New guitar, new bone nut, tuning issues

Discussion in 'Pickups, Electronics & General Tech' started by bloodjunkie, Nov 24, 2020.

  1. bloodjunkie

    bloodjunkie SS.org Regular

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    Not sure if I'm posting in the right section but anyway..

    I just bought a new Jared James Nichols 'Old Glory' Epiphone LP last week. I got the tech to put on a bone nut and set it up for C standard with 12-54s before even picking it up.

    Everything is good except for the G string which constantly slips out of tune and also it doesn't sound like a whole note almost anywhere on the fretboard(8th and 17th fret are probably worst culprits for sounding 'dead'. This is frustrating as I thought the bone nut would deal with tuning issues. Does anyone know what the problem could be?
    Every other string sounds good and stays in tune.
     
  2. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    Try a wound 3rd if you haven't already.
     
  3. IronSean

    IronSean SS.org Regular

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    Thicker strings can sound dead, the plain .020 that comes standard on 12-54 sets could just sound lifeless to you, a wound g string could work better.

    Other questions are:
    Have you used this gauge on other guitars before and had different results?
    Is there a chance the string in that pack was just a bad string? Sometimes there are duds.
     
  4. bloodjunkie

    bloodjunkie SS.org Regular

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    I could try just replacing the G string and see if that is the problem as I've only played on it for about an hour total over a few days.
    I'm using this particular gauge because a player I like uses these(a steel third at least) in the same tuning on an SG so I thought it would work out, with that said even their recordings are not totally in tune.

    Do you guys think switching to a wound .20(right now its a steel .20) would clear things up?
     
  5. CM_X5

    CM_X5 SS.org Regular

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    I've had similar issues with thicker plain strings too so a wound *should* solve it
     
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  6. TheWarAgainstTime

    TheWarAgainstTime "TWAT" for short

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    Wound 3rd is the truth :yesway: plain strings larger than a 17 or 18 start sounding wonky with chords and sound dull compared to their neighboring strings IME.

    Do you know if your tech filed out any or all of the nut slots to account for the heavier strings? Most pre-slotted nuts are made to work with 9's or 10's since that's what a lot of players are comfortable with. Gibson-style headstocks are known for tuning issues on the 3rd and 4th strings due to the break angle, so using too large of a string for the slot would only exaggerate that and cause more binding at the nut.
     
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  7. Zhysick

    Zhysick SS.org Regular

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    Wound .20 to .26 should work OK depending on how tight you like it. I would try .26 first, wound strings feel looser (at least for me...). If I remember correctly wound strings are more flexible so it might be because of that...
     
  8. cwhitey2

    cwhitey2 BlackendCrust Metalâ„¢

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    As stated, deff get a wound string! I HATE plain G strings, always sounds like lifeless shit.
     
  9. bloodjunkie

    bloodjunkie SS.org Regular

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    Okay thanks everyone, I'll try the wound third for sure, I thought it would be the exact opposite result with the plain one(as in NOT lifeless sounding) but I was definitely wrong about that.
    The nut slot was indeed filed out(for the person that asked).
     
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  10. jonsick

    jonsick SS.org Regular

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    You need to really find out where it's binding. Can you verify that it's definitely binding on the nut? That is can you hear any pinging on the nut? A quick check, detune the string a good amount, about 2 tones. Pluck and wind the tuner back up. If it's binding, you'll hear a good amount of pinging on the nut.

    A simple trick is to get a B (preferable) or HB pencil, slip the string and apply the pencil lead to the nut slot. That should lubricate it a little. Alternatively, go back to your tech to explain the problem.

    As for the dead spots, did you get a fret level done at the same time?

    Ultimately, 24 3/4" scale length is not what I would use for C tuning. I guess it depends on what style you're going for, but personally I would pick something 25.5" scale. 12-54 I would also call a little too heavy but again it depends what you're going for.
     
  11. ixlramp

    ixlramp SS.org Regular

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    Yes, a .020 is very stiff as it is a solid rod of metal of significant diameter, you can feel how stiff it is in your hands when off the guitar. The stiffness causes a more inharmonic tone, a darker tone, less sustain, worse intonation.

    Large gauge plains are also much more pitch-sensitive to tuning adjustments, so tuning stability is reduced. You might notice the pitch changes much more for a certain amount of tuner key rotation.
    The stiffness means it is more important to 'set the witness points' at tuner post, nut and saddle. If you do not the string will go around these in curves instead of kinks, causing even more tuning instability.
    These might be the cause of the tuning problems.

    Large gauge plains are a nightmare. I dislike and try to avoid plains over .016.

    A wound of equal gauge has less tension because it has more 'air' in the now non-solid structure, reducing its mass, and tension is determined by mass. The tension-equivalent wound is approx .002 thicker, so try a .022 first.
     

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