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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    Thanks, especially the tip on the vintage tuners. Tightened the claw bracket holding the bridge springs and it's sitting much maybe a mm from the top this morning. The problem persists.

    So will try re-stringing and checking the nut this evening and see if that helps.
     
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  2. Unison Bend

    Unison Bend TDPRI Member

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    Both my strats are decked and would take a nuclear war to throw them out of tune.
     
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  3. stormsedge

    stormsedge Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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  4. MrCairo46

    MrCairo46 Friend of Leo's

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    If you trouble shoot this yourself check this. The bridge looks too high and I also suspect you changed gauges, going heavier. Gotta rebalance it. My old MIM stayed in tune great, no problems till a friend was using it, broke a string and put 10’s on it.
     
  5. stratoman1

    stratoman1 Friend of Leo's

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    Check the screws in the tuner heads. They can get loose. You dont want to crank them within an inch of their lives or anything but they do need to be snug
     
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  6. TelenTubes

    TelenTubes Tele-Holic

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    Will do. I mean, it's somewhat better with the bridge springs tighter, but it was REALLY bad before. Tuning one string wouldn't just put another string out of tune a little, it was a LOT.

    I'm going to add a fourth spring to the back, too, next time I come across one. I don't use tremolo, but won't say I never wouldn't just to get a little shimmy, so will hold off on blocking it for now.

    I'll check the tuners well when I take the strings off tonight. And I'm moving from 10s to 9s, so maybe if there is some binding happening at the nut, that might reduce it until I can find someone to set it up.

    I will say the action is right where I like it on this thing and the neck is what I like. Going to check/adjust the intonation while I'm going.
     
  7. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    Floating trems takes tuning cycles to at least four times through E to e, then back around, getting them all closer to pitch each time. If the bridge tips up too much you need to increase spring tension at the claw. The float should be level or decked.

    Your best solution right now is back off the strings and get a block of wood for the trem. Eric Clapton approves of blocking trems -- since it throws strings you are not note bending out of tune in the middle of a song. Clapton bends a lot of notes so it's a big problem for him.

    I find Trems are distraction devices. Either I'm dive bombing the arm or I'm wondering why my guitar is going out of tune. Or if it doesn't go out of tune I dive bomb until it does go out of tune, see!, and then chase how to make it remain in tune.

    [​IMG]

    You can also use other things you have laying around

    [​IMG]

    Or you can get rid of the springs and the claw
    [​IMG]


    The other tuning problem areas:

    -make sure to always 'tune up' to pitch never down. If you overshoot then drop a half step below and 'tune up'. Otherwise there is slack created in the system that releases at the first strum.
    -verify the strings are sliding ok in the nut slots (did you upsize the strings 'fer toanz'? that causes a lot of grief).
    -if your cowboy chords are out of tune then often it's because the nut slots are not cut deep enough. Check by fretting the third fret and there should only be 1-2 sheets of paper gap at the first fret. Don't 'upgraded' your nut 'fer toanz' (see a trend?) because people get the nut install wrong all the time, complain a guitar is junk, and sell it off.

    .

    .
     
  8. stevemc

    stevemc Tele-Holic

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    i have the bridge floating on my 15 yr ols MIM strat.bend strings like crazy.rarely have to make an adjustment on the fly.very rarely.
     
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  9. Apache Snow

    Apache Snow Tele-Meister

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    Fender says to set the bridge at 1/8 above the body. That's .125. I usually set mine at .100.
     
  10. TelenTubes

    TelenTubes Tele-Holic

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    Yeah, my 92 Korean Squire is the same way. Although, I'll have to check, I think I added a fourth spring to it somewhere along the way. I can't remember.


    Thanks for the tip on how to check the nut slots! It is the "cowboy chords" that are giving me fits. The action is really good all the way up the neck, so I'll have to look closely at that. Not sure when I decided to put 10s on my guitars, but all the electrics have them. I did just by four sets of 9s for all my teles. Going to have a string changing party here pretty soon. Might steal one of those sets for the strat and see how that works.
     
