Mexican Strat Deluxe won't stay in tune to save it's life

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by TelenTubes, Feb 25, 2020.

  1. TelenTubes

    TelenTubes Tele-Holic

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    Okay. This guitar is about to get traded or thrown in the street. This dang thing won't stay in tune to save it's life. Literally, I tune one string and the next one goes OUT of tune. It's dumbfounding. I've already removed the tremelo bar from the bridge. I haven't added extra springs - yet. The bridge plate is not laying flat against the body, either. This is an MIM Deluxe model.... Probably bought it 10 years ago.

    Life's just too short. This is the dumbest guitar I own.

    What's going to fix this?

    Sorry for the rant, but I think it's extra springs, or just swapping out the bridge for a hard tail and screwing the damned thing to the body. Not sure.

    I have a 1992 Korean Squire Strat that I beat the crap out of, refinished, beat the crap out of it some more, and it stays in tune better than this guitar. It has the sunburst finish and gold hardware, and all that means crap if it can't stay in freaking tune from one string to the next.

    Okay, rant over. I want to save this guitar, but it's about one drunken lunch hour away from getting traded.
     
  2. corliss1

    corliss1 Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    Why not just take it in for a good setup? Unless there's something physically broken, that's likely all it needs.
     
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  3. Switchy

    Switchy Tele-Holic

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    We really can't judge unless we have a clear photo of your headstock. So we can see your tuners and how you installed your strings.
    And your tremolo should be "floating" normally. I personally prefer to deck and block.
     
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  4. TelenTubes

    TelenTubes Tele-Holic

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    I'll take some photos here shortly.

    Waco isn't known for it's guitar techs. Might take it in, but probably not to GC.

    Additionally, the volume knob craps out at 10 - volume goes to 0, and the middle position for the switch is dead. Ugh.
     
  5. TelenTubes

    TelenTubes Tele-Holic

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    IMG_0429.jpg IMG_0430.jpg IMG_0431.jpg
     
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  6. dreamingtele

    dreamingtele Friend of Leo's

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    is the nut correctly cut? this probably is just a simple case of a good set up..

    If you want to get the bridge down, turn the screws which holds the claw and the bridge will go down a bit and have more tension to hold the strings..

    [​IMG]
     
  7. rolandson

    rolandson Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Set it up.
    A proper set up includes accurate nut slot dimensions for the string gauge being used, intonation, relief and saddle height....

    Maybe take it to a good tech for the first setup.

    I will offer that it looks, to me, as though you've got the bridge float a bit extreme. Personally, I don't float quite that far off the body.

    Also, you might find that after stretching the strings, tuning from 1st through 6th might provide greater consistency. But yeah, it's a system; changing tension on one string will affect all the others.
     
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  8. reckless meanie

    reckless meanie Tele-Meister

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    It’s a good looking guitar. I agree I think it needs to be set up. Make sure you take it to someone who knows what they’re doing.
     
  9. Switchy

    Switchy Tele-Holic

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    I like the gold tone hardware, looks good on that guitar.

    The strings don't have excessive windings, but I'd try and cut back a little. Maybe try the self-locking string method.
     
  10. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    Bridge is too far off the body. Do your strings go ping-ping-ping as you tune? Went from .009s to .010s?

    If so your nut is pinching your strings. That is pulling your whole bridge set out of tune.

    You need to tighten your spring anchor screws further into your body.

    Sounds to me like that guitar needs a good setup. It won't play in tune or stay in tune until it does.
     
  11. Mr Ridesglide

    Mr Ridesglide Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Someone can get that thing working - looks too nice to let it idle -
     
  12. Deepblankspace

    Deepblankspace TDPRI Member

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    Sounds like you just need to get more tension on the springs, screw it in, get the bridge flat, tune it up, then unscrew the spring plate till the bridge is about to move
     
  13. geminitiger

    geminitiger TDPRI Member

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    had exactly same with a s/e Squier,nut angle cut all wrong binding etc ,good setup,plays lovely and tuning solid now.
     
  14. NightOwl

    NightOwl Tele-Meister

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    This might be a halfway decent place to start. You're not gonna do much damage if you go easy on your problem child. Don't be afraid to mess with it. You can't mess up a junkyard. If you don't want it, you can always send it to me!

     
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  15. DougM

    DougM Friend of Leo's

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    When you have the bridge on a Strat floating every string affects the others. When you raise the pitch of one string then the others go flat. You have to just keep tweaking them all until they're all in tune, and then they'll stay in tune. All Strats with their bridge floating react this way. It's really no big deal except when you change the strings or break one and have to replace it. I thought everyone who owns a Strat understood this. I've known it since I was 15, 50 years ago. But, it does look too high, so just screw the claw in a little more.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2020
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  16. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    Most tuning instability problems are due to a poorly made nut. Second culprit is the strings being wrapped poorly around the tuner posts. (This is all assuming that you fully stretch your strings after installing them.)

    Tuning one string on a Stratocaster affects tuning across the board. That’s just how they work, unless you disable the vibrato’s floating design. If you have ever bent a note on a Strat, you have to have noticed that the other strings go flat during the bend, and you need to sharp them to get them in tune.

    If you want to disable the floating vibrato, just tighten the claw. No need to put on a “hardtail” bridge. If that doesn’t deck the vibrato, then try adding springs. Or you can just block the vibrato with a piece of wood. Then you don’t even need springs.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2020
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  17. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    Double post
     
  18. MahoganyStratDZ

    MahoganyStratDZ Tele-Holic

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    Nice looking strat though.
     
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  19. EsquireBoy

    EsquireBoy Tele-Afflicted

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    Yesterday a student of mine brought her Squier strat with the exact same issue: tuning a string was throwing the others out of tune. I gave more tension to the vibrato, setting the bridge almost flush with the body: problem solved 100%.
     
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  20. Asmith

    Asmith Friend of Leo's

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    All of the above and learn how to string vintage tuners the right way.

    There are videos but this is directly from fenders guide to setting up a strat.

    Vintage keys. For these, you'll want to pre-cut the strings to achieve the proper length and desired amount of winds. Pull the sixth string (tautly, remember) to the fourth key and cut it. Pull the fifth string to the third key and cut it. Pull the fourth string between the second and first keys and cut it. Pull the third string nearly to the top of the headcap and cut it. Pull the second string about a 1/2" (13 mm) past the headcap and cut it. Finally, pull the first string 1 1/2" (38 mm) past the top of the headcap and cut it. Insert into the center hole in the tuning key, bend and crimp to a 90-degree angle, and wind neatly in a downward pattern, being careful to prevent overlapping of the strings.
     
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