SG Original 2 - Tuning Issues Solved

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by EPOCH6, Mar 7, 2016.

  1. EPOCH6

    EPOCH6 Member

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    This is actually my first post on the board but I've been lurking around for a while since I got my first SG, looking for answers to my tuning issues. Clearly I'm not the first person that has run into this issue with the SG Original 2 and I certainly won't be the last, so I figure I ought to throw my exeprience on to the pile for the sake of further verifying some of the issues these gorgeous guitars have been bringing home with them.

    I picked mine up a month ago after a good half year of hunting for the right vintage style SG. I absolutely love the look of Gibson's tailpieces and really wanted to find myself an SG with the old style vibrola, finally one showed up on Craigslist, near mint condition w/ receipt and original packaging for a good price. The guy said he was just over the 30-day return policy when he changed his mind about it, claiming that he's more of an acoustic guy, wanting to sell the SG for cash to put towards a Martin. This was the first time I had seen or even heard of an SG Original, I was basically looking for something similar to old SG Customs or a Robby Krieger style SG, the SG Original fit the bill, and the second I saw that spotless dark cherry finish there was no turning back.

    The guy welcomed me to play around with it for a while before committing to the purchase and at the time it felt completely reasonable to blame the tuning issues on the fresh set of unstretched strings, I was just eager to take the masterpiece home to my amp for some 1 on 1 lovin', so off I went SG Original in hand, my first Gibson, grinning ear to ear.

    I spend all night jamming with it, throw a set of my typical D'Addario .11s on it, stretch em' for another hour, place it proudly upon its stand (front and center as the new crown jewel of my guitar family) and head off to sleep. I bring it to rehearsal the next evening, we start running through our set, and to my surprise the axe won't stay in tune for a single song without at least two strings drifting a half step flat (with little to no trem use). We keep going hoping it's just new strings but no improvement, I swap with my ol faithful Telecaster and we finish up, agreeing to drop the SG off with our bassist's guitar tech for a check-up.

    Spent a suspenseful week praying to the Gibson Gods to have mercy on my vibrola, the last thing I wanted to hear was that the absolutely stunning Lyre trem was to blame. Finally I got it back last Friday along with the news that it was simply a poorly cut factory nut that needed some serious filing (especially to play nice with .11s) and lubing, the previous owner had .09s on it and even those were catching at the nut. It's rock solid now, even with frequent trem use.

    I've read a lot here about users opting out of the Nashville bridge for roller bridges or ABR bridges in addition to servicing their nut but I don't think I'll be taking that extra step, it seems to be performing fine now with just the serviced nut.

    So TL:DR;

    Seems like with the SG Original line the tuning instability issues always seem to surface either at the nut slots or at the Lyre Vibrola/Maestro's breakover angle. More often than not the nut is to blame, most users here seem pretty satisfied with their Lyre trem performance.

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    bwotw, JCarno, Delboy and 1 other person like this.
  2. JohnnyGoo

    JohnnyGoo Well-Known Member

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    beautiful guitar
     
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  3. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    that's fascinating! thanks for posting.
    Tuning issues are always popping up on these boards, and many of us suggest professional nut work
    as an essential part of curing such issues.

    I'm glad to read your report and details. And that's a lovely SG. Many times I have bought a used guitar
    and taken it to a luhier right away, saying "let's figure out why the old owner sold this, and put it right."

    I believe you may have done just this. Many players would not think of taking their guitar to a pro for
    service... they just buy it, try and play it, struggle to set it up with inadequate tools, give up, say it sux and
    sell it at a loss. We love players like that. We buy their frustrating guitars, solve the problems and play music.

    That instrument is a beauty. oh and WELCOME TO ETSG!

    The other thing I'll always recommend when guitars have tuning issues is the
    "self locking method of installing strings." I call it the Poor man's Locking Tuner.

    http://www.google.com/search?client...rings+++self+locking+method&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8
     
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  4. Gibsg

    Gibsg Well-Known Member

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    Nice finish, I like this dark cherry.
     
  5. EPOCH6

    EPOCH6 Member

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  6. Marln864

    Marln864 Member

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    Nice guitar.
     
  7. Jimmy Jacks

    Jimmy Jacks Well-Known Member

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    That guitar is a stunner!!! Im happy you got her sorted out and playing right. She's a Gem, don't forget to name her, and talk about her so that your wife/girlfriend get jealous.
     
  8. Delboy

    Delboy Well-Known Member

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    Love the original 2 SG's. Beautiful guitars.
     
  9. 67plexi

    67plexi Well-Known Member

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    I would look for some nylon saddles on your bridge. I had bridge movement and locked it down that worked on my SG.

    003.JPG
     
  10. Paul G.

    Paul G. Well-Known Member

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    I may be getting tired of typing this, but I'll do it again. It is almost always the nut. And when I say almost, I mean it is rarely anything else. If is not the nut, then the strings are being loaded onto the tuning pegs improperly.

    If you have any tuning problems, first thing to do is lube the nut. If there is improvement, take your guitar to a good luthier to have the nut worked on.

    If no improvement, only then should you look at other things.

    P.
     
  11. JCarno

    JCarno Active Member

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    Beautiful Guitar!! I own one also. It's definitely my go to guitar of all the ones I own. I was on the lookout for one for a while when one popped up on one of the big stores,ZZ Sounds or Sam Ash, I don't remember. It was a demo version so I got a couple hundred bucks off.
    I was only having issues with tuning when using the trem. I f I didn't use it, I had no issues. I use 9s. I just put some graphite on the nut and it's much better.
    I really love the feel and looks of it. I threw a T-Top repro from Rewind Pickups in the bridge and it's instant Angus.
    If I'm ever in the position that I have to sell my gear, that one will be the last to go.
    Congrats!!! :cheers:
     
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  12. CHall1525

    CHall1525 Active Member

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    Glad it was fixable for you. That is a gorgeous guitar!
     

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