#1
What all should be done typically to help improve tuning stability? Is it as simple as just changing tuners and being done with it? I have a squier project that my friend gave me, and I'm definitely going to change the tuners, but I'm not sure if I should change the nut and the bridge as well. Will I be able to just drop these grovers in to my affinity, or will I have to do some work like widening my holes on the headstock? There seems to be no set answer for this. And what should I look into getting if I do change the nut or bridge? Appreciate the help. Thanks
#2
You're pretty much right with the tuners, nut, and bridge.

When it comes to the tuner post holes, you should remove one of your tuners and check the diameter of the hole.
Stewmac has specs available like these to tell you what size hole will be required.

EDIT- Those specs are for Grover Mini Rotomatics. Those tuners will work for this guitar but I don't think that they're the same thing that you posted from musician's friend.

The nut and the bridge are a matter of preference. If tuning stability is your biggest concern, you won't want a tremolo unit at all. But, unless you're planning on doing a lot of wood and refinishing work, you're sort of stuck with it. Buy something heavier duty when it comes to the bridge. I have very little useful input here cause I don't use strat trems on anything.
I can tell you, though, that tightening down the bridge and not using the whammy bar is often an acceptable solution. In addition, upgrading your saddles to something better often helps a lot, and is cheaper than a whole new bridge.
As far a nut goes, this is a can of worms in my opinion. A cleanly slotted plastic nut works fine for me, but some people really think bone or brass makes a big difference. As long as the nut is in good condition, the slots are the correct size, and the strings aren't binding up, it should be fine. If this guitar has seen heavy use, a 99 cent nut upgrade might not be a bad idea.
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Last edited by Rebelw/outaCord at Mar 24, 2009,
#3
Hmmm... I really appreciate the reply. After doing some quick research, the link you provided me (thanks muchly) actually is the same product that I posted... just listed under different names, I went to the official grover site to learn this. For now I guess I'm going to skip on getting a nut and a bridge. I don't even play using a whammy so that isn't a problem, and I don't feel like installing a nut if I don't have to and I don't think it's much of a problem. One other question that I did mean to ask though was whether or not I needed to keep my string tees. To be honest I'm not even sure what they're for. I appreciate the help, thanks a lot!
Last edited by thenamesjames at Mar 24, 2009,
#4
If you really never use the trem, then you could block it. Just stick a block of wood (or hell, anything really) n the trem cavity behind the block. It will improve stability, it costs pretty much nothing and its totally reversable.
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#5
So just take the springs out completely, and replace with just a wood block? I've heard of people "blocking" before and didn't realize what it meant. That seems like a great idea, thanks!
#6
No, you put the wood on the other side of the trem block.

Take the cover off of the back, and hold the guitar so that you can see the back of it and press the whammy bar so that you can see how everything moves.

You'll understand what to do from there.
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Quote by handbanana
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#7
String trees are an attempt to replace an angled headstock. They keep downward tension on the strings and keep them seated more firmly in the nut. Some higher end guitars replace the standard string tree with a roller string tree, which has round bearings instead of pointy metal. This makes sense to me.

I think a new nut might be a good investment. It costs a buck and takes 2 minutes to do. It can't make it worse, anyway!
And it's probably worth the time to totally disassemble, clean, lube, and reassemble the bridge before you put this thing back together.
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I don't see how prostitution is going to help out your string buzz...
#8
Super Vee makes a drop in locking nut for strats. I'd say the look of it is kind of... well, ugly - but it's a functionality thing.
#9
I think getting a real nice nut totally helps with tuning.
Its more that if you get a 1-2 dollar nut and its a dud, your tuning will be totally annoying and the strings will slip and get caught alot.
Personally I'd throw in a Graphteq Tusq/graphite nut (15-25 bucks). They'll make the tuning better, AND they'll increase sustain and tone a tiny bit.
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#10
Graphite nut cost me $12 in Australia, and I think it's made at least a small improvement in my tuning stability on my cheap Strat clone. For $12, I'd say it's worth it. I also added some Grover tuners that I got for cheap, and disassembled and cleaned my bridge before reassembling. Just stringing your guitar properly can make a difference to your tuning stability.
#11
Thanks for all the replies their all helpful. And yeah, haha I did realize you weren't supposed to replace the trem with a block, I was asking if I replaced the springs with the block? And I guess I will buy a nut, like someone else said it wouldn't hurt to learn how to replace it. So does anyone have any thoughts on whether I should mess with the string tees at all? Should I just keep them replace them, or it doesn't make much difference? Thanks!
#12
You don't replace anything if you are blocking the trem.

