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Will a new Guitar Nut help? If so, suggestions?

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  • Will a new Guitar Nut help? If so, suggestions?

    My Epi LP seems to always be slightly out of tune most every time I pick it up...my LED tuner always shows it just a bit low on the Low E, A & G in particular; it's a little annoying.

    Would changing the nut out from the stock one fix that?

    If so, any suggestions on a good replacement brand?

    Or if it's not the nut, can anyone give suggestions to fix this?


  • #2
    if it is low across all six strings
    that could be just the strings stretching out
    if they are fairly new then that is expected
    I pull on mine to stretch them but if the house is warm they still slack off a bit

    also if you have the heat on in the house it could cause slight movement of the neck that would account for that
    dry air vs moist air
    most central units dry out the air when both heating and cooling
    EHD
    Just here surfing Guitar Pron
    RG2EX1 w/ SD hot-rodded pickups / RG4EXFM1 w/ Carvin S22j/b + FVN middle
    SR500 / Martin 000CE-1/Epiphone Hummingbird
    Epiphone Florentine with OEM Probuckers
    Ehdwuld branded Blue semi hollow custom with JB/Jazz
    Reptile Green Gibson Custom Studio / Aqua Dean Shire semi hollow with piezo
    Carvin Belair / Laney GC80A Acoustic Amp (a gift from Guitar Player Mag)
    GNX3000 (yea I'm a modeler)

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Spirit of 76 View Post
      My Epi LP seems to always be slightly out of tune most every time I pick it up...my LED tuner always shows it just a bit low on the Low E, A & G in particular; it's a little annoying.

      Would changing the nut out from the stock one fix that?

      If so, any suggestions on a good replacement brand?

      Or if it's not the nut, can anyone give suggestions to fix this?
      The guitar is an imperfect instrument and there are multiple ways to tune it.. And multiple things that can go wrong with the tuning.

      First thing first, make sure the guitar has intonation set properly. Make sure the intonation is set to make the 10th fret and 22nd fret the same. (or 12th and 24th).

      Now, when you tune up, tune using fretted notes on the 12th fret. The fretted notes should ALL be in tune on the neck, meaning, anything you play that is not an open string will sound in tune.

      Now, tune using the open strings. When you play up the neck, do things start to get out of tune?

      One of the little discussed things is that sometimes the nut is in the (slightly) wrong position. I received a new (cheap) guitar once where the nut needed to be moved. This was a difficult repair and involved filing the end of the fretboard and alot of trial and error. If after a professional setup, the guitar still does not sound in tune when using open strings, the nut may need some work.

      Because the guitar is an imperfect instrument and there are multiple ways to tune it, most people tune around the limitations of the guitar. Which means some compromise. Its usually best to tune the guitar in the range where you will be playing, for instance, if you play alot of open chords, tune using the open strings. If you are a shredder, tune using the 12th fret notes.

      Even on great guitars, there will be some perceptible areas that are out of tune around the nut. It depends on how the guitar is set up, how hard you fret, and how the guitar was tuned.

      If you can't get it sorted, take it to a good tech. My bet is the intonation needs to be set and because its an inexpensive guitar, the nut might benefit from some work.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Top-L View Post
        The guitar is an imperfect instrument and there are multiple ways to tune it.. And multiple things that can go wrong with the tuning.

        First thing first, make sure the guitar has intonation set properly. Make sure the intonation is set to make the 10th fret and 22nd fret the same. (or 12th and 24th).

        Now, when you tune up, tune using fretted notes on the 12th fret. The fretted notes should ALL be in tune on the neck, meaning, anything you play that is not an open string will sound in tune.

        Now, tune using the open strings. When you play up the neck, do things start to get out of tune?

        One of the little discussed things is that sometimes the nut is in the (slightly) wrong position. I received a new (cheap) guitar once where the nut needed to be moved. This was a difficult repair and involved filing the end of the fretboard and alot of trial and error. If after a professional setup, the guitar still does not sound in tune when using open strings, the nut may need some work.

