keeping strat in tune after whammy action

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by strings4v, Mar 2, 2015.

  1. strings4v

    strings4v Member

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    My strat has a fender trem. I sometimes do some whammy actions of dignity but the guitar seems to go out of tune quicker than I'd like it to..
    Any tips for this? I lubricate the nut with pencils.... would a better bridge like gotoh 510 help?
     
  2. cardinal

    cardinal Member

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    If the guitar is going out of tune for anything other than dive bombs where the stings go completely slack, in my experience the problem is most likely the nut or maybe a string tree. Just make sure the nut slots are sized appropriate and maybe try something like Chapstick on the string trees.

    But for full dives, in my experience the only solution is locking tuners. Others, when the strings go slack, they unwind around the post and they never go back quite the same, knocking you out of tune.
     
  3. wilblee

    wilblee Hack sans shame Gold Supporting Member

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    Every tuning issue I've ever encountered has been effectively dealt with by getting a pro set up done by a skilled tech. Fortunately for me, there are several in Austin and the guys I use are superb.

    I would look in your area for a skilled set up provider and spend that money. If that's not an option, I'd put on locking tuners and check your nut.
     
  4. Cap'n Fingers

    Cap'n Fingers Member

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    This might be helpful.

     
  5. GCDEF

    GCDEF Supporting Member

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    Here we go again. Sigh. If anybody posts that stupid Fruda video, I'm going to send Nick and Guido to have a chat with them.
     
  6. strings4v

    strings4v Member

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    I haven't tried setting backplate springs at an angle... I shall try!
    And FYI my tuners are locking tuners. Does it have to do with the way I wind strings on it? How do people do it? Do they just go straight in, pull it so the string is tight, and just lock it up without any windings?
     
  7. JCW308

    JCW308 Supporting Member

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    It's all in the nut. File and lube your nut! Oh and the Fruda video works and is true. Seriously.
     
  8. GCDEF

    GCDEF Supporting Member

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    Some people think the angled plate thing helps, others - myself included, don't. I don't really see how it could.

    Locking tuners shouldn't have wraps.

    It helps if the bridge floats. If you have it decked, float it.

    The only way to stay 100% in tune with a whammy is to get a Floyd.
     
  9. GCDEF

    GCDEF Supporting Member

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    Until you play it. At 7:42 it goes hopelessly out of tune as soon as he bends a string. Stupidest video in the entire Internet.
     
  10. swiveltung

    swiveltung Member

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    I use 3 springs and angled on the bass side for more tension. I only float the bridge just barely; light trem user and only dives not pulls.
    The best thing I've done is install the LSR nut, easy if you follow the instructions.
    I don't feel the bridge model matters a bit...
    also, make sure the 6 bridge screws are not down too far; adjust down until the bridge just starts to move, then back off maybe 1/2 turn.
     
  11. darkphader

    darkphader Member

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    I'm in agreement here - I think the angled plate is absurd.
    I do however like Carl's idea about the amount of float - at max pull up the G goes up 1 1/2 steps, the B goes up 1 step and the E goes up 1/2 step. This works fine for me and I use three springs in the typical "V" configuration:
    [​IMG]
    ...(or whatever it's called) with no angling of the plate (not my photo BTW). I did try the angled plate, it made no difference in the effective pitch change of the strings and tuning stability seems even better with the "V".

    This is on a two point American Standard tremolo system with the Callaham American Standard Premium Upgrade Kit installed. I doubt the Callaham adds much to the tuning stability although it might as the saddles seem to be a big improvement. But as others have mentioned the nut may be your biggest hang up.
     
  12. TheoDog

    TheoDog Silver Supporting Member

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    Your nut slots probably are not matching the gauge of your strings.
     
  13. Steve Dallas

    Steve Dallas Supporting Member

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    I use this method with 5 Raw Vintage springs and pay special attention to the condition of the nut. I have no tuning problems when using the bar.
     
  14. peskypesky

    peskypesky Member

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    TusqXL nut
    impregnated with super-slippery Teflon
     
  15. Daka3

    Daka3 Member

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    Word. The Verheyen thing works.
     
  16. strings4v

    strings4v Member

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    I'm using just standard 10's.. do Fender strats cut nuts for 9's?
     
  17. rawkguitarist

    rawkguitarist Member

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    Ok, not one person has asked about string stretching, how the guitar is going out of tune (sharp, flat, what strings) and how you tune. Locking tuners don't really help at all with tuning... Except for reducing the amount of wraps that need to tighten around the post.

    A tight nut slot may be an issue, but I'm going to bet with high confidence most of the issues are string stretching issues, followed by possible nut issues, then how true the bridge floats on the screws.

    Do you stretch your strings well after installation? I mean really well! I hadn't heard of stretching strings until a guitar teacher taught me when I was 18 (several years into playing). 15 or so years later I was playing a gig with that old teacher, he was having tuning problems and I grabbed his guitar... Strings needed to be stretched significantly (remember, he taught me how to do it...ha!)

    If your guitar is *going sharp* the nut could be the problem.

    If when you pull up it remains slightly sharp, then you push down and it remains slightly flat then the screws/knife edges need some work and/or good lube. I have some high tech lube that the guy from Hipshot terms recommends.

    Lastly, if you're putting multiple wraps on the posts (which you don't need with locking tuners) and really either way, are you tuning up to pitch not down to pitch? Always go about a half step below and back up when you tune.

    Sorry if I assume too much or too little. Good luck!
     
  18. Mrmarshallhead

    Mrmarshallhead Member

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    What exactly did it do for you? As in what was your guitar doing before that it stopped doing after the Carl setup?

    I've asked Carl devotees this a few times and never had a straight answer, only that 'it works'.
     
  19. Mrmarshallhead

    Mrmarshallhead Member

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    There's another often forgotten issue with the string catching on the saddle when the bar is dipped and coming back sharp. Frudua covers that in two alternative ways:

    - the method of tuning up with the string hung up on the saddle. This is no good if you bend strings a lot though as you'll keep going flat through normal playing.
    - deep drilling the bridge block, so there is less dead string behind the saddle. I use this method, and although I've seen it claimed this loses tone and sustain, I have never experienced that.
     
  20. GMGM

    GMGM Member

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    I was doing the Carl Verheyen thing before it was cool to hate (though I'm too cool to make a hipster joke).

    I never noticed any improvement in tuning, but my adjustment was based on an effort to balance the tension when operating the vibrato bar.

    My reasoning, right or wrong, was that the lower strings tend to offer more tension, and by adjusting the claw angle, I could maybe offset the friction/tension at the bridge posts. This got me thinking about the position of the bar itself and how the tension might be affected when uneven force is applied at the bar located on the treble side of the bridge.

    I really don't know (or care?) if there's any validity to my thinking. Tuning seems to be stable as long as I take care of the nut, string windings and minimize contact with any string trees. But I've managed to convince myself that it improves the "feel" of the guitar.
     

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