7 steps to proper intonation of a Kahler CAM system…
Proper intonation will assure that your guitar or bass plays perfectly up and down the fret board and plays in perfect tune at each fret, at least as best as possible since perfect intonation is physically impossible. Setting the intonation on your bridge is easy, especially if you have a Kahler CAM system. All you have to do is know a few rules of the road. The simplest test for correct intonation is to strike the harmonic at the 12th fret and then play the 12th fret. By comparing the notes, you can determine if your intonation is out of whack or if it’s right on the money. But the human ear is not perfect. You really need a visual reference, you need an electronic tuner or to get even a more precise intonation experience…a strobe tuner. But strobes are expensive and shelling out several hundred bucks to intonate a few guitars is not necessary unless you’re getting into the biz. A good quality electronic tuner will do just fine. So to start….
- 1) Switch to the neck pickup and max out the volume.
- 2) Tune your guitar to standard 440 tuning using an electronic guitar tuner.
- 3) Once tuned, lightly touch your finger on the small E string right over the 12th fret and strike it for a harmonic sound. The tuner should read dead on zero because you just tuned it right?
- 4) Next, actually play the 12th fret. Don’t push hard. You don’t want to stretch the string over the fret giving you a false reading. Watch the tuning line. If the needle goes to the right of zero, the string is sharp…you need it longer. Left of zero means its flat…you want to shorten the string. Note: If the needle is erratic, lower the neck pickup a bit. You’re now ready to move on to the next step...
FYI: On all Kahler CAM systems, each saddle has a fork with a roller, the fork slides back and forth through the clamp plates. Barely loosen the Phillips just enough while keeping some clamp plate tension/grip so it won’t be necessary to re-tighten between re-tuning and re-tests.
- 5) If the string is sharp, or to the right of the mark, it needs to be made longer. So if the string length needs to be longer…
- 6) Push the saddle back back into the clamp a little bit, effectively lengthening the string (7410 bass is opposite). If the needle shows to the left of the zero mark, the string is flat and the string length needs to be shortened. Move the saddle fork a little toward the pickups.
The idea here is to get the both open and fretted notes at the 12th fret, to be exactly the same on all 6 strings. They should match exactly at zero.
- 7) Once all the strings are intonated, tighten the Phillips and double check each string for intonation. Redo if necessary.