intonation on a tele (fender website)

INTONATION (ROUGHING IT OUT)

You can preset the basic intonation of your guitar by taking a tape measure and measuring from the inside of the nut to the center of the 12th fret (the fret wire itself; not the fingerboard). Double that measurement to find the scale length of your guitar.

For a vintage three-section bridge, a series of adjustments must be made to compensate for the lack of individual string intonation. Adjust the first bridge saddle to the scale length, measuring from the inside of the nut to the center of the bridge saddle.

Now adjust the distance of the second saddle back from the first saddle, using the combination of the gauges of the second and third strings as a measurement. For example, if the second string is .011" (0.3 mm) and the third is .013" (0.35 mm), you would move the second saddle back .024" (0.65 mm) from the first saddle. Move the third saddle back from the second saddle, using the gauge of the fifth and sixth strings as a measurement.

For the six-section bridge, you will make adjustments for each individual string. Adjust the first-string bridge saddle to the scale length, measuring from the inside of the nut to the center of the bridge saddle. Now adjust the distance of the second-string saddle back from the first saddle, using the gauge of the second string as a measurement. For example, If the second string is .011" (0.3 mm), you would move the second-string saddle back .011" (0.3 mm) from the first saddle. Move the third saddle back from the second saddle using the gauge of the third string as a measurement. The fourth-string saddle should be set parallel with the second-string saddle. Proceed with the fifth and sixth saddles with the same method used for strings two and three.

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