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Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by foo606, Mar 20, 2017.
All you need is to move up to an 11gauge set of strings, 10g are just stupid in my opinion on a 24.6" scale guitar. Even master luthier, PA Bigsby authority; TK Smith sez 11gauge are necessary for proper tuning stability. So.. this simple thing can be fortified w coated D'Addario strings and a tiny bit of lube in the nut and saddles each string change. You will not only gain better tuning stability all around, but much improved tone from more mass and the coated strings slide naturally in the lubed slots. caveat: all this predicated on having the sense to set up a guitar properly when purchasing it, ie redressing all saddles and nut for appropriate string gauge. A bar bridge is a bandaid if you havent taken care of the basic setup.
94% of the time, it's the nut slots. I get abrasive chord from stew mac, and gently polish the nut and saddle slots, then use a little nut sauce on them, and it's works really well.
Some folks use emory cloth folded, but I'm a big believer in having the proper tools for the job. If you buy the right diameter abrasive chord, it is round, just like the bottom of the slot is supposed to be, not a "V" like folded paper.
Sorry Tavo, but there are many Gretschplayers on the road using 10s without tuning issues. At least me
You're right, 11s add more mass and therefore more tonal mojo (and some guitars really needs 'em, my Guild Manhattan e.g.), but my Gretsch stays in tune without any probs- and with 10s.
Never have Bigsby problems again...ever...toss it!
Well update I have ordered some graphite powder and addres the nut and saddles , before attempting anything with the nut , thanks for all your input and help , I will let you know how things go .As for string gauge no tto sure what they are standard tho reckon they be 10s .
Nut Sauce and graphite are the same thing as pencil lead. It's a great lubricant. We'd use it on all of the hundreds of door locks in our theater and on the gear trains in carbon arc lamphouses, among other uses. Nut Sauce just uses a thin oil as a medium to get the graphite where you need it. Whatever you do, don't use silicone---it'll be problematic if you need to refinish your guitar.
This is a great tip. I was not aware this stuff was available from StewMac. Thanks so much!
If your strings are wound many times around the tuner post, this can also cause tuning issues. Use a locking method to string up, then you only need a single wind around each post.
I have surf 90's in my 5120 too! Sounds great
I've been lucky. I keep my tuner screws tightened, stretch my strings when I install new ones, clean the strings and do about 2-3 wraps around the capstan. I think the brand and type of strings figure into the equation too. I use these in 10-46:
If the nut slots are too tight and pinching the strings you must get them properly filed. That is the most common problem with Bigsby tuning issues. (I'm assuming the strings are properly wound on the tuning posts and stretched out)
After that's done still lube the slots and other contact points. Graphite (pencil lead) works great in the nut slots.
BTW, I use 10's and my guitars play great, sound great and stay in tune.
That's what I believed for a long time until @tartanphantom hipped me to square cut slots. Less friction.
Graphite powder arrived today , so set about getting some on the saddles and nut .
After retuning seems to hold tune much better than previously .
Will report in a couple of days see how they settle .