So i got a SE soapbar ii that wont stay in tune

guitarfan85

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My PC is crapped out right now so if I find out how to post pics using my phone I will

So I finally got what I wanted, and then some.

I was GASsing hardcore for a white soap bar ii and I finally got it. And boy is it a piece of art. It plays like a dream. The previous owner swapped out the pups for Seymour Duncan vintage p90's and they sound great! He also swapped the stop bar bridge for a tonepros wraparound adjustable.

The strings that were on it were fairly new and I believe they were 10's. But it won't stay in tune for even a minute. (Granted I haven't done any adjustments yet). But I've had it for two weeks so it has acclimated to room temp by now. The intonation seems to be fine when I do the harmonic/note 12th fret test. But it just won't stay in tune. I did lower the bridge a little. I don't not have exact measurements but its not too low.

Any ideas why? Again, the strings had that fairly new twang to them. Even older strings don't go out of tune this badly.

Thanks
 

alantig

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Afraid we're going to need a little more info - is it going out of tune over time as you play? After bends? If it just sits?
 

guitarfan85

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Afraid we're going to need a little more info - is it going out of tune over time as you play? After bends? If it just sits?

Yes yes and yes. When I pick it up its out of tune. Bend a note then that string goes out if tune. Tune it with a tuner then play some chords and there's always a note or two that doesn't sound right and needs fine tuning.

If this helps anyway, I'm assuming the guitar is set up for standard E. But its not tuned to standard E. I have it time to D. But I wouldn't imagine that being too big a problem making it go out of tune by that much because I've tuned other guitars to different notes and not had set up to that note and not have a problem with it
 

Mikegarveyblues

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Mr deBlanc pretty much nailed it.

Strings need stretching in a little when they're first put on. One of the biggest culprits is the string binding in the nut slots. Can you hear a 'ping' when you bend a string? try some pencil graphite in the slots of nut sauce. Failing that, you may need to visit a guitar tech to have the slots widened or a new nut fitted. Not expensive... At least it shouldn't be.

Something else to look at it is the bridge. It may need adjusting (Using the two screws at the back) so that the intonation is correct. You'll need a good tuner, but if the bridge is out then you'll get tuning problems as you move up the board.
 

alantig

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It's not the focus of this video, but check out the section after about 3:30 - Len tunes the guitar a couple steps sharp, then to pitch, then stretches the strings. Watch carefully - he also bends the strings while they're sharp to stretch them a bit more.


Are they locking tuners? (The web site isn't clear.) If they are, make sure the strings are locked down (finger-tight should be sufficient). If not, there's a way to wrap them so they sort of lock themselves (if you're not already doing this, that is).

Stretching and trying to eliminate slip at the tuner are two biggies.

And agree - the alternate tuning shouldn't be causing you this kind of grief (aside from the possible stretching issue). I'd expect a short settling in period, but not what you seem to be experiencing.
 
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Herr Squid

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Also bear in mind that there can be crappy individual strings (or sets of strings) that are just plain defective and won't tune.

If you bought a guitar and don't know what the strings are, slap a set of your favorites on there and then start troubleshooting once you know they've stretched out and settled in.
 

lgk1208

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main_home_bg.jpg

I use this with great success.
 

Egads

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Does anyone know if it came from the factory with 9s? If so, the previous owner could have thrown 10s on it and they are binding at the nut. I'm not sure if this one came with 9s or not.
 

guitarfan85

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OK so to narrow it down I picked up the guitar again and it was IN tune so it only goes out of tune when I bend strings.

I emailed the guy who sold it to me and asked him what it came with when he bought it and what size are on it now and all he replied was "10s". He didn't say to which question so I don't know about that.

Pencil graphite you mean to literally just pencil in the slots? And nut sauce I oughtta try that

They are not locking tuners.

I'm just going to try and swap out the strings with some fresh new DR 10s and take it from there.

Does any know the most reliable, stable method of stringing a guitar on non locking tuners?

Thank you everybody for your help
 

Danerada

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I always put locking tuners and a new nut on any SE I buy. I never have a tuning issue...If you don't want to go that route though, I would suggest some type of lubricant for the nut.
 

