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New Tele Tuning Stability Question

adauria

Member
Messages
525
Hi folks,

Back in May my wife got me a new Tele American Standard. I LOVE this guitar. It plays great (after a setup) and sounds great. I have hardly played my Strat and LP since getting it.

That said, I've found the tuning stability to be a bit of an issue. Here's what I've done to this guitar:
- Pro setup, including lowering nut/nut slots (was way too high)
- Replacement of standard tuners with new Fender locking tuners (follow by check/adjust intonation)
- Adjust pickup heights (level out volume and avoid potential tuning issues)
- Lubed up nut slots with graphite from a pencil

So, I still find tuning is fairly unstable, i.e. I need to re-tune every song or 2. It's not any particular string, it's any/all of them, though the low E might be a touch worse than most.

I haven't bought a new electric guitar in a couple decades (only used electrics since the mid-90s). My current theory is that what I am experience is a lot of wood movement/instability due to a few facts:

- New guitar / newer wood needs time to stabilize
- North Carolina summer weather, moving guitar from house to car to church, temp/RH changes at each location, etc.

So, do you guys think I'm on the right track, or do you have other ideas as to why my tuning may not be very stable? I am particularly interested in whether or not you think it could be related to new/young wood stability and the need to let it age a bit to stabilize.

thanks!

-Andrew
 

poolshark

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,209
Extremely doubtful maple and alder are shifting throughout the course of a song. Even money says it's a poorly cut nut slot or poorly stretched strings.
 

adauria

Member
Messages
525
Did you have issues with the original tuners?
Yep

Extremely doubtful maple and alder are shifting throughout the course of a song. Even money says it's a poorly cut nut slot or poorly stretched strings.
Ash, actually. Strings are broken in pretty well. Maybe nut slots then... but I don't detect any binding (no ping sounds when tuning, e.g., plus they are lubed pretty well).

-Andrew
 

.

Senior Member
Messages
3,972
Extremely doubtful maple and alder are shifting throughout the course of a song. Even money says it's a poorly cut nut slot or poorly stretched strings.
I was going to move on to poorly stretched strings. I have vintage style tone pros klusons on my tele, it rarely goes out of tune. And I am not gentle...
 

adauria

Member
Messages
525
Is the neck straight currently?
Neck has proper relief set, I would say... just enough bow as a result of the setup (was quite straight/flat prior). That said, I have noticed slight changes in relief since the setup (requiring intonation adjustment as well). That could have been a result of continual movement since the setup (i.e. took a while for the truss adjustment to fully "take"), or could be related to wood movement/climate. Is this what you mean by "straight" or some other lateral thing? I've never noticed any other type of asymmetry, and I've also check the neck bolts for tightness (they're tight).

--------------------------------------------------

Another point worth mentioning - I am not talking about huge swings in tuning. I'm talking about a notch or 2 on the electric tuner on a couple of strings after each song. Yes, I'm a big fuss pot when it comes to tuning and intonation. I've been told this (more politely, i.e. "you have a good ear") by a respected local builder when I pointed out some intonation issues (bridge-related) with my LP.

My most recent experience with this was in a large room that swings from "man it's warm in here" to "I should have bought a sweater" over the course of an hour, which is why I am thinking something related to wood movement.

-Andrew
 

.

Senior Member
Messages
3,972
That's what I meant. I was going to suggest checking the truss rod has tension. Obvious, I know. But worth a mention.
If you are able to tune it, then after playing a song it's not in tune, can it be anything but the string or tuners?
 




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