#1
Hey guys,

I just recently bought a Gibson Les Paul Studio and I absolutely love it. However, I've had one annoying problem since I got it - it just won't friggin' stay in tune. I brought it in for a full-setup and intonation about 2 weeks ago, but it still falls out of tune. I know that the first few times after being freshly strung, it'll fall out of tune a bunch until you work the strings in. But since it still falls out of tune now, I don't think that's it. It's not as bad as before, but it still falls out of tune pretty often, particularly the G and B strings, and sometimes the high E. When I can get to stay in perfect tuning for more than a few minutes (which doesn't happen often), it sounds good, but sometimes it just doesn't sound like it's been intonated. I don't know if it's just me imagining it or anything because I'm so anal about it, but it's annoying.

What else could be the problem here? Because after a full-setup, it shouldn't be falling out of tune, right?
#4
are you doing a lot of bends while playing?
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#5
Not really. When I realized it was still falling out of tune, I was avoiding bends.

I just looked up the Earvana Compensated Tuning System. Thoughts on that for those of you who have them?
Last edited by turds.ferguson at Jun 3, 2010,
#6
It could be the strings not sliding through the nut smoothly, but in increments. Check to make sure the strings are gliding through the nut instead of jumping.

Also, it could just be that you are stringing it wrong. Most people don't realize how much a badly strung guitar will go out of tune.

Also, if you 80 or 90 bucks lying around, and you want to dramatically increase the guitars tuning stability. Go buy some locking tuners and a graphtech nut.
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#7
Quote by turds.ferguson
Not really. When I realized it was still falling out of tune, I was avoiding bends.

I just looked up the Earvana Compensated Tuning System. Thoughts on that for those of you who have them?


The earvana and similar systems don't have anything to do with tuning stability, you're looking in entirely the wrong place for solutions to this issue.
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#8
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
The earvana and similar systems don't have anything to do with tuning stability, you're looking in entirely the wrong place for solutions to this issue.


Suggestions then?..

And yeah, I assume it's strung properly - I got it all done from a guitar tech, so I'm pretty confident... I hope anyway.

Do I need to reintonate if I install a new nut and tuners?
#9
why not just take it back to the tech and tell him he didn't do his job?
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#10
I'm going to assume you mean the guitar actually goes out of tune when played in the same area that was in tunbe moments ago and not out of tune in other areas after tuning up as this would an intonation issue. I'm also going to assume you've stretched your string sufficiently aftre installing them.
If it's strung properly (& you can verify this against the sticky posted here on UG with info provided from Mr Flibble & posted bj JJ1565), then before spending money there are things you can check.
One are the tuners secure on the headstock? Sometimes the nut holding the tuners clamped to the headstock works loose and allows for movement. Also check that the screws holding the tuners are secure (Don't overtighten or you'll strip the holes)
If the tuners have tension adjustements on the side tighten them, so that there's a little resistance to turning the keys when tuning (if they move too easily they may be moving on you during play)
If that checks out, I'd try some nut lube in your nut slots to ease their travel thru the nut.
Also your strings should only be set inot the nut 1/2 their diameter (Slightly more for the thinner ones).
Then check the bridge and see that the strings behind the bridge are not rubbing on the TOM back edge. They should clear it and not rub there. This cann be adjusted by raising the stop bar to decrease the string angle.
Moving on.....
#11
try putting some lube on your nut. graphite, pencil lead or good ole uncle ben's nut sauce.

that's where i would start.
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#12
Quote by KenG
I'm going to assume you mean the guitar actually goes out of tune when played in the same area that was in tunbe moments ago and not out of tune in other areas after tuning up as this would an intonation issue. I'm also going to assume you've stretched your string sufficiently aftre installing them.
If it's strung properly (& you can verify this against the sticky posted here on UG with info provided from Mr Flibble & posted bj JJ1565), then before spending money there are things you can check.
One are the tuners secure on the headstock? Sometimes the nut holding the tuners clamped to the headstock works loose and allows for movement. Also check that the screws holding the tuners are secure (Don't overtighten or you'll strip the holes)
If the tuners have tension adjustements on the side tighten them, so that there's a little resistance to turning the keys when tuning (if they move too easily they may be moving on you during play)
If that checks out, I'd try some nut lube in your nut slots to ease their travel thru the nut.
Also your strings should only be set inot the nut 1/2 their diameter (Slightly more for the thinner ones).
Then check the bridge and see that the strings behind the bridge are not rubbing on the TOM back edge. They should clear it and not rub there. This cann be adjusted by raising the stop bar to decrease the string angle.



Yeah your first assumption is correct. Even when I can get it to stay in tune, it'll sound fine to me when I play scales and stuff, but if I do an octave chord way up on the fret board, it doesn't sound right - there's a slight 'wobble' in the sound as if one of the strings is just ever so slightly out of tune. Everything else sounds fine when I can get it in tune though, it's just the high up octave chords that make me wonder if my guitar has been intonated properly.

