#1
So I recently bought a MIM Fender Strat and figured I would use that as a platform to do some noobish guitar customizations. And seeing as I am not proficient enough with soldering for pickup swapping, I decided to improve the guitar's tuning stability.

Question is, where do I start? I won't be able to do everything related to improving tuning stability all at one time as I don't have the time nor money to do it all at once so I want to know which improvements should take top priority. For example, should I change the tuners to locking tuners or should I change the nut to some other nut, or maybe buy new saddles/bridge?

Help is greatly appreciated.
Current/Main Gear
'06 MIA Fender Stratocaster
'97 Epiphone Les Paul Standard Lim. Ed.
'90s Peavey Classic 30
H&K Tubemeister 18
MXR 404 CAE Crybaby
Ibanez TS9
Ernie Ball Jr. Volume
Digitech Hardwire DL-8
TC Electronic Nova Repeater
#2
well is there a tuning problem to begin with?

my mim tele has rock solid tuning, only have to fine tune it every couple weeks....
#3
well i plan on using the tremolo and I play onstage every sunday for church so I wanna make sure that my guitar won't go out of tune in the middle of a song
Current/Main Gear
'06 MIA Fender Stratocaster
'97 Epiphone Les Paul Standard Lim. Ed.
'90s Peavey Classic 30
H&K Tubemeister 18
MXR 404 CAE Crybaby
Ibanez TS9
Ernie Ball Jr. Volume
Digitech Hardwire DL-8
TC Electronic Nova Repeater
#4
noobish customization should really include soldering. Get some wire and practice a bit. Wiring is the cheapest mod and easiest to fix when you do it wrong.
#5
well i can focus on that area later on as I become more comfortable with the guitar. But does anyone have any input as to where I should start to improve my tuning stability?
Current/Main Gear
'06 MIA Fender Stratocaster
'97 Epiphone Les Paul Standard Lim. Ed.
'90s Peavey Classic 30
H&K Tubemeister 18
MXR 404 CAE Crybaby
Ibanez TS9
Ernie Ball Jr. Volume
Digitech Hardwire DL-8
TC Electronic Nova Repeater
#6
Well, if it's not staying in tune, there's likely 2 reasons. Either the nut is binding the string, possibly because of a bur, or the tuners are crap. I have a MiM strat, and the original fender tuners were god-awful. It didn't stay in tune for 5 minutes. So I swapped them with Fender locking tuners, and it stayed in tune. Fender locking tuners are kinda crappy though, but they were a drop-in replacement. I also replaced the nut with a drop in from allparts or some website like that. It is supposed to be teflon impregnated tusq or something, but it wasn't too great either, so I use a fine sandpaper on it and then some pencil lead when it doesn't hold it's tune.

If you use the tremolo, locking tuners are a good thing for sure, and probably a nut made from a stronger material.
Last edited by W4RP1G at Jul 11, 2011,
#7
keep in mind, if the bridge isnt balanced, the guitar wont stay in tune.

so open the trem cavity.
get familiar with how the spring tension effects tuning,

lube all string contact points, and you should be fine.
Jenneh

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