  11. StoogeSurfer

    StoogeSurfer Tele-Afflicted

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    Yes, put all 5 springs in. Your floating bridge is not the problem. Tuning issues on a Strat are usually at the nut (slots too narrow or cut wrong), occasionally the string trees (polish them), or at the bridge - bridge won't return to neutral after whammy use. Are your six bridgeplate screws too tight? You want to loosen them and then tighten back down until they just touch the top of the plate. And, read this!

    https://www.stewmac.com/How-To/Onli...lo_tips_staying_in_tune_with_a_twang_bar.html
     
  12. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    A) loosen the 6 screws on the bridge. Then it should be sitting flat on the body. Then tighten the two outer screws just until the bridge starts to raise up. Back off 1/2 turn. Tighten the rest of the screws but not tight, you don't want to the bridge to raise up.
    B) Do you hear a "ping" when tuning? Your nut grooves may be too tight. Have your nut properly set up.

    My guess is that "A" is your problem, with 4- 5 springs the bridge should sit flat on the body. If not it's simply mechanics.

    Your stringing method is fine.
     
  13. Informal

    Informal Tele-Holic

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    Ask Chip and Joanna if they know any guitar techs, If they do, It will most likely be about a $6.00 setup :p
     
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  14. Preacher

    Preacher Friend of Leo's

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    Also I did not see any pictures of the nut, but that is a white nut and there should be some graphite or some lubrication in those nut slots and I am not seeing anything.

    Take a number two pencil and run it into the slots depositing a little bit of graphite into the slots. That will serve as some lubricant for the strings as well.
     
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  15. SixStringSlinger

    SixStringSlinger Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    For what it's worth, I have a Strat with a floating trem (at or near the Fender-recommended 1/8") and three springs set in a "V" (clustered at the middle three prongs of the claw, spread out evenly at the block) and no significant tuning issues. I would look at the nut and the six screws in front of the saddles first, especially if you otherwise already like how your guitar feels re. trem action, string stiffness when bending, etc.
     
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  16. TelenTubes

    TelenTubes Tele-Holic

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    No pinging when tuning, but boy, the slots are narrow, for sure. Will add some graphite. Don't have the tools or experience yet to fiddle with filing the nuts if that ends up being the culprit.

    Will also check out the bridge screws.

    Thanks a ton everyone!
     
  17. Mind Flayer

    Mind Flayer Tele-Meister

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    I can tell your strat is not properly set up just by looking at the bridge, which is way too high. It’s the spring tension in the trem (or lack thereof) that is throwing you off. Once you set it up properly, I bet it will be fine.

    if you want to use the trem, then look up the Verheyen method or the Frudua method for setting up your guitar.

    If you have no interest in using the trem, then just deck it. Screw the spring holder in the rear rout to tighten the springs.
     
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  18. MahoganyStratDZ

    MahoganyStratDZ Tele-Holic

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    Well in my very humble opinion the biggest issues with Strats for sure are set up. I don't say that to sound cynical but to bring understanding and this thread is a perfect example.

    Trems nuts and setup is so critical, and I would think it safe to say why so many players wind up avoiding them(Strats) even though you want to love the comfort... along with the single coil set up issues.

    A good platform is a good platform.. from there it's standard operating procedure imho.

    My question though I agree with bridge height relative to the body affecting the set up is why?

    Idk I went from tightening them down to the deck to just off the body so either way trem is usable for play, unfortunately I do not have the why answer. Not this one, but I would say this...nut is critical and the the string tension is critical to tuning among other issues of tone on the higher strings, also if the bridge lifts do you still have 4mm 17th fret action?

    Anyway as above mentioned too high too spongy, then with 2 or 6 points excessive spring noise. Especially with 2 point

    All interactive for sure
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2020
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