#1
Being a guitar teacher I notice a lot of my student's lower to mid price electric guitars do not stay in tune very well even if they do not have a whammy and the student is not doing any bends. I notice this in many name brands including the Gibson Epiphones and Fender Squire Strats (particularly bad) although of course their higher priced guitars do not have this problem. There does not seem to be a problem with the tuning of similar priced classical or steel string acoustic guitars. What is causing the strings to go out of tune, why is this confined to electric guitars and are there any lower priced models that do not have this problem?
#2
Buddy, if you're a guitar teacher you should know that guitars like that have cheap tuners in them. They're low grade stock tuners. Squiers are $100. Good tuners are about $50.

Any Epiphone under the Les Paul Standard will have cheap tuners on it as well. Even some Standards have cheap tuners on them, although some have Grovers.

With the Acoustics, I don't know why they'd be different. It could be that with the higher guage strings there isn't as much bending or stretching of the strings.

For lower price guitars without tuning problems, Agiles and Washburn WI64's. Agiles vary in price and can be found on www.rondomusic.net. The Wasburns range from $300 for the distressed version to $420 for the deluxe version. Both have Grover 18:1 tuners. The Washburn also has the Buzz Feiten Tuning System so that it stays perfectly in tune and perfectly intonated.
My Gear:

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#3
Crappy Tuners, how could you be a teacher and not know that?
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#4
To tell you the truth, I have no idea. It might just come down to a hit or miss type of thing. I have seen cheap ones that have the problem and others that don't.

The electric i have now is extremely cheap, i got it for about $100 (new) with the amp and everything included, and actually, it plays quite nice, and i was spurised at how well it stayed in tune. i usually only have to tune it every week or so, which is not bad, seeing as i do A LOT of bends.

Anyway, how frequently do they go out of tune?
#5
prolly a combination of cheap hardware. Replacing the tuning machines helps alot on squiers
#6
oh i know why cheap acoustics stay in tune. its because the companies dont have to spend money on maufacturing electronics and pickups for acoustics while they have to for electrics. meaning that companies can spend more money on quality tuners for their cheap acoustics instead of pickups.
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#7
if they buy cheap guitars, then maby they use cheap strings. Could that do it?
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#8
Strings won't affet it much. It's the tuners. Anyone with common sense should know that. Bad tuners=the guitar not staying in tune. It's simple logic. $100 guitars don't have freaking Grovers on them. They have cheap, no name tuners. They are cheap guitars for a reason.
My Gear:

Washburn WI14 Electric
Washburn D10s Acoustic
Marshall MG100HDFXR Special Edition
Marshall MG412AR Special Edition

Quote by Danno13
^Xenn is my favorite MG owner EVAR.

Quote by jj1565
^ Xenn fav MG user evar
#9
My guitar was $180 with an amp, and it stays in tune fine. This leads me to believe that it's really a hit or miss thing, but on the whole the fact that the tuners are cheap and badly made usually explains this.
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#10
My WI14 was $150 and it stays in tune for the most part as well. But we're talking about Squiers and low end Epis. Both of which are notorious for horrible tuners.
My Gear:

Washburn WI14 Electric
Washburn D10s Acoustic
Marshall MG100HDFXR Special Edition
Marshall MG412AR Special Edition

Quote by Danno13
^Xenn is my favorite MG owner EVAR.

Quote by jj1565
^ Xenn fav MG user evar
#11
Have you guys checked out his website? He has a guitar recommendation page, where he mentions Godin about 20 times and then suggests the Peavy Rage 15 and Marshall MG series amps.
he plays the hell out of the acoustic guitar but it's apparent he knows nothing about electric, which is ok, just don't try to tell people what to get if you have no clue yourself.
#12
Godins aren't that impressive. I really prefer Epi's and Fender Standard Strats to them.

And MG's are alright, but to recommend them above all else? That's just idiotic. I LIKE MG's and still post alternative recommendations. And if the person has enough for a tube amp, I don't even mention anything that's not full tube.

MichaelMurray, if you're going to teach electric guitar, I suggest you hang out here at UG for a while and learn about them first. It will help you and your students greatly.
My Gear:

Washburn WI14 Electric
Washburn D10s Acoustic
Marshall MG100HDFXR Special Edition
Marshall MG412AR Special Edition

Quote by Danno13
^Xenn is my favorite MG owner EVAR.

Quote by jj1565
^ Xenn fav MG user evar
#13
I think that the acoustic guitars might stay better tuned because (going with the overall-bad-hardware theory), the acoustics wouldn't need/have bridges and saddles, unlike an electric
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#14
Well I seemed to have gotten a number (though not all) of rude and arrogant responses but yet none of these experts has answered the question. Saying cheap electrics go out of tune because they have cheap tuners is not an answer at all. Of course I know they have cheap tuners. So do cheaper acoustics which have tuners that have very poor gear ratios that make it difficult to get the guitar properly in tune but when you get them in tune they stay in tune. I have students with $300 electrics with significant tuning problems while those with $100 acoustics do not have this problem at all. I really doubt it is the cost of the electronics causing this.

As to my background I used to play a great deal of electric and play quite well even though it is no longer my specialty. I have tried all of the brands recommended on my website and the tuning problem is one reason I have never recommended Squire strats. Lately I have been noticing that some Epiphones are having similar problems but it seems to vary from guitar to guitar. As regards the amp recommendations and the recommendations in general, a proper reading of the page will reveal that these recommendations are geared to first time buyers.

If someone has any detailed physical information as to why cheap electric tuners do not hold a pitch well while cheap acoustic do and what causes this I would like to hear it. Haven't heard anything yet that I didn't already know.
Last edited by MichaelMurray at Jun 4, 2006,
#15
Well, yes as everyone has stated, cheap tuners does equal guitars going out of tune faster. I play classical, acoustic, and electric. From my observations, I believe that the main factor causing cheap electrics to go out of tuner more quickly than cheap classicals or acoustics besides the tuners would be the difference in string gauges.

As we all know, classical guitars and acoustic guitars utilize much thicker strings than those on electrics. Another fact is that when tuned correctly, the strings on classicals and acoustics experience a much greater amount of resistence than those of an electric (especially the G,B, and high e strings on the electric). Thus, the electric strings are more easily possible to be victims of what I'll dub "slippage," where string tension slowly reduces with accumulated playtime, and time left alone as well.
You can even experiment this with whatever guitar you play on. Let's say an electric...try .09 strings for awhile, then switch to .10 for the same amount of time with the same amount of playtime and same levels of "aggressiveness"...and then compare that to .11, etc.

In addition, the type of music being played could also be a factor in determining why cheap electrics go out of tune more often than cheap classicals or acoustics. There are a plethora of techniques that are usually only performed on electric guitars such as extreme bends, tapping, the use of a whammy bar, etc.) These techniques all contribute to the constant stressing of the resistence on electric guitar strings whereas the selection and types of songs played on classicals and acoustics are often more focused on chordal techniques, fingerpicking, etc. - All which do not attack the resistence of the tuned strings as much as electric guitar techniques. Of course, there are many people who do (including me) attempt to play songs with techniques meant for electric guitar on their classicals or acoustics, and thus, these individuals' cheaply made classical/acoustic guitars often go out of tune more than the average player's would.
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Last edited by chaosoftheauRa at Jun 5, 2006,