Non-locking Trems and the G String!!!

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by tfancil, Dec 18, 2009.

  1. tfancil

    tfancil Member

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    Does anyone have a fix the the problem of the G string going way out of tune when using a non-locking trem ? After all my years of Steinbergers, Floyds and stop-tail gutiars I'm now using some Strats with the 2-point trems and I can't keep the G string in tune!!:facepalm I've got the locking tuners with no winding and I've tried lubing the nut slot but that doesn't seem to help.
    Thanks,
    tfancil
     
  2. dmc777

    dmc777 Member

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    It could be alot of things. Lube your nutslot, stringtrees, pegheads, bridge holes, etc...You also may want to check you string to spring balance as well. Do you use your bar much? How far up is your bridge?
     
  3. tfancil

    tfancil Member

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    I've got the trem floating about 1/16" and the bridge plate is flat off of the posts. I've lubed the nut slot, the knife edge and contact points on the saddles and since the tuning pegs are staggered, I don't use the string tree for the G string. Could it be the winding on the string ball? I used D'Addario nickel wound XL 10's. The G string is the only one that gives me problems and it does it on all 3 of my Strat trems, even the guitar that I have the bridge rest on the body of the guitar!
    tfancil
     
  4. clothwiring

    clothwiring Supporting Member

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    if the nut is cut right and you lube it properly you shouldn't be having issues. I can beat my strat and I can play it all night and not have it go out of tune.
     
  5. dmc777

    dmc777 Member

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    You're bridge is floating 1/16th on the back? How many spring are you using cause that's quite high. I believe fender standard is 1/8th... If you nut is cut properly and everything lubed, strung well, etc...thing your problem has to be with your string to spring balance. Is it going sharp or flat?
     
  6. Guitarplayerdan

    Guitarplayerdan Member

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    whats strip to spring balance. And isnt 1/16th lower than 1/8th. Just trying to learn all the technical stuff.
     
  7. fumbler

    fumbler Member

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    I'm weird this way: I tune my trem guitars (all strats) differently than my hardtail guitars. I don't tune up to pitch -- instead I wiggle the trem constantly while checking and rechecking the tuning.

    If a big bend puts it out of tune (the string usually goes flat) then a little wiggle of the trem puts it BACK in tune. Good lubing on all points usually prevents this, though.

    My strats stay in tune great. Both 2-point and 6-screw trems. (But sometimes you'll see me wiggle the trem while not playing a note. This is why.)

    Yeah, I was scratching my head at this, too. If your trem is floating at all (and NOT binding somewhere) then it will always move until the springs and strings have the same tension. Basic physics. (Actually it's the torques about the fulcrum point that are the same, not the tensions. But let's not get too technical.)
     
  8. rooster

    rooster Member

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    What I've found is this: Cut the nut slot at a steeper angle dropping back than the angle of the string, and make sure that it's very well polished. If you want the strings to go back into tune nicely, you'll want less nut material under the string for the string to grab onto, especially that unwound G string, which has maximum surface area contacting any available surface.

    However, if it's not something you've ever done, ask a tech you trust if that makes sense to them. It's what I do, and my guitars all go back into tune; they didn't before I did that.

    Hope this helps.

    rooster.
     
  9. Dr. Jimmy

    Dr. Jimmy Member

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    I float my bridges 1/8" (which FWIW is higher than 1/16") and actually tune down to pitch, both with guits equipped with locking tuners and ones with standard tuners. I also keep the windings around the post to a minimum (2 full turns at the most) on the std tuners. I lube anything that the string touches, bridge saddles, the bridge plate where the string exits the trem block, the hole in the trem block itself, string tree, nut. I stretch the SNOT out of the strings when I restring. I also make sure the string/spring balance is correct. All this leads to Strats that I can beat on and still remain in tune.....
     
  10. GASattack

    GASattack Member

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    Ive yet to see this here, so I am gonna pipe up ...

    In addition to lubing the trem block string holes ... with the string off, run a q-tip thru there ... I was AMAZED at the junk that came out ... and that could keep the ball of the string from finding a place to settle in and stabilize tuning.

    I use a CHEAP dollar store brand q tip because they are wound tighter and thinner, so, less apt to leave fuzzies in the hole ...
     
  11. dmc777

    dmc777 Member

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    My bad on the 1/8 vs. 1/16th thing...I was going by my stew mac ruler in which the 16 marking is further down lol. Also, I added an extra string tree to one of my mim strat for the g and d string...which may help your situation.
     
  12. tfancil

    tfancil Member

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    Thanks for all of the info guys, there are some very interested ideas here. I've not paid any attention to the holes in the trem block so I'll try cleaning and lubing there. I've gone back and forth with the string tree on the G string and it doesn't seem to make a difference if I use it or not so I don't think that is the problem. The only other issue would be the slot and I'm trying to reach a tech that I know to see if he can cut it a bit wider. I do most of my own work but I don't have the proper file for that.
    Thanks again,
    tfancil
     
  13. Jan Folkson

    Jan Folkson Member

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    You don't necessarily need a file to widen the slot. I find 220 sandpaper folded will do the job nicely. Sometimes I support the paper by wrapping it around a razor blade (no cutting with the blade though). Just make sure that you only widen the slot, without making it deeper. Otherwise you'll need to fill the slot and reshape it again.
     
  14. AudioWonderland

    AudioWonderland Member

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    1/16th is half as high as an 1/8th. thats not high at all for a 2pt fender trem.

    I think the nut slot is not cut properly for that gauge of string
     
  15. dmc777

    dmc777 Member

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    That's what I think too. Most if not every strat I've purchased came setup with a set of 9's...which would make me think the slot is cut for 9's. I often have trouble with my G as well...especially this time of year with fluctuating temperature. I just deal with it though....just a good tug or stretch of the string and it's back in tune. I'm not in a band though.
     
  16. Boris Bubbanov

    Boris Bubbanov Member

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    Lot of good comments here; I especially like the angling of the slot away from the break point on the nut, and the swapping of the tuner (you can also overwrap the string down the post to get more angle on that "G".

    But I have another idea. I think the G is the troublemaker string, where many issues become most evident. Make sure the neck pocket and bottom of the heel are clean, and that the neck attachment holes in the body are a full 11/64ths wide, so the neck join is absolutely immaculate.

    Another: Are you using staggered pole pieces? If so, your pickups may be high enough to be causing all these issues. Tuning instability can suffer when the pull of the magnets is too strong.
     

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