LP Custom Tuner Help needed - Jemsite
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-23-2010, 10:11 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
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Angry LP Custom Tuner Help needed

On one of my main guitars (LP Custom '57) the tuning pegs (Gold, Grover Brand-not plastic or ivory) for the G and B strings cannot seem to hold tune. When tuning or correcting tune, I always back down and tune up so that all lash is taken from the tuners and always seems to work. As of late, with no immediate cause popping to mind, the two tuners seem to "pop" sharp (sometimes flat, mostly sharp though). Makes a "plink" sound as if the string had something to do with it which can't be. If string tension was the issue it should pull it flat. This occurance is as if some force is pushing the tuner in the + direction. Never took apart tuners before but am a mechanic and know about gears and what not, so is there a type of worm gear or pinion type system in there? Is there some correction that can be done like a shim to allow better mating of the splines to the gear or what? Or is this a simple clean and lube? Driving me f'n nuts. Thanks for your time and thanks to anyone who has an idea. Take care.

David
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-24-2010, 12:31 AM
 
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Re: LP Custom Tuner Help needed

It actually sounds like its snagging at the nut or bridge. I would guess you changed string gauges. The grovers last a long damn time without much wear. You could try big bends nut sauce, or pencil lead. Its my opinion its snagging at the nut.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-24-2010, 12:38 AM
 
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Re: LP Custom Tuner Help needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by sniperfrommars1 View Post
It actually sounds like its snagging at the nut or bridge. I would guess you changed string gauges. The grovers last a long damn time without much wear. You could try big bends nut sauce, or pencil lead. Its my opinion its snagging at the nut.
I'd agree with this diagnosis as well.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-24-2010, 03:33 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: LP Custom Tuner Help needed

Will give that a look. Thanks.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-10-2010, 10:13 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: LP Custom Tuner Help needed

Careful observation leads me to believe it is indeed sticking at the nut. I have tried the lubes with new strings each time and no better. The string seems to have dug into the nut where it gets wedged tighter as the tension is increased. Is there a way to correct this problem with the factory nut (slightly re-file slots) or do I need to get a new one?
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-11-2010, 06:43 AM
 
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Re: LP Custom Tuner Help needed

You can always carefully file the slots. I usually do it with a string.. I take a D or G string (if the G is wound) and carefully file the nut with it. It usually works. If I'll have to do much bigger slots, I'll use files. The great part about this is that if you screw it up somehow, you can always get a new nut and start again, or give it to luthier which does it for you.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-11-2010, 08:13 AM
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Re: LP Custom Tuner Help needed

I've wrestled with this same problem for years with EVERY LP I've had (many).
The issue is the headstock at a 17 degree pitch and the nut is the focal point for alot of pressure from the strings. I have never been able to completely fix the problem - I've filed the slots, installed locking tuners and graphite nuts, paid shops to try - I paid $4k for a reissue R-9 with a killer flame top - looks great but it's unplayable for me. I was told to live with it.....
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-15-2010, 07:04 PM
 
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Re: LP Custom Tuner Help needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by jemaholic View Post
I've wrestled with this same problem for years with EVERY LP I've had (many).
The issue is the headstock at a 17 degree pitch and the nut is the focal point for alot of pressure from the strings. I have never been able to completely fix the problem - I've filed the slots, installed locking tuners and graphite nuts, paid shops to try - I paid $4k for a reissue R-9 with a killer flame top - looks great but it's unplayable for me. I was told to live with it.....
Drag that you were told that you had to "live with it." I've dealt with Gibsons for years and find that a properly cut nut will not bind and will hold a tune. Use some 400 grit sandpaper wrapped around the edge of a razor blade. Use this device to round the BACK edge of the nut slot (the edge opposite the fingerboard edge). Stay away from the center of the nut to prevent lowering the string any further. You can also carefully hit the fingerboard edge, just enough to take any sharp edge form grabbing the string. The idea is to keep the string from binding in the nut slot where the string enters AND exits the nut while you are tuning or playing. You can approximate the string diameters by folding additional layers of paper over the razor edge. Additional LIGHT application of Nut Sauce will aid in keeping the string/nut friction low. This technique will work on any guitar nut.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-02-2010, 01:48 PM
 
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Re: LP Custom Tuner Help needed

A properly cut nut will function properly. Unfortunately, there is no such thing direct from the factory.

Find the best luthier you can, tell them what you want, and get it!
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