You literaly just put a block of wood behind the trem block (the thing that is connectec to the bridge that sticks down into the cavity).




You don't have to glue it or anything, just stick it in there.
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Quote by handbanana
wiliscool is just plain dumb
#13
I bought the nut slotting files from Stew-Mac, and they're one of the best buys I've ever made.

I've used 'em on three guitars already, and I've improved the tuning stability on all of 'em, with just a few minutes of work on each.
#14
I don't know if this has been said yet, but here's my piece.
If I read right, your guitar is Strat styled, so I suggest:
Locking Tuners
Graphtech String Tee
Graphtech Replacement Nut
Optional- new saddles, maybe "Ferra-Glide" or something.

This, in addition to blocking your trem, will give you great tuning stability.
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#15
The stewmac files are so expensive! You could get machinist's files and a small caliper for cheaper
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Quote by Albino_Rhino
I don't see how prostitution is going to help out your string buzz...
#16
Remove the string trees... Just wind more string on the tuning posts to get the angle. You'll get better tone and better tuning stability; depending on how the nut is cut you may need to reshape the slots...

As for the nut don't go graphite/tusq/whatever the flavour of the week is; they sound really muffled on the open strings and you'll wear them out much quicker than a decent bone nut. If you cut the nut well enough friction shouldn't be a problem.

For the tremolo if you don't use it block it; if you use it and want to keep the trem then dremel all the saddles smooth and get rid of the sharp corners. If you're up for a change go for a 2 post strat trem; hipshot makes a beautiful model as does wilkinson...
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#17
thanks for the new replies guys. I'll look into the stew mac nut, but it sounds like it may be more than i'm wanting to spend, all together i'd like to stay under the 100 buck mark. It is a squier (not that thats anything to be ashamed of!) And haha I finally understand what you mean by blocking, I may have figured it out sooner, but didn't have my body with me... my sister is painting some stuff on it for me, so yeah. Anyways power freak, what do you mean by remove the string tees and then give it more string to get the angle? What is *the* angle? Also I'm not sure how I would handle the nut after that, is there any kind of tutorial or anything for this technique? Thanks guys.
#19
Quote by thenamesjames
Anyways power freak, what do you mean by remove the string tees and then give it more string to get the angle? What is *the* angle? Also I'm not sure how I would handle the nut after that, is there any kind of tutorial or anything for this technique? Thanks guys.

Ok... First things remove the string trees completely... Now when you string up start with the string MUCH slacker than you would usually; that way you can get the string to wrap around the tuner post at least 5 times or so... That way the string should end up much closer to the headstock than usual; this gives a greater break angle over the nut; If you look at the nut side profile the angle by which the string goes "down" to the tuner is the break angle... Increasing the break angle is exactly what the string trees are doing but you have 1 less point of friction by removing them... Sometimes the nut needs a little dressing to get the string to sit nicely though.. But your tuning stability and tone should improve. Eric Johnson does this to all his strats (and I assume many others) you can also buy staggered locking tuners that compensate for this already so you don't have to change your stringing technique but I've had fine results with regular tuners...
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#20
I have a SRV strat that I made, it has a strat tremolo and keeps coming outta tune it has a grafite nut
#21
Alright, so I'm definitely going to block, I'm changing to Grover tuners, and they should fit right in, the only thing I need to know now is whether or not the nut will fit. How do i know what radius i need?