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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

My Les paul won't stay in tune...

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Jeffscreamedcorn, Oct 14, 2007.

  1. Jeffscreamedcorn

    Jeffscreamedcorn Tele-Holic

    Dec 1, 2006
    I'm SO frustarated!! My '58 VOS LP will not stay in tune. Had to do many redo drop in's in the studio tonight because the guitar went so out, so quick.

    Are there any replacement tuners out there that stay in tune, don't scar the guitar with extra screws and enlarged tuner bushing holes, etc. , and maintain the vintage look?

    The guitar is a tone monster, but as a practical matter it's useless. HELP!!!

  2. OaklandA

    OaklandA Friend of Leo's

    Jun 18, 2004
    Queen Creek, AZ
    Grovers and Gibsons go together like PB & Jelly. But you may want to check your nut first. I've found most tuning problems start there.

  3. furrfurrfurr

    furrfurrfurr Friend of Leo's

    Aug 10, 2006
    South of Heaven
    Careful with that axe, Eugene.

  4. Jeffscreamedcorn

    Jeffscreamedcorn Tele-Holic

    Dec 1, 2006
    What about the new Pro Tone Kluson (they bought the name) gibson Tulip tuners? Looks like it's what I'm looking for.

  5. Rich Rice

    Rich Rice Poster Extraordinaire

    Jul 15, 2005
    Chicago 'Burbs
    I had the same problem with one of my LP's. I ditched the Gibson Deluxe tuners, bought a set of Klusons, same crap. Replaced them with Gotoh repros, and it is much better. Not as good as my '79 (original Grovers still on it), but vastly improved. All Grovers are not manufactured equal. If you go with the Tone Pros, I'd be interested in the outcome.

  6. PeterUK

    PeterUK Friend of Leo's

    Mar 4, 2003
    Nottingham, UK
    Hmm. The latest Klusons are sooooo poor. The quality has dropped off dramatically in the last few years and I had to buy 2 sets recently to make a decent working set.

    Kluson, if you're out there, get this sorted.

    :neutral: Peter

  7. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Sep 19, 2005
    I seriously doubt it's the tuners. I would be looking at things like the grooves in the nut, the condition of the saddles at the bridge, and very possibly rerducing the number of string winds around the tuning peg. Temperature also plays a huge factor. if the studio space was cold or even chilly, you'll have all sorts of tuning problems.

    Several years ago, I was have a serious tuning problem in the studio and couldn't figure it out. Somewhere near the end of the session, the engineer figured out it was actually the tape machine! Halfway into each take the tape machine would change speed ever so slightly and the pitch would change!

  8. fierce_carrot

    fierce_carrot Former Member

    Sep 11, 2006
    you have a top of the line Gibson and it won't stay in tune?

    take it back..let Gibson fix it.

  9. musicalmartin

    musicalmartin Poster Extraordinaire

    Aug 8, 2007
    Norfolk UK
    serves you right for buying a Gibson .I mean ...who has ever heard of a Fender going out of tune ....Buy smart Fender !

  10. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Sep 19, 2005

    Hmmmmmmm. Too bad a Fender isn't even close to the sound of a Les Paul. There's only one guitar that sounds like a Les Paul..........accept no substitutes!

  11. check the nut.. and mebbe try slightly heavier strings, especially
    if you're using anything lighter than 10s..

  12. Colo Springs E

    Colo Springs E Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Mar 4, 2003
    Colorado Springs
    I've owned

    ...probably 15-20 Gibsons, not ONE of them had tuning issues.

  13. Bigugh

    Bigugh Tele-Meister

    Oct 29, 2006
    I had a Paul Custom back in the day that wouldn't stay in tune for 12 bars. Tried everything - nothing worked. My final conclusion was that the neck was just that rubbery (I've run into the same thing on SG's as well).

    I agree with fierce carrot: send it back to Gibson and make them make it right.

  14. Telarkaster

    Telarkaster Friend of Leo's

    Aug 25, 2007
    You got that right, pardner!

  15. maestrovert

    maestrovert Poster Extraordinaire

    +1, that's what warranties are for.....good luck getting Gypsum to honor their warranty though !

  16. bowlfreshener

    bowlfreshener Friend of Leo's

    May 3, 2007
    Virginia, USA
    A few things need to be considered when there are tuning difficulties. How recently or how long has it been since a string change? And then how many winds around the tuners of the strings? Then I recall reading somewhere that most tuning difficulties are not based on the tuning keys, so as everyone else has suggested, look at the nut, and other places. But if this has always been a problem with the guitar, then it may be the keys, but if this just started happening, it may not be the keys.

    Also, is it your home studio, or did you go somewhere? I have heard that sometimes when you take your guitar from one place to another, you should give your guitar about 30 minutes to get used to the place that it has been moved to, as far as humidity, temperature, and other environmental factors that could be different from place to place. Especially now that its cooler, if you just got to the studio, immediately tuned up and started playing, the tuning could change once the guitar gets used to the room or warms up a bit. Just some other things to consider.

  17. Jeffscreamedcorn

    Jeffscreamedcorn Tele-Holic

    Dec 1, 2006
    Thanks for the responses. I have eliminated most of the likely issues that could account for the problem. If it's not the tuners, it might be the nut. It is certainly not the temp in the studio. The room was well regulated, and the guitar was on a stand to 10 hours, so it no doubt acclimated.

    I have 2 other Gibson's, and have had several others over the years, and have never had a problem like this. Even my '64 Melody Maker, which is pretty beat, holds tuning (Original in line Klusons). The neck is not rubbery - the '58 RI have the thickest necks in the line - it's very stout!

    As to the Gibson vs Fender feud - I love em both. They are the tools of my trade. Just as carpenter has different hammers for different purposes, I've got a lot of different guitars. The session last night had me overdubbing on existing tracks - so to serve the music, which was eclectic, I brought the LP and a Tele, and 3 amps, and a ton of pedals.

    Apart from the tuning frustration, the LP performed like a champ!

  18. Paul in Colorado

    Paul in Colorado Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    Fort Collins, CO
    When I got my '03 Historic '56, I didn't even play it until I did three things. Replaced the pots and caps, put on Straplocks and had a bone nut made. Take it directly to your local luthier and have a bone nut made. It makes a world of difference.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2007

  19. Rich Rice

    Rich Rice Poster Extraordinaire

    Jul 15, 2005
    Chicago 'Burbs
    Truth is, all guitars go out of tune. The harder you play 'em, the faster they go out. I dumped all my SG's and my L6-S, all for tuning stability reasons. That skinny body/neck joint flexes, shrinks, and moves when there are temperature changes. Lesters are more stable, but the Gibson tuners are notorious for backlash.

    I certainly know my way around tuning issues and their various underlying causes, but a poor tuning machine is just that. If your nut, bridge, tailpiece are all solid and the neck is stable- strings properly installed and all checks out right, it comes down to the quality of the machines. Gibson machines of yesteryear has different issues, but the newer ones simply aren't as good.

  20. Gareth John

    Gareth John Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 10, 2006
    First I'd check the strings, condition, age, gauge, brand etc and also how it is strungs, is it wrapped round the tuning post too many times or not enough. Obviously new strings need a bit of stretching in. Is the truss rod properly adjusted? also check your intonation. Check the tightness of your tuning pegs. Check nut slots and your bridge slots and lube them up with some graphite. If any of that doesn't cure it then change the tuners. That's all I can suggest.

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