guitar not staying in tune

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by eleanor296, Jul 11, 2008.

  1. eleanor296

    eleanor296 Member

    Messages:
    188
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2008
    So I got a Schecter S-1 Elite. And it's not staying in tune, especially on the G string. Sometimes the G goes out of tune by just bending it. It does that periodically, and then it's fine for a while. I'm at a loss. I put graphite in the nut slots. I changed the G and B string tuners, and that *seemed* to help it some, though I'm not totally sure yet... it might come back. Any ideas? I'm mainly addressing techs here willing to help.

    Thanks!

    Andy
     
  2. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    16,861
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    Trenton, NJ
  3. eleanor296

    eleanor296 Member

    Messages:
    188
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2008
    Thanks for the suggestion. It's just weird that it seems like only THIS guitar is doing this, all my others are just fine. I'll try restringing it again though, and will definitely watch the vid.

    ~Andy
     
  4. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    16,861
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    Trenton, NJ
    Yeah, that IS odd... also, take a magnifying glass or jeweler's loupe to the nut and the bridge, see if there's maybe an irregularity or nib in the channel... you can take a wound string slightly larger in diameter than your G and/or B string , and use it like a "file" to clean out the channel...
     
  5. eleanor296

    eleanor296 Member

    Messages:
    188
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2008
    that's another great suggestion! Thanks, will do!

    ~Andy
     
  6. eleanor296

    eleanor296 Member

    Messages:
    188
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2008
    any other suggestions?
     
  7. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    33,585
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2006
    stringing technique is important, but the real source of tuning trouble is the nut. if the slots are not cut exactly right, the strings will drag and hang up with bends no matter how they're attached and no matter how much lube is in the slot.
     
  8. eleanor296

    eleanor296 Member

    Messages:
    188
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2008
    so.... fixes for that? New nut? Gah... you guys probably know that most guitar techs charge insane amounts of money :BITCH

    ... that's why I'm a DIY guy :). But never done that...
     
  9. UMT

    UMT Member

    Messages:
    879
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Location:
    Northwoods WI.
    All you have to do is open that G string slot EVER SO SLIGHTLY. The 'use a slightly larger string' suggestion might work. I use welder tip cleaners (dirt cheap and a bunch of different sizes. Any decent hardware/tool or Harbor Freight store will have them) Just be careful when you file it a bit. I shouldn't take much. Also, visit the Stew Mac site and they have a article on filing nuts that will help. Nuts are easy once you've done one or two. I use Graph Tech pre slotted nuts because they are super easy and inexpensive but I've made entire nuts from scratch out of a Corian sample.
     
  10. testing1two

    testing1two Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,741
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    Southern California
    Nut work is where a good tech really earns his/her money. It only takes one wrong (or extra) pass of a file to ruin a nut and they're a PITA to shape, slot, & polish. So unless you're willing to do some trial and error and purchase some specialized tools, it might be worth $50 to have one cut properly (I've paid twice that amount...it's that important).
     
  11. David Collins

    David Collins Member

    Messages:
    2,253
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2007
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, MI
    With no offense directed at anyone, I hear people all the time say they can cut their own nut slots just fine, but when I've seen their work it is extremely rare that they actually can (by my standards anyway). Actually, I find a surprisingly few number of guitar builders or repair techs who actually seem to know how to cut a nut well. In my experience if someone has cutting nut's down after doing 20-30, they would be far ahead of the curve.


    I charge $80 for a bone nut - maybe about $90 after strings and material. That's about the same hourly rate as an auto mechanic around here, less than an electrician or plumber, and after tools, sandpaper, rent, utilities, stocked materials, I probably take home less than any of the jobs listed above. I really shouldn't compare though, and I guess I ought not strive to match the salary of a plumber. Sorry for being so greedy. :rolleyes:
     
  12. TimmyP

    TimmyP Member

    Messages:
    2,453
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2007
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    Have the nut slots opened up a bit. My amp-testing guitar at work has a really bad nut - sometimes I can get 1/8 of a turn on the tuner before the pitch changes between the nut and the bridge (it sure changes between the nut and the tuner!) Have to fix that one of these days (Pa Kettle is my mentor).
     
  13. eleanor296

    eleanor296 Member

    Messages:
    188
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2008
    hey there David!
    Sorry if I came across as kinda rude. I think $90 is actually ok, especially since you seem like you know what you're doing. It's just... around here every one of the guys that call themselves "tech" are rather dubious in my eyes. That's why I do cap jobs on vintage amps for my friends.
    I just wish I could do most of my guitar work myself.
    Anybody know a good tech in SC?

    :dude
     
  14. David Collins

    David Collins Member

    Messages:
    2,253
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2007
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, MI
    No no - I didn't take you as being rude - I know where you're coming from. What you say is exactly why 99% of repair techs get in to the trade to begin with - out of necessity. Then once you're part of the trade you have to step back and say "Damn - why did I do this again?". This makes it tough for techs when someone can't justify spending $350 for refret, bone nut, setup, etc., because we've usually been there ourselves.

    Some people can cut their own nut slots, and from past discussions I know there are a number of do-it-yourselfers here who know what they're doing. Opening up a binding slot is not really that big a deal, and can be done in ways suggested above. That doesn't cover fine tuning height of course, and also won't fix things if it's a soft high-friction nut material (I don't know what Schecter uses), though nut lube can help.

    As to good tech in your area, I have no idea. Ben Runkle up in Raleigh NC has a good reputation from what I know, but that's all I can really offer.
    I do know that if you post a thread "looking for good tech in SC", and near what cities of corners of the state, you'll often get a lot of responses here.

    Good luck, and as said above, stringing technique and nut slots are among the most common causes.
     
  15. entraind

    entraind Supporting Member

    Messages:
    664
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2006
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    Great advice above. For SC guitar info send Mike from Clark amps an email he'll probably have some good suggestions. They make amazing amps BTW...

    mikeclark at clarkamplification.com
     
  16. alotawatts

    alotawatts Member

    Messages:
    178
    Joined:
    May 24, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle WA
    I'm betting it will come back...on your B string...What brand of tuners do you get on a Schecter these days ?
     
  17. skeeterbuck

    skeeterbuck Member

    Messages:
    1,533
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    David, when you replace a nut do you usually touch up the finish after the installation?

    The reason I asked is that I had a Les Paul that I needed to replace the nut. On Gibsons the finish covers part of the sides of the nut. I wanted this done as I wanted it to look as original as possible. The first two luthiers I took the guitar to said that they didn't do finish work when replacing a nut. I finally found one that replaced it and touched up the finish to appear original.
     
  18. eleanor296

    eleanor296 Member

    Messages:
    188
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2008
    Hey guys,
    never got an e-mail back from Mike.
    I'm still trying to find a tech that'll sit down and talk to me for a couple minutes so I can figure out whether or not I "like him".

    Alotawatts: My Schecter is a 2004 model, and those still have Grovers.

    ~Andy
     

Share This Page