Finally got a Squier Strat!

Mossberg152

Squier-Meister
Jun 13, 2022
102
Lorain, Ohio
Hello again. It's been a little while, but I'm back. For those that recall, I was looking for my first Squier in the summertime, but was struggling with finding one for a good price locally. A few of you had found one to suggest for me, but for various reasons I was not able to complete a transaction (the biggest bummer was one for $25 but I was out of state at the time).

Anyway, I found one on SGW recently. It's an Affinity Series. Blue metallic. It's in pretty decent shape... Paint has a few dings, but the neck is really nice, the fretboard is in good condition and the frets are even fairly well off with just a little attention needed to the fret ends.

Here is my problem: The saddles were all "even" across the bridge, so I am trying to intonate it with the old strings on it, before I take it all apart and clean it really good, including the electronics, etc. For some reason, once I have tuned the string, the fretted note shows a specific value on the app "Guitar Tuna". When I try to adjust the saddle and retune the string, the fretted note sounds exactly the same and has the exact same value on the tuning app. I tried over and over to intonate several strings and had the same result, multiple times on each string I tried. This was over a significant range of saddle adjustment.

Has anyone else had an experience like this? Can anyone think of what I might be doing "wrong"? One last point of clarification: I would detune the string (loosen significantly) adjust the saddle, then re-tune the string EACH TIME. I did not adjust the saddle with a tight/tuned string.

Thanks for any suggestions.
 

Syco

Squier-Meister
Sep 11, 2022
290
Tuttle, Oklahoma
Congrats ! Really need to have fresh strings when doing intonation .

Rough Intonate :

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. Adjust the first-string bridge saddle to this 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.
 

Shine

Squier-holic
Nov 29, 2016
3,734
West Coast Landia
Congrats ! Really need to have fresh strings when doing intonation .

Rough Intonate :

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. Adjust the first-string bridge saddle to this 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.
Interesting technique!
 

Mossberg152

Squier-Meister
Jun 13, 2022
102
Lorain, Ohio
Congrats ! Really need to have fresh strings when doing intonation .

Rough Intonate :

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. Adjust the first-string bridge saddle to this 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.
Hi Syco. Thanks for the reply. I didn't explain it, but I am new to intonating my guitar, so I figured I would use the "old" strings to get in the ballpark and then, after a good cleaning (including hydrating the fretboard, cleaning electrical contacts, etc) when I put it back together with new strings, hopefully not having to beat the new strings up too badly repeatedly tuning and loosening and tuning and loosening until I got the intonation right. I was hoping that getting most of the way there would minimize the effort with the new strings.

THAT being said, while I did learn of the measurement of the scale length, that explanation of "pre-setting" the saddles is new to me! Thanks. I guess I will take a step back and abandon the old strings and see where this will get me.

Thank you.
 

skydog

Squier Talker
Jan 10, 2013
63
Indiana
Can anyone think of what I might be doing "wrong"?
1. Trying to set intonation with old strings
2. Using a tuner app
3. Doing the setup prior to the cleanup

Test the electronics to ensure everything is in working order Take the strings off and address any fret leveling that needs done, along with dressing the fret ends. Go through and tighten all the screws. Spray deoxit on all the electronics. Do all your cleaning, polishing, etc. Restring with fresh strings. Now think of TRAIN.
Tune to pitch
Relief set the relief to your preferred setting
Action adjust the action to your preference
Intonation now you can set the intonation
Nut fine tune the nut slots

Enjoy your guitar.
 

Strang_Banger

Squier-Meister
Feb 21, 2016
278
Down in Dixie, Tennessee
I find using my Fender clip on tuner that in Guitar mode, it is more imprecise, I get a far more accurate tune for intonation in Chromatic mode. But I usually get my pedal tuner out for the most accuracy or I have a couple of 20+ year old quartz tuners that are pretty accurate as well. I recently downloaded the Boss tuner app on my android phone to have when out browsing for guit bargains. It seems to work pretty well, at least as good as the Fender clip on.
Good luck with it, don't give up!
 

Shoestring

Squier Talker
Sep 16, 2018
3
Austin, TX
Hello again. It's been a little while, but I'm back. For those that recall, I was looking for my first Squier in the summertime, but was struggling with finding one for a good price locally. A few of you had found one to suggest for me, but for various reasons I was not able to complete a transaction (the biggest bummer was one for $25 but I was out of state at the time).

Anyway, I found one on SGW recently. It's an Affinity Series. Blue metallic. It's in pretty decent shape... Paint has a few dings, but the neck is really nice, the fretboard is in good condition and the frets are even fairly well off with just a little attention needed to the fret ends.

Here is my problem: The saddles were all "even" across the bridge, so I am trying to intonate it with the old strings on it, before I take it all apart and clean it really good, including the electronics, etc. For some reason, once I have tuned the string, the fretted note shows a specific value on the app "Guitar Tuna". When I try to adjust the saddle and retune the string, the fretted note sounds exactly the same and has the exact same value on the tuning app. I tried over and over to intonate several strings and had the same result, multiple times on each string I tried. This was over a significant range of saddle adjustment.

