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J 45 Staying in tune


Philly

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Going flat? . . Or going sharp? . . Or both?

 

Going flat - slipping: make sure the ball end of the strings are properly seated against the bridge plate and the strings are wound on the tuning posts properly. Also getting dry (humidity) and/or the instrument is cooling down.

 

Going sharp - Too damp (humidity going up) and/or the temperature of the instrument is rising.

 

The environmental conditions can be hard to control, especially when gigging. My guitars tend to go sharp or flat evenly, so the guitar's strings stay in tune with each other, but the reference frequency will rise and fall, causing my guitar to possibly be off pitch with another instrument.

 

 

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Yeah mine is a bit finicky too, but I don't mind. Now my little 300$ Taylor Big baby , I could tune up , drag it behind my car , use it as a paddle in a frigid stream, bring it into the sauna and it would STILL be in tune. My j45 , I take it in and out of the case and I need to retune it..........of course once it's in tune HEAVEN. The Taylor sounds kinda like a cigar box with rubber bands strung across it, perfectly in tune of course ! I'll take the Gibby. [thumbup]

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I find that some strings stretch more and have to be tuned more often. One of a few reasons I don't use Martin strings. Elixers for me always stay perfectly tuned after the break in period. Something to think about and consider. I've never had a problem with a quality acoustic like Gibson not staying in tune well. It's always been strings

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Older wood seems to reach a stasis where it catches and releases less moisture. I have heard this referred to as getting dried out, although the wood is not literally getting dried out. So the following applies but maybe somewhat less so to older guitars. As others have mentioned, when the top swells with moisture the pitches get sharper, and when humidity drops the top sinks, hence flatter. The situation depends a lot on your locale. Some places the humidity is quite stable and when it changes generally changes gradually. Other spots may undergo drastic humidity changes in a short periods of time. Your experience is not predictive of mine, nor mine of yours in regard to tuning stability! I have a 2008 Martin 00-18VS leaning against the wall next to a Gibson Blues King approximately the same age. Recently the humidity in Oakland has been going up and down like a yo-yo as we come by turns under continental dry air or ocean wet air. Both guitars exhibit the same changes of pitch. Nearly identical. If you want a guitar that remains in standard pitch in spite of humidity changes, get an all laminate guitar or one of those carbon fibre things.

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Going flat? . . Or going sharp? . . Or both?

 

Going flat - slipping: make sure the ball end of the strings are properly seated against the bridge plate and the strings are wound on the tuning posts properly. Also getting dry (humidity) and/or the instrument is cooling down.

 

Going sharp - Too damp (humidity going up) and/or the temperature of the instrument is rising.

 

The environmental conditions can be hard to control, especially when gigging. My guitars tend to go sharp or flat evenly, so the guitar's strings stay in tune with each other, but the reference frequency will rise and fall, causing my guitar to possibly be off pitch with another instrument.

 

 

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Actually you have the temperature part backwards. Rising temperature will make the strings go flat (expansion), while cooling temps make them go sharp (contraction).
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Nut talk.... the angle of the slots in the nut needs to be toward the post and angle down from the fretboard to the post. I was having trouble with medium gauge (ej17) once a time and the luthier showed me how he filed the correct angle. He said that the angle can cause a string to go sharp, all I can say is that he killed two stones with one bird for me. However, hot/cold/hunidity changes are the big ones, I do hate winter.

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Nut talk.... the angle of the slots in the nut needs to be toward the post and angle down from the fretboard to the post. I was having trouble with medium gauge (ej17) once a time and the luthier showed me how he filed the correct angle. He said that the angle can cause a string to go sharp, all I can say is that he killed two stones with one bird for me. However, hot/cold/hunidity changes are the big ones, I do hate winter.

The 'angle of the dangle' is usually equal to the square of the hypotenuse....Jes Sayin' :-k

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