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New tuners for 335


86general

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I have a 335 I bought in July. I love it, but the tuning stability is poor, considering the price of the guitar. I've already done the typical things you think of--it's been set up by a professional, expert luthier, who assured me the nut and saddles were fine. I have applied lubricants to both the nut and the saddles. The strings are properly wound and locked on the tuning posts.

 

Still, the treble strings go out of tune easily with bending, etc.

 

I wondered if anyone has installed locking tuners like Schallers or Sperzels on a 335. Will any retrofit without any drilling? Is there any downside to doing this? The existing tuners are the newer Gibson Grovers, not the Vintage style klusons.

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Tuning machine manufacturers would be in bad shape if people stopped believing that they could pull the tuners backward with a finger bend.

 

But check out these tuners and see if they look like a good fit. I've heard they use the same screw holes as the Grovers that came with the 335.

 

http://www.guitarpartsresource.com/tuners_lockinggotoh.htm

 

People who don't like the way the vintage tuners have play in them and need to be tuned upwards with care have liked the Rotomatics better, since they seem tighter. My 335 has the Rotomatic style. :) But of course, the holes are not at all the same.

 

In the past, the Gibson tuners used the 11/32" holes, while most Grover, Schaller and Sperzel are 10mm(13/32"). You need to check that, as well as the mounting screw pattern. You can ream out the holes for replacements and then use bushings if you go back.

 

WD Music has Kluson's trademark now, and you might see some better tuners over there of the same pattern:

 

http://www.wdmusic.com/tonepros_kluson_tuners.html

 

It seems really odd that some aftermarket manufacturer hasn't made a perfect fit for the Gibson retrofit & gear upgrade, since this is such a common request--wanting a replacement for Gibson's choice in vintage tuners.

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Grovers are fine tuners. The Grovers on my 335 are nice and stable, and my 70's Martins have Grovers which have never been problematic (other than pitting of the plating..)..

 

I hate to ask a dumb question, but I presume you and the luthier did of course check the tension screw and tighten up a bit?

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Stretch your strings!!New tuners will not help.I've beeen playing(hard) for almost 40 years and have owned 100 guitars with every kind of tuners you can think of and untill you stretch your strings when they are new nothing will help.This means pulling the first string at the 12th fret untill its out of tune 'tuning it back to pitch and doing that again and again untill it stops going out of tune.Procede to next string etc. My friends son brought over his 2 guitars awhile ago a Mexi Strat and a Epi Les Paul.He had told Dad he needed better guitars that would stay in tune.I showed him how to strech the string and his tuning issues are gone.Now his pickups are bad and he needs new guitars...Ha ...ha. Better tuners will make it easier to tune with less backlash while tuning, thats it.

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Stretch your strings!!New tuners will not help.I've beeen playing(hard) for almost 40 years and have owned 100 guitars with every kind of tuners you can think of and untill you stretch your strings when they are new nothing will help.This means pulling the first string at the 12th fret untill its out of tune 'tuning it back to pitch and doing that again and again untill it stops going out of tune.Procede to next string etc. My friends son brought over his 2 guitars awhile ago a Mexi Strat and a Epi Les Paul.He had told Dad he needed better guitars that would stay in tune.I showed him how to strech the string and his tuning issues are gone.Now his pickups are bad and he needs new guitars...Ha ...ha. Better tuners will make it easier to tune with less backlash while tuning' date=' thats it.

 

 

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My understanding was that strings didn't actually stretch, but that what was actually happening was that the strings were "seating" themselves on the tuning post. And, if the string was properly installed, 'locked' on the post with the reverse wind, etc., when installed, that you shouldn't have this stretching or pseudo-stretching issue.

 

Seeing as the guitar was, to the best of my knowledge, properly set up and adjusted, I figured there must be some unwanted play in the tuners.

 

From everyone's responses, I'm guessing I'm probably wrong, and will fiddle with things a while longer to see if I can find another culprit.

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Treble strings seem to bind in the nut the most. Add string stretch (settling on the tuner), and its going to go out of tune. In my opinion, almost no guitar's nut is cut perfectly. I get allot of chinking even in expensive Gibsons. Lubing the nut is just masking the issue so my luthier is suggesting a light sanding with very fine sandpaper folded in half as a solution?

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Dan Erlewine said in one of his articles that even the worst worm gears won't slip.You need to take the slack off the post.Do this every week or so depending how long you leave your strings on.I used to use a combo of Vasoline and grafite for years but now I swear by Big Bends nut sauce.I put it sparingly on every place the string touches the guitar and my strings NEVER break any more.

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Yes, strings themselves do stretch.

 

Besides tightening up the winds, etc., pulling new strings stretches them to dimensions that the normal tensions will no longer permanently alter.

 

Think of new strings as being prone to a plastic state, in which they stretch and thin during a string bend but don't return exactly to their prior diameter and length. With a little stretching, the new strings begin to act in a linear way where they thin out predictably with stretching and then recover when the stress is reduced.

 

You can take a conditioned string out of its linear comfort zone by stretching it past its limit and into a new plastic state, in which case you take the string close to its breaking point.

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The guitar is about 5 months old...well, it was set up about 5 months ago, with .11 guage Elixirs. I have several guitars and don't play this one every day, but I do play it frequently.

 

I have bent the living daylights out of the strings, already. After reading this thread, I went back into the jam room, picked up the guitar, and with a tuner attached, I bent the daylights and stretched and pulled and heaved and ho'd, bending them out of tune repeatedly, and retuning to pitch each time. Eventually, they "stopped" going out of tune, temporarily anyway.

 

I then jammed with the guitar for an hour or so, and by the end of the hour, the B and G strings would go out of tune on bends.

 

When you re-tune after these bend-induced detunings, you can hear the string bind and ping in the nut slot.

 

I think it's a lousy nut slot, myself. I hesitate to mess with it, because if you screw up a nut you can have real problems. But anyway, perhaps a trip back to the shop is in order.

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