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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I recently sent the following email to Seagull Guitars (Godin) regarding the intonation of my 10 year old Seagull guitar. I've been slightly adjusting the tuning of the B & Hi E strings to get by. While I'm waiting for Mr. Belanger to get back to me, I thought I'd ask if anyone else has or has had this issue and what they did about it. I know how to intonate my electric guitars but the issue here is the compensated saddle on my acoustic.

Email to Godin: My B & Hi E strings never did intonate properly on my Seagull guitar since I bought it new many years ago. This year however, I’ve decided to try to do something about it. I’m looking to buy a saddle for my Seagull Performer Mini Jumbo CW GT QII Model 29334. If the new saddle fixes the problem, that’s great. If not, I’ll try filing the saddle that’s in the guitar now. If I screw that up, I’ll at least have the new one. Please tell me how I can go about ordering the new saddle for my guitar.

Update:
Godin Response:
Your guitar has a Tusq saddle by Graphtech.
The saddle can wear over time. If the strings dig a notch in the saddle, the intonation will be off.


PQ-9280-C0 is a great option to replace or upgrade the saddle on your acoustic guitar. It is our most popular saddle and will work with many other guitars. It 1/8" thick and is compensated to help improve the playability of your guitar.


My response:
The saddle that came with my guitar is pretty tough. Even after approx 10 years, it's hard to tell where the string rested on the saddle when I put on new strings. Someone posted a link to the Acoustic Guitar Forum discussing this issue. I'll see if I can get any tips from that . Thanks








 

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Well, I do not have the answer, but as I am to replace the Tusk nut and saddle for bone ones on my Seagull Performer, I will pay careful attention to intonation : the saddle is not simply compensating the B string with a longer scale than the other string, it has two compensations shorter high E to longer B, then shorter G that progressively get longer to low E.
 

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Compensated saddles are not perfect - things like action and string brand/gauge will affect the accuracy. Also make sure you are getting a saddle designed for a plain/wound G as appropriate; I am assuming y'all use plain on a typical flat top acoustic, and that is likely what you'd find in a premade compensated saddle, but just in case.

Filing it will get you closer, but it's all out the window if you change the type of strings you use (intonation will also drift as the string ages). It's a game of compromises.
 
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it has two compensations shorter high E to longer B, then shorter G that progressively get longer to low E
that is usually the way compensation is set up for acoustic saddles .... wound vs plain strings ..... i usually find most of the acoustic intonation issues are caused by nut slots not being low enough resulting in strings being pulled sharp when fretted at the first few frets

jumbo frets and lighter gauge strings help to compound intonation/tuning issues, but that relates more to technique than a mechanical adjustment....

cheers
 

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Is it shimmed? adding or removing might help
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Is it shimmed? adding or removing might help
Guitar is stock. I tune the B string to the low end on the tuner and the E string to the high end on the tuner. It sounds OK but I thought I'd work at getting it closer. I'll start with a new saddle and go from there.
 

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Many things said in this post.
I would not try to adjust saddle for intonation if the action is too high at nut (not only fretted notes on first frets will go sharp and chords awful, but most of all, this high action would preclude playing confortably.

So, first, if possible, have a correct neck angle; second, proper neck bow working the truss rod; next, proper string action at nut, then adjust bridge saddle to get the best string action you can get throughout the neck as well as compensation for intonation.
Since I am not quite experienced, these need much time and tries.

That said, we have to remember that fret distances results from a compromise : intonation perfect in a scale may not be as perfect in another key. Same if we replace third wound string with a plain or if we use altered tuning.

Add on : My Taylors and Larrivées show a simple compensation with a longer scale on B string only while others have a complex compensation as I described on my Seagull.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Many things said in this post.
I would not try to adjust saddle for intonation if the action is too high at nut (not only fretted notes on first frets will go sharp and chords awful, but most of all, this high action would preclude playing confortably.

So, first, if possible, have a correct neck angle; second, proper neck bow working the truss rod; next, proper string action at nut, then adjust bridge saddle to get the best string action you can get throughout the neck as well as compensation for intonation.
Since I am not quite experienced, these need much time and tries.

That said, we have to remember that fret distances results from a compromise : intonation perfect in a scale may not be as perfect in another key. Same if we replace third wound string with a plain or if we use altered tuning.

Add on : My Taylors and Larrivées show a simple compensation with a longer scale on B string only while others have a complex compensation as I described on my Seagull.
I don't think the action is high but I chord mostly up to the 5th fret. I will check the action at the 12th fret and see if I can make a truss rod adjustment or saddle adjustment. Thanks

Update: I should have added that I'd be happy if the notes would be the same when checking at the 4th fret for the B and the 5th fret for the Hi E (old school tuning)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Are you playing a lighter gauge string set than original ?
Yes, I switched to D'Addario EJ16's shortly after I bought the guitar and don't even want to try anything else. Hey, I'm old and set in my ways. I did buy the saddle recommended to me by the Seagull rep at L&M but I'm going to lower the original saddle. Someone suggested checking the saddle height and I found I can lower it about 1/8 in. and it will still work fine. I'll see if that helps with my issue. The new saddle is quite high and will need a lot of it removed so I'm going to work on the old saddle for now.
 

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Given your EJ16's are lighter than your originals, lowering the bridge will indeed give you some increased scale, but will be for all strings. I'd also consider taking material off the the rearward edge off of the body of the compensated bridge and building up the front side to make it fit the slot again, if lowering it falls short.
How'd you make out ?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Given your EJ16's are lighter than your originals, lowering the bridge will indeed give you some increased scale, but will be for all strings. I'd also consider taking material off the the rearward edge off of the body of the compensated bridge and building up the front side to make it fit the slot again, if lowering it falls short.
How'd you make out ?
I did take about 1/8" (3mm) off the old saddle and reinstalled it in the bridge. It does help considerably with the tuning issues stated earlier. I will eventually rework the new saddle but will go with the old saddle for now. I'm surprised how close I got to the frets past the 12th fret without buzz.

IMG_20190120_084105.jpg

IMG_20190120_084127.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #20
That's really close for an acoustic.
Congrats!
Thanks. When I do the new saddle, I won't take quite as much material off. Probably leave an extra MM. Not sure what changes in humidity will do with the strings so close to frets but for now. I'm enjoying it.
 
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