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 Post subject: Guitar Tech stuff
PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 11:54 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 3:03 pm
Posts: 268
Location: UK
Hey guys, im having trouble with something..

Since I got my guitar iv always really downtuned, I just really like the sound of it and those frequences sit well with me, it sounds earthy and bassy and natural, I chose my tuning at first just by tuning naturally by ear to whatever sounded good and it always turned out to be something like G# or A, Iv been playing in A for a long while now, written, recorded, jammed band stuff in A and couldnt be happier, my guitar tunes really well to it, no problems....

so recently the jack has been wobbly and crackly and I thought since Id bought it on Ebay I'd give it over to this highly renowned guitar tech where I get my amps fixed, to give it a good going over electrics etc, I explained to the guy that I play mostly in A and like to tune down so bear that in mind while working on it. When I went in to collect it he said hed fixed it all up but that the guitar was not made for down tuning, it cant be down tuned at all from E, and that down tuning is the ultimate insult to a guitar! Something about not enough frets, the strings buzzing, the intonation being out (I knew all of that but I had ways round it by fine tuning by ear and being used to playing it how it liked to be played) Suspicious, I thought I'd just get it home, thinking what much could he have changed, so Iv just been playing it, it feels weak, and it wont tune down at all now, not even to B or C without going wobbly and out of tune, its the same string gauge I gave him the pack....

what has he done to it? and how can I fix it myself now at home? I need my guitar back I miss it!

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 Post subject: Re: Guitar Tech stuff
PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 6:46 pm 

Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2011 4:00 pm
Posts: 55
I wish I could help you, but it really sounds like you need to find a tech who ISN'T a pompous doosh nozzle.


does your guitar have a floyd rose bridge on it?

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 Post subject: Re: Guitar Tech stuff
PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:42 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2011 6:57 pm
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Location: Portland, OR (USA)
I use a version of 'A' tuning also, and there have occasionally been techs who have told me they can't 'guarantee' intonation dropped that low. But the couple guys I use regularly seem to have no problem with it. I would just find someone else to do it. I am sure this guy is good at what he does, but he sounds like a precious purist type, and that means narrow minded, so fuck him. You can do better, and probably cheaper.


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 Post subject: Re: Guitar Tech stuff
PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 6:06 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 3:03 pm
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Location: UK
its not a floyd rose, im not sure what it is....

I hope im right in thinking its just the intonation, in which case I'll learn how to fix it, but the thing Im unsure of is, can you set up the intonation for any tuning? (is that why it was ok before?) any tutorials I find only talk about doing it in E......thanks for your thoughts.....

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 Post subject: Re: Guitar Tech stuff
PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 11:40 am 

Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 11:11 pm
Posts: 2
It's a balancing act of the nut and bridge, and everything between the two. Slight adjustments can make big changes. And, the guy sounds like a crumudgeon purist.

I like to let my setups "settle" for a day or two before the customer picks them up so I can see how the adjustments are reacting. Each guitar is as different as their owners and no two are exactly alike.

Intonation can make a difference in the way fretted notes sound, but if the guitar will not physically stay in tune, I would say it's another issue.

What kind of guitar is it? Do you have to tune between every song?


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 Post subject: Re: Guitar Tech stuff
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 9:49 am 

Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 9:37 am
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Location: A grave in Ireland
I've had this happen with techs before, them giving me grief about how I want my guitar setup, or how it can't be done. Todd from Warhorse used to downtune to G, on an SG, with .049 to .011 strings, enough said right there. Where there's a will, there's a way.

Just find someone else to setup your guitar, that's what I did. The guy I go to now, I give him the strings and tell him what I want. He usually gives me a look for a second, like he's thinking about it really intensely, then he just says "okay", and he does his job to the best of his abilities.

That's what you ideally want in a guitar guy. It took me awhile of shopping around to find someone who was up to the job, I went through my share of purists, idealists, and those who just didn't do a great job of setting up a guitar outside of the normal tuning zones. Keep plugging until you find the right person for the job, Jumz.

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 Post subject: Guitar Tech stuff
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 4:43 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 4:24 am
Posts: 194
Location: Austin TX
Post a pic of the bridge setup, we'll help ya figure it our.

Knowing basic maintenance of guitars/instruments is invaluable. Not only in money saved from going to techs but being able fine tune your gear to your particular playing style.




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 Post subject: Re: Guitar Tech stuff
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 1:55 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 3:03 pm
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Location: UK
Thanks guys, I wanted to get back to this sooner but been so busy, been playing today and I cant believe how different it sounds, it probably just sounds more like it 'should'...

