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Chronically Out-of-tune guitar

 
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Will
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Joined: 20 Dec 2006
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Location: MADTOWN RAT 2011

PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 4:30 am    Post subject: Chronically Out-of-tune guitar Reply with quote

My Ric 325 copy is having pretty consistent tuning issues. When I first got it, it wouldn't stay in tune for a minute. Heavy strings and straightening the neck helped, but it still drifts more then any other guitar. Basically, the strings all drift flat evenly with each other. After about 15 minutes of playing, they will have all gone about 20 cents flat.

The tuners are the same Korean Schaller copies that are on my Alvarez, which stays in tune perfectly
The nut is cut properly and lubricated with Vaseline and graphite
The truss rod is almost straight, maybe about .02" of relief that I'm working out slowly
The neck bolt are tight, and it's shimmed (has to be with the bridge)
I put the Schaller Roller bridge back on, which helped a bit
The Bigsby spring has been removed and the mechanism is resting against itself
Stretching the strings does not make them go out of tune

The neck is maple but very thin and flexible, I'm working the last bit of relief out slowly and hope to have it straight this week.

What else can I do and what's making it drift?
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dodgedartdave
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Joined: 21 Apr 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 6:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is the bridge sitting in the right spot?
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Will
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 6:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Intonation wise? Yes. There's a huge break angle between the Bigsby's tension bar and the bridge, though I think I might replace it with a trapeze next string change.

I tightened the truss rod another 1/4 turn and it's down to .005" relief at the 9th fret, the lowest on any of my guitars. I stretched the strings out for about 5 minutes and that seemed to help a bit. I wandered around my house playing Beatles songs as hard as I could for half an hour and it only drifted <5 cents, so we're making progress. I think I'll pick up a graphite nut next week.
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robroe
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Joined: 20 Apr 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

just sing lower. haha

ohh and don't play along with anyone else
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robert(original)
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i guess the only advice i can offer is set i up perfect, play the crap out of it, let it set for about.... 3-4 days, do the setup again, repeat until its solved.
but you may want to check your glue lines, make sure the board isn't lifting or anything like that.
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DGNR8
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Joined: 30 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You need a bogus truss rod cover. That will fix it.
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MatthewK
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 9:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Could the string gauge be wrong? Or a bad batch of strings?

Also - are the tuners tight and well lubricated?
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Will
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Everything's tight and lubricated Laughing

It behaved itself today - only the A string slipped a bit flat. I think straightening the neck out and stretching the strings really far sorted it. Still slips more then I'd like, but at least it's usable now.
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yaksox
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Joined: 05 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey just out of interest, what is it badged as?

I have a korean made ric. copy called 'Academy'.
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dodgedartdave
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DuoSonicBoy wrote:
Everything's tight and lubricated Laughing

It behaved itself today - only the A string slipped a bit flat. I think straightening the neck out and stretching the strings really far sorted it. Still slips more then I'd like, but at least it's usable now.


How tight do the strings slip through the nut? If it goes "tink, tink" as you turn the tuning head, then it's too tight. A graffite pencil makes for good nut lube.
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