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String Butlers


Filbert
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Heard a lot about these little devices - apparently they are a fantastic way of alleviating tuning stability issues that Les Paul models can suffer from due to the headstock/string break angle:

https://www.string-butler.com

Problem is, I'm not sure which one to get for my guitars - the website is not exactly clear (to my eyes) as to which version fits which model. For reference, I have the following:

  • 2015 Les Paul Standard
  • 2019 Les Paul HP
  • 2014 SG Special
  • 2020 Les Paul Tribute DC
  • 1993 Nighthawk
  • 1998 Blueshawk

 

Will the same string butler model fit all these? Or do I need different models/versions for each guitar? Not sure if the Nighthawk/Blueshawk even need one given the headstock angle is less pronounced.

Anyone got any experience with the string butler and can offer guidance?

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There is a spot on the website where you supposedly can look up your guitar model and see if they have one to fit it, but it's in German so hard for me to tell about your specific guitars.  I'm sure they have one for Les Pauls.  There was also another video that came up where a guy tested it bending the G string about as far as the width of the neck would allow and it still stayed in tune so I guess they work.

However they look to be about 40 Euro on average which is about $45.  When I have a binding nut on a Gibson I take it to my local guitar tech, he files the nut in about 10 minutes and charges maybe $20 so the problem is fixed at half the cost and I don't have a contraption bolted to my headstock.

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1 hour ago, Twang Gang said:

 When I have a binding nut on a Gibson I take it to my local guitar tech, he files the nut in about 10 minutes and charges maybe $20 so the problem is fixed at half the cost and I don't have a contraption bolted to my headstock.

ya know, I had started a reply just like that one, but figured, nah.... 

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I clicked through the links on the German website and came to a US stockist that had detailed measurements. Looks like both my Les Pauls and my SG need the V3 model as stated above. I might buy just the one and try it out. They are a bit pricey though. I don't particularly care about having something bolted on the headstock or aesthetics if it does the job however.

You'll have to pardon my ignorance on the subject but surely recutting the nut won't do anything for tuning issues? If a string is binding, sure but the whole point of the string butler is to change the break angle of the string as it goes into the tuner - the claim is that the design of the headstock and the 3x3 tuners are the cause of the issue, not the nut. It also doesn't help that both my LPs have titanium nuts/zero frets so it is not necessarily a simple matter to get them adjusted.

Edited by Filbert
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A nut should look like this:

 

T00ners

\_I_/\_I_/\_I_/\_I_/\_I_/\_I_/

Fingerboard

 

The "apron", wide side is the t00ner side.  The string stops right at the Fingerboard side of the nut, passes through the "apron", and has room to head off to the t00ner, no matter what the headstock looks like.  I don't know when, and I don't know why, but nobody dresses nuts like that anymore.  Prolly so they can sell snake oil like this, which is just a very expensive piece of hardware doing what we always used to do with a file and less time than it took to smoke a smoke.

rct

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 3/25/2020 at 6:43 PM, Filbert said:

I clicked through the links on the German website and came to a US stockist that had detailed measurements. Looks like both my Les Pauls and my SG need the V3 model as stated above. I might buy just the one and try it out. They are a bit pricey though. I don't particularly care about having something bolted on the headstock or aesthetics if it does the job however.

You'll have to pardon my ignorance on the subject but surely recutting the nut won't do anything for tuning issues? If a string is binding, sure but the whole point of the string butler is to change the break angle of the string as it goes into the tuner - the claim is that the design of the headstock and the 3x3 tuners are the cause of the issue, not the nut. It also doesn't help that both my LPs have titanium nuts/zero frets so it is not necessarily a simple matter to get them adjusted.

 

True, the nut itself is not the problem, but is re-fettled to ease the problem with the angled string path. 

The titanium zero fret nut should not suffer with binding issues. So I reckon you're ok.

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