SG Special II tuners

Discussion in 'Epiphone SG' started by omilitis1987, May 28, 2018.

  1. omilitis1987

    omilitis1987 New Member

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    Hello to this fantastic community!

    I just received an Epi SG special II, really beautiful guitar and nice rock sound for my (beginners’) ears but I have a major problem... it cannot stay in tune for more than 3 minutes. Moreover the G string seems that it does not respond well enough when I turn the tuner, it is almost impossible to achieve a stable correct G tone. I can turn the tuner like 360 grades without major difference in the tone and suddenly after that it does a really big change in the tone with just a small more move.
    I understand that the stock tuners are not so good but I wonder if you could recommend some other tuners which can be installed without using a drill but just using the stock holes.

    I have not changed strings yet, do you think that this problem can go over if I just put new strings?

    Thanks in advance for any help and congrats again for this really helpful forum!
     
  2. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    Welcome!

    Install new strings and use string lock method pictured below.

    [​IMG]

    Tune guitar to pitch. Give each string a gentle tug at 12th fret so that the string windings settle on the tuner posts. Make certain strings are not binding in the nut slots. You don't want to hear any pings. If you tune a string too sharp, always bring it back down below pitch and then back up to pitch.
     
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  3. omilitis1987

    omilitis1987 New Member

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    Thank you!
    I’ll give it a try the way you recommend :)
     
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  4. Clifdawg

    Clifdawg Well-Known Member

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    It's not the tuners; it's the nut. :smile: what's happening is that the nut slots are not filed properly, and so they are "grabbing" the strings as you tune/play/bend/etc. The most effective method of fixing this issue permanently is to order something like a graphtech Tusq nut and have a luthier sand, file, and replace it for you, although alternatively, you could just have a tech file the existing nut (it cost me something like 10 bucks at my local Guitar Center for an Epi Les Paul that had the same issue you're describing).

    A cheaper, simpler method would be to drop down a gauge in strings and lubricate the slots. There are nut lubricants (insert sophomoric joke and giggle here), but the cheapest method would be some graphite shavings from a pencil mixed with a small amount of petroleum jelly. Apply the smallest visible amount with a toothpick or similarly tiny device, and string up.

    Do either of those things, and I can almost guarantee the problems will go away. Almost universally, tuning stability issues are entirely caused by the nut, and unless something is wrong with the mechanical function of a tuning machine, changing them will not help. :thumb:
     
  5. Norlin SG

    Norlin SG Well-Known Member

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    It's amazing how many people replace perfectly good tuners because they don't know how to tune correctly and/or their nut is not fitted correctly and binding the strings. Who ever told you the EPI tuners are not very good most likely just want's to make money selling you new tuners and charging you to install them.

    I watched a vid where this supposed tech scammed someone that had a brand new Gibson Les Paul into replacing the perfectly good tuners on it to "fix" Gibson's "legendary" tuning problems. :facepalm:
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2018
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  6. omilitis1987

    omilitis1987 New Member

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    Thank you guys!
    So I ll start with new strings and some lubrication to the nut. I am not going to order new tuners, you all seem to be sure that it is not where the problem begins! Feels certainly better now :) I was really disappointed the truth is.
     
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  7. Bad Penguin

    Bad Penguin Active Member

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    Listen to Clifdawg. He's absolutely right about lubing the nut slots. (Insert joke here__________________)
    You can go to Home Depot or Lowes and get a set of welding tip cleaners for about 5 bucks. Use them as files to slightly widen the slots, and add pencil dust to lube them up. Good luck, and welcome to the forum!
     
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  8. chrisoldroyd

    chrisoldroyd New Member

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    If the tuners are the same ones as on the Les Paul Special II then they are rubbish. I changed my nut and lubed it and it did improve things but the turners are utter trash and slip all the time.

    If you’re going to keep it for a while get some better tuners.
     
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  9. iblive

    iblive Well-Known Member

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    What everyone has already posted. I did replace the OEM nut on my G400 with a Graphtech nut. I also swapped out the OEM tuners for a set of Gibson Vintage tuners. Not because there was anything wrong with the originals. They worked perfectly. I was just going for asthetics.

    My tuning and intonation issues was with the OEM bridge. The saddles would actually move. Swapped in a Tonepros saddle and tailpiece and all my tuning issues went away. I can pick up the guitar after not playing it for days and sometimes a week or more and it’s still in tune. If it has changed all six strings will be pretty much the same whether that is flat or sharp.
     
