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Intonation with Axe tuner: Why doesn't it work?

My name is mud

Power User
Thanks Mud, that was very interesting, and you validated my point by mentioning 'ears'.
Sure, how many time it was ok with the tuner and “out of tune” if you don’t do some chords and some adjustments to “harmonize” the whole thing . Guitars is not a perfectly pitched instrument whatever you buy, it’s always hm … punky 😅 . Saddles, frets, nut… if you are a guy who puts a lot of pressure in the strings while playing … they are too much parameters . As ever, theory and math are nice, but the real life is another thing
 

My name is mud

Power User
In one of my past job I was daily working with a guitar maker, and me I’m more a self taught when I set up a guitar . He was the guy that set all the guitars at 1,8 mm in the 12 frets because he learn it at school, and me I was setting them without measuring anything, just to find the compromise between fret buzz, playability and sustain, and it was very funny . Sometime he sits, angry « but… it’s perfectly set, why is it buzzing here ? » . Crazy to only believing in numbers . Ahhh the school guys …
 

Joe Bfstplk

Axe-Master
In one of my past job I was daily working with a guitar maker, and me I’m more a self taught when I set up a guitar . He was the guy that set all the guitars at 1,8 mm in the 12 frets because he learn it at school, and me I was setting them without measuring anything, just to find the compromise between fret buzz, playability and sustain, and it was very funny . Sometime he sits, angry « but… it’s perfectly set, why is it buzzing here ? » . Crazy to only believing in numbers . Ahhh the school guys …
Yup. The numbers are meaningless if it buzzes at those settings. Raise it a smidgen until it stops buzzing. :D
 

Rex

Legend!
In one of my past job I was daily working with a guitar maker, and me I’m more a self taught when I set up a guitar . He was the guy that set all the guitars at 1,8 mm in the 12 frets because he learn it at school, and me I was setting them without measuring anything, just to find the compromise between fret buzz, playability and sustain, and it was very funny . Sometime he sits, angry « but… it’s perfectly set, why is it buzzing here ? » . Crazy to only believing in numbers . Ahhh the school guys …
If the numbers are good, and if they are based on the player's style, the results will be good... unless there are issues with the neck. If there are issues with the neck, you have a choice: either fix the neck, or deviate from the numbers for a quick fix.
 
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I've compared the Axe-Fx III tuner to some other tuners, and setting the intonation of a guitar with the Axe doesn't work. The high octave on any given string (open string to the 12th fret, or fretted like the 3rd to 15th fret), always reads as sharper than it really is. The intonation can be dead on with my Korg DT-7 and Sonic Research ST-200, and the Axe still shows the octaves to be quite sharp.

It's kinda weird, because tuning to the open strings works fine. But tuning to the 12th fret harmonics will give you a guitar that is flat across the range (since they read too sharp on the Axe tuner).
I bought a polytune 3 pedal for this exact reason. The FM3, Helix and all the plugi tuners I’ve used have a hard time with intonation.
 

guitarnerdswe

Fractal Fanatic
The needle is a correlation tuner. The strobe tuner downconverts the signal to baseband and then displays the I/Q vectors as a strobe tuner simulation. Zero-crossing tuners are inaccurate.

If your strings are old the needle tuner will differ from the strobe tuner because the strobe tuner only displays the fundamental. When your strings get old the harmonics become out-of-tune with the fundamental.
Old strings doesn't explain the sine wave test result I did though. To save you fromhaving to dig through the thread: A sine wave set to G3 and then G4 (3rd to 15th fret on the high e string), showed G4 to be sharp according to the needle tuner.
 

guitarnerdswe

Fractal Fanatic
If the numbers are good, and if they are based on the player's style, the results will be good... unless there are issues with the neck. If there are issues with the neck, you have a choice: either fix the neck, or deviate from the numbers for a quick fix.
Bingo. Everything is measurable. Getting bad results with the same numbers equals issues elsewhere.
 
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FractalAudio

Administrator
Fractal Audio Systems
Moderator
Old strings doesn't explain the sine wave test result I did though. To save you fromhaving to dig through the thread: A sine wave set to G3 and then G4 (3rd to 15th fret on the high e string), showed G4 to be sharp according to the needle tuner.
The needle tuner is not designed to tune that high. It's designed to tune open strings. Use the strobe tuner for intonation.
 

steadystate

Fractal Fanatic
I guess I'll be using the strobe to tune my 12-string guitars.

Is there any advantage to using needle over strobe in certain instances?
 
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