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Setup for SG-400

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Hi. I'm new to the forum and I have a question. I received a brand new SG-400 as a gift in December and it has been setup 4 times since then by two different shops. I had the stings changed on 2 of those occasions. The guitar sounds great when I first get it back, but after a week or so, the guitar becomes impossible to get into tune. My $29 Korg tuner generally shows fretted notes on most of the strings reading sharp while showing dead on at zero when unfretted. I love the guitar, but this is driving me crazy. Does anyone have any ideas what I can do or what may be causing this to happen. Thanks.

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That's the nature of the instrument. The frets aren't perfectly in tune - you can get a perfect pitch on an open string and at one other position by adjusting intonation. Anything else is only an approximation.

 

Some builders are making more accurate fretboards, but it's not very common.

 

[EDIT] Here's one example.

 

DSC_0002_3.jpg

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If your fretted notes are going sharp, i'd guess that you're pressing the strings down too hard.....

Try this test

fret a note and press it just hard enough to make it sound out.......then put normal pressure on it..........2 different notes yes?

 

just relax, don't "crush" the fretboard.

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If your fretted notes are going sharp' date=' i'd guess that you're pressing the strings down too hard.....

Try this test

fret a note and press it just hard enough to make it sound out.......then put normal pressure on it..........2 different notes yes?

 

just relax, don't "crush" the fretboard.[/quote']

 

Although many variables can cause tuning problems, three things immediately come to mind.

Bender covered the first one. (Good call)

 

Intonation could be off but after 4 setups I would hope it is correct.

 

The 3rd is that often the nut slots are cut too high. B strings and G strings can be notorious for this. Although

it can effect all strings, I have seen B strings tuned perfect and the D note on the 2nd sting (3rd fret) out by

as much as 20c's or more.

If the slot is too high even moderate pressure on the fist few frets can cause problems. Pressing on the first

few frets just enough to contact the fret itself stretches the string enough to send it sharp.

 

Although I have never tried them, many people like earvana nuts. The people that do, tell me they are the best

thing since sliced bread. Here is the link:

http://www.earvana.com/

 

Personally, I cut and slot my own nuts (OUCH!) And have few if any problems.

 

Excuse my ramble, I am still on my first cup of coffee.

Willy

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I thought that too when i got mine back so i went out and bought a Peterson strobe tuner which is way more accurate then the cheap tuners. I bought it used so it wasnt to bad for the price. Get a good tuner and do it your self, prob all the shops use strobe tuners.

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Thanks everyone for your input, I will try to respond to the questions asked:

 

1. As far as which strings are out the most I would say they are the B and G strings, which also bind in the nut by the way. I told the guitar shop about the binding the last time I brought it back and it was fine for a few days but they have started binding again.

 

2. Bender 4 Life - I tried your suggestions and you are right. I do tend to press hard on the strings and noticed the strings were either not going sharp or at least not going as sharp when I use a lighter touch. Man, it is going to be hard trying to unlearn something I have been doing for a long time.

 

3. Willy, I wouldn't trust my ability to change the nut myself, but I will ask about it when I bring it back to the shop again.

 

4. Ken, it's funny, but I was looking at Petersen strobe tuners on the Web shortly before I posted this thread. I see they are expensive, but it may save me money over the long run.

 

The strange thing is that the guitar sounds perfect when I get it back after the setups, but it then sounds off after a few days to a week of playing it. If the problem is the nut, or me pressing on the strings too hard, I would expect that the guitar would never sound in tune, but it does when the setups are first completed. Is there anything else on the guitar that would cause it to lose it's intonation in a short time frame?

 

I really do appreciate everyone's help, and the suggestion to not press so hard on the strings will help me even after I finally get this guitar sounding as it should.

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Binding in the nut can be resolved by scraping some lead (graphite actually) from a #2 pencil into the nut slots. I had binding problems, did this, and it solved everything. A nice cheap and easy fix that you can do yourself in only a few minutes.

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All good suggestions so far. I would have the nut changed to a TUSQ teflon or Earvana. Might also be worth checking the tension of the individual tuning keys.

 

There should be a screw in each one that needs to to be screwed down until quite firm to prevent the gear from slipping - easy job just use the correctly fitting type and size of screwdriver.

 

Stewart B

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Personally' date=' I cut and slot my own nuts (OUCH!) And have few if any problems.

 

Excuse my ramble, I am still on my first cup of coffee.

Willy

 

 

[/quote']

 

Willy, last weekend I also cut and filed my nut - you are right - OUCH! (Couldn't resist that one).

 

Stewart B

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Check the nut as mentioned but also have the frets looked at.

It's quite likely the frets may not be seated correctly or just need a slight filing

so the notes don't bend in and cause them to be out of tune.

On such a mass produced instrument I would scrutinize all possible culprits until it's ruled out

that it's not the problem

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