        Because the guitar is an imperfect instrument and there are multiple ways to tune it, most people tune around the limitations of the guitar. Which means some compromise. Its usually best to tune the guitar in the range where you will be playing, for instance, if you play alot of open chords, tune using the open strings. If you are a shredder, tune using the 12th fret notes.

        Even on great guitars, there will be some perceptible areas that are out of tune around the nut. It depends on how the guitar is set up, how hard you fret, and how the guitar was tuned.

        If you can't get it sorted, take it to a good tech. My bet is the intonation needs to be set and because its an inexpensive guitar, the nut might benefit from some work.
        holy crap why do you still play
        i would have given up

        dont scare him with that one off nut
        and the tune it all over the neck stuff

        dang its just the strings

        its an Epi

        not a Sawtooth off Amazon
        EHD
        Just here surfing Guitar Pron
        RG2EX1 w/ SD hot-rodded pickups / RG4EXFM1 w/ Carvin S22j/b + FVN middle
        SR500 / Martin 000CE-1/Epiphone Hummingbird
        Epiphone Florentine with OEM Probuckers
        Ehdwuld branded Blue semi hollow custom with JB/Jazz
        Reptile Green Gibson Custom Studio / Aqua Dean Shire semi hollow with piezo
        Carvin Belair / Laney GC80A Acoustic Amp (a gift from Guitar Player Mag)
        GNX3000 (yea I'm a modeler)

        Comment


        • #5
          My strings are getting old (probably time to change them anyway)...I tend play a good mix of full Chords and Power Chords but I usually tune the strings open. Once I tune it, it stays in tune. After playing I always put it back in the hard shell case so nothing can bang into it, which it seems a little weird to always be the same "out of tune" every time I go to play.

          I keep the temp inside my house in the low to mid 70s (all year long without much variation.

          I got this guitar 6-8 months ago and have had the same strings for quite a few months (I play maybe 1-2 times a week) so I'll change the strings and see if it makes a difference.

          Thanks for the insight and feedback.

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          • #6
            Have you ever had the guitar set up by a competent and experienced luthier?

            Comment


            • #7
              Lots of stuff can make the guitar out of tune:
              - string binding at nut (will often go out of tune when you do heavy bends)
              - bad intonation (will sound out of tune when you're playing chords)
              - worn frets (they wear down and then will sound out of tune when you play certain notes)
              - nut too high (will make especially open fretted chords sound bad)
              etc.

              I think you should take it to a guitar tech for a setup first.
              Join me in the fight against muscular atrophy!

              Originally posted by Douglas Adams
              This planet has - or rather had - a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.

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              • #8
                ok yall are reading something I am missing

                what i read is that

                it plays fine
                when he gets it out of the case its a bit flat

                it may be the neck resting on the high support in the case
                EHD
                Just here surfing Guitar Pron
                RG2EX1 w/ SD hot-rodded pickups / RG4EXFM1 w/ Carvin S22j/b + FVN middle
                SR500 / Martin 000CE-1/Epiphone Hummingbird
                Epiphone Florentine with OEM Probuckers
                Ehdwuld branded Blue semi hollow custom with JB/Jazz
                Reptile Green Gibson Custom Studio / Aqua Dean Shire semi hollow with piezo
                Carvin Belair / Laney GC80A Acoustic Amp (a gift from Guitar Player Mag)
                GNX3000 (yea I'm a modeler)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Spirit of 76 View Post
                  My strings are getting old (probably time to change them anyway)...
                  Old strings absolutely can cause tuning issues, especially if any crud has accumulated on them. Strings are likely to last longer if you take a second to wipe them after playing. If your hands sweat when you play, using fast-fret or a little WD40 on a rag to coat them will help them stay fresh longer.
                  Originally posted by Spirit of 76 View Post
                  Once I tune it, it stays in tune. After playing I always put it back in the hard shell case so nothing can bang into it, which it seems a little weird to always be the same "out of tune" every time I go to play.
                  Many guitars will drift a bit when sitting in their cases. Sometimes in an LP style hardshell, the slight downward pressure that holds the guitar in place when the lid closes is enough to do that.

