#1
Hi guys,

I've just got a second hand Strat. I've noticed that it has trouble keeping in tune. I'm pretty certain it's the tuners/machine heads - when I'm trying to tune it I notice that when turning the pegs the tuning meanders all over the place and is unreliable.

Can anyone recommend some affordable but decent replacement tuners? Thanks!
GEAR:
* Schecter S-1 Elite guitar
* Bareknuckle Miracle Man pickups
* ENGL Screamer 50 Combo amplifier
* Boss TU-2 tuner pedal
* Danelectro Fish 'n' Chips EQ pedal
#3
When you say "meanders all over the place" do you mean the tuning buttons or pegs feel loose, or when you are turning the tuners does nothing happen for awhile then the tuning sort of jumps around? If the latter, I would first check your nut. That is the most common source of tuning problems. If the slots in the nut aren't cut right or are rough your string will bind or get stuck and will do all sorts of crazy things with your tuning.

Get a set of torch tip cleaners... they are tiny wire files available at most hardware stores for a couple bucks.... run the appropriate size through the slot several times, then apply some sort of lubricant into the slot. Graphite (pencil lead) and chapstick work just fine.

It is really quite rare that the tuning pegs are the problem. The main culprits are (in order) the nut, the strings aren't wound right on the posts, strings not stretched out, or they are hanging up somewhere else, like the string trees. Having said that however, better tuners will make it easier to get in tune, and are often worth upgrading. I've had very good results with Wilkenson tuners.
Last edited by stormin1155 at May 10, 2013,
#4
Quote by stormin1155
When you say "meanders all over the place" do you mean the tuning buttons or pegs feel loose, or when you are turning the tuners does nothing happen for awhile then the tuning sort of jumps around? If the latter, I would first check your nut. That is the most common source of tuning problems. If the slots in the nut aren't cut right or are rough your string will bind or get stuck and will do all sorts of crazy things with your tuning.

Get a set of torch tip cleaners... they are tiny wire files available at most hardware stores for a couple bucks.... run the appropriate size through the slot several times, then apply some sort of lubricant into the slot. Graphite (pencil lead) and chapstick work just fine.

It is really quite rare that the tuning pegs are the problem. The main culprits are (in order) the nut, the strings aren't wound right on the posts, strings not stretched out, or they are hanging up somewhere else, like the string trees. Having said that however, better tuners will make it easier to get in tune, and are often worth upgrading. I've had very good results with Wilkenson tuners.


Exactly as you've described - when tuning, nothing will happen initially as I turn the peg, then all of a sudden it will shoot over the correct tuning. It feels like the window of correct tuning is absolutely tiny.

It then seems to de-tune very quickly.

Also, changing the tuning of one string then seems to knock other strings out of tune.
GEAR:
* Schecter S-1 Elite guitar
* Bareknuckle Miracle Man pickups
* ENGL Screamer 50 Combo amplifier
* Boss TU-2 tuner pedal
* Danelectro Fish 'n' Chips EQ pedal
Last edited by el_jimbo at May 14, 2013,
#5
Then that's not the tuners.

Three things are happening:
1) The strings are binding in the nut.
2) You're not stretching, wrapping and locking the strings at the posts properly.
3) Your bridge is floating.

#1 is fixed by cutting the nut slots properly or replacing the nut entirely with a nicely-made graphite compound or bone one.
#2 is fixed by reading the stickied thread on this board and taking more time with your strings.
#3 is a matter of preference. If you want to be able to pull up on your bridge then you need to leave it floating; maintaining equal tension between all six strings and the springs in the back is a pain, it means lots of tuning back-and-forth and it means you can't switching tuning easily, but that's the price you pay for being able to pull up on the bridge. If you don't care about pulling the bridge up then just deck the bridge; open the back of the guitar and increase the spring tension until the bridge sits flat against the body of the guitar, even when bending a properly tuned 4th string up a whole step. You also get a fuller tone, slightly improved sustain and can do double stops with a decked bridge.
Yes, I know everything. No, I can't play worth a damn.
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