It's never the tuners.

Discussion in 'Tone Zone' started by Paul G., Sep 13, 2017.

  1. Paul G.

    Paul G. Well-Known Member

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    Before you start, let me reiterate in the strongest possible terms.

    It's never the tuners.

    It's the nut, or the strings, or how the strings are loaded and wound onto the pegs.

    It's never the tuners.

    Thank you.
     
  2. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    The only time I replace tuners is when this happens...

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2017
  3. pedecamp

    pedecamp Active Member

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    Agreed
     
  4. fjrabon

    fjrabon New Member

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    Yeah, I only replace tuners for 3 reasons:

    1) aesthetics
    2) I like the convenience of locking tuners
    3) some REALLY crappy ones stick and jump at a spot instead of turning smoothly.

    Oh and also, the most common reason I'd change tuners:

    I broke one.
     
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  5. Rob H.

    Rob H. Member

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    I agree it's never the tuners with a caveat of.....except when it is!

    But that's gotta be well under 1% of the time
     
  6. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    Right. I have a cheap ... what's it called ...
    ...
    ...

    Rhum & Coke was stronger than I thought ... wait, I'll go look on the headstock.

    OK, back on track ... what was I saying ? Oh yeah ... tuners ... and ... ?

    Yeah OK, I'm with you now. Jay Turser Vintage Strat, great guitar, thick mofo neck, pups are hot ... neck one is at least. Full Strat honk ... what ? I really love the neck on this guitar. Look at the size of that Mofo !

    Neck size at nut.jpg

    Yeah. ... so ... high E tuner is jumping teeth, but once tuned it'll stay there steady for a month. Bend all you want, stays in tune. But it takes me 5 minutes to tune it right. What's 5 minutes a month, eh ? Anyways, I ordered Musicily 6-in-line Vintage tuners for $12.99 to replace the faulty one. Should I change them all ? Nahh ... to much work.

    Stringless porn (parental guidance)

    170518-.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
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  7. Bonzo21

    Bonzo21 Active Member

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    Sometimes it's the tuners.... :D
     
  8. Rox

    Rox Active Member

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    I bought a Squier Precision Bass from a boot sale for £15. It had two of the tuners missing.

    In that case, it was definitely the tuners.
     
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  9. ratsalad

    ratsalad Active Member

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    In general I wouldn't blame tuning instability on tuning machines... I have however encountered tuners with gear ratios so piss poor that it made spot on accurate tuning more than a bit of a nightmare, but even then once tuned those crappy tuners will hold their tuning as long as the nut is in good condition and the guitar is strung properly.
     
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  10. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    That I can agree with for damaged tuners.
     
  11. ratsalad

    ratsalad Active Member

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    To kind of put it into context with an example; my wife brought home a Squier Bullet Strat, the tuners are so bad that it's a quarter of a turn of the pegs before the pole piece moves :rofl:
     
  12. AngelDeVille

    AngelDeVille Well-Known Member

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    A set of nut files is the same price as a fancy set of locking tuners, and they can be used to fix multiple guitars.


    I had some experts on another forum tell me I don't know what I'm talking about when I told them a locking nut is unnecessary with a Floyd Rose.....
     
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  13. grausch

    grausch Active Member

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    I own one of the Meastros by Gibsons which were made for Costco. Replaced the nut and it is set up properly. Guitar can't stay in tune for 5 minutes - in that case, definitely the tuners.

    That being said it is 1 guitar out of at least 10 with problematic tuners. All my others (even cheap Squiers I played in-store) are fine.
     
  14. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    How do you wind the strings ?
     
  15. grausch

    grausch Active Member

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    The locking method whereby you twist the string back on itself. My 50s Tribute SG and one of my Bernies was always done the same way without any tuning issues. In this case, the tuners just aren't stable enough and just simple strumming causes all of the strings to go slightly out of tune. I am guessing the tolerances were just too large on these tuners.

    Take note, however, that this guitar was cheaper than a Squire Bullet or Epiphone G-310 and that included an amp. I could easily fix this, which I may do once the kids are old enough to play, but right now I have plenty of others that play great.
     
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  16. jvin248

    jvin248 Active Member

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    That's what I usually find, replaced nuts are the scourge of tuning. Too tight of slots or slots cut too high or not set right in the groove.

    Fret the third fret and if more than a sheet of paper fits under the string at the first fret the nut is cut too high and the string will go out of tune when fretting any of the cowboy chords.

    Or people try to tune down to the note rather than drop down a half step and then 'tune up' to pitch. Cheaper tuners will have more 'back lash' in the gear set and the down tuning habit will be much more problematic. Properly tuning up will keep stable tuning on the least expensive machines.

    Fancy tuners feel a lot nicer when messing with them though so it is an upgrade in feel, just like nicer pots can make adjusting the electronics more luxurious.

    .
     
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  17. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    That too. I do it instinctively, but some might not.

    Damn guitars ... always something. I'll switch to bongos, much simpler.
     
  18. Dave_Death

    Dave_Death Well-Known Member

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    Well I was always a believer in 'it's never the tuner, it's always the nut' but then I changed the tuners on my 2011 SG Standard to Kluson locking tuners and all of a sudden that guitar really stays in tune, even with the factory corian nut, much better than my other two SGs with Grover locking tuners and TUSQ XL nuts.

    Work that one out ...

    Mind you the Standard is in E standard tuning while the others are in D or C.
     
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  19. Paul G.

    Paul G. Well-Known Member

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    I guess I went for brevity, so I will qualify: on some very, very, very, very cheap guitars the tuners are horrible, loose sloppy die-cast jobbies that are difficult to use and, yes, may (I said may) slip.

    This is an SG forum, and most of the tuning problems people are talking about are on decent-quality guitars.

    If your guitar goes sharp after playing a bit, the nut needs to be cut properly. As a temporary fix, drop some Graphite or Petroleum Jelly in there (or mix them together to make a really slippery goop that stays in place).

    If your guitar intonates well at the 12th fret, but sounds sharp in the first position, the nut is high.

    If your guitar intonates well, but sounds sharp on certain chords, it's you. Learn to relax your hand as you play.

    If your guitar goes flat after playing a bit, you probably have loose/uneven windings on the peg and/or haven't taken the time to stretch the strings. The windings should butt up against each other, locking in place as a unit.

    Locking tuners are great, they are an improvement. They make loading, unloading and stretching strings easier. Get them if you like, you don't need them, but they're nice.

    End of qualifiers.
     
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  20. LDS

    LDS Member

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    Not to point fingers, but I've found that a certain make of guitars (name undisclosed to protect the guilty, it rhymes with 'choir') has particularity crappy tuners in their more 'affordable' models. The ones I've had experience with are imprecise, jerky, and all in all make tuning a laborious chore. The last guitar I had which actually had tuners that slipped is an old Electra Tele copy.
     
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