INDIAN MUSIC FORUM ARCHIVES: Sitar Forum: intonation and fret placement

 

Author Message
rg
intonation and fret placement Nov 25, 2003 07:56 p.m.


I am in desparate need of help - I have tried to adjust the intonation and think I have it right - but now my fret placement is a mess - I am thinking that the all important 11th fret is off and that my intonation overtone is off - all I know is that my fret placement is not in sync with the intonation of my sitar - there are no marks on the back of the neck to help me place them where they were originally so my ragas are sharp on the F string between the 7th fret and the next octave - I have moved the frets so much I think I have I have created a insurmountable problem - can anyone help.
Lars
Re:intonation and fret placement Nov 25, 2003 09:01 p.m.


Insurmountable? Don't worry, you can 'ping' the harmonic for the 11th fret, wherever you get the harmonic then move the 11th fret to that point or close by. Tune your other frets to that one. Others use other harmonics which can work as well.
If you're running into problems where you can't move the fret to where it should be because a peg is in the way then you may have the bridge incorrectly located. Email me at the link in my profile and I'll be glad to help you further if you need it.....
Lars
rg
Re:intonation and fret placement Nov 26, 2003 09:16 a.m.


thanks Lars!!!
rg
Re:intonation and fret placement Nov 26, 2003 09:17 a.m.


I forgot to say - that seems to be one of the biggest problems - I cant adjust the frets to what I think are the correct places because of the tuning pegs.
pb
Re:intonation and fret placement Nov 26, 2003 09:56 a.m.


Hey Lars,
I have the same problem. Up to now I have been tuning my Ma string down a few cents so that I can hit Pa and Sa'. The chikari peg is in the way. Does this mean move the bridge down towards bottom of the gourd or upwards? I need a new bridge anyway, so I will probably wait for that one before I start messing around.

I never hit the Ma string open for the most part, mainly because it sounds bad, but I have never been instructed to do so either.

thanks
Pb


Lars (Nov 25, 2003 09:01 p.m.):
Insurmountable? Don't worry, you can 'ping' the harmonic for the 11th fret, wherever you get the harmonic then move the 11th fret to that point or close by. Tune your other frets to that one. Others use other harmonics which can work as well.
If you're running into problems where you can't move the fret to where it should be because a peg is in the way then you may have the bridge incorrectly located. Email me at the link in my profile and I'll be glad to help you further if you need it.....
Lars
Re:intonation and fret placement Nov 26, 2003 07:11 p.m.


Hi Rg and Pb....
Your bridges could be in the wrong place or the pegs were drilled in the wrong place. Most cheap and mid-range sitars have the tarab peg holes pre-drilled so often you find this problem. They should be drilled out after the bridge is set but it involves work, etc. and makes the cost higher.
If your note is too flat and you can't move it any further then move the bridge forward, reverse for if it's too sharp. There is a limitation to how much you can move the bridge, each instrument has an optimum spot for it...... you could correct the problem in one place and then find it happening in another, if it's one fret that can't move some people will simply remove the offending peg but that looks funny.
Another possible cure is to get a larger bridge with a longer surface from back to front. Most lower end instruments have a narrower bridge made of camel bone, etc. But then you have the jawari issue but a new bridge will work more often than not. I had this problem with a cheap sitar someone brought in and this solved the problem....along with a few hours labor!
Hope this helps....
Lars
pb
Re:intonation and fret placement Nov 26, 2003 09:45 p.m.


Hey Lars,
I moved my bridge down and it seems perfectly intonated now! It was about 3/4 of an inch too high originally. The only problem is that the groove in my bridge sounds worse No matter, it is all set up well now, so I know what to do when I get the new bridge.

Pb

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