Tuning issues...help - Jemsite
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-16-2019, 07:43 PM Thread Starter
 
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Tuning issues...help

So I recently moved and loosened the strings because I knew the guitar would be subject to some heat. Travel time was four days and it has been 45 days since and I decided it was time to retune. Long story short, the guitar will only tune when the trem is tightened down. I can tell that the strings are very tight. I broke two low E in the process...been awhile since that has happened. The issue is with intonation. At the 12th fret most strings are close but some a bit low. On the 24th some drop almost to the next note down. I cannot move the strings any shorter to remedy this. Not sure what to do. I have tried to loosen again and reset the trem but to get it level It is about 75-80% tightend down. I am using the same size strings, same brand, etc. Is it possible there was heat damage to the wood? My next option is to take it to a shop.

BTW it is a RG920 with EZII trem.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-16-2019, 07:46 PM
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Re: Tuning issues...help

It's in spring shock, you'll have to crank the springs to maximum tension to start to break it.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-16-2019, 07:53 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Tuning issues...help

Thanks. About how long should I let it sit at max?
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-16-2019, 07:54 PM
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Re: Tuning issues...help

It should't have to, it should start working immediately, but slowly.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-16-2019, 07:56 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Tuning issues...help

Cool. I'll work that.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-18-2019, 10:55 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Tuning issues...help

I can't get this thing tuned. Should I look at replacing the springs? I pulled the trem and the spring seem tight. Not sure what to do to get this thing set up.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-21-2019, 08:27 PM
 
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Re: Tuning issues...help

Does the neck have bowing or warping? 45 days is a long time for a guitar neck to go without having the strings pulling against the relief applied by the truss rod.

Have you put a fresh set of strings on the guitar?

Is the tremolo floating level? If the tremolo is not floating level, all bets are off. Tuning stability is out the window.

BTW, I think the “spring shock” comment was a joke. Search the web, there is literally nothing out there about “spring shock”.

Last edited by CaptNasty; 08-21-2019 at 08:36 PM.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-22-2019, 08:34 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Tuning issues...help

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptNasty View Post
Does the neck have bowing or warping? 45 days is a long time for a guitar neck to go without having the strings pulling against the relief applied by the truss rod.

Have you put a fresh set of strings on the guitar?

Is the tremolo floating level? If the tremolo is not floating level, all bets are off. Tuning stability is out the window.

BTW, I think the “spring shock” comment was a joke. Search the web, there is literally nothing out there about “spring shock”.
So I didn't think to let the neck sit with new strings. It is doing so right now. I have some travel coming up for work so in a few weeks I'll go back and look to see if that helps. The setup now has the trem level at standard tuning. MTF...
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-22-2019, 08:49 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Tuning issues...help

NO GO...Just did a trem test and as soon as I pulled back, low E broke AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 4th time. Not sure but I'm about done with this POS. I have not broken a string in 10 years and now 4??? It's on reverb....
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-23-2019, 08:33 AM
 
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Re: Tuning issues...help

Are you really familiar with guitar setup and repair? If not it might be best to take the guitar to a luthier.

Breaking down the information you have provided:

You say “the issue is with intonation” and you also say “I cannot move the string shorter...”. Shortening string length would result in lower tension not higher tension. You should not be adjusting string tension by changing bridge intonation. Bridge intonation is used to fine tune the scale length to improve the tuning across the length of the fretboard.

It is unclear what other adjustments you have made. Was bridge height adjusted? Was the tremolo spring tension adjusted? Did you make truss rod adjustments?

The breaking of the E string could be an indication that you have a burr or some other blemish on your saddle or nut. Also, when you say you pulled up, how far did you pull up?

An increase in tension of the strings could be the result of a backbow, an improperly setup tremolo, and/or shifting of the tremolo mounting studs. Are any of your frets loose or lifted?

Is the neck tightly and securely attached to the body?

Have you removed your tremolo cavity cover? Is there anything that got into he tremolo cavity that could be interfering with the operation of the bridge?

Are your tuning machines loose?

Is the nut securely attached?

Is there any damage to the headstock, neck, body, or neck pocket?

The tuning instability could be the result of an improperly set up tremolo, loose tremolo mounting studs, saddles that are not locked down.

It is not 100% that the string breakage is tied to the tuning stability issues.

The string breakage could be as simple as your saddle could have gotten sand or grit on it and gotten scratched during the move. Or it could have developed some rusting.

For the tuning stability I would first make 100% sure that the tremolo is set up properly with the bridge floating level when the guitar is in tune. Pay attention to the sustain block, it should be parallel to the sides of the tremolo cavity when level. Once the bridge is level measure the relief on the neck. If you do not know how to measure relief take the guitar to a luthier. You should not be adjusting your truss rod for any purpose other than to set relief. THE TRUSS ROD IS USED TO SET RELIEF NOT ACTION!. Once the tremolo is floating level and the relief is properly set, if the strings are too high or low you can adjust bridge height to set the action. The action should be set by measurement, not eye.

