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20_Gauge

Upgrades to my EJ Artist

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I'm thinkin' about maybe upgrading the stock tuners that came on my EJ but am overwhelmed w/ the options out there. The tuners that came on it don't hold it in tune(I can tune from E -> e & when I go back & check the E strings, it's out of tune already). What are some good & reasonably priced tuners that I can swap'em out with? The less modifications needed to install, the better.

 

Also wondering if it'd be worthwile to look into swapping out the saddle. I've read that that helps with tuning issues. How difficult is that to do?

 

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The Grovers on the EJ's are usually rock solid so might be worth checking the nut isn't sticking (or possibly the string itself is slipping rather than the tuner itself)

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The Grovers on the EJ's are usually rock solid so might be worth checking the nut isn't sticking (or possibly the string itself is slipping rather than the tuner itself)

 

Thanks for advice, wiggy.

 

Have looked @ Grovers, also looked at these Gotohs(http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Tuners/Guitar,_solid_peghead_tuners/Gotoh_Tuners/Gotoh_Large_Schaller-style_Knob_Tuners.html or http://www.ebay.com/itm/151008359737?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649).

 

I've lubricated(the best I could w/ graphite) the nut.

 

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If the nut's not sticking it quite possible could be the string slipping rather than the tuner (a dodgy tuner might slip a few cents but not much more).

 

How are you wrapping your strings?

 

Piccy if poss!

 

Also - are you stretching your strings thoroughly when fitting them?

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Hmmm that could be it, still haven't perfected the correct wrapping technique. Will post a pic of headstock a.s.a.p.

 

Stretching them a li'l but prob'ly not like I should.

 

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This is the way I was taught and I've never had a string slip even on really cheap and nasty tuners.

 

1. Bring the hole in the tuner to the 9 o'clock - 3o'clock position

2. Bring the string up to the tuner and make a 90 degree inward bend 1" past the hole

3. Thread the string through the hole (inside to outside) up to the bend

4. Wrap the string around the post anticlockwise until it passes under itself

5. Bring the string vertical to lock it against itself

 

At this point you should be able to lift the guitar by hooking your finger under the string at the mid point on the fretboard

 

6. Wind the string to tension (use your thumb to feed the string from the bottom of the tuner upwards) - should only need a couple of turns if you've got it correct.

7. Stretch the string a few times

8. Tighten to pitch

9. Repeat 7 & 8 until stable

 

 

How To String A Guitar

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I'll hafta try that, wiggy.

 

I'm not too good @ understanding directions, I learn better watching someone do it, do ya possibly have a video example? Would definitely like to try it if it's a good way.

 

This is the method I use(that I've seen taught by Elixr & D'addario):

 

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That's pretty much as I do - only thing it misses is checking that the string is locked by lifting the guitar (after point 5.)

 

The other thing to check is that the end pin isn't lifting (had that on my Tanglewood) or that the string isn't initially locked at the end pin.

 

I'm saying this because 99 times out of 100 tuning instability isn't down to the tuners - iffy ones make it a pain to get into tune but generally, once you're there, they stay there.

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It kinda sounded like it was the same thing but I wasn't sure.

 

I'll check the endpins tomorrow. Question: should they all the pins sit even(be level) when they're all set down in the bridge?

 

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It kinda sounded like it was the same thing but I wasn't sure.

 

I'll check the endpins tomorrow. Question: should they all the pins sit even(be level) when they're all set down in the bridge?

 

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Yes - pretty much

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Here are the headtck/tuners on my EJ.

Prob'ly not the best example of wrapping but actually it's tighter than the wrap on my LP or Dot.

 

2013-03-10_19-41-03_388_zpsd3c60e30.jpg

 

2013-03-10_19-41-44_740_zps69129786.jpg

 

2013-03-10_19-42-45_378_zps6a515ab3.jpg

 

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Here's my typical way of doing things... You basically want to get as many wrappings around the post as possible. This is very important on cheaper guitars with lower ratio tuners of say 12:1 as opposed to nice tuners at 20:1. The low ratio by nature allows them to back off more easily. After I detirmine how much of the extra string I'm going to use, I thread it thru the hole with about 1/4" sticking out. I make sure that I always wrap the first time around the peg OVER THE TOP of the protruding end of the string and continue to wrap everything else BELOW the protruding end downward towards the headstock. What this does is sandwich the end of the string between the first two wraps of the string going around the peg locking it into inself.

 

Keesee

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Thanks for the info, keesee.

 

So it's better to have a couple winds of string on each tuner?

I just did 1 or 2 'cause I think it looks "cleaner" but if that might be causing slippage, I'll start winding them more.

 

Yeah, when I first started looking for "how to" videos, I think I saw a video on YouTube of a guy stringing a guitar using this method. I'd like to try it but I can't seem to find the video. If you have 1 please let me know.

 

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I generally aim to have around three turns on the tuner.

 

Even on my partscaster Tele which was fitted with the cheapest tuners I could find (they make the Epi Grovers seem like Waverley's msp_crying.gif) tuning stays rock solid.

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Except for obviously broken tuners, I've never seen them responsible for tuning problems per se. Usually it's nut, bridge, new string "stretch," or on really messed up old guitars, the hole in the wood between the tuner mechanism and where it attaches to the string.

 

I think you're getting good advice here on some specifics.

 

For what it's worth, you might be surprised at how much I end up using my right hand to stretch new strings. Depending on the set, it'll run a half to a whole tone lower. Even with doing that, usually I'll find the lower bass strings will drop a bit when the new strings are added one at a time. So I use my hand and stretch the heck out of 'em again. After that it's a matter of weather affecting the wood by the next day on some guitars, but not all - usually the archtops. Flattops are next most sensitive to weather (indoor too) conditions, then the solids and semi-hollows are more stable.

 

m

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What I normally do with new strings after they're on, and I've made sure they're securely attached (seriously), is...

 

While I'm sitting, I'll hold the guitar as though I'm playing it; put my right thumb on the string and a cupla fingers on the other side of the string and kinda crank on it as though tightening a wrench. I also try to keep the string centered over its slot on the nut and on the bridge/bridge pin, so any additional tension isn't going contrary to the direction a guitar is built to accept.

 

Others may have a better way, and I'm more than willing to listen and change how I stretch a new set of strings as I put them on the guitar, but I've been doing this for years...

 

m

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Ok so put my right thumb on the top of the string & a couple fingers on the other side of the string, do ya mean the other end of the string(up close to the nut) or the underside of the string?

 

twist the string?

 

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How I do it...

 

Under side of the string. Lower side of the string... Put the palm of your hand on the strings. Then put lower the thumb to touch the string you wanna stretch so the thumbnail is between your eye and the string. Then put a cupla fingers, probably middle and ring fingers work best for me, opposite the thumb. Press "down" (toward the treble string side of the fingerboard) with the thumb and pull up with equal force with the fingers.

 

Think of a percent sign %. But again, position your hand so you'll keep tension as much "straight line" between where the string is on the nut and the bridge pin on an acoustic.

 

As Joe said, eventually the strings would stabilize anyway.

 

Do not overdo it, either. Getting something other than a pretty straight line between the slot in the nut and the bridge pin could conceivably damage any guitar if you put much force in it - and worse if you end up "pulling" the string such as drawing a bow and arrow.

 

m

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Thanks, Joe.

 

Yeah, I've seen it done that way but never have done it. Out of town(brought my LP) right now, can I just stretch the strings already on my EJ or start w/ a new set?

 

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