Contemplating changing tuners and bridge

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by Astral Traveler, Oct 13, 2019.

  1. Astral Traveler

    Astral Traveler Active Member

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    Like the title says. Why? Well, I have two "tired" notes, or rather one but on different frets and strings. By "tired" I mean a less extreme form of dead. It's the F note on the 10th fret of the G string and on the 15th fret of the D string. That note has less overtones and less sustain than the others. Playing unplugged I get around 4 seconds of sustain as compared to 6-7 seconds on other notes. This is not a fret issue, the frets are as close to perfect as I've ever seen and if I detune half a step, the dead note moves up one fret, still F. If I gently put the headstock against a wall the issue is gone and the F sustains for days. It's pretty cool, if I pick the note with the headstock against the wall and then remove it there's like a BOING going through the neck. There are some obvious nodes there with resonant frequencies. As far as I understand this is fairly common on SG's and I suspect that the long neck has something to do with it.

    Now, I changed string gauge from 10-46 to 9-46 and backed the truss rod a bit, this made it slightly better. On the downside, I now have a little intonation issue but strangely enough only on the A string. I don't usually mod my guitars unless I have to but I think this may be a case of have to.

    So my plan is to change the wraparound bridge to something else, I don't know what but would be very happy to get som suggestions.

    The next thing I'd like to do is to add some weight to the headstock by changing to locking tuners. The bonus effect here is that they are... well, locking! haven't really found any that fit the specifications of the Kluson Deluxe tuners that are there now.

    Any suggestions?

    • Gear Ratio= 15:1
    • Gear type= Steel worm gear w/ Brass ring gear
    • Peghole Requirement= 11/32 in. (8.8mm)
    • Bushing I.D.= 1/4 in. (6.35mm)
    • Housing Material= Stamped Steel
    • Button Material= Plastic
    • Post Length= 1 in. (25mm)
    • String thru on post= 25/32 in. (19.8mm)
    • Designed for 1/2 in. Headstock Thickness
     
  2. Astral Traveler

    Astral Traveler Active Member

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  3. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    I think you suffer some form of tonewood affliction. Every guitar has its own weak frequency, SG's aren't worst.

    By adding wall resonance to your headstock, you don't get more mass, but surface / volume. I'll bet that if you put the body against a door or its frame let's say, you'll get even better sustain. I doubt very much that heavier tuners will do anything in that regard. But one thing for sure, it'll give it a better chance to creat neck dive.

    You know of the locking string method ? This makes the cheapest tuner a locking one.

    A4.jpg

    About bridge replacement, what is the one you have now ?

    What is your SG model ? It's always nice to see what we're discussing about.
     
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  4. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    Try this experiment before you spend money. Rest the end of the headstock against a solid wall - not drywall, something solid like brick or concrete. You don't have to push, just touch. Now try those notes again. If they are now no longer dead, then you have a lossy resonance - all guitars have them to a degree. You won't fix that by changing any hardware - it is built into the wood.
     
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  5. Astral Traveler

    Astral Traveler Active Member

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    Hey,

    Thanks, yes putting the body against something increases sustain but less than the headstock against the wall. Neck dive doesn't really bother me much.

    I do know of the locking string method but I don't like it, it adds an extra step when changing strings while locking tuners makes string changes easier, I don't have any tunnig issues, so I don't need locking tuners for that reason.

    Just clamping the caliper to the headstock like in the photo below increases sustain significantly. I don't know if it's the mass doing it or something else but suspect the mass. It's more mass than locking tuners would add though.

    The guitar is an SG Special, 2019 model.

    SG-3.jpg SG.jpg headstock (2).png
     
  6. Astral Traveler

    Astral Traveler Active Member

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    Thanks. Yes, I already did that test and that fixes it. Clamping extra weight to the headstock also fixes it so depending on how much extra weight locking tuners would add, in theory, they'd also fix it.
     
  7. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    Extra weights don't actually fix it. They just move the problem to another set of notes.
     
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  8. Astral Traveler

    Astral Traveler Active Member

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    Double post.
     
  9. Astral Traveler

    Astral Traveler Active Member

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    Yeah but if I'm lucky that will be an out of tune frequency that I don't use :)
     
  10. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    Hope so. You can always fine tune the weights
     
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  11. Astral Traveler

    Astral Traveler Active Member

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    Yes, the locking tuners only add something like 25 grams so it may not be worth it. I'll just tape 25 grams onto there to see what happens. This is like a science project...
     
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  12. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    I had a feeling it was that 2019 SG Special.

    The late 60's SG Specials with batwings and baseball bat necks are my favorite. Had a 1963 SG Special in the past and it felt like a twig and sounded plinky compared to the 1969 SG Special with thick neck that I had. I now have a couple of SG Classics with chunky necks and could not be any happier. If you want more mass, get an SG with a bigger neck.

    Some guitars just sound dead on certain notes. Had a really nice LP Traditional Pro 50's in past that was the same way and got rid of it for that very reason.

    Guitars are tools to me. I don't get attached to them. If they aren't working out, they get put out to pasture and another one takes its place.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2019
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  13. Astral Traveler

    Astral Traveler Active Member

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    Yeah, that could have been a good plan but this one was bought brand new so there would be a loss involved. It's the very reason I normally buy used.

    25 grams worth of coins taped to the headstock didn't do much.
     
  14. Astral Traveler

    Astral Traveler Active Member

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    The last SG I had was a 2005 Special Faded. It had a chunkier neck and no dead notes but it had humbuckers and I don't like humbuckers much.
     
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  15. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    I had several of those mid 2000's SG Special Faded and ended keeping one that I had stripped, grain filled and refinished to a proper gloss finish. Feels much better when playing. I really like the neck and the fact it has an ebony board.

    P-90's are my favorite.
    With my SG Classics, I have them configured with the stock P-90 at the neck position for cleans and a Kinman P-90 Hx (zero-hum) at the bridge position for hi gain use without 60 cycle hum. The Kinmans sound very articulate to my ears. You get the best of both worlds with them because it's not a true P-90 and it's not a humbucker, but does both in between.

    I was not trying to match a vintage P-90 sound or a humbucker and like the way the Kinmans sound based on its own characteristics. Best part is that I did not have to route the pickup cavities and they look just like stock P-90's from the outside.
     
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  16. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    It's the tape. You have to epoxy the coins to the headstock. :rofl:
     
  17. Astral Traveler

    Astral Traveler Active Member

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    Bah! Epoxy...

    3cdf742543475b812095c6076fd4fce9.jpg
     
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  18. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    Tape doesn't couple the coins to the headstock as well as epoxy. Skip the tape and epoxy and choose Covalent Bonding.
     
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  19. Astral Traveler

    Astral Traveler Active Member

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    No bridge suggestions?

    I wonder if I can find a Schaller 455 somewhere?
     
  20. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    I like the MojoAxe bridge that was already on my LP Junior DC when I got it.

    [​IMG]

    But if you're looking for something with adjustable saddles, maybe a Pigtail ?
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2019
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