How come that reversing a string solves intonation issue?

Choice of classical guitar strings and technical issues connected with their use.
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mike.janel
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How come that reversing a string solves intonation issue?

Post by mike.janel » Thu Aug 31, 2017 8:02 am

I put on a new G string and find it goes sharp right from fret 1. It goes sharper as I move to 12th fret.
I removed the string and put it the other way around.
It almost does not go flat at all as I finger frets.
How can this be?
Michael
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James Lister
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Re: How come that reversing a string solves intonation issue?

Post by James Lister » Thu Aug 31, 2017 8:20 am

Two possibilities I can think of.

1. The "bad" part if the string was initially near the bridge, and with the string reversed it was on the tuner rollers, and so had no effect.
2. Your guitar has a slight intonation problem, and the faulty string made it worse, but when reversed made it better.

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James Lister, luthier, Sheffield UK

es335
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Re: How come that reversing a string solves intonation issue?

Post by es335 » Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:05 am

Just to add another possibility. The ear might be more sensible if the intonation goes sharp, because everybody is aware that there is no chance to compensate that during playing. If this happens to me it feels like touching the nerve when the dentist drills. :?

It's much more relaxed if the intonation goes flat which must be the case to some extend, when the string is reversed! :wink:

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mike.janel
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Re: How come that reversing a string solves intonation issue?

Post by mike.janel » Thu Aug 31, 2017 10:39 am

James Lister wrote:
Thu Aug 31, 2017 8:20 am
Two possibilities I can think of.

1. The "bad" part if the string was initially near the bridge, and with the string reversed it was on the tuner rollers, and so had no effect.
2. Your guitar has a slight intonation problem, and the faulty string made it worse, but when reversed made it better.

James
I do not usually get noticable intonation problems on that string.
Option 1 makes a lot of sense, as the G string has a lot of distance between roller and nut, it can hide a lot of the "bad part".
Michael
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2013 Amalio Burguet 3M (Cedar)
1989 Yamaha CG 110 (Spruce)

woodenhand
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Re: How come that reversing a string solves intonation issue?

Post by woodenhand » Tue Sep 05, 2017 1:33 am

I was talking about defective strings with my teacher once, and he told me that often a defective string will be playable (meaning it's good enough for practice without offending the ear too much) if you turn it end for end. I've been doing that ever since, whenever getting a defective string. It works about eight out of ten times, but occasionally the string is a total loss and has to be replaced.

I don't know why this works, and neither did my teacher when I asked.

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Rick Beauregard
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Re: How come that reversing a string solves intonation issue?

Post by Rick Beauregard » Tue Sep 05, 2017 4:22 am

Possible Defects aside, I can make my strings go sharp when I press too hard. Relax maybe.
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