tuning pegs and guitars going out of tune

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ricercar.record
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tuning pegs and guitars going out of tune

Post by ricercar.record » Tue Apr 08, 2014 2:18 pm

It may be more appropriate for me to ask this on a guitar forum but I like this message board and the people on it more so wanted to ask you guys.... what tuning pegs do you prefer? ..... especially in relation to having to swap out stock ones for your preference to help with staying in tune.

For my specific situation I have an Epiphone ES-335 Pro Limited Edition that I really love and have had professionally setup, but I still have issues with the dreaded G string going out of tune while playing. I'm starting to think I need to just buy different tuning pegs for it as I trust the tech who sets up my guitars and just from checking intonation myself, and trying to adjust it before I took it to a professional, this seems to be the only issue that could be left. The tuning pegs that came stock on the guitar are Wilkinson Vintage classics 14:1, green tulip style. Should I just switch to Grover locking tuners? Or does anyone have a better recommendation?

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Post by CFB4 » Tue Apr 08, 2014 2:37 pm

Assuming you've tried a self-lock tie on the non wound strings, i'd use any drop-in locking tuner. I'd never rout or enlarge the holes if there's a locking tuner that fits
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Post by ubertar » Tue Apr 08, 2014 2:44 pm

This may or may not be relevant, but it's just the G string? Do you bend that one a lot, and not the others so much? Are the strings new? Do you break them in after putting them on?

New strings need to be broken in and stretched out before playing, especially if you bend strings a lot. Yank on the string, pulling up, a few times, then retune. Repeat until it stays in tune. Now it's broken in and won't go out of tune from playing.

If the problem was the tuners, I'd expect you to have the problem with all the strings, not just G.
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Post by vvv » Tue Apr 08, 2014 5:20 pm

I like non-locking Grovers for a relatively inexpensive alternative, but my faves are like the ones G&L uses where you put the string end in the hole on the end of the tuner shaft.

That said, the string-stretching advice is spot-on - I like to pull up at the VII, XII and over the pups, me.

Also, try a little graphite (a razor knife shaving some pencil lead will work) over the nut slots, and the bridge slots.
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Post by ashcat_lt » Wed Apr 09, 2014 3:56 pm

Yeah, it's pretty rare nowadays that the machine heads themselves are slipping enough to cause tuning instability. It's almost always a problem of the string sticking in the nut slot, and more rarely something hanging up at the bridge.

On the string stretching thing - I have found that stringing it up to a couple of semitones too high and then leaving it overnight is a pretty okay way of breaking in new strings.

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Post by jgimbel » Wed Apr 09, 2014 8:54 pm

Ugh, that Gibson G. I've never known what exactly the issue is, but I don't think it's the tuners because, as ubertar mentioned, the issue would probably present itself on all strings, not specifically one. I've owned two Les Pauls myself, played a few SGs, a 335, 339, and 137, as well as similar Epiphones, not to mention various ones I've tried in stores, plus the bounty of them clients have brought for their recordings. I've yet to deal with one that didn't have that issue with the G. I notice it most in chords where the G string is open, or with barre chords. I've only had a few really talented players here using Gibsons that didn't have the issue, but upon questioning it turned out they're doing what I do when I notice my tuning being a little out in the middle of a song when I can't change it and manually using extra finger pressure and slight bending to pull things into pitch a bit more while playing. I've had a few Gibson die-hards that have told me they've never noticed any issue like this, but subsequently it turned out (from what I see during their playing) that they don't have the best ear for pitch. I don't want to say it's a completely blanket thing, and honestly that ES-137 into my Deluxe Reverb was one of the most beautiful guitar sounds I've had the pleasure of recording, but it's something I've yet to escape.

I sold my nicer Les Paul a few years ago and bought a Fender's version - a Tele Deluxe. Perfect replacement supplying everything I needed without any of the drawbacks :wink:
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Post by vvv » Thu Apr 10, 2014 4:20 am

Another thing ya could do is tune like Stevie Ray V. did on his Strat, etc., to the key of Eb.

That way, you won't have a G.

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Post by jgimbel » Thu Apr 10, 2014 10:17 am

vvv wrote:Another thing ya could do is tune like Stevie Ray V. did on his Strat, etc., to the key of Eb.

That way, you won't have a G.

:twisted:
Hahaha that is such a creative response!
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Post by ubertar » Thu Apr 10, 2014 11:30 am

Of course the problem then is the Gb will go out of tune. :?
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Post by Rufer » Thu Apr 10, 2014 11:55 am

My Les Paul Junior had this problem - probably still does but I sold it. When it went out of tune I could push down on the string behind the nut and it would be back in.

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Post by vvv » Thu Apr 10, 2014 2:55 pm

ubertar wrote:Of course the problem then is the Gb will go out of tune. :?
By definition! :twisted:

So a little OT: I'm in this band of 50 year-olds and the main writer is a old folkie/punker - electric guitar with finger picks, etc. And he doesn't write from the blues but rather takes a folk approach so there's often, like, 9 chords in his song.

And so he will say it goes, "A# to Db to Gb to E" and I gotta figure that out on the fly ...
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Post by ashcat_lt » Thu Apr 10, 2014 3:07 pm

On my LP Studio, the tuning pegs were replaced with something fairly pricey before I got it, but it still had this issue. I replaced those with relatively cheap ones from guitarfetish for vanity reasons and it still had this issue. I had the nut and saddles replaced with graphite and set up properly for 12 gauge strings with a wound G and it no longer has this problem.

Edit - BTW...
Rufer wrote:My Les Paul Junior had this problem - probably still does but I sold it. When it went out of tune I could push down on the string behind the nut and it would be back in.
Hint!

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Post by Rufer » Thu Apr 10, 2014 4:31 pm

Just for clarity, I would quickly press down on the string behind the nut and then go about my business (of shredding) with the guitar in tune. So yeah, I think it gets hung up in the nut slot

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Post by Scodiddly » Thu Apr 10, 2014 6:07 pm

Try rubbing a little pencil lead in the nut slot. If it helps, then maybe having a tech smooth/widen the slot will help a bit. But generally sticky slots are more a problem for wound strings instead of the unwound ones.

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Post by JGriffin » Thu Apr 10, 2014 10:02 pm

vvv wrote: So a little OT: I'm in this band of 50 year-olds and the main writer is a old folkie/punker - electric guitar with finger picks, etc. And he doesn't write from the blues but rather takes a folk approach so there's often, like, 9 chords in his song.

And so he will say it goes, "A# to Db to Gb to E" and I gotta figure that out on the fly ...
Staying OT for a second: where and when do you play shows with this act?
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