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  10. Chubbles

    Chubbles Active Member

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    I never leave well enough alone. I replaced the nut on my special ii with Tusq epi nut. I had to shim it. I drilled the tuner holes and went with Grovers. I kind of wish I did vintage. I have no issues any more. I love modding. I would listen to these guys first. Something can be always replaced later.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2018
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  11. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to ETSG!

    +1 on all of what's been said here... Old dead strings will not stay in tune.
    That's how you know it's time to change them. Cheap tuners will have sloppy action.

    I recommend you take your guitar to a good luthier and get it set up.
    The luthier will identify problems with the nut if they are there, and he has
    the right tools to fix it or replace it.

    I have tusq nuts on both of my Epiphones, and they don't need lubrication because
    of the compound that's used in making them. If your luthier installs a bone nut,
    that won't need lube either. Tusq is likely cheaper.

    The inexpensive tuners on an inexpensive Epiphone are not the precise machines we
    get on more expensive guitars. They can be replaced by Gotoh tuners for about
    $25.00. Don't install heavy Grover Rotomatics on an SG, they are too heavy and will
    unbalance your guitar and cause neck dive.

    Epiphones respond well to upgrades. Good luck, and welcome to the forum.
     
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  12. omilitis1987

    omilitis1987 New Member

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    The guitar is already in a luthier and waits for a diagnosis and then to be fixed. I read many topics and understood that a set up and maybe some parts replacement may be necessary!
    It’s a luthier that everyone seems to trust so I am optimistic about the result :)
     
  13. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    Every guitar needs to be set up, IMHO...
    Expensive Gibsons need it too, and we've seen many posts by someone who ordered
    a VERY expensive Gibson online and was sooooo disappointed when it wasn't perfect, that
    he sent it back. Ridiculous.

    All guitars need to be set up. I don't mind paying a good luthier to set up a guitar right
    after I buy it, because he will check over everything for me and identify problems and
    fix them as part of the deal, or ask me if I mind paying some extra to take care of something
    he found. That's why I give it to him first. I trust my luthier, and he treats me right because
    I have been a return customer.

    Once I've gotten a pro setup job done, I can usually keep the instrument in good playing condition.
    So I recommend this to new owners, especially to new players. Twice I've bought guitars
    online, unplayed, and my luthier has put them right before I really got going with them. One of
    those was a used guitar, and I asked him if he could figure out why the seller would sell it,
    and he did and fixed that, and I've had great service and no trouble for seven years now.
    This was a Martin acoustic guitar with an internal microphone on a miniature gooseneck, and the
    gooseneck was too long. So the mic would occasionally vibrate against the back of the guitar.
    Maybe that was enough to cause an ignorant and/or intolerant owner to return it. But it was an easy fix. And I've had great service from that Martin ever since. *grins

    Another was a new guitar, but at the end of the model year mark down, where they marked it
    down and down... I might have got one of the last ones from M/F... and I wondered if I got one
    that somebody had returned. But I wanted THAT guitar, at that price...
    I asked the luthier to look it over during setup and he noticed that
    there was an intermittent cut-out of the signal. He sprayed some contact cleaner into the pots and
    switch and I've had no trouble since 2013. That's priceless. If someone did return that guitar,
    it was for a simple problem... maybe a grain of sand in the switch, or one of the pots. My luthier
    took care of it easily, and checked the frets and the nut slots and set the action and the intonation
    and I've had no trouble keeping it that way ever since. I was playing it today.
     
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  14. Bad Penguin

    Bad Penguin Active Member

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    What he said above!
    I'm a tech, so I do my own setups and the like. EVERY guitar needs a setup for the player. What may seem on paper to be a good setup according to "factory specs", may not fit the player. Also, your guitar may have been built in a dry climate, and you live the depths of Hell: Florida. Your neck is going to adjust, and it takes a proper setup to get it perfect. whether it's a $100 K-Mart special, or a $6K Gibson.
     
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  15. omilitis1987

    omilitis1987 New Member

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    Hi again!

    I got my guitar back from the luthier this morning and I have to say it is like a new guitar!
    He adjusted the neck as told, new strings have been put and everything works fine until now. No more problems with the tone or the tuners :)

    So now i shall be able to play again after almost 20 years... I hope it’s not 2 late though!
    And there is another guitar back home waiting for me (I live in Sweden now but home will always be Greece), just received the glad news from the luthier who checked her, an Epiphone Les Paul Custom back from the 1995!

    Thank you all guys for your advice and help!

    Here is a pic from the SG, not something special but special to me :D

    Cheers!
     

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    Last edited: Jun 16, 2018
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