SG and ES330 tuning problems

Discussion in 'Vintage SG' started by guitarman555, Mar 11, 2019.

  1. guitarman555

    guitarman555 Member

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    Hey, I have a Tribute 1961 SG and a vintage ES330, both of them have tuning problems, just not enough space on the bridge to get to the tone at few strings. In Tribute 1961 I will probably solve it by putting the bridge vice versa, but in my vintage ES330 I ´ve already turned it opposite site and not enough space! It drives me crazy, any thoughts, eg. another bridge, or some ammendment of current bridge?
     
  2. Ray

    Ray Well-Known Member

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    Maybe worth swapping to Nashville bridges if those are ABR-1 bridges ..? IMO Nashville bridges are superior to ABRs, any day.
     
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  3. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    You mean you have problems with intonation, not individual string tuning ?

    Flipping the whole bridge won't get you anywhere, since half the saddles are facing the other side. Have you tried flipping around the saddles that don't intonate.

    You can get a bridge with wider saddle travel. I recently got this one for my LP Ultra in an effort to debling the gold on it.

    s-l1600.jpg

    V2 body 1.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2019
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  4. guitarman555

    guitarman555 Member

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    Many thanks, yes I am talking about intonation of some strings at higher frets adjustable by bridge saddles.
     
  5. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately with the ES-330, you may not be able to get a bridge with more space. I assume it's an ABR-1 bridge? There is currently no way to convert them easily to the wider Nashville style. I had to custom fabricate my own solution for my SG.
     
  6. guitarman555

    guitarman555 Member

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    Why is not possible to change bridge on ES330? Thanks!
     
  7. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand Well-Known Member

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    The posts are different sizes and are installed differently. It would take a significant amount of work and devalue the guitar.
     
  8. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    The early Gibson guitars were designed in an age when guitar strings
    came in one gauge: heavy. So the solution to intonation problems on a
    "vintage" guitar is to use heavy gauge strings. .013s or larger...

    The Nashville bridge (and the Harmonica bridge before it) were designed
    as improvements that would help guitarists achieve proper intonation
    with lighter gauge strings. They work as designed, and give no
    trouble. If you want to use lighter gauge strings, more modern guitars
    are best.

    When you own a 'vintage" guitar, it's best to honor it with the strings
    it was designed for. When you want to modernize your tone, modern
    guitars work better.
     
  9. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    that said, I would recommend professional setup.
    Find the best luthier you can afford, and take your guitar (s) to him.
    (I'd pick the one that gives the most trouble, and get that one set up
    first). Explain and demonstrate the problem, and see if the luthier
    can't put it right.

    Lots of us do our own setup work, but a pro luthier has tools and
    measuring equipment that most of us don't own. When you have
    trouble like you are describing, you might need resources and experience
    that you don't have at home.

    Most Gibsons stay in tune just fine. We see a lot of posts on this
    subject anyway, and IMHO many times the OP is just overlooking the
    easiest solution. Pro setup... by the best luthier in your area... the one
    that pro guitarists trust with their fretwork and repairs.

    The solution might be as easy as flipping individual bridge saddles
    around so they face backwards and can get a tiny bit more rearward
    travel for the notch.
     
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  10. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Well-Known Member

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    Have you reversed the saddles as well to allow more travel?
     
  11. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    I never thought about that. Makes sense.
     
  12. Paul G.

    Paul G. Well-Known Member

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    Flip individual saddles. Most of mine are 3 treble strings facing forward, 3 wound strings facing backwards. My SG with ABR-1 is 2 high strings facing forward, G string facing backwards, D string facing forward, 2 bass strings facing backwards.
     
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  13. Brooklyn Zeke

    Brooklyn Zeke New Member

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    Worth mentioning: New strings MUST be (pre)stretched systematically: individually, and repeatedly after restringing to the point that when you play the guitar normally after restringing (vigorous strumming and bending for a while), it stays in relatively good tune. I cannot stress this enough, especially before a public performance or a rehearsal. This procedure can take 1-2 hours to be done properly so that the strings settle into their permanent positions relative to the nut, bridge, and tailpiece. Locking tuners are also a good investment. Gibsons also suffer from 4 of the 6 strings (B, G, D, & A) being subjected to a break angle at the point where they exit the nut on their way to their tuning posts. A String Butler eliminates the sharp break angle at the nut, and is a good investment. I've made those 2 mods on my '70 SG Standard (original owner, with extraordinarily low action) and the guitar retains extremely great tune for extended periods of active playing.
     
  14. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    If you fit the strings properly, pre-stretching (nothing to do with stretching of course, just pulling all the slack out of the crap fitting procedure) is not necessary. And of course a String Butler is just anther opportunity for instability. Provided your nut is in good order you get perfect stability without such contraptions. Always fix what is actually wrong before resorting to snake oil.
     
  15. Brooklyn Zeke

    Brooklyn Zeke New Member

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    Reply to donepearce: you've invalidated everything I'd asserted in my comment, like I don't know of what I write. Let me tell ya how it's done, son. An SG Standard with a Vibrola tailpiece requires a protracted period of string stretching to properly seat new strings. Otherwise, it will repeatedly go out of tune as you play. A stopbar tailpiece may, perhaps, require a shorter time span in the stretching procedure, but it is still absolutely necessary. There isn't a guitar in existence that can be expected to remain in good tune immediately after re-stringing and first-tensioned up to pitch. The String Butler was a good investment in tuning stability in my experience. It would be unnecessary on a Fender, or any Gibson model with straight string pull behind the nut. A TonePros locking ABR-1-type bridge was also an essential investment because the bridges on SGs tend to tilt, usually toward the nut. The locking bridge prevents that from occurring. Any "contraption" which is designed to stabilize string tension at points on a guitar which traditionally contribute to tuning instability helps to prolong periods between tweaking the tuning. If guitars stayed in tune extremely well over long periods of playing, there wouldn't be a need for these "contraptions". All strings must be stretched before any serious in-tune playing is attempted.
    My nut is in good order. The one on the SG is also in good order.
     
  16. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    Let me make something clear. If you ever stretch a string, you have f*cked it, and you may as well take it off and replace it. Strings are carefully tempered steel or nickel, and if you pull them past their elastic limit by stretching them, they are no longer guitar strings - just bits of scrap metal. Stretching is normally followed in short order by necking and breaking. Luckily it is quite hard to stretch a guitar string, and a bit of a tug to pull the slack out of a crap installation won't do it.
     
  17. jonnyfez

    jonnyfez Member

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    Stretching strings IS required at every string change. Full stop.
     
  18. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    Let me explain punctiation. That little dot at the end of the sentence is a full stop. You don't write out the words "Full stop".
     
  19. jonnyfez

    jonnyfez Member

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    Let me explain stretching strings. Do.
     
  20. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    Let me expand. Can't. You stretch, you wreck.
     

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