G6120T-59 Vintage Select - String slippage

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by KA1J, Feb 10, 2019.

  1. KA1J

    KA1J Electromatic

    21
    Jan 9, 2019
    Connecticut
    I picked up a G6120T-59 Vintage Select which is in pristine condition but I'm having an issue with string slippage, I'm constantly having to retune the strings. I'm used to the Waverleys on all my Acoustic guitars and tuning one string a few cents every 5-6 songs is about right but with the Gretsch I'm having to tune 3-4 strings every few tunes & often I'm not touching the Bigsby. I can't imagine anyone on tour having to retune this much during a performance.

    I can order Waverley tuners from Stew Mac & put them on but I don't know have the same matching tuners (My Waverleys have "butterbean" open back tuners). What is something different I might try before calling Stew Mac? I did already graphite the nut slots.

    Thanks
     
  2. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Country Gent

    Mar 6, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    What gauge are you using, and do you hit the strings hard? Do you have a bunch of winds on the string post? Are they ‘locked’ on the post?

    Even if you don’t use the Bigsby, you can have tuning issues if you bend a lot and/or are aggressive. It’s almost never the tuner IME, and I doubt you need to spend Waverly kind of money for this problem. It’s usually the nut or the bridge, and that bridge is not pinned down like you might think, it has some play, and it’s slotted so it can move more than a typical pinned bridge.
     
    Floo likes this.
  3. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Friend of Fred

    Age:
    53
    Oct 18, 2015
    Hildesheim, Germany
    Check the windings on the tuners (too many means tuning slippage). Check the fixation ot the strings (use a simple knot). Check the nut. Do not use old strings.
     
    Floo likes this.
  4. KA1J

    KA1J Electromatic

    21
    Jan 9, 2019
    Connecticut
    Border & Loud, thanks for the thoughts. These are the strings that came with it, not sure of the brand, non-wound G & from the high E down; silver, purple, green, black, red & gold
    I have another set that came with the amp I bought and they're thin; D'Addario NY XL; 9, 11, 16, 26, 36 & 46. I suppose I need to give them a go.

    However... Now that you mentioned it, the strings on the guitar were indeed wrapped and I never do that & never looked at how they were attached. I'll change them, lock them properly, and report back how they're doing slip-wise.

    Thanks

    Edit... LOL, I just opened the pack and they look to be the exact same strings... :D
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
  5. Floo

    Floo Country Gent

    Dec 16, 2012
    Elmshorn, Germany
    Coloured ballends are D'Addarios. My guess would also have been the windings at the tuner-post. A lot of folks here like heavier strings on their hollowbodies, I prefer .011-.052, may even give a set of .012s a try.
     
    CaliforniaSlim and BorderRadio like this.
  6. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson
    Admin Post
    I use less than one-turn of windings and as soon as I started doing that, my string slippage vanished.
     
  7. Lockupyourfatdog

    Lockupyourfatdog Gretschie

    168
    Aug 8, 2016
    Everett wa
    Typically Gretsch comes with 11’s out of the factory. That’s what they’re usually set up for. I use 11-52 for more chunk on the low end.
    Are all strings out of tune or just d and g? I had to widen the nut on my 6120 due to strings binding on it
     
  8. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Friend of Fred

    Age:
    53
    Oct 18, 2015
    Hildesheim, Germany
    Do not forget to stretch them in properly.
     
    mrfixitmi likes this.
  9. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Country Gent

    Mar 6, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    Did you get your VS from Sweetwater? I did, and they strung it up with D’addario 11s, probably the basic strings. They also did not lock the string as I like to, and used too many winds (top). I lock mine like the pic below, with the minimum amount of winds required.

    You should have less issues with a zero fret, but I’m still deciding about mine. Tri-lube on the fret would be my take, but not sure if I want that stuff on my fretboard.

    AF622AB9-291E-457F-8391-1E74DE1652A5.jpeg
    7E6C4CB6-FD24-4DED-8B3E-2DAEC324CD49.jpeg
     
    loudnlousy likes this.
  10. KA1J

    KA1J Electromatic

    21
    Jan 9, 2019
    Connecticut
    Folks,

    New strings are now on and smiling. I did notice the tuners with no tension on them are somewhat loose, the Waverlys on my acoustics have no looseness and turn like butter, well made bits but I'm sure these tuners will last a lifetime and work perfectly.

    Interesting point about the stretching. After years of stretching between the thumb & forefinger, I stopped doing that when I'm not gigging. The reason why was after a discussion with a metallurgist who suggested for longevity of the strings, stretching them firmly when new could affect the crystalline structure of the metal, weakening it, and suggested a gentle stretch initially and let them stretch slowly in place as in overnight. O'course when performing, you have to stretch them firmly or you'll never stay tuned during your set, but as I'm probably done performing at this point and I'm not in a hurry.

    String gauge... Interesting stuff here, I think these new strings are a lighter gauge than what was on it but the colors matched. I just looked at photos on the web and all the D'Addario strings use the same color code. I still have the old ones and I'll get the micrometer from the garage and see what the thickness is. The PO said it was unplayed, so I'm assuming those would be the original strings and if Sweetwater uses E=11, I'm guessing that's what I'll find.

    I found this guitar on Fleabay, at a good price. The paperwork along with it was from Sweetwater with their 50 point checklist, this is a 2017 vintage and I received it about a week ago. Sweetwater had this same model as a demo with $300 off, but after tax was added, I couldn't turn this one down, the price was too good. I'm lucky, zero scratches, nicks or dents, and the only flaw I've found was the nut on the plug was loose and needed to be tightened. The previous owner said he bought a Brian Setzer Tribute and that is why this one was unplayed.

    The only thing now I have to figure out hardware-wise is why there's a buzz in my amp (Mesa Boogie F-50) until I touch the strings and it becomes silent. I'm apparently acting as part of a capacitor to ground and have to find the cause & remedy that. Easy enough to figure out but something extra to keep me busy :)
     
    cqscqs likes this.
  11. stiv

    stiv Synchromatic

    730
    Sep 12, 2014
    Florence, Italy
    I used to have the same problem back in the days with my pre FMIC 6120, the high E was constantly slipping out of the tune o matic roller when I was finger picking too hard.
    It was a mix of things (extremely low action, thinner strings gauge, the bridge itself): I overcame all that by learning to play with a higher action (more sound), with thicker strings (0.12 instead of 0.11) and getting rid of that rattling bridge (replacing it with a rocking bar). Never ever had a problem whatsoever even with extensive (although very light, no divebombing) Bigsby use.
     
  12. KA1J

    KA1J Electromatic

    21
    Jan 9, 2019
    Connecticut
    I tried the 9-46 NYXL DA'ddarios and they're fun to play but I'm not used to so little resistance when I play and I really have to lighten my touch even further. I'm going to leave them on for a while to see how well I adapt to them. I did want something lighter than what was there and that speced out to as Border suggested, 11. I'll give these a fair try but am going to try the DAddario NYXL1046BT "Balanced tuning" if I need to go heavier.

    I sure do appreciate the suggestions & thoughts.
     
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