Guitar goes out of tune on the 1st fret

Discussion in 'Pickups, Electronics & General Tech' started by Funkaholik, Nov 7, 2017.

  1. Funkaholik

    Funkaholik Drop A

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    Hi there .. listen
    i've been strugglin with this issue for a long long time
    Basically on the 1st fret guitar goes a lil sharp plus it's a bit harder to press a string
    makes it almost impossible to catch that press tension where string is ringing normal and not going sharp
    visually i can see that from the nut to the first fret strings have really big angle
    especially when you press a string there is a huge angle from the nut to the toe
    toe in this situation workin as a nut (floating nut)) baring strings on the first fret a bit of a nightmare too
    Also with chords say A, E etc pressed strings have some detune as well if compare to open strings of the chord
    i don't really hear a big difference (only see on my tuner) .. mostly i don't like just the fill of chords on the 1st fret .. it'll be way better to have a smoother fill

    probably nut is a bit higher then it should
    so i took off all metal plates under the nut lock but still the same
    i have a trem so it's impossible to make a deeper places for strings and i don't wanna go there
    on the picture you can see old RG7621 and RG7620
    Do you see that fretboard difference?
    i'm thinkin maybe i should cut a bit of a piece of a fretboard under the lockers?
    Would it has something to do with a sustain (can i loose some)? WP_20160305_0022.jpg
     
  2. cardinal

    cardinal SS.org Regular

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    From what you're describing, it does seem like the nut is too high. Hold down the string at the third fret and then look under the string at the first fret. You should just barely be able to see space between the string and the fret. Like just barely. If there's a larger gap, the nut is too high and it'll go sharp when you fret there.

    I would just carefully sand the wood under the nut to lower it. I can't imagine that it would do anything bad to the guitar.
     
  3. GXPO

    GXPO SS.org Regular

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    Do you have a picture of the trem? There is a chance that if it's too high or the angle is wrong the issue is more prevalent at the first fret..
     
  4. Thrashman

    Thrashman Got Groove?

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    Intonation issue most likely. Put some fresh strings on, intonate the bridge and check again.
     
  5. tedtan

    tedtan SS.org Regular

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    Sounds like it could be the nut, and you're right that you would need to remove the wood under the locking nut in order to lower the strings there. Listen to cardinal's advice, but if you do remove the wood, 1) use something flat (a file or sandpaper with a flat sanding block or piece of glass), and 2) only remove a tiny bit of wood before checking to make sure you don't remove too much. If you do remove a bit too much, you can shim it, but it's better to get it right up front than to have to use shims.
     
  6. elkoki

    elkoki SS.org Regular

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    more than likely it's the nut, the first notes going sharp and not intonating properly are from the nut being too high. If it was a regular nut you could sand down the bottom a little, or the slot. Not sure how to do it with a locking nut...

    Check if there's a shim at the bottom, if there is take it out. Maybe even just switching out to a different locking nut could help? it would be worth a try
     
  7. Petar Bogdanov

    Petar Bogdanov SS.org Regular

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    Superglue some 200 grit sandpaper to something flat and square (eg, piece of wood) and sand without using too much pressure. It's easy to sand near-as-makes-no-difference-flat, you just need to be patient.
     
  8. marcwormjim

    marcwormjim SS.org Regular

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    +1 to everyone stating the nut is too high. Had the same issue with my JTV 89F’s Floyd nut, and had to sand the fingerboard route for it down a few mm. It’s simple in principle, but requires time and patience.
     
  9. Funkaholik

    Funkaholik Drop A

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    Well i have pretty high string action .. i don't play fast stuff (all about sustain)
    i'm pretty sure trem is well balanced
    on the 4th img i'm holding string on the 3rd fret and it looks like i have a couple mm to sand

    my neck began to twist a bit because of its thinness and thick top strings
    10-13-17-30-42-54-64 (that was an experiment forgot to add last 70) .. so i drop it a half step trying to level it a bit right now i'm in G#
    gotta go back to 10-13-17-26-36-46-70

    Man, after i'll sand it i'll have to reintonate it again to drop A (hate doing this)

    By the way i caught myself on thinkin that leveling a trem with the strings on cause scratches on bolts which cause some issues when strem stucks sometimes on these scrathes.

    WP_20171108_002.jpg WP_20171108_003.jpg WP_20171108_007.jpg WP_20171108_008.jpg
     
  10. cardinal

    cardinal SS.org Regular

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    Seems like the nut is a bit high. I tried to get a pic of my Apex200. You can see the shim under the nut, and it impacts nothing.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. GXPO

    GXPO SS.org Regular

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    Yeah that nut is too high, Which seems strange considering that the install seems quite similar to the Apex..

    I'd recommend growing a fresh Rosewood tree and replacing the fretboard with a well seasoned, thicker piece of rosewood in 30 years time. Failing that maybe a tech could take some wood out for you ;)

    Good luck!
     
  12. Funkaholik

    Funkaholik Drop A

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    the thing is does lockin' nut should be placed on top of the fretboard or it can be placed on the neck as well? i'll try my best to sand half of the fretboard part under the nut .. wish me luck

    and what about leveling a trem with strings are on the guitar?
     
  13. cardinal

    cardinal SS.org Regular

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    I think you'll be fine to slightly lower the shelf under the nut. You won't end up taking that much off. But definitely use a sanding block. Do not try to do it without one.

    And I always adjust the tremolo height with the strings on. Just such a pain to do it any other way.
     
  14. Funkaholik

    Funkaholik Drop A

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    WP_20171113_005.jpg WP_20171113_006.jpg WP_20171113_007.jpg WP_20171113_008.jpg Right now repairing my guitar and that's what i come with ..

    Surface under lockin' nut under an angle which makes it more difficult to sand properly
    fretboard under first 3 strings way more thicker than under top strings (actually bottom strings were the problem i was struggling with) so i decided to leave it a is
    otherwise i'll make it rounded and i don't wanna go there

    plus i've double checked and found that 4th string doesn't have that much space
    between 1 fret when hold on 3rd in comparison with other strings so if i'll sand it it may cause ringing on open string and don't wanna go there either

    plus i'm not sure how it should be but sheath have some very strange look
    you see bottom sheath is sharp but top sheath is squared .. does it should be like that?
    i though both sheath should be sharpened.
     
  15. Thrashman

    Thrashman Got Groove?

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    That bridge isn't intonated. Get your guitar properly setup and intonated and the issue should go away.

    I had a guitar that had the same issue with going out of tune n the 1st fret, but it was solved by intonating the guitar.
     
  16. Funkaholik

    Funkaholik Drop A

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    Would be more helpfull if you'd tell me some about sheaths not the intonation which is flawless
    besides 1st fret which now is in tune because i've sand it as you recommend me before.,)
     
  17. cardinal

    cardinal SS.org Regular

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    Do you mean the knife edges that rest against the posts? They look ok. As long as it returns to tune you're fine. One is curved to force the trem to "locate" itself against the post. The other one is straight to allow for some wiggle room in the spacing between the posts (if they both curved, the spacing would have to be perfect. If they both were straight the trem could wander side to side).
     
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  18. Funkaholik

    Funkaholik Drop A

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    Exactly .. thanx for your answer.,)
     

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