                  If it plays in tune and it stays in tune while you play, I wouldn't worry about it myself.
                  .
                  "My hovercraft is full of eels."

                  .

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Spirit of 76 View Post
                    My Epi LP seems to always be slightly out of tune most every time I pick it up...my LED tuner always shows it just a bit low on the Low E, A & G in particular; it's a little annoying.

                    Would changing the nut out from the stock one fix that?

                    If so, any suggestions on a good replacement brand?

                    Or if it's not the nut, can anyone give suggestions to fix this?
                    Les Pauls and any guitar with a similar headstock where you have 3 tuners on each side in a row or even having a slight fanned out pattern tend to have problems with tuning. Especially the G and D, but even the B might be problematic. The reason for this is the way the strings have to splay out to their tuner pegs after passing through the nut slots. This sharp angle creates a situation where the strings tend to bind in the nut and thus tend to both be harder to tune as well as tend to go out of tune easier. This is a notorious problem with Les Pauls due to the design of the headstock. The most common "fix" is to file a new nut where the individual slot for each string are angled the same as the angle of the strings, but personally I don't think this a satisfying solution since the point where the string takes a turn in its angle towards the tuner peg has only been moved to the front side of the nut instead of its back.

                    So, what is the solution? Well, there is a product that solves this problem beautifully and it's called the String Butler. It allows the strings to pass straight through the nut and then splay out to their tuners, by going against rollers that the strings cannot bind into.

                    Click image for larger version

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                    I would also suggest exchanging the nut itself for a ZeroGlide, which in my opinion is a much better design for the function of a nut than a traditional nut, no matter what guitar you have. It will allow open notes to sound the same as fretted notes and remove any way for the strings to bind.

                    You obviously still have to intonate your guitar properly like stated in previous reply but the String Butler will definitely eliminate a problem that most if not all Les Pauls suffer from. My bet is yours does too.

                    I'm a Les Paul guy myself and I installed both a String Butler and ZeroGlide on my Epiphone and all the tuning problems I had went away. The headstock on the Les Paul looks great, better than any headstock in my opinion, but it is inherently flawed in its design and calls for some clever solutions in order to work properly. The String Butler is that clever solution.





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                    • #11
                      If you are expecting your guitar to always be in tune every time you pick it up I think that’s an unrealistic expectation.
                      The very first thing I do when I pick up my guitars is to give the tuning a quick check/tweak.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Gtrjunior View Post
                        If you are expecting your guitar to always be in tune every time you pick it up I think that’s an unrealistic expectation.
                        The very first thing I do when I pick up my guitars is to give the tuning a quick check/tweak.
                        I have two guitars with Floyd Roses . . . they're in tune every time I pick them up. :P
                        Join me in the fight against muscular atrophy!

                        Originally posted by Douglas Adams
                        This planet has - or rather had - a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Gtrjunior View Post
                          If you are expecting your guitar to always be in tune every time you pick it up I think that’s an unrealistic expectation.
                          The very first thing I do when I pick up my guitars is to give the tuning a quick check/tweak.
                          I like when Craigslist for sale ads say things like “Needs tuned.”
                          "Patience is key. Hard work is obligatory. And itís the decisions you make right now, not the habits of the past, that will shape your success in the future." - Janek Gwizdala

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by GuitarStv View Post

                            I have two guitars with Floyd Roses . . . they're in tune every time I pick them up. :P
                            Smart ass
                            Lol

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                            • #15
                              Well if the strings are worn, I wouldn't expect them to be perfectly in tune and don't even dream of proper intonation.

                              Also, I noticed that most probably due to the 10-15 celsius difference between my body/hand temperature and the room temperature, when I pick up my guitars, they are a few cents sharp. I play them for a few minutes and they are perfectly in tune, the way I put them away after the previous session. So your problem might be similar. And as Gtrjunior said: the first thing you do should be to check the tuning. I even check them before putting the away. That way I can monitor if anything happens to them during the night...

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