Quote:
Todd from Warhorse used to downtune to G, on an SG, with .049 to .011 strings


thats my string gauge and I needed to re-tune once or twice during a 4 hour practise so that was good going really, I still cant get it to tune to A now though it was alright in C today, the strings feel much flimsier than before and Im missing the solid feeling they had, oh its an Aria nitro....

Image

Image

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 Post subject: Guitar Tech stuff
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:01 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 4:24 am
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Location: Austin TX
If that's a tremolo bar bridge there's probably springs in the back that may need to be tightened or loosened depending on your tuning choice.

It pitching forward or riding back (probably your case in down tuning) will affect the action. If the action is fine regardless of tuning than I wouldn't mess with it.

Using different tunings will affect the intonation, especially if still set up for E standard.

A quick intonation method is use a standard digital or whatnot tuner. Hit the 12th fret harmonic, get that in tune. Then fret the twelfth fret. If the note varies from the harmonic the intonation is off. You will need to move the saddle forwards or backwards to compensate.

Here's where the tuner comes in handy. Move the saddle in whatever direction the pitch is off. If 12th fret is sharp move it back towards the bridge. If flat move towards the nut.

The tuner will basically show you that, as if looking at the bridge with the guitar in your lap. That's how I remember at least.

Hope that helps


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 Post subject: Guitar Tech stuff
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:03 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 4:24 am
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Location: Austin TX
Also, you may run into problems for lower tunings with not being able to move the saddle physically back far enough. Hopefully that will not be the case


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 Post subject: Re: Guitar Tech stuff
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:15 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2012 1:17 pm
Posts: 39
Location: Lima, Peru
JemDooM wrote:
what has he done to it?


Most likely he changed the truss rod angle, making it fit for standard tunning (...and sloppy for downtunning).

Image

Bridge and intonation also come into play, but truss rod adjustement is the main cause for fret buzzing and action (string height/feel) irregularities:

Image

JemDooM wrote:
and how can I fix it myself now at home? I need my guitar back I miss it!


Changing it is easy (as you can see in the first pic), but requires a hex tool, a lot of patience and testing time unless one have done it before. The goal is simple: tune to your fave note, play with the truss rod until you get a little relief (see second pic) and no fret buzzing.

So you can:

a) take time to do it yourself.
b) find a guitartech whose mind is not as standard as his guitar tunning.

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 Post subject: Re: Guitar Tech stuff
PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:28 pm 
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Location: UK
So I got the tool box out and had a good think about where to start but I couldnt face it, its really intimidating when its my only guitar and I dont know what Im doing, id get pretty stressed out if I made it worse, if I had a second guitar to mess around with I'd have a go. I took my guitar to another tech today after much convincing, he seemed really cool and really took in exactly what I want so I have high hopes, it'll be ready on Friday so I'll let you know how it goes...

on another note! Also got a Laney 2x12 and a Trace Elliot 4x12 on Ebay today for £236 altogether! One of the speakers in the Laney isnt working but it was only £30 so even if the speakers blown itll still be cheap to replace, woo cant wait to try it all out!!

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 Post subject: Re: Guitar Tech stuff
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:12 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 3:03 pm
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Location: UK
Awesome, my guitar is back to its old self but way better than ever! Thanks guys because the first guy I took it to had seriously made me doubt myself and I was about to take his word for that and forget about tuning down so low, we're recording for a new drummer this weekend and had changed all of the songs to C which I wasnt really happy about but I'm back to A again and it sounds awesome!

the second guy took £20 off the bill (since we put in a bass aswell), threw in a guitar case and fixed a couple of other problems with my guitar one being that the nut had crumbled away a bit and wasnt holding my top string properly which is probably why I had such noise/feedback problems in the past, when I went to pick it up all was good though he said the G string sounded a bit weird but would probably settle down, which was true it did sound really off for a few days but then did indeed settle down to no problem at all! So I see what you mean about giving set ups a day to settle nitro thats damn right!

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 Post subject: Re: Guitar Tech stuff
PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 1:26 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 30, 2014 9:45 am
Posts: 44
Location: NY/USA/EARTH/MILKYWAY/ETERNITY
honestly, as long as you set it up right, (adjusting the truss angle after stringing, loosening to adjust, retuning, repeat, a long process), and most of all have the right string guage, (tension is key in a stable setup/tuning), you should have no issues, IMO.
i've down tuned short scale and long scale guits, floating trems, etc. and a bit of attention and TLC is all it takes. learning to do it yourself is the most fun; adds a sense of intimacy to your relationship w- your instrument.
IMO again.
glad to hear you found your perfect setup!


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