Gretsch G5230T tunig issues

Discussion in 'Electromatic Gretsch Forum' started by Lemon505, May 22, 2019.

  1. Lemon505

    Lemon505 Newbie

    May 22, 2019
    Czech republic
    Hi Gretsch lovers!

    Recently I bought Gretsch G5230T. It’s my first Gretsch experience and I am in love with the sound! But it has tuning issues when it comes to using the Bigsby tremolo.

    At first I thought it was the tune’o’matic bridge, but I found out that this bridge holds in tune surprisingly well. The problem is in the nut. Strings seems to stick in it whenever I use bigsby or when I bend whole step up.

    I’ve never moded anything on my guitars so I’m not sure how to fix it. Could you help me to choose the right nut for my guitar? I’m from Europe, so Thomann sortiment is the easiest for me to get. Basically I don’t know if Les Paul nut is ok or not. And is nut replacement something you do at home or shall I find a luthier?

    Thank you very much for your help.

  2. jarrodtaylor

    jarrodtaylor Electromatic

    Mar 14, 2019
    Delray Beach, FL
    The pro models usually come with Tusq XL nuts, and I’ve never had issues with them.

    It’s possible to do yourself but also tough to fix if something goes wrong. A good luthier would be able to handle it without any issue.

    Check your strings first. Try 11’s or up if you haven’t already. They tend to stay in tune better.
  3. Lemon505

    Lemon505 Newbie

    May 22, 2019
    Czech republic
    I use 10's now, I've never thought that string gauge could affect it somehow.
  4. Jelly Roll Horton

    Jelly Roll Horton Gretschie

    Nov 10, 2017
    Portland, OR
    Try some powdered graphite on the grooves in the nut first. I found this to be helpful.
    Lemon505 likes this.
  5. TSims1

    TSims1 Friend of Fred

    Jun 18, 2013
    Lots of little things you can try. Work on the nut slots. Different nut. Different bridge. Lubrication at all points of contact. Different tuners. Heavier strings. Etc etc.

    In the end though, I’ve never had good luck with tension bar Bigsby’s. I stay away from them.
  6. audept

    audept Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Dec 1, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    Welcome to the forum, Tom!
    czech welcome mat.jpg
  7. Ricochet

    Ricochet Gretschified

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    I rather have a well-cut plastic nut than a badly cut bone nut.

    Nothing more detrimental to playability of a guitar than a badly cut nut.
    Every nut should be cut, shaped, fit and notched for the individual guitar. IMO a drop in replacement nut doesn’t exist.

    If you have not done this before, take it to a luthier/shop.
    If this is your only guitar and you don’t fancy investing in tools you will never use again, take it to a luthier/shop.
    Last edited: May 23, 2019
    sh4rkbyt3, section2 and audept like this.
  8. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Country Gent

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    @Ricochet is right. You ought to bring it to a local guitar tech and have them fix and file the nut for you. It’ll be worth it.
    I have 2 guitars with tension bar Bigsby’s and they both stay in tune just fine because the guitars have correctly filed nuts.

    And congratulations on the new guitar and welcome to Gretsch Talk!
    section2 and audept like this.
  9. Lockupyourfatdog

    Lockupyourfatdog Gretschie

    Aug 8, 2016
    Everett wa
    I use clear chapstick on the nut instead of graphite. Lubricates the same and still looks clean. I’d try that first if that doesn’t work take it in and have the nut slots widened a little. Because of the headstock design its pretty common for the D and G strings to hang up on the nut
    Lemon505 likes this.
  10. section2

    section2 Synchromatic

    Dec 21, 2016
    I'll echo the advice to take the guitar to the luthier. I do a lot of DIY mods and maintenance on my guitars, but nuts require precision work and special files, so it's best to have an experienced hand working on them.

    You might not need to replace the nut. I had a guitar with a cheap plastic nut that wouldn't stay in tune. I took it to the luthier and asked him to replace the nut. He told me I didn't need to. He spent about two minutes filing the slots, gave me back the guitar, and wouldn't even charge me for the work. It stays in tune perfectly now.
    calebaaron666, sh4rkbyt3 and Ricochet like this.
  11. section2

    section2 Synchromatic

    Dec 21, 2016
    Also: welcome to the forum! You've got a beautiful country. I was in Prague on vacation five years ago and brought home a Furch guitar. It was the best souvenir I've ever picked up on vacation. I wish I could have brought home some of your wonderful pilsners too. :)
  12. dmunson

    dmunson Electromatic

    Dec 19, 2015
    Charlotte, NC
    I just bought a 5230 a couple of weeks ago, and found the same problem. After cleaning and graphiting the nut slots, tuning became much easier. That was when I discovered that the tuners felt a little loose. I took it back to the dealer and he replaced two of the tuners for me. But as soon as I've worn the first set of strings down, I'm going to install a new set of Gotoh tuners.
    Good luck !!
    Lemon505 and Ricochet like this.
  13. lerxst_x

    lerxst_x Electromatic

    Aug 28, 2018
    The Tusq XL Nut has done wonders for my Jet.
    EC Strat likes this.
  14. andreww1962

    andreww1962 Electromatic

    Apr 30, 2019
    I actually think the nut on my 2420 is decent quality. Strings were binding initially, but what I do is take a little piece of fine sandpaper (1500) folded in half and run it through each nut slot a few times. Another method is to use the old strings and run them back and forth vigorously through each slot. keep in mind that if you are going to use heavier strings than what your guitar shipped with, the problem will be worse. Nut Sauce helps as well.
    section2 likes this.
  15. Lemon505

    Lemon505 Newbie

    May 22, 2019
    Czech republic
    Than you all!
    Graphite solved my problem :)
  16. EC Strat

    EC Strat Electromatic

    Jan 11, 2019
    Still take a look at a TUSQ XL. Did wonders for my Streamliner.
  17. Wjensen

    Wjensen Electromatic

    May 25, 2019
    Raleigh, NC
    Lemon505, glad the graphite did the trick. But you may want to take it to a luthier anyway. I have a Epiphone Les Paul that had intonation problems. I took it to a tech, who, among other things, filed out the nut slots. End of tuning issues. Indeed, it stays in tune pretty much for weeks on end.

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