Egads

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Since it seems the guitar shipped with 9s and the first owner replaced them with 10s, it could be that the strings are binding in the nut. Try the lube (I use Big Bends, too). The nut might need to be re-filed or replaced.

I also am not a fan of non-locking tuners.
 

alantig

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OK so to narrow it down I picked up the guitar again and it was IN tune so it only goes out of tune when I bend strings.

I emailed the guy who sold it to me and asked him what it came with when he bought it and what size are on it now and all he replied was "10s". He didn't say to which question so I don't know about that.

Pencil graphite you mean to literally just pencil in the slots? And nut sauce I oughtta try that

They are not locking tuners.

I'm just going to try and swap out the strings with some fresh new DR 10s and take it from there.

Does any know the most reliable, stable method of stringing a guitar on non locking tuners?

Thank you everybody for your help

http://prsguitars.com/forum/showthr...ing-quot-guitar-strings-on-non-locking-tuners

PM me if this doesn't make sense - I could use a change on one of my guitars w/o lockers and we can Skype or iChat it.
 

guitarfan85

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Awesome help everyone thanks. One other question on the side, why is it when I tune up and play a certain chord I feel I have yo fine tune yet again. Let's say I tune so an E chord sounds perfect. Yet a G will not and i d have to fine tune again to make the G sound perfect?
 

JustRob

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Awesome help everyone thanks. One other question on the side, why is it when I tune up and play a certain chord I feel I have yo fine tune yet again. Let's say I tune so an E chord sounds perfect. Yet a G will not and i d have to fine tune again to make the G sound perfect?

Check the intonation. Tune each string, then check to see if it's in tune at the 12th fret. If the 12th fret note is sharp, the distance between the 12th fret and the bridge is too short and the saddle needs to be moved back. Opposite if it is flat.
 

vchizzle

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Here's a test you can try.
1) tune guitar to pitch(go 1 string at a time, check each string as you go)
2) bend a note on the high E string
3) wait a second and check the tuning of that string again
4) if the string is now sharp, that string is binding in the nut and not returning to it's proper position
5) check each string the same way

Locking tuners are rarely a necessity. I find that Big Bends nut sauce and lubricating the nut are often times trying "fix" something that needs additional work(the nut slots probably need to be widened to handle the string gauge). All chords should be in tune, which makes me believe your intonation needs to be adjusted. I'd say it needs a full setup, starting with the nut slots being widened to fit whatever string gauge you want to use. I'd probably take it to a shop and get a full set up done. If you want to learn how to do it on your own, there are several places you can look to learn. Here is PRS' guide to specific PRS parts: http://www.prsguitars.com/csc/setup.html

Dan Erlewine repair guide book has been invaluable to me in learning how to do guitar maintenance. I have the old version with the PRS on it, looks like there's an edition with DVD too which I would've loved while learning. http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_s...keywords=dan erlewine&sprefix=dan+erl,aps,184

Tons on youtube as well.
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=dan erlewine guitar setup&sm=1
 

alantig

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Awesome help everyone thanks. One other question on the side, why is it when I tune up and play a certain chord I feel I have yo fine tune yet again. Let's say I tune so an E chord sounds perfect. Yet a G will not and i d have to fine tune again to make the G sound perfect?

This sounds like there may be issues with the nut. Try this - tune it, then play several chords. E, G, D, A, C. See if they all sound out of tune, or if it just seems to be certain strings. That may lead you to the problem.

But I'd fix the intonation first, like Rob suggests.
 

blaren

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OK but did you stretch the strings yet?
No gadgets necessary (but feel free to use them). Just stretch the crap out of your strings. ALWAYS. Grab em one at a time and pull and hold for a sec.
Some stage guitar techs will also rub new strings with a rag or towel quite vigorously up and down the length of the strings after they stretch them. They claim it might "temper" the strings and swear it makes a difference.
Could be that it's just because of the extra stretching that's helping stability.

Hey also, if your guitar is kept fairly "chilled" and then you play it with warm hands and a warm body the strings WILL go flat. Doesn't take much warmth on a cold string to make it expand. After a while of playing and holding the guitar against your warm body (cue the '70s porn..bown chicka bow-wown), it too warms up and expands and stuff.
 
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