My Fender guitars stay in tune, my Gibsons don't

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by goodsal, May 19, 2008.

  1. goodsal

    goodsal Supporting Member

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    I have an American Deluxe Strat, a 52 Reissue Tele, a Squier Affinity Tele, a Les Paul Vintage Mahogany, an SG Classic and an Epiphone Casino. My Fender-family guitars all stay perfectly in tune, but each of my Gibsons and the Epiphone don't stay in tune for more than 5 minutes. I have had them all set up in the past. Gibson seems to use an inferior nut than Fender. Could this be the culprit or is it something else? Has anyone else had this experience?
     
  2. sleepingtiger

    sleepingtiger Supporting Member

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    I have 6 Gibson's & 3 Fenders. No problems with any of them...sorry.

    Tony
     
  3. datguytim

    datguytim Supporting Member

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    All my Gibbys stay in tune. Make sure you string 'em up PROPERLY.
     
  4. AaeCee

    AaeCee Member

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    It's the nut. Have them replaced with real bone by a good luthier, your problem will disappear.
     
  5. OOG

    OOG Member

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    6 in line is more of a straight string pull
    maple has more longitudinal strength than mahogany
    and as mentioned
    an improperly cut nut will not work on much of anything
     
  6. rickenbackerkid

    rickenbackerkid Member

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    I found D'addario strings very difficult to keep in tune on the Gibson LP I used to have.

    I tried Dean Markley and they held tune much better.
    But also check your nut and try slightly heavier strings to compensate for the lower tension neck.
     
  7. dotlikeimpact

    dotlikeimpact Supporting Member

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    The break angle of the Gibby headstock can lead to tuning problems. If this angle is off, it won't stay terribly in tune. I've experienced this.
     
  8. stratotonedude

    stratotonedude Senior Member

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    Back in the day I had a Gibson Les Paul Junior reissue from the eighties with a stop tailpiece and tuneomatic. It did not stay in tune very well at all until I started running the strings over the top of the tailpiece. Since then I have been doing that will all my Gibsons that have a stop tailpiece and have not had a problem with them staying in tune.
     
  9. stuagu

    stuagu Member

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    as has been said its probably the nut.
    i had one replaced in my gold top & the luthier guy gave the old one to me & i rubbed it between my thumb & forefinger & it fell apart! literally in pieces like powder! & its meant to keep your guitar in tune & transfer that lovely tone to your pickups & in turn amplifier? typical cutting of corners by them at gibson im afraid. the material they use is bad.
    get one fitted & cut by a decent luthier & im sure itl be a whole lot better. tel him about the tuning problem & im sure hell give the guitar a once over anyway.
     
  10. Agramal

    Agramal Member

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    I've noticed this as well. I have a LP Custom, '87 Strat Plus and a Fender Sub-sonic baritone Strat, and nothing stays in tune better than the baritone. What's most strange is that of the three guitars, only the LP has been professionally set up. Maybe it's time I took it to someone else?
     
  11. The Captain

    The Captain Supporting Member

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    Three LP's, all stay in tune very well. I am careful how I wind strings on, and I jiggle em good when I'm tuning up.
     
  12. FloridaSam

    FloridaSam Member

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    Try some Big Bends Nut Sauce.
     
  13. gregc

    gregc Member

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    Get some Fender decals!
     
  14. bluegrif

    bluegrif Member

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    Another nut says it's the nut. Fact is, any tilt-back headstock requires the nut be slotted somewhat more carefully. The slots must have the correct break angle and follow the headstock tilt. Factory made guitars frequently have nuts that have been dressed very hastily to say the least. Whether it needs to be replaced or just dressed is something any decent luthier can tell you in seconds. But if the nut is plastic, replace it.
     
  15. Agramal

    Agramal Member

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    Here's something that's always bothered me: I have D'Addario 13s on my LP Custom, and I tune to dropped-C. The luthier who does the set-up for that guitar said it wasn't necessary to file the nut to accomodate the larger-guage strings. Was this some bullshnonkey?
     
  16. daddyo

    daddyo Guest

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    2 Fenders, 1 Gibson, 2 Fender clones, 1 Larrivee. They all stay in tune.
     
  17. jay42

    jay42 Member

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    Tension is higher on Fenders with the same sets. Can you bump up your Gibson string gauge?

    For me, nothing really stays in tune with .008"s. Bump up to .009 set and better. Go to a .010 set and they tend to stay put.
     
  18. Cottage

    Cottage Member

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    Sometimes my LP gives me grief, but a little graphite on the nut solves this. I do believe it does stay in tune a bit better when I top wrap it. Could be my imagination though.
     
  19. mannys1

    mannys1 Active Member

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    I have 3 Vs and 4 strats. one strat gives me problems due to the nut. All of the others stay in tune very well. one v has strings that are 2 years old, and it still stays in.
     
  20. GuitarRuss

    GuitarRuss Member

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    I have a graphite nut on my strat and this has made it amazing for tuning. I'll come back from vacation and take it out of the case and I could play on stage with the tuning as is (although it's not perfect).

    On my acoustics I've put on TUSQ which I think sounds better than Bone. I also put it on my Dobro to replace the plastic nut and it slips better and sounds better. I would seriously consider trying graphite or Tusq. You may be more pitch conscious than others too. I find a lot of people's guitars quite out of tune even after they finish with an electronic tuner and they are totally oblivious.

    I had a Gibson SG when I was younger and it embarrassed me on stage by going wildly out of tune on a few different songs so in a fit of anger I went and sold it the next day at a loss of money. I regret now not trying graphite (I did rub graphite into the nut and it didn't help) because the tone on it was quite good.

    Good luck.
     

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