Has anyone else had an experience like this? Can anyone think of what I might be doing "wrong"? One last point of clarification: I would detune the string (loosen significantly) adjust the saddle, then re-tune the string EACH TIME. I did not adjust the saddle with a tight/tuned string.

Thanks for any suggestions.
This problem is caused by old strings. Get a good clip-on tuner (apps are not good) and set the intonation with new strings. Trust me on this.
 

Mossberg152

Squier-Meister
Jun 13, 2022
102
Lorain, Ohio
Well there is a whole lot of good information here! I appreciate all of the knowledge you are ALL sharing with me. New strings- CHECK. Specific order of operations-CHECK. Better tuner than an app- Working on that one.

I did take the whole guitar apart tonight and cleaned it. I was surprised how well done and painted the interior cavities were. Everything was pretty nicely done. It has the larger pots in it, (quarter sized?) but they had no markings on them at all, so generic. Cleaned all the pots and switches with electrical contact cleaner. Oiled up the fretboard with mineral oil. I will put strings on tomorrow evening and work on all the steps I can, up to the point of intonation, until I can obtain a proper tuning device.

Thanks everyone!
 

Dpsixstringer

Squier-Meister
Jun 13, 2022
214
Reading pa
Well there is a whole lot of good information here! I appreciate all of the knowledge you are ALL sharing with me. New strings- CHECK. Specific order of operations-CHECK. Better tuner than an app- Working on that one.

I did take the whole guitar apart tonight and cleaned it. I was surprised how well done and painted the interior cavities were. Everything was pretty nicely done. It has the larger pots in it, (quarter sized?) but they had no markings on them at all, so generic. Cleaned all the pots and switches with electrical contact cleaner. Oiled up the fretboard with mineral oil. I will put strings on tomorrow evening and work on all the steps I can, up to the point of intonation, until I can obtain a proper tuning device.

Thanks everyone!
I use Peterson's strobo tuner app for setting intonation. It is so super accurate that you never get it perfect, but if you get it to within + or - .02 to .03, it sure sounds perfect. Much more accurate than any tuner I ever owned. Under 10 dollars about 2 years ago. Download it to your phone, set it up, and put the phone in between a pair of headphones with a slightly distorted sound so the harmonics really ring. Intonation is a pain in the hind end but it helps to use the right tools. New strings are a must as well if you want it close.
 

Hal Nico

Squier-Nut
Dec 21, 2020
933
UK
I do my intonation ,"Old School" .I tune say my A string with whatever tuner and then fret the 7th fret ( Octave) on the next string. If sharp or flat adjust intonation to suit. G to B on the 8th fret.

Remember that no fretted instrument can be perfectly in tune because of ,"Equal Temperament".


This is not an issue for most of us as we are used to the slight anomalies. If you play slide/bottle-neck then it's can be noticeable when you place the slide across the D/G/B strings as they will sound out. I used to slightly detune my B string when I played live and was doing a Bottle-Neck number like ZZTop's ,"Tush" in G and used to drop my top E string to D for the ,"Poor Man's " open G tuning.

HTH :)

PS if you want to improve your tuning perception then learning Bottle-Neck is a good way to go as you have to use your ears and feel all the time as you cannot rely on fretting.

This was a little boogie I did some years ago in standard tuning.

https://soundcloud.com/paulsheppard%2Fthe-drunken-boxing-bottleneck-boogie
 
Last edited:

Doc538

Squier-Nut
Gold Supporting Member
Jan 23, 2021
547
Ma
Hmmm, No Pics, how do we know you bought it ? We like pics, HNGD.
 

Mossberg152

Squier-Meister
Jun 13, 2022
102
Lorain, Ohio
Skydog: I'm not sure if you are actually serious on that, but it IS interesting....

Doc538, and everyone else, here are the actual pictures. My first Squier. Got a few questions, and gosh darn it, there is SO much to learn here about these guitars.

1) how much better, overall, and in what ways are the SE's and Standards better than "Affinity series" guitars?
2) what is the significance of this guitar not having the "skunkstripe" where the truss rod is placed in the guitar from the back of the neck? I would think this means it was routed out and placed inside the neck under the fingerboard. Is one way inherently better than the other?
IMG_8111.JPG
Anyway. I like the feel of the neck and it plays nice, although I am still working on the intonation. Just not happy with it yet, and I will be getting an physical chromatic tuner soon.
I don't have a clue about the different neck radius's, or shapes, or curvature of the fingerboards. or the width of the necks. All of that is stuff I am learning now. My 35 year ago experiences with guitars was pretty simple. I could play it (not all that remarkably well), I could change strings and get them in tune. I cou IMG_8101.JPG ld say "I like this guitar" because it felt good in hand and to play, or the opposite and "I don't like the way this feels/plays" but didn't have the knowledge or vocabulary to IMG_8109.JPG IMG_8106.JPG articulate why.

Here are the pictures. I welcome all comments and knowledge you send my way. IMG_8107.JPG Thanks. Mossberg
 


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