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D-Tuner On Low "E" String Problems

 
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Tony Trout



Joined: 23 Aug 2006
Posts: 103
Location: Brasstown/Murphy, North Carolina (USA)

PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 2:33 pm    Post subject: D-Tuner On Low "E" String Problems Reply with quote

Ok, this is probably a simple fix but I haven't found it yet:

Sometimes, the low "E" string will slip out of the nut when I tune or bend it. How can I solve this annoying little problem?

Thanks, Ya'll!
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Silverface



Joined: 23 Aug 2006
Posts: 324
Location: Hermosa Beach CA

PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It slips out of the *nut*? I don't quite understand how, since it should be a straight pull from the saddle=>nut=>tuner and there would be no sideways force (unless you're just picking the string way too hard) that could cause it to jump - or you're not using two hands, with one guiding the string and the other winding it.

But taking the problem as described - there should be plenty of break angle between the nut and the tuner hole (in other words, the string should come off the fretboard, through the nut slot, and slant down to the tuner hole) to prevent "jumping".

With a Schaller tuner and a standard Fender-style neck, if the 1st string action is set correctly the E string, running parallel to the fretboard from the nut, will hit the small rim on the top of the tuner about dead center - so you have to pull the string down to the hole to create the break angle. And this is a *good* thing (and why I really like the headstock design of cheapo GFS necks, as the headstock drops back about 1/8-1/4" further!) as it creates downforce in the nut for tone and sustain.

For most players I set the low E at .023" action between the bottom of the E string and the first fret, moving progressively lower to .016 at the high E (My own guitars are closer to .020-.014, but I pick lightly and very parallel to the guitar top; players who pick hard, down on the strings or tend to pull them up when hybrid picking may need a higher action at the first fret).

Fender's stock specs (actually, most manufacturers, as they are more concerned with buzz than playability on new guitars) are MUCH higher, and many techs spend about 1/4 of their time doing setups for precisely this reason.

Once you have the string in the hole and (hopefully) bend it back 90 degrees away from the direction of the string entry, all you do is turn the tuner with one hand and use the other hand to position the string in the nut. Also be sure you don't wind the string ABOVE the hole (I still see this on guitars played by veterans, who wonder why their guitars buzz at the nut). You only need a couple wraps for security, and they go *below* the hole. That alone will keep the string from jumping out of a properly-cut nut slot.

Once you have the slightest amount of tension the only reason it could slip out of the slot is that the nut slot is cut too shallow. I've read many recommendations (I think started by Dan Erlewine, who I don't always agree with) for the nut top to be low enough for 1/2 the string diameter to be exposed. That's silly on any guitar with a shallow break angle like a Fender (note that Gibson's angled-back headstocks do not need string trees because the strings are angled down. Then again, it's a weaker type of neck joint, and there are two kinds of Les Pauls - those that have had broken headstocks, and those that WILL... Razz ).

So on a Fender-type neck - with the exception of the imports I mentioned with "drop-back headstocks" - I recommend the full diameter of the string (no more - it looks sloppy and can buzz) be below the top of the nut.

Did that describe the problem/solution? If not, please clarify.
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Tony Trout



Joined: 23 Aug 2006
Posts: 103
Location: Brasstown/Murphy, North Carolina (USA)

PostPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2013 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The problem is solved, SF. My father puts my strings on for me (due to my having Cerebral Palsy, I just never have been able to put strings on well where vintage tuners are involved). I have my strings installed on the "D" tuners where the D tuner will turn counter-clockwise like the others when tuning. I know that's not the norm and probably not how any of ya'll who also have "D" tuners on your teles do it, but I can't get used to having it the other way around.

Unfortunately, I have short term memory (from the Hydrocephalus - water on the brain) and I can't remember what Dad told me he did when he put the "E" string on that created this minor problem. I'm just glad he fixed it.
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