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Old 07-12-2018, 03:40 PM
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Default Staying in Tune vs Acoustics....

Is it just me and my guitars or do electrics have greater propensity to go out of tune than acoustics????
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Old 07-12-2018, 03:47 PM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is online now
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I find the opposite true, acoustics being much more sensitive to temperature/humidity change...

Of course, if you put skinny strings on electric and do lots of bending, sure...
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Old 07-12-2018, 06:11 PM
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all mine stay in tune. perhaps you play your electrics differently such as with bends, etc.

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Old 07-12-2018, 06:16 PM
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When was the last time you put a little “nut lube” on your saddle and... ah, nuts?

The strings may be binding enough to not stay tune like they should. Do they make a loud “squeak” when tuning?
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Old 07-12-2018, 07:30 PM
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My bandmate has a guitar with a tremolo that I don't think has ever been IN tune, as far as I've seen at practice.

But judging from my collection, it's about equal with two exceptions. My 12 string acoustic is usually very noticeably out of tune every time I pick it up, and so is my Strat with its floating tremolo (although once properly tuned, it stays there like a champ).
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Old 07-12-2018, 08:36 PM
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Electrics with tremolo can be finicky with tuning. Also, stickage in the nut slots and saddles seems to be worse with light gauge strings.

I'm blessed to have a floating trem strat copy that is rock solid on tuning stability, but then again, it did take upgraded tuners, Graphtech Tusq nut and saddles with 12-52s to get it right.
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Old 07-13-2018, 05:02 AM
pieterh pieterh is offline
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Yamahaguy is spot on - strings sticking in the nut slots can be a pain, especially on electrics, even more so with whammy bars!

A bit of lubrication for the slots or even taking it to a tech who can use a nut file to widen the slot slightly can work wonders. My G&L ASAT was hard work for years until a friend who is a luthier pointed out that they are set up for extra light strings (.009 top E) and I use .010s. One would think there would be leeway but apparently not always. He widened the offending slots (G and B) and it has been perfect ever since.

My ES335 on the other hand was harder to fix: the slots were so deep that the luthier this time had little margin for widening as it would have meant deepening too. We tried a couple of times to get it staying in tune without sticking but in the end had to admit defeat and changed the nut for black Tusq. Now that stays beautifully in tune too!
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Old 07-13-2018, 06:58 AM
Howard Emerson Howard Emerson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RP View Post
Is it just me and my guitars or do electrics have greater propensity to go out of tune than acoustics????
My electrics are basically strung like my acoustics: .054-.012, give or take an iota.

I don't have any trouble getting them in tune, applying a capo, or not.

The typical disparity of going from "light gauge acoustic" to "light gauge electric" is the main problem, I'll wager.

I've never done that 'thin string thing', but I can imagine it being a real 'playing in tune' issue.

Of course you didn't specify HOW your electric is going out of tune, so: More input.

HE
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Old 07-13-2018, 11:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Howard Emerson View Post
...Of course you didn't specify HOW your electric is going out of tune, so: More input.

HE
Good question. I'll look at the problem a bit more analytically. My electric is an MIM Standard Telecaster so no tremolo but possibly cheap tuners. I'll use some graphite on the nut and see if that helps. Thanks for the input...
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Old 07-13-2018, 11:38 AM
B. Adams B. Adams is offline
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I tend to notice when electrics are out of tune before I notice with acoustics. I think acoustic guitars might just be more forgiving to being slightly out of tune than electrics are.

Obviously some guitars have horrible tuning heads or other issues, but I'm speaking more of quality guitars in good shape.
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Old 07-13-2018, 11:47 AM
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I find the opposite too, acoustics are more likely to go out of tune. An acoustic top is not nearly as solid as an electric guitar body for anchoring the bridge, and the top cares about humidity while the solid body basically does not. Electrics do go out of tune, but I find it tends to be individual strings, especially the thinner ones that get bent, rather than the large drifts I see more often in acoustics.
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Old 07-13-2018, 04:18 PM
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As Jeff stated, bending (I play a LOT of Blues and bend a LOT) can really throw tuning out quickly.

Another issue may be - where is it out of tune? Are you finding 1st position chords wonky while barre chords sound fine? If so, there are a couple of things to consider and possible remedies -

1) Fretting hand is pushing too hard, making notes go sharp (very easy for acoustic player moving into electrics)
2) Nut slots too high
3) Playing too hard - a hard R hand technique can also bend the strings and give you an "out 'o tune" sound
4) Overall action may be too high
5) #'s 1 & 2 in tandem

I have found that I need to intonate the guitar open vs 12th fret and then dine tune by playing chords in first position. I will happily give a couple of cents sharp at 12 to sound good in 1st position.
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Old 07-15-2018, 07:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RP View Post
Is it just me and my guitars or do electrics have greater propensity to go out of tune than acoustics????
I am buy no means well experienced with electrics (only have one currently)
But none the less I am thinking the real answer is "Depends" on exactly which electric and which acoustic.

I have two Taylor acoustics one 810 ce and one 750 12 string and both are pretty remarkable at staying in tune ( like for months on end) .
I have one electric which has locking tuners (PRS CE24 with trem) which stays in tune reasonably well but not near as well as my Taylors . Usually after a day or more I have to re-tune at least the G string some times a few others by a few cents. However it does stay for in tune for that session and usually most of that day.
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Old 07-15-2018, 08:57 AM
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I've noticed that my maple-necked electric guitars are much less likely to fluctuate in tuning than my mahogany necked guitars (especially when they fire up the air conditioning at church).
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Old 07-15-2018, 12:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pieterh View Post
Yamahaguy is spot on - strings sticking in the nut slots can be a pain, especially on electrics, even more so with whammy bars!

A bit of lubrication for the slots or even taking it to a tech who can use a nut file to widen the slot slightly can work wonders. My G&L ASAT was hard work for years until a friend who is a luthier pointed out that they are set up for extra light strings (.009 top E) and I use .010s. One would think there would be leeway but apparently not always. He widened the offending slots (G and B) and it has been perfect ever since.

My ES335 on the other hand was harder to fix: the slots were so deep that the luthier this time had little margin for widening as it would have meant deepening too. We tried a couple of times to get it staying in tune without sticking but in the end had to admit defeat and changed the nut for black Tusq. Now that stays beautifully in tune too!
Fire your luthier

When grooves are too deep, there’s the old trick of filling them with super glue or gorilla glue or something similar (preferably clear in color) and then filing them to the desired height. Fast, cheap and it preserves the nut. You’ll be surprised at how well it really works.

Also...another old trick when changing strings to bigger gauges is to use the wound strings themselves as files to widen the grooves. All it takes is a couple of passes, like if you were using the string as dental floss on the nut. And if you remove too much material by accident, then do the super glue trick and start over lol
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