I've sent back three Gibsons in a row now for horrendous tuning issues

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by james..., Dec 20, 2017.

  1. james...

    james... Member

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    This has been via guitar center. I got my third ES Les Paul today. The first one was so bad I couldn't believe it. My old Ibanez Gio kept better tune. Just getting it in tune at all took about 10 minutes. I tried nut sauce. That helped a bit, but as soon as I strummed a chord, it all went out.

    Let the guitar sit overnight, same thing the next day. Whoever cut the nut must have been using a string gauge from an alien planet. Second guitar was the same story. It was all I could do just to get it to stay in tune for more than three chords.

    I've encountered this before. I've got a 2012 Midtown that took a lot of graphite to get going, but it eventually came around. Trust me, I'm the patron saint of Gibson tuning issues, but THIS is crazy. Got my third replacement today and it's once again not able to get in tune. I don't know what the deal is. This is the worst I've ever encountered. Maybe I'm super unlucky.

    To top it off, I got a 339 from CME this week as well, and guess what? Same thing. The nut needs serious, serious work. I've never seen guitars so hard to tune from the factory.
     
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  2. prodrigu

    prodrigu Supporting Member

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    I try to love Les Pauls. Willing to overlook other things that bother me such as weight distribution, access to upper frets, sharp frets, etc. but the tuning stability is the worst. Have had several of them but sold it all, down to one now and seriously considering to let it go as well.
     
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  3. JLee

    JLee Supporting Member

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    Got lucky with my ‘63 ES-335 RI. Workmanship under the “hood” is pretty sloppy...looks like the center block was sawed with a steak knife. It stays in tune and sounds and plays like a f’ing champ though! Workmanship isn’t close to the quality of my vintage Tokai Love Rocks, but it’s now my #1.

    Mine was purchased and set up by CME though. Don’t know how much attention they give these guitars before sending them on their way.
     
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  4. cap10kirk

    cap10kirk Member

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    Every Gibson I've had needed nut work, and sometimes fret work right out of the box. I always just make a new nut and fix the tuning issues to start with, then evaluate how much I like the guitar.
     
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  5. TubeStack

    TubeStack Supporting Member

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    I’ve never had any tuning issues with any Gibsons, especially my LPs. I stretch the strings, use Big Bends on the nut and bridge, and do the wind-back-around thing on the treble string pegs. Stay in tune for multiple sets of hard playing at gigs.

    Are you sure it’s not just because these are brand new guitars and need a setup, or at least the strings worked in?

    I just bought a new Strat and it went out of tune a lot after I brought it home, now it’s fine, after a couple days of steady playing.
     
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  6. redbrick

    redbrick Member

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    My 2016 SG standard wouldn't stay in tune for the first few months I had it. Then like magic it settled and hasn't had any tuning since. Didn't touch the nut or anything. Gibsons do strange things!
     
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  7. tnvol

    tnvol Supporting Member

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    The only Gibson I've ever bought that had issues was a Faded SG. It played like a dream but the finish was really sticky. Everything else has been awesome. I guess I'm lucky.
     
  8. Jim Soloway

    Jim Soloway Supporting Member

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    Do people really consider that to be acceptable? A few months for a guitar just to stay in tune?
     
  9. Tag

    Tag Gold Supporting Member

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    I have had a bunch of CS Gibsons, have two now, and have never had a tuning problem. This is 335s, LPs, and L5s.
     
  10. cbpickin

    cbpickin Tweed Supporting Member Silver Supporting Member

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    When I bought my '07 chambered R8, I had the same issue. I bought it a year old from a dealer. It was frustrating. I took it to 3 different shops and had the nut remade. Finally, the 3rd guy got it dialed in and it has been good ever since. With the prices they charge, it is inexcusable. That and the fact that they put crap electronics in a $5k+ guitar.
     
  11. Woollymonster

    Woollymonster Member

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    Well here we go this week.

    My Les Paul is perfect. Best guitar I have ever owned. I spent 3 hours playing it today.

    It is a Custom Reissue though.



    [​IMG][​IMG]
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    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
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  12. ixnay

    ixnay Member

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    I don't know why people expect perfectly cut nuts from Gibson. Gibson considers finishing the nut to the customer's personal preferences to be part of a setup, so I'm guessing they don't spend a lot of time on it at the factory aside from getting it close enough for the factory strings/initial setup. Most of the ones I've purchased have been pretty good, but some have needed a little work.

    You might not like it, but that's the way it is, and has been for as long as I can remember...
     
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  13. MattC

    MattC Member

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    My 2014 LP Trad is pretty finicky with tuning. Winter is the worst. It sounds great when it’s not slipping and plays really well. Plus, my first daughter was born in 2014 and I bought the guitar to commemorate her impending arrival and as a possible sentimental hand-me-Down, so I’ll never ever sell it. If I’m lucky, someday she’ll take the guitar from me and play it long after I’m gone. Hopefully I can iron out the tuning issues for her first!
     
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  14. redbrick

    redbrick Member

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    I was worried, but I thought new guitars take a while to settle.
     
  15. GravityJim

    GravityJim Member

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    My 2013 SG has stayed in tune perfectly ever since I bought it. Well, after I replaced the nut and did a little fret leveling. I know Gibson says they're PLEKking these things at the factory (well, they said they were in 2013), but they come out not so very good. Fix the nut, and the guitar will be fine.
     
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  16. T Dizz

    T Dizz Member

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    My buddy lent me his Gibson SG a few weeks ago..said it wouldn't stay in tune and he'd had it for months... I took a look at it, when GC put strings on it, they didnt properly stretch the string around the post where it goes through the hole. I loosened the strings and made sure the strings were wrapped properly, cleaned and lubed the nut slot and it held tune like a pro.
     
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  17. CallEOD

    CallEOD Member

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    Lube yer nutts ... [guitar nut]
     
  18. ford

    ford Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I worked at a GC in the early 2000's... Gibson QC was the worst out of any US brand we carried by far.
     
  19. FennRx

    FennRx Member

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    LOL at people with tuning issues
     
  20. budglo58

    budglo58 Member

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    I’ve had 8 Gibson’s and only 2 didn’t have tuning issues. Mostly it’s the pesky G and B strings going sharp. This is not a “setup” issue. No other guitar manufacturer I have purchased had this problem. Putting nut sauce on has minimal effect. It wasn’t until I widened the nut slots at the G and B strings did the problem go away. Annoying as hell, but such an easy fix. Maybe Gibson should include nut files as part of their case candy .
     
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