July 4th, 2012, 03:05 PM
I've become really exasperated with the G string (or, in my case, the F#) going out of tune every 32.7 seconds. The stuff I'm working on has a lot of bends on that string, which surely doesn't help.
Would a wound 3rd help here, or does it just sound different?
Edit to add: currently using EB 10's.
July 4th, 2012, 03:15 PM
Nothing wrong with giving the wound G a try, but I suspect there's something going on with your guitar that's causing the problem (machine head, nut, saddle, etc.) Playing technique may also be a factor.
Have you had it professionally set up by someone who knows what they are doing?
July 4th, 2012, 03:23 PM
I use a wound 3rd set on my Gretsch- seems to work better with theBigsby- and it is worth a try, but I think the above poster is right; there's something going on if you can't keep one string in tune.
July 4th, 2012, 04:06 PM
The tuners are of the locking type (Gotoh) and seem to be solid. It's a Tusq nut. I had a close look at the slot at 30X and don't see that it looks like it could bind, but I'll pull the string off and check it with a feeler gauge just to be sure.
I'm doing a lot of bends on the string that include heavy vibrato at the top of the bend, so I wonder if it's not just more than .17 can handle.
July 4th, 2012, 04:10 PM
If you are doing a lot of bends, the wound G might not be for you...
nut issues, methinks.
July 4th, 2012, 04:36 PM
I use a wound G on one of my two Teles and to be honest, I think it sounds better (more sustain) and stays in tune. As far as bends go, yes it's more difficult if you do a ton of them but you can still get the job done with practice. My "G" is 16 gauge FYI.
If you want to know why I don't use it on the other, it's to be different I guess.
July 4th, 2012, 04:46 PM
If the string composition were a problem, it would be more evident on the E and B strings.
Try lubricating the slot with some chapstick or graphite and see if it helps. If it doesn't, try swapping your G tuner for a different one and see if it helps. A tuner doesn't need to move far to make a note go very flat, and it would be tough to notice without measuring carefully.
July 4th, 2012, 09:02 PM
Been using a .018" wound, among a set of 10's for a few years now. "just sounds different" would be the best description. I'll be more inclined to go back to a plain 3rd next time I purchase strings.
July 5th, 2012, 09:25 AM
The issue you describe seems like friction binding somewhere. If you don't resolve the underlying issue, switching to a wound 3rd would probably not help (and likely make it worse...). A stay-in-tune issue while bending always makes me think first of nut slot problems. Does that string ever "ping" when tuning? Even if not, still wouldn't hurt to lube the slot. GHS makes graphite lube that is white-colored. It works well, IME better than DIY substitutes. Another place to check for friction are the edges and underside of the string tree. They are stamped metal, and the manufacturing process can leave rough edges that can grab. It doesn't hurt to sand the bottom bearing surfaces of the string tree, and lube them as well. With lubed nut slots and smoothed-&-lubed string trees, my Strat stays in tune after whammy excursions. Keeping a Tele in tune is child's play compared to that...
BTW, a feeler gauge doesn't seem like a very useful tool to check a nut slot, since it has square edges, and the string could bind just as easily on the rounded bottom of the slot as on the sides...
On plain vs wound 3rd's in general, plain 3rd's tend to sound out of tune/out of intonation all by themselves (and the heavier the string gauge, the worse it tends to be). Wound 3rd's pretty much make that issue go away. A wound 3rd is about .003 larger than the plain 3rd of the given set would be (i.e., if the plain 3rd in the set is .018, then a wound equivalent would be about .021. Useful info if you are buying an individual wound 3rd)
July 5th, 2012, 12:35 PM
Oooooh, string tree. I didn't even think of that. Yes, it has a rough spot. I'm such a bozo.
Thanks for all the suggestions, y'all, you've added to my knowledge toolbox!
July 5th, 2012, 01:59 PM
Your tuning is dropped a semi. Are you using a heavier gauge set?
Is the nut cut for that gauge? - /pull/ a Vee nut file gently once through the slot to ease it, or "polish" the slot with the edge of some stiff white card (paper is quite abrasive).
One wrinkle is to fit a /lighter/ G for the set. This came from Albert Lee to stop the G "barking" and give it more bend, but doesn't seem so necessary with modern string sets.
Thomastik flatties are bright and bendy, even the 10s set has a wound G, nice on jazzbox (as intended).
July 5th, 2012, 03:46 PM
I've gone the wound G direction a couple times now on my Ibanez AS73, and both times I felt it caused more problems than it solved. It's great for tuning stability, but lousy for bending, and it seemed to throw off the balance of string volume and timbre. If all I played involved chord work with no bending, maybe.
July 7th, 2012, 01:12 PM
I use Thomastik Swing Jazz flatties 10s on the Ibanez AGS83 and the Epi jazzbox, they are bright and bendable, but I use pure nickel Roto PN10 roundwound 10s with plain G on the teles, and the shorter scale Gretsch gets Roto PN11 11s, with a plain G.
I used to use a 16W G but you cannot get them anymore and the plain Gs have improved, less stiff. Makes vary, experiment.
July 7th, 2012, 02:15 PM
Seems like that problem is usually the string binding someplace between the nut and the tuning post. If it binds there when tuning you end up with more tension below the nut than above, and bending pulls the slack out causing the string to go flat. If thatís whatís happening the wound string would make it worse. That area also involves the string trees. Donít touch the fret side of the nut, but you might use some lube and make sure the tuner side of the nut and trees all have a smooth entrance/exit. You didnít mention if itís a newish guitar. Sometimes after they go through a few string changes they wear the edges smooth. It can also happen at the other end, but usually it's at the nut end. If you tune the guitar, pull the string out from the fretboard, then tune again, does it help?