


23 Jul 06 - 02:27 AM (#1790446)
Subject: RE: low E on Gibson not playing proper pitch
From: GUEST,Jon

(a new one)


23 Jul 06 - 03:31 AM (#1790474)
Subject: RE: low E on Gibson not playing proper pitch
From: erinmaidin

From compiling all of the information given here (well most...I bought the guitar new...it being a centenary edition of the Gospel..partly because it was a Gibson, mostly because it sounded extremely well with my voice) I'm sensing it is an intonation problem.
It does happen all of the time, probably always has and maybe I'm just developing a keener ear than the one I had when I purchased?
It is exactly when fingering G that I notice it, ie.3 fret. Stu, thanks for pointing out the E tuned to a 440 calibrated A, for a brief moment in time I was feeling a bit like an eejit. B,dubya, I've been working with your suggestion of tuning it a bit off to begin with and compensating with the avoidance of ever playing it when it is open. I guess I knew it was an intonation problem but was wondering if it was something I could repair on my own. Luthier sounds like the way to go, there is a very good one here in Dublin.
Thanks everyone.


23 Jul 06 - 04:12 AM (#1790487)
Subject: RE: low E on Gibson not playing proper pitch
From: John MacKenzie

I had that problem with my Martin, and it was cured by having it set up by a luthier [Mark Challinor] in England. I sat and watched while he did it, and it was comparatively simple, though I'd never try it my self.
He lowered the saddle bit by bit till it gave me a nice close action, he reamed out the peg holes so that the pins fitted down nice and snug in them, and he checked the nut slots. These slots need to be wide enough for the string but not too wide, and they need to be at the correct angle, so that the string is in contact with the nut all the way along the slot, and not just at one end. The difference was amazing, and the improvement on the ability to hold down a chord without buzzing or distortion is much improved. Alltogether easier to play and to keep in tune.
Giok


23 Jul 06 - 07:03 AM (#1790558)
Subject: RE: low E on Gibson not playing proper pitch
From: GerryMc

Mark Challinor is a top luthier and top bloke too. We are lucky here in West Yorkshire as we also have Peter Barton, Adam Robinson and Jim Fleeting. All top notch craftsmen.

Hope you get yer Gibson sorted


23 Jul 06 - 07:25 AM (#1790568)
Subject: RE: low E on Gibson not playing proper pitch
From: Seaking

I can only support the suggestions to got to a good luthier. I had a similar problem with my HD28 a few months ago and asked for help in this forum. Someone suggested Trevor Durrant in Colchester and the luthier there ended up doing a great job on it.

As an aside I read with sadness that Trevor Durrant's guitar business was destroyed in a major fire at the Cowdray center in Colchester a couple of weeks ago. My best wishes go to everyone affected there and I sincerely hope the business will be able to recover.

Chris


23 Jul 06 - 08:34 AM (#1790603)
Subject: RE: low E on Gibson not playing proper pitch
From: John MacKenzie

This quote says that Chris lost £300,000 worth of guitars. Poor bloke, it must be devastating when something like that happens.
Giok


23 Jul 06 - 08:44 AM (#1790609)
Subject: RE: low E on Gibson not playing proper pitch
From: GerryMc

yikes, that's crappy.


23 Jul 06 - 10:36 AM (#1790674)
Subject: RE: low E on Gibson not playing proper pitch
From: GUEST,Mooh at the cottage

I encounter this problem regularly on guitars which visit my business. Assuming a new and undamaged string and decent action, usually it's the saddle needing a tweak for intonation's sake. Less often it will be the nut slot not cut quite right, and even less often the crown on whatever fret will have worn one way or the other, or the fret might need reseating. A good setup job to determine and fix these things is a short and inexpensive visit, sometimes while you wait, and the result is a fine playing guitar. It has nothing inherently to do with the brand being crap, how old it is, or where it was manufactured, though some of these things might sometimes be a common trait on lesser guitars. Usually with all guitars some individual personal attention will be in order depending on the requirements of the player, and periodic tweaks due to use & abuse, wear & tear, and changing tastes & requiremnts.

It's not a big deal, but get it seen by someone experienced. In south-western Ontario it might even be me.

Peace, Mooh.


23 Jul 06 - 11:32 AM (#1790704)
Subject: RE: low E on Gibson not playing proper pitch
From: Little Hawk

Whereabouts are you located, Mooh? Are you a luthier? I'm in the Orillia area. We have a local luthier here, Ron Belanger, who is making very nice steel string guitars. I was playing one of his for the last couple of years, then found a Martin HD-28 in Cobourg that I liked even better, so I'm mostly playing it now. I may sell the Belanger (and it's very nice, but a different sound from the Martin, that's all).


23 Jul 06 - 03:36 PM (#1790891)
Subject: RE: low E on Gibson not playing proper pitch
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker

sorry mates..

if i'm a bit of a loud mouth over-opinionated wanker sometimes..

summer allergies medication + cool refreshing cider brings out the worst in me

this time of year..


23 Jul 06 - 07:55 PM (#1791140)
Subject: RE: low E on Gibson not playing proper pitch
From: GUEST,Mooh at the cottage

Little Hawk...At the moment I'm 15 minutes north of Wiarton, but normally I'm in Goderich (both in Ontario, but you knew that I guess). Not a luthier, just a repair guy who does a zillion set-ups a year, several major repairs like broken headstocks, and cracked tops, and I assist at the local annual celtic college in the instrument repair shop. I play mostly Beneteau and House for acoustic guitars, and a mix of basses, mandolins, and electrics, some hotrodded/updated/customized to some degree.

I've heard you mention the Belanger before, I should check him out.

Peace, Mooh.


23 Jul 06 - 08:17 PM (#1791156)
Subject: RE: low E on Gibson not playing proper pitch
From: Bert

1. Is the string pinching in the nut slot?

2. Is the action too high?

3. Is the intonation correct?

4. Unlikely but I've seen it happen - Are the frets in the right place? The relationship between one and the next is the twefth root of two.


Before you slam any specific manufacturer. Any data or manufactured item could possibly contain an error. With reasonable error checking in place and error rate of one half of one percent would not be too unusual. It becomes very expensive to improve on this rate.