To assess the saddle, visually inspect the saddle. Do you see any scratches, burrs, rust, or debris in the area where the string touches the saddle? Run your finger nail over the area where the string touches the saddle. Is it smooth?

As for dumping the guitar on Reverb. I think this is a really bad idea. If you accurately describe the condition of the guitar, you will have to set the condition as “not functional”, disclose all of the issues with the guitar, and sell the instrument as a parts guitar. You will not get much money if you do that. If you use any other condition to describe the guitar and fail to disclose the issues, you will likely have a return for “condition not as described” and a bad review on your Reverb account. This would only add to your frustrations.

My advice: take the guitar to a real luthier. A good luthier will be able to tell you what is going on and should be able to fix the instrument.

Last edited by CaptNasty; 08-23-2019 at 08:49 AM.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-23-2019, 09:14 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Tuning issues...help

Thanks for the reply. I'm surly no expert but I have done full breakdown and setup of trems before without issues. This included taking the entire trem apart for cleaning, etc. But thats not relevant now. After moving, the guitar sat for a few weeks with the strings loose. Before the move the tuning was fine. Once I began to retune a week ago is when the first string broke because for some reason they are all very stiff. The tuner shows all going flat at 12/24th is my reason for moving the string shorter. At one point I did notice the trem floating higher so I tightened it down which got the trem flat and open strings tuned, but still flat at 12/24. Since I just got to town I'll have to ask around for a good shop. Just pisses me off to have to spend money on something I have done myself.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-23-2019, 11:57 AM
 
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Re: Tuning issues...help

Quote:
Originally Posted by hilljack13 View Post
Thanks for the reply. I'm surly no expert but I have done full breakdown and setup of trems before without issues. This included taking the entire trem apart for cleaning, etc. But thats not relevant now. After moving, the guitar sat for a few weeks with the strings loose. Before the move the tuning was fine. Once I began to retune a week ago is when the first string broke because for some reason they are all very stiff. The tuner shows all going flat at 12/24th is my reason for moving the string shorter. At one point I did notice the trem floating higher so I tightened it down which got the trem flat and open strings tuned, but still flat at 12/24. Since I just got to town I'll have to ask around for a good shop. Just pisses me off to have to spend money on something I have done myself.
I am really strong at working on guitars. Have done some apprenticeship work with a couple of luthiers I know.

You keep saying the E string is breaking due to string tension. I don’t think you know why the string is breaking. You could have multiple issues going on with the guitar. The tuning issues could be caused by something completely unrelated to the string breakage.

If the bridge is level and the open strings are at tune, then the strings are not under excessive tension. An open string that is accurately tuned to pitch on a given guitar will always have the same tension so long as you are using strings of the same gauge and brand that the guitar was setup for. This is pretty straight forward mechanics we are dealing with on a guitar. Are you sure you are not tuning an octave too high? Going up an octave would definitely increase string tension.

The open string ringing true to pitch then being flat when fretted at the 12th or 24th could indicate back bow (a “hump” in the middle of the fretboard would require less depression to fret the note... resulting in a flat tone). You did relieve string tension on the neck, then presumably exposed the instrument to heat and humidity. This could cause back bowing.

Diagnosing and fixing a guitar that has multiple issues that are interacting with one another is tricky. It is a far cry from disassembling and reassembling a tremolo. In such a scenario, paying that money to a luthier can prevent damaging the guitar. It would be money well spent in my opinion.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-07-2019, 10:40 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Tuning issues...help

Old strings? I ask because the strings I was using were ordered from Juststrings.com a few years ago...like 4+years so I wonder if during my move they were subject to heat and became warped. I decided to change using D'Addario's and the tuning came in just fine first try. Even the intonation only needs minor adjustments. Thoughts? Thanks!
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-08-2019, 11:47 AM
 
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Re: Tuning issues...help

I recently found a box of 10 sets of D’Addario 9s in my attic. Don’t know how they ended up there, but they did. They were at least 10 years old. I have used all 10 sets and they worked fine.

I would be surprised if age or heat had any impact on new strings. Music stores keep their inventory that is not instruments in warehouses that are not climate controlled. They get hot as hell with no apparent ill effect and companies can hold on to some inventory for a lengthy period.

If you restrung with strings that were a different brand/gauge/material from the ones you had on the guitar previously then the entire bridge setup would need to be redone (intonation, tremolo tension).

Last edited by CaptNasty; 09-08-2019 at 11:53 AM.
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