Cittern intonation problem

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tony lubold
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Joined: Fri May 24, 2013 1:34 pm

Cittern intonation problem

Post by tony lubold »

An anomoly has been bugging me. I've built two Irish style citterns, the first is a five course and the second a four course. I tune them like a mandolin and they have a guitar string length. I had to make the bridges since they both have more strings than a guitar and "think" I have been successful but the second course of strings on both have tuning issues. If I tune them with the tuner it's fine in the open position but when I finger them the second course is sharp. The others are fine, treble and bass, it's just, what would be the "A" string on a mando. I built the bridge like a guitar bridge like ones you would buy. They're pegged like a typical guitar bridge with a similar "relief angle" on the saddle. I can take the saddle out and put in more relief but I can't figure out why that's necessary. Any thoughts?

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Mark Swanson
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Re: Cittern intonation problem

Post by Mark Swanson »

I am not sure what you mean by "relief angle" at the saddle- do you mean the break angle of the strings over the saddle? That won't help you much.
I would suspect the problem lies at the other end of the string, the nut. If the strings are too high at the nut (The slots not deep enough) that will cause this. Try putting a capo on the first fret, and then tune up...is the issue still there?
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tony lubold
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri May 24, 2013 1:34 pm

Re: Cittern intonation problem

Post by tony lubold »

Thanks Mark, I htink you've hit it. I know about the capo thing in terms of fret buzz, etc but having thought it was the bridge I hadn't tried it but that seems to have worked. Nice one!

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Mark Swanson
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Re: Cittern intonation problem

Post by Mark Swanson »

That's great, Tony!
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