Anyone ever have a guitar that just won't behave?

StevenO

Member
Messages
307
Well, have you? I'm talking a guitar that just won't submit to your needs, despite all things being equal, no matter what setup or changing/updating/upgrading of parts?

I've had a few of these over the years, but most recently with a Strat. I've changed everything on that guitar, over and over again, and nothing gels. I recently had the same problem with a Jazzmaster, but somehow, seemingly overnight it just turned into a fantastic guitar. Perhaps some of it is objective and sometimes the sum of all parts don't necessarily equal anything great, and perhaps other times it's psychosomatic.

Curious to hear some stories and solutions to problems, mostly so I don't feel alone in my frustrations. :oops:
 

Neon Trotsky

Member
Messages
630
Lol, back in the earlier years of my playing, I used to have this Mexi strat that I would always obsess over and complain about such issues to my bandmates; finally one day my one mate just said it best: "You sound like such a weenie dude. Just sac up and play the [email protected] thing man."

A light bulb went off, since then I've always just tried to put the more alpha approach into practice haha.
 

vortexxxx

Member
Messages
11,421
I had a US made Fender Nashville B-Bender Tele that sounded dead regardless of everything that I tried - different boutique Tele pickups - I even went so far as to install a TV Jones Classic but nothing helped.
 

dewey decibel

Member
Messages
11,487
Well, have you? I'm talking a guitar that just won't submit to your needs, despite all things being equal, no matter what setup or changing/updating/upgrading of parts?

I've had a few of these over the years, but most recently with a Strat. I've changed everything on that guitar, over and over again, and nothing gels. I recently had the same problem with a Jazzmaster, but somehow, seemingly overnight it just turned into a fantastic guitar. Perhaps some of it is objective and sometimes the sum of all parts don't necessarily equal anything great, and perhaps other times it's psychosomatic.

Curious to hear some stories and solutions to problems, mostly so I don't feel alone in my frustrations. :oops:

I have a '59 or '60 Kay Swingmaster, when I first got it I was running .013 strings and the thing would not stay in tune, went to .012s and the same thing. At that point I re-fretted it, shaved the bridge so it would intonate, and dialed in the nut- still wouldn't stay in tune. Thought about swapping the tuners, but I had a hunch (against the recommendations of close friends and luthiers) that the .012 strings were simply too much for it and went down to .011s, and viola! Sounds and plays perfect ever since...
 

slider

Member
Messages
1,608
I have couple with tuning problems, they've already been to the shop, one has a new nut. Everybody says, it's not the tuners, it's the nut slots... well maybe this is the odd case when it IS the tuners. Anyway, nothing that a few hundred couldn't solve, gotta work on that part.
 
Messages
625
My Fender J Mascis Purple Jazzmaster was perfect for 3 years and then started acting up in strange ways. Eventually traded it.
 

Bogner

Member
Messages
6,667
My first Les Paul custom gave me nothing but fits. It wouldn't stay in tune. Every time it was set up it shifted after a little while and was a disaster. It took me about 3 months or so to get it to stabilize. It needed a new nut to stay in tune. I ended up selling it out of frustration as I just never got on with it. I had more trouble with that guitar as a whole than I have all other guitars I owned up to that point combined. I was drunk on the black Les Paul Custom sauce but quickly sobered up. I don't miss that boat anchor one bit. As I look back, that is what started my utter disdain towards Gibson.
 
Messages
5,026
I have couple with tuning problems, they've already been to the shop, one has a new nut. Everybody says, it's not the tuners, it's the nut slots... well maybe this is the odd case when it IS the tuners. Anyway, nothing that a few hundred couldn't solve, gotta work on that part.
I definitely think the '99% of tuning issues is a poorly cut nut' thing that gets parroted a lot here and other places is a bit off. A lot of times it's not, or only part of the issue.

I don't think I've ever had a perfect guitar, the ones I hang onto are the ones that have the least amount of problems.
 

Neon Trotsky

Member
Messages
630
My first Les Paul custom gave me nothing but fits.
...
I don't miss that boat anchor one bit. As I look back, that is what started my utter disdain towards Gibson.

Haha that's like the cranky old luthier with his Rickenbacker repairs, he just LAYS INTO 'em:



It all starts with possession of one particular ****** instrument and then all snowballs from there lol.
 

PSLUAN

Member
Messages
417
My first electric guitar, bought it 16 years ago for $150. Chinese made JEM copy, never stayed in tune, terrible intonation, a few frets chocked over the money line. However I learned almost the whole Metallica's black album with it. I didn't care how guitars behave when I was 12, all I care about was playing.
 

ChampReverb

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
12,842
I had a PRS SE Soapbar for a few years and it was always plinky sounding. I tried Lollar P90's and TV Jones Classics in it but it was still plinky sounding. Rewired it with new pots and 50's wiring and a nice tone cap. Plink city.

Played great though. Nice neck.

I probably should have tried changing the bridge but I was fed up at that point.

I must have had a rare bad one because everyone else almost always seems to like theirs.

So I put the original pickups back in and traded it for an SG Faded and no more plink.

-bEn r.
 

adauria

Member
Messages
534
I know what you mean. I've gone through that with some guitars. Often, a good setup or some minor upgrade will solve it, and sometimes it doesn't. There's a point where you should cut your losses and get rid of it, but as you've pointed out, sometimes just coming back to it after a while and you'll find it's a different story. I'm not sure if that's changes in my ear, my playing style, or other psychosomatic causes. Whatever... I'm happy when I "rediscover" something I didn't like that turns out to be pretty great after a while.
 

Judas68fr

Member
Messages
1,416
Never had that issue to be honest, I always thoroughly try before I buy, being cars, guitars or amps. For effect pedals it's another story.
 

bdm

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,901
My old Rickenbacker 12 string.

Seems like every time I pull it out of its case I need to adjust something. It is a fragile little bugger. But I will say this: it has that sound.
 
Messages
1,841
I have one acoustic that doesn't behave, but I honestly couldn't really care any less about how it plays as it was bought purely to hang on my wall. It's probably starting to get to the stage where it needs to have its neck reset, but until then, I don't plan on doing anything to it to solve it's tuning stability issues until I can't get around the fact that it needs its neck reset.
 

Mark Robinson

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
9,391
The only thing that really drives me batty is flimsy guitars with necks that will deflect inadvertently, or guitars that have a huge "delta t" where if you set it on a stand in sunlight it grows a millimeter in five minutes.
 




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