PDA

View Full Version : Proper guitar setup is important



Unknown_Skier
10-27-2011, 09:27 AM
Having a proper setup is a very important part to this game and general guitar playing. Unfortunately, Rocksmith does not address these issues since it is geared to the beginner/novice guitar player. A guitar that is properly setup to your playing style will make learning and playing much easier and more fun. Please note, that I am not a luthier (in laymans terms: a tradesman who fixes/builds guitars from scratch) or an expert guitar technician (A person who does setups and minor repairs) All advice given here is at your own peril. I am not responsible for any damage done to your instrument. If you are unsure of your ability to do any of the techniques discussed here, please take your guitar to your local guitar shop and they will help you from there.


Now that the standard disclaimer is out of the way, let's get into the meat of this post.

This thread will cover the basic setup of a stoptail /hardtail bridge. I will cover tremolos in the future.

First up is how to properly string your guitar.

Tools needed:
-A new pack of strings
-Wire cutters
Tools Recommended
-String Winder (this makes winding the string much easier and faster)

Rocksmith includes a video on how to do this so please refer to that as a starting point. This lesson can also be found on youtube as well. <span class="flash-video"> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DrLKlJS1wEo </span>

Next up is intonation:

Tools needed:
-A flathead or phillips head screwdriver depending on your saddle type.

Intonation is the accuracy of the pitch on your guitar. For example, if you play your open 6th string (red string) That is an E note in standard tuning. Now fret the 6th string (red string) at the 12th fret. This note is also an E note but it is an octave higher than the open note you just played. On a perfectly setup guitar, these notes will be perfectly in tune. Tune your 6th string (red string). Now play the 12th fret of the same string. If the 12th fret is sharp or flat then the intonation for that string is incorrect.

De-tune the 6th string (red string) a fair amount so that there is slack on the string. Don't de tune it enough so that the string will come off. Take your screwdriver and locate the saddle. Your strings go through the stoptail (the end piece of the bridge) and then rest on the saddle (the piece of metal with 6 knife edge pieces.) There will be a screw on either the front or the back of the saddle. This will adjust your intonation. If your intonation was sharp, then you want to move the knife edge piece torwards the back of the guitar / away from the pickups. If it was flat then do the opposite. Make a few 1/4 turns with your screwdriver then tune the string back to its original tuning. Check the intonation on the 12th fret again. If it is still off then repeat the process. If it is in tune, then do the same process above for the remaining strings.

Refer to this video for some help.
<span class="flash-video"> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZEm0WOGJQU </span>

The next discussion will be action:
TBC

Unknown_Skier
10-27-2011, 09:27 AM
Having a proper setup is a very important part to this game and general guitar playing. Unfortunately, Rocksmith does not address these issues since it is geared to the beginner/novice guitar player. A guitar that is properly setup to your playing style will make learning and playing much easier and more fun. Please note, that I am not a luthier (in laymans terms: a tradesman who fixes/builds guitars from scratch) or an expert guitar technician (A person who does setups and minor repairs) All advice given here is at your own peril. I am not responsible for any damage done to your instrument. If you are unsure of your ability to do any of the techniques discussed here, please take your guitar to your local guitar shop and they will help you from there.


Now that the standard disclaimer is out of the way, let's get into the meat of this post.

This thread will cover the basic setup of a stoptail /hardtail bridge. I will cover tremolos in the future.

First up is how to properly string your guitar.

Tools needed:
-A new pack of strings
-Wire cutters
Tools Recommended
-String Winder (this makes winding the string much easier and faster)

Rocksmith includes a video on how to do this so please refer to that as a starting point. This lesson can also be found on youtube as well. <span class="flash-video"> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DrLKlJS1wEo </span>

Next up is intonation:

Tools needed:
-A flathead or phillips head screwdriver depending on your saddle type.

Intonation is the accuracy of the pitch on your guitar. For example, if you play your open 6th string (red string) That is an E note in standard tuning. Now fret the 6th string (red string) at the 12th fret. This note is also an E note but it is an octave higher than the open note you just played. On a perfectly setup guitar, these notes will be perfectly in tune. Tune your 6th string (red string). Now play the 12th fret of the same string. If the 12th fret is sharp or flat then the intonation for that string is incorrect.

De-tune the 6th string (red string) a fair amount so that there is slack on the string. Don't de tune it enough so that the string will come off. Take your screwdriver and locate the saddle. Your strings go through the stoptail (the end piece of the bridge) and then rest on the saddle (the piece of metal with 6 knife edge pieces.) There will be a screw on either the front or the back of the saddle. This will adjust your intonation. If your intonation was sharp, then you want to move the knife edge piece torwards the back of the guitar / away from the pickups. If it was flat then do the opposite. Make a few 1/4 turns with your screwdriver then tune the string back to its original tuning. Check the intonation on the 12th fret again. If it is still off then repeat the process. If it is in tune, then do the same process above for the remaining strings.