But thank you all for the information, I'll definitely keep it in mind. I think I'm gonna' bring it in to the shop for an inspection first. Thanks again everyone
#13
this definitely sounds like a nut problem. a new nut costs $5-12 roughly. Not expensive.
Or you can try putting some paper or pencil shaving inside the slots of the nut under the strings. I've heard that helps.
#14
Sounds to me like the whole guitar just isn't set up properly. Whoever allegedly set it up didn't do it right, or they set it up for a different tuning/strings than you're using. Take it back, make them do it again and get it right this time. There is nothing about a LP Studio that should give you tuning problems and it sounds like you have intonation problems too. Les Pauls usually have far less problems staying in tune than virtually any other guitar (other than their cousins the SG).
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#15
Quote by MrFlibble
Sounds to me like the whole guitar just isn't set up properly. Whoever allegedly set it up didn't do it right, or they set it up for a different tuning/strings than you're using. Take it back, make them do it again and get it right this time. There is nothing about a LP Studio that should give you tuning problems and it sounds like you have intonation problems too. Les Pauls usually have far less problems staying in tune than virtually any other guitar (other than their cousins the SG).


Yeah that's what I've been thinking too. Even though I can probably get a discount on the service work this time around, I think I'll just bring it to another place. If they screwed up, which tells me that they their guitar tech(s) aren't good, and I don't want to waste more money to feel uncomfortable that they might screw up again.

Any particular brand of nut that you guys can recommend? I hear graphite is a good type to go with, but is there a particularly good brand I should get?

This is just so frustrating. I can't even enjoy my LP now, and it's sitting right behind begging to be jammed on
#16
couldn`t this be down to one of the many **** ups that gibson make by not orientating the saddle the right way (seen it a few times before) thus causing very annoying intonation issues, what gauge strings are you using, factory gauge is 10s.

i`d instruct the tech when / if you take it back to re-examine the guitar and if it isn`t right that you will find a tech who can setup a guitar at his expense.
#17
I believe they're 9's now. I forgot to specify that I wanted 10s when I brought it in, so I assume they just strung 9's.

And yeah, I won't be bringing it back to the same store. I only brought it there 'cause that's where I bought it, so I figured I could get a bit of a break on the service costs 'cause the LP was virtually unplayable when I got it (I got it online - I was out of town for school at the time and it was a good deal, so I decided to snag it while I could). I have a slight feeling that because I asked for a break on the service costs, they half-assed it. But I feel like I deserved it anyway - the LP was REALLY bad when I first got it. At least the tuning stability is better now. Definitely should be better though.

I know I can probably get another break on the service costs again, but I don't care about that. They should've done it right the first time. Now I'm concerned that they'll screw it up again.
Last edited by turds.ferguson at Jun 3, 2010,
#18
As far as nut goes, Graph Tech make the best Gibson retrofit nuts. Though your Studio should have a fine nut as it is, the nut and the fretwork are the two things Gibson really price themselves on and never let slide. Get the guitar properly set up before you look at changing the nut. For what it's worth even my six year old Epi with a plastic nut that is off-center doesn't go out of tune. I will be amazed if changing the nut on your Studio does anything.
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#19
Quote by MrFlibble
As far as nut goes, Graph Tech make the best Gibson retrofit nuts. Though your Studio should have a fine nut as it is, the nut and the fretwork are the two things Gibson really price themselves on and never let slide. Get the guitar properly set up before you look at changing the nut. For what it's worth even my six year old Epi with a plastic nut that is off-center doesn't go out of tune. I will be amazed if changing the nut on your Studio does anything.


Yeah, I figured that if it's coming from Gibson, they aren't going to use crappy parts and hardware. But sorry, stupid question: what does retrofit mean?
#20
sounds to me like you simply dont have enough wraps around the tuning pegs.

restring and make sure that there are at least 3 wraps.
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#21
It means it fits directly into the guitar without needing to fill any holes or cut anything out; i.e. it's an exact replacement for the old part, a perfect fit.
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#22
Quote by turds.ferguson
Yeah your first assumption is correct. Even when I can get it to stay in tune, it'll sound fine to me when I play scales and stuff, but if I do an octave chord way up on the fret board, it doesn't sound right - there's a slight 'wobble' in the sound as if one of the strings is just ever so slightly out of tune. Everything else sounds fine when I can get it in tune though, it's just the high up octave chords that make me wonder if my guitar has been intonated properly.

But thank you all for the information, I'll definitely keep it in mind. I think I'm gonna' bring it in to the shop for an inspection first. Thanks again everyone



i know your question has been answered, but let me ask this one more time just so i'm clear.

make sure the open strings are in tune,

then fret the strings at the 12th fret.

are they in tune there too?

if not, then post back.
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#23
Yeah true, only the b string was perfect. Everything else was either slightly sharpened or flattened. Son of a diddly..

