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 Post subject: Re: First Fret Distance
PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:20 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2011 4:15 am
Posts: 104
The assumption is that there is good intonation among the fretted notes. If I understand it correctly, you would tune using a tuner at, say, the second fret position. So, the fretted notes would be on pitch. The nut compensation adjusts for the fact that, if the fretted notes are on pitch, the unfretted notes will be flat.

Tim


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 Post subject: Re: First Fret Distance
PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:56 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2006 1:16 pm
Posts: 189
Location: Beuningen, the Netherlands
When I make the nut 0.7mm shorter to the frets, the consequence for the first fret is that it is about 2% closer (0.7 mm to 35 mm), so the note will be 2 cent flatter. It compensates for the bit sharp "shortfretted" notes.

Up the neck the effect decreases.
The consequence for the, lets say 12th fret, is (the distance nut-12th fret about half of 645mm=322mm) 0.7:322x100%=0.15%.

So half up the neck the fretlayout is just 0.15 percent shorter. So in that position an effect won't be hearable.


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 Post subject: Re: First Fret Distance
PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:35 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2011 4:15 am
Posts: 104
Herman,

I’m not sure I understand. Holding all else constant, moving the nut closer to the first fret should make the open note sharper, not flatter...

I’m still absorbing it, but I recommend this site if you are interested in nut compensation: setitupbetter.com

The method involves first achieving intonation among the fretted positions by tuning a low fret, like the 2nd, to be intonated with a higher fret, 12 or 14, for each string (not the 12th fret vs. the open string as is usually done). This is the stage at which bridge adjustments are made. This achieves better intonation among the fretted notes than does the 12th fret vs. open method, they claim (and makes sense to me).

Once that is done the fretted strings have been tuned to concert pitch (or whatever the target pitch is). The open strings are then intonated with the fretted strings using nut compensation to bring all of the open notes (that are otherwise flat at that point in the process) to concert pitch. I believe this is the correct way to think about it but perhaps someone can check this.

Tim


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 Post subject: Re: First Fret Distance
PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 5:03 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 03, 2010 2:14 pm
Posts: 1405
Location: Creedmoor, NC
This topic is really starting to intrigue me now and I admit I have not read enough yet BUT is this nut compensation being used on classical guitars with no saddle compensation as well as steel strings that use saddle compensation? Seems the examples I've seen are on classicals with a straight saddle (no compensation). But as I say I'm not up to speed on this topic yet.

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Tim Benware


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 Post subject: Re: First Fret Distance
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 9:47 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2006 1:16 pm
Posts: 189
Location: Beuningen, the Netherlands
Quote:
I’m not sure I understand. Holding all else constant, moving the nut closer to the first fret should make the open note sharper, not flatter...


If you consequently tune your guitar on just fretted notes, your'right. But with a uncompensated nut the open note would be too flat in the first place. So be careful in which direction you look. And what is the problem? Is the open note sharp or is the fretted note flat?

Most of us, like me, tune with a tuner on open notes. Then the first fretted notes are often sharp. Decreasing the first fretdistance will make the fretted note flatter.

The link to the setupsite is interesting, Tim. I took a glimps and decided I have to look into this deeper an other time. But thank you for posting.
Herman


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 Post subject: Re: First Fret Distance
PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2014 4:44 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2010 9:22 pm
Posts: 184
For those interested in nut compensation and lots of other goodies I suggest looking at Trevor Gore's two book set on Design And Build for guitars. I have just about everything I could find on theory and building published since the 70's and these are at the top of the list for me. Pricy but worth every penny.
Tom

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" A person who has never made a mistake has never made anything "


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 Post subject: Re: First Fret Distance
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2015 8:50 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 02, 2013 3:30 pm
Posts: 27
Thanks to those who have posted on this topic. I found the linked article Setitupbetter very good. I also think that the Stephen Delft article that was mentioned there was very informative. The approach here appears to be that the open strings should be treated as the exceptions. And dealt with individually after the notes on the fretboard have been established by compensating the saddle to establish the second and the fourteenth fret as one octave apart.
I've been playing around with this for the past week and it appears to work well. I started with matchsticks and processed to small pieces of bone on the fretboard to extend the nut. I find that I can easily bring the open string into tune with the fetted notes on that string.
The only problem I have encountered is that the loose pieces of bone have a slight buzz when playing an open string. I don't think gluing the loose pieces in place will work for the base E string. Here the compensation extends approximately a quarter inch over the fretboard.
The next step appears to require removing some of the fretboard.
If anyone has been down this road already I would appreciate any information you can provide before I do something I might regret.

Thanks,
Gerry


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