Refer to this video for some help.
<span class="flash-video"> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZEm0WOGJQU </span>

The next discussion will be action:
TBC

Unknown_Skier
10-27-2011, 09:30 AM
Post reserved for updating

niagaradood
10-28-2011, 11:29 AM
I agree, proper setup is required. my guitar suffered from a LOT of buzz in strings 5 and 6, they were so low that I couldn't slide a pick between the strings and the first two frets. I called Gibson's head office, they told me to contact their Canadian distributor. after days of waiting to find out what to do, they called back and told me to call head office in the US. basically I was told that the guitars are not 100% set up, and that it's not covered by warranty. so today it's in the shop having the neck set, the bridge set up, and real strings installed.. Gibson told me that I would have to pay to have the work done because all guitars need to be set up when new. the dealer doing the work told me that every guitar that that comes into their shop is set up as soon as it comes out of the box, and it doesn't cost anything to the buyer. WHY didn't the guitars in the Rocksmith bundle get set up prior to shipping them out?

ProjectTuning
10-28-2011, 11:39 AM
your notes on setting in intonation are incorrect. If your 12th fret is sharp you want to move the saddle toward the back of the guitar, making the string longer. If it is flat, you move it closer to the pickups, making the string shorter.

If you are checking the intonation using a harmonic rather than the fretted note, then your explanation is correct. Harmonics and fretted notes oppose one another in terms of sharp and flat, which is why a harmonic on the 5th fret is a higher pitch than one on the 12th.

I also recommend setting the truss rod and bridge height before setting the intonation.

Otherwise, great info ... people need to know this.

FreeFallsv
10-28-2011, 01:36 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by niagaradood:
WHY didn't the guitars in the Rocksmith bundle get set up prior to shipping them out? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I think there are three main reasons for this, both of which I can understand. From a financial standpoint, it would be expensive to pay guitar techs to setup every one of these guitars before it leaves the factory. It also takes time to properly setup a guitar. I'm sure the guitars in these packs are made overseas, so chances are most of the people doing the manufacturing aren't qualified to do setup for said guitars.

Secondly, even if a guitar was setup when it left the factory, chances are good the setup would be ruined by the time you got the bundle off the shelf. While these are decent guitars, they aren't top of the line instruments. One of the problems with lower end guitars is that they tend to fall out of tune easily and don't travel well. While this may not cause too much change in the bridge adjustments and such, there's no doubt jostling around would hurt the intonation of the guitar. That's why guitar shops set up every guitar when it comes in.

Third, guitar setups are best when personalized to the players. Some like a higher action than others, sacrificing speed for lack of fret buzz, things like that. I for one, being used to playing acoustic guitar, prefer a higher action on my electric, because it feels more familiar. When I play a guitar with a lower action, I feel like I'm hamfisting my way through, getting a lot of fret noise that I don't on a higher action.

You get what you pay for, and the reality is, in this bundle you are paying for a $120 guitar. I've never played one of these particular Epi's, but I have played similar ones and they're a decent guitar if properly set up. But still, $120 is very cheap when buying a REAL musical instrument. If you want to really learn to play and have the guitar sound it's best for you, then take it to Guitar Center and pay the $40 to have it set up. You're still only paying $160 for a REAL musical instrument, and now it's set up to play how you want it to. Well worth the money.

Brothertruck
10-28-2011, 02:36 PM
I have to say from my own experience it's not worth buying a guitar that's just over a couple of hundred bucks. and so I'm not surprised to see problems already with the rocksmith guitar bundle.

The fact is like Freefallsv has said it's a low end guitar and while I agree a setup can do a lot of wonders . it can only do so much .

my first guitar was a robson acoustic which isn't even a reputable brand and I got it on sale at 125.00$ ( retail price $200)

And suffice to say there were too many problems with it . Cheap wood . action way too high and horrible intonation and went out of tune way too much . I took it in for a setup and while there was some improvements I threw the guitar into the garbage and decided to invest a real guitar.

I'll say that some beginner starter guitars are pretty good depending on the brand . But I've learned if you want to have a good quality guitar and granted you still may have to get a setup.

It might be worth investing around 500$ bucks or more but that's me and everyone has their price range .

I bought a godin acoustic/electric for 1000$ brand new and i did have to get a setup done but I am very pleased and haven't had any problems.

sprusegoose
10-28-2011, 04:54 PM
This should be a sticky.

Unknown_Skier
10-31-2011, 09:03 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by ProjectTuning:
your notes on setting in intonation are incorrect. If your 12th fret is sharp you want to move the saddle toward the back of the guitar, making the string longer. If it is flat, you move it closer to the pickups, making the string shorter.

If you are checking the intonation using a harmonic rather than the fretted note, then your explanation is correct. Harmonics and fretted notes oppose one another in terms of sharp and flat, which is why a harmonic on the 5th fret is a higher pitch than one on the 12th.

I also recommend setting the truss rod and bridge height before setting the intonation.

Otherwise, great info ... people need to know this. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Ooops, my dyslexia kicked in! Thanks for catching that. I've updated the original post. I'll try and update it some more today or if anyone else wants to chime in with some how-to's feel free and I will put them in the original post.

Hopefully this will be a sticky and can serve to help people that have no idea about setups and how important they can be for this game.

I do agree that setting the action and the neck relief is more important to do first. I was going to do that but since this game relies so heavily on correct frequency detection, I deemed setting the intonation first was a little more important.

With respect to why the stock guitars aren't set up properly from the factory, FreeFallinSV hit the nail on the head. I think the biggest reason is the shipping aspect. These bundle guitars are going to get tossed around during the shipping process and, chances are, will be moved around to throw off any previously set intonation or neck relief/truss rod adjustments.