At least I know they didn't intonated it properly, which means it's quite likely they didn't set it up properly either. The one thing I really don't get is, the one string I have most trouble with is the G string. Just now when I was checking the open and 12th fret tunings, I had to re-tune the G string like 5 times. It was so much harder to tune right compared to the other strings; no matter how slight I was tuning higher or lower, it always went too high or too low. Why would one string give me more trouble than others?
Last edited by turds.ferguson at Jun 3, 2010,
#24
G strings are always slightly harder to keep perfectly in tune, honestly I usually just get it as close as I can and leave it. Guitars were first designed with the G string wound (as they still are on acoustics), so when electric players switched to plain strings for the G string (to make bending it easier), that introduced tuning and intonation problems that nobody as ever really bothered to fix. Unless you get a compensated nut cut specifically for your guitar (which costs a lot), the only other way to keep the G string perfectly in tune all the time would be to use a wound string, which then is harder to play on.
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#25
Quote by turds.ferguson
Yeah true, only the b string was perfect. Everything else was either slightly sharpened or flattened. Son of a diddly..

At least I know they didn't intonated it properly, which means it's quite likely they didn't set it up properly either. The one thing I really don't get is, the one string I have most trouble with is the G string. Just now when I was checking the open and 12th fret tunings, I had to re-tune the G string like 5 times. It was so much harder to tune right compared to the other strings; no matter how slight I was tuning higher or lower, it always went too high or too low. Why would one string give me more trouble than others?



like said, Gs fall out fastest.

ok so check out the intonation guide, click the green link in my sig, first post.

and don't worry about their setup.

if they didn't intonate, you can fix that in 15 mins.

as long as it plays better, buzz free, with nice action, you're fine.
Jenneh

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Jenny needs to sow her wild oats with random Gibsons and Taylors she picks up in bars before she settles down with a PRS.


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#27
Actually, one more question: I'm assuming if a guitar is properly set up, it's not supposed to fall out of tune when you do bends? I love bends, but I've been avoiding them due to the tuning instability of my guitar as of now.
#28
correct. lubing nut cuts and stringing correctly should rectify any issues.

in some cases, guys still opt to add locking tuners.

it's really up to the player.
Jenneh

Quote by TNfootballfan62
Jenny needs to sow her wild oats with random Gibsons and Taylors she picks up in bars before she settles down with a PRS.


Set up Questions? ...Q & A Thread

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#29
GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.

So I brought in my LP Studio to another guitar shop - one that I've trusted for 9 years now - for a setup. But it STILL is falling out of tune. It's been 2 weeks since I've gotten the 2nd setup, and it's still not staying in tune. Similar to last time, it's the G, B, and E strings that are the main problem... the low E, A, and D almost never fall out of tune. It's a lot better than the first "setup", but it's still enough of a problem that makes playing very frustrating.

They've always done a perfect job, so I am not doubting that the guitar tech did a good job at all. I originally brought it in for the guy to just examine, but it was in such bad shape from the first setup that he just did it on the spot. And at one point I could hear him yelling out "JESUS CHRIST" from the workshop, that's how crappy of a job the previous tech did in setting up my guitar.

Again, I have complete confidence in the tech that did my 2nd setup, so now I'm definitely thinking it's a hardware issue.

ASLKDJQ(*W#DASD*

I'm convinced there's a greater force in the universe that just doesn't want me to enjoy my LP Studio. I JUST WANNA' HAVE A NICE LONG JAMMMMMMMMM, is that really so much to ask?? I finally get a nice guitar and it won't freaking stay in tune!!!

I'm definitely starting to regret ever purchasing it. Seems like way more trouble than it's worth... even though it is damn sexy...
#30
call up the tech and explain the issue. Say that since the tuning problem wasn't fixed with the setup, you'd like to have him look into what else could be the problem (most likely the tuning machines are slipping)
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#31
I'll make a suggestion, but it's probably just a shot in the dark....


check the bridge (and the stop bar if you have one) to see if the threading on the screws is worn out. If it is, then your strings may jump around because of the vibration caused from playing.


one quick question, are you playing in the same tuning as the setup was done in? Your intonation won't be correct if the guitar tech sets up your guitar in standard, and you play in C all the time
#32
Quote by turds.ferguson
Not really. When I realized it was still falling out of tune, I was avoiding bends.

I just looked up the Earvana Compensated Tuning System. Thoughts on that for those of you who have them?

They are great for fixing intonation on frets 1 - 7, although the material itself isn't the BEST. I think they're coming out with a bone one soon
#33
Quote by argentotenebre

one quick question, are you playing in the same tuning as the setup was done in? Your intonation won't be correct if the guitar tech sets up your guitar in standard, and you play in C all the time


Well I'm playing in drop D, and the tech who did my 2nd setup pretty much did the intonation perfectly. I know the low E turned into a Drop D won't be perfect, but every other string is perfect when I can get it in tune. It's harder to get the G and B strings perfectly in tune, but I think that might be a stringing issue. I've had the problem where I can get those strings (G and B) ALMOST perfect, but just slightly (ever so slightly) flat. I'll try to slowly tune up until they are perfect, but most of the time the string jumps a few notches sharp at this point. I can get these strings perfectly in tune by tuning down here.

Could this be what's causing the tuning instability? I actually didn't even consider this until now.
Last edited by turds.ferguson at Jul 1, 2010,