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Finally fed up with tuning problem


tortuga

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The inability of my LP-100 (from MF stupid deal) to stay in tune is beyond any kind of reasonable margin, even for a cheap guitar. I've bought other guitars cheaper than this one that stay in tune fine. It seems the problem kept getting worse so I tightened the screws in the end of the tuner buttons. That did make them less loose feeling but did nothing to solve the problem. Its especially bad with the 5th and 6th strings. With just normal playing arpeggios (not even strumming) its out of tune in 2 or 3 minutes!

 

Is the problem likely with the tuners, or something else? I'd hate to by new tuners and still have the problem. I'm not into upgrading this guitar for the fun of it...I just want to solve the problem. Should this be considered a warranty issue?

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Rarely a problem with the tuners, only the ones on Special IIs are worth changing right away. The Grover style tuners can't slip and turn backwards, only the strings around the posts can.

 

Strings binding on the nut or tune-o-matic bridge saddles, crappy Epiphone stock strings or incorrect string winding are most often to blame.

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one half turn around the posts.. with the end looped under to lock..then tune to pitch.

you shouldn't have more than a turn and a half around the post.

 

stretch at neck pup.. pull each string out an inch or so.. just kind of gentle stretch and let it pull back.. then repeat.

 

do the same around the seventh or 8th fret.. each string.

 

retune..

repeat..

retune..

you should be able to tell that the stretch is going out of the strings, and the tightness is increasing or stabilizing at the string post by how little you have to retune each time you stretch.

 

you should be able to tell if they are binding in the nut slots, too.

 

when you have the strings stretched.. when you have cured any binding problem. your LP 100 should be in tune and stay in tune.

 

Now.. I hope you aren't confusing intonation problems or inaccuracies with tuning problems.

guitars are compensated for tuning problems.. they tune a little off in the first place.. maybe you're tuning strictly with open strings on a

tuner? In which case it wont be well tuned.

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Thanks for the repiles.

 

I have NOT changed the strings. I forgot all about that. Will try that asap.

 

I have stretched them repeatedly.

 

I understand the nut issue but I'm not following on how the problem could be related to the bridge.

 

I tune open strings with the tuner and everything is fine...open chords, bar chords up and down the neck, scales, etc. but then in anywhere from 3 to 10 minutes the 6th or 5th string has changed and I have to retune it.

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the only way those strings can change tune is if they are not stretched or are binding.

Nothing else makes any sense.

 

you can bind behind the bridge.. the saddles holding the string tight though it's still loose behind the saddle..

that rarely happens unless you have your tail all the way down and the bridge saddles high.. a sharp angle causing it..

but that is just off planet set up and I doubt you have yours that way.

 

It can bind in the nut slots. pencil lead usually clears that up..

how to test:

tune the string. push down on the string behind the nut.

check tuning... without retuning bend the string as you normally would while playing.

check tuning.

 

what happened right there?

did it detune when you pushed behind the nut?

did it retune when you bent the string?

 

There's no freaking magic to this. There is nothing that could be wrong with the guitar.

It has to be in the string path, affecting the string.

 

I really don't even see the cheapest crap tuners I run into turning by string pull alone.

I do see a lot of sloppy string post winding.. lack of stretching.. nut slot binding.. or bridge saddle problem..

 

I've got a set of 1940s silvertone three on a plate tuners that you can't get to slip.

 

However. if you think it's the tuners.. here's a hint.. there is no possible way it can be all of them.

so reverse a problem strings tuner with another that seems to work fine.

 

If the problem goes away on that string, they owe you a new guitar because this one's tuners are defective.

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Tortuga, I felt exactly the same way. Never have I had such a problem keeping a guitar in tune like I was having with my new LP-100. I finally found the time to restring (properly) and retune - 'penciled' the nut slots - and lemon-oiled the rosewood fretboard. Plays and feels fantastic now. I look forward to playing it every day now. Even now my fingers are itching to play it.

 

Or maybe they're just allergic to lemon oil? :D

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Tortuga, how much out of tune are you talking about? It's common for a guitar not to be dead on (a few cents off) after playing, especially if you bend a lot. The needle or light may not be exactly dead on, that's why you see guitar players turn around and silent tune several times a night. They've noticed that a string is little out and are correcting it.

 

The info everone has posted for diagnostics should fix your problem and I can't really add anything to what has already been posted. The LP100 has a bolt-on neck. Are the screws tight? If they are the least bit loose, the neck can shift and you will definitely go out of tune. That has happened to my Strat in the past.

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Tried Twang's test. Pusing down behind the nut didn't seem to make it go out of tune.

 

Dave, it goes way out of tune but its really only the 6th and, to a lesser degree, the fifth string.

 

Unfortunately I only had about 10 minutes last night so I didn't get time to change the strings. However, I think that Ricach is right and that's going to be it. I had stretched the strings alot but last night I pulled the bejeezus out of that sixth string over and over and it seemed it was settling down after that. I didn't have time to play and really confirm but I finally got it where subsequent stretches didn't seem to affect it so much. So right now I'm buying into the string theory. I feel pretty silly if I just hadn't stretched them enough but I've never had to do that much stretching before.

 

Thanks much to everyone. I'll report back later.

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Yeah, it can only be a couple of different things. There's no magic here. The problem with crappy machines doesn't usually involve the inability to hold a tune. It's the ratio. Better tuners can tune in finer steps and generally just hold up better with smoother action. Even the crappiest tuners will hold.

 

It can only be a couple of things.

 

1. How it is stringed

2. Binding at the nut or bridge.

3. Strings have not been stretched appropriately.

 

Stretching is essential. Do it until stretching the crap out of it doesn't change the pitch. If it still slips. Then you're not stringing the instrument properly. It sounds like a stretching issue to me.

 

Good luck and happy stretching.

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2 to 3 turns around the post for the wound strings and 3 to 4 turns for the plain strings is what i do.

This advice is given by Fender, Gibson and Dan Erlewine (from the book Guitar Player Repair Guide).

As for your problems my first thought is the nut, then the tuners (don't over tighten the screws), loose

bridge saddles (very rarely). Maybe time to visit your local tech !

 

Peter

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I got an prophecy (SG Custon EX) 3 weeks ago and just wanted to playing it asap. Well like you the strings would not stay in tune...I changed them and I can basically go to band practice and only have to tweek the tuning a bit here and there over a couple of hours of heavy playing.

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