So, you’re probably a little familiar with the irritation I experienced right when I got little Sparrow, my Luna guitar, because of the intonation being funky on the bass strings. If you’re not familiar, to sum up:
- I bought said guitar and fell in love, but strange things happen to the pitch of bass E and A strings when I capo up. Oddly, the rest of the guitar is right on.
- I spent a little time working on the action to improve capoed intonation on bass strings. It helped, but not to my satisfaction (I have perfect pitch). Yet, when playing with no capo, the pitch is spot on.
- Took guitar to highly recommended guitar shop to have them look at it.
- They swore — SWORE — that nothing was wrong with the guitar (implying it was me and my “funky” pitch).
- They had me try a different gauge of string to see if it helped.
- Again, there was a little improvement, but not much.
This morning, I’m putting the finishing touches on the song I’ve been working on and practicing my stuff for my concert on Saturday. So, I drag out the capo, and it seems things are even worse than usual. On a whim, I turn on my tuner, and play with the pressure on my capo (a Kyser quick-change). To my intense surprise and delight and shock, I find that the Kyser (with it’s extra-duty spring) is the reason my intonation on the bass strings are wonky! It’s pinching the fat E and A harder than the high strings — pulling the two bass strings incredibly sharp!
I’m not crazy.
So today I ordered a PlanetWaves NS capo. Supposedly, it’s designed with adjustable tension so it doesn’t pinch strings, and we’ll see if it works.