I've recently made an adjustment to how I set intonation on my guitars. I now try to get 'just right' fretted note pressure at the 12th fret to set intonation where as before I used to think one of my challenges when playing is consistent note and chord pressure so why not just intonate to the mathematical mid point (intonate to 12th fret harmonic) and call it good enough.
That doesn't mean I'm any better at actual fretted note pressure when really playing mind you. It is just to say that I've shifted my approach to be more in line with the text book approach to check the fretted note at the 12th.
Needless to say, the actual saddle placement changes a little between the 2 approaches.
I've taken borderline OCD steps to get it as dead on as humanly possible on a couple of guitars now, as in appreciating that even micro changes on one string's saddle placement can show up as other strings that were 'dead on' needing another fine adjustment now too (per the Turbo/Strobe tuner).
Having undertaken that obsessive set of set, check, adjust, repeat steps until no further adjustment needs were detectable on the strobe tuner (that took more cycles than I care to admit or remember), I have the distinct impression that the guitars which were already pretty resonant and with very good sustain are notably and distinctly more (I'd almost say significantly more...) resonant and sustaining despite what adds up to really some pretty small before/after changes in saddle placement.
A budding theory I'm wrestling with and the point of this rambling post is that on a guitar outside of 'dead on' intonation that the strings vibrate out of synch or phase to varying degrees with one another and the competing vibrations, well, compete and therefore deaden things a some.
Is that just a nutty notion and I'm having nothing more than confirmation bias to make believe the benefit of my time and obsessive level intonation efforts, or can someone with more experience than me confirm that the 'last mile' (or last, nearest centimeter) adjustments actually DO improve the instrument being in tune and in synch with itself and therefore improve overall resonance and sustain of the instrument?
El Mirage @ ReverbNation