New Tele Will Not Tune

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by MerleJam, Sep 21, 2019.

  1. MerleJam

    MerleJam Tele-Meister

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    So, I just got a Vintera 50s modified and I love the way it sounds. However, it has the worst tuning issue I’ve ever had with a guitar. The action is really high. The first hour with the guitar I kinda tried to explain it away because I dug the guitar. But in all honesty, it doesn’t play as good as my Classic Vibe did and it has worse tuning problems than my Harley Benton(which I no longer play because of the issues). It seriously goes out of tune after one chord strummed lightly. Can the strings it came with really be so bad as to render the guitar useless? Barre chords are bad enough, but any chord with open strings ringing is terrible. I really am wondering if I need to send it back. If a set up will fix this then I want to keep it. The neck, sound and looks are all great. But I’ve never had this issue. I bought my classic vibe and was able to play it as it was without issue. I’ve bought MIM teles in the past on the way to a show and had no problem. Idk, for a grand I expected more. To top it all off, the guitar came without the pickup selector knob.sorry for the rant
     

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  2. corliss1

    corliss1 Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    If it's new, get it to a Fender certified shop to have them take a look. Sounds like it just needs a good setup.
     
  3. tlsmack

    tlsmack Tele-Afflicted

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    First place to look for tuning issues is the nut. Very few new guitars come with a properly cut nut.
     
  4. Clifton C

    Clifton C Tele-Afflicted

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    Maybe the tuners haven't been tightened from the front. I remember getting some tuners changed on an old Tele once and it has the same problem. All it took was getting an adjustable wrench and tightening the nuts that go around the string posts.
     
  5. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

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    There are a number of things that could cause this problem. If you're not able to diagnose what's wrong, I recommend taking it to a qualified tech to figure it out. If it is indeed under some kind of warranty, you need to take advantage of it. I've never seen a new guitar that didn't benefit from a proper set-up.
     
  6. maple

    maple TDPRI Member

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    In addition what has been said, after checking to see if the nut is slotted nicely you can lube it up with mineral oil or use the pencil trick rubbing graphite in the slot. I've seen this work wonders on some problem guitars.
     
  7. sjtalon

    sjtalon Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Yup, lube the nut for starters, may be the ticket.

    But ANY geetar needs a good and proper basic set up.

    HNGD and happy pickin'
     
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  8. CK Dexter Haven

    CK Dexter Haven Friend of Leo's

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    I have had cheep and expensive guitars play fine out of the box, I have also had cheap & expensive guitars that were in dire need of a set up, it happens , It also occasionally happens that there are more serious issues, The missing tip COULD be a sign that this is a return, that has neck issues, but I suspect that as mentioned the tuners need snugging and perhaps some basic nut work is in order. I would take it to a Fender authorized repairman if at all possible just in case a warranty claim is needed
    ( many independent shops are Fender authorized) so no need to return to whence it came.
     
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  9. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    It sounds like it just needs to be set up to your preference and the nut to be tweaked or lubed.
    Intonation is probably out.

    You could do the setup on it yourself and you can be playing in comfort in a couple hours and learn invaluable skills along the way that will serve you for the rest of your playing days.
    There are many videos on YouTube on how to set up a tele.

    Or pay some guy to do it for you and wait until you can play your new guitar and keep fingers crossed he does it right and doesn't overcharge you.

    Bummer that its so bad out of the box but its common to have a bad factory setup.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2019
  10. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    To check what is going on (sounds like nut slots are too high):
    -Fret 3rd fret and see if 1-2 sheets of paper slip under at the first fret. If more then your cowboy chords will be out of tune.
    -Fret the 1st and 17/19/last (depending on your preference) fret and you should have 3-4 sheets of paper gap at the 12th or truss rod adjustment is needed
    -No fretting, does a US quarter just sit/touch under the low E at the 12th? otherwise adjust the saddles. Other strings the same or I like down to a dime on the high e.
    -Check intonation.
    -Sometimes you need a neck heel shim, cut a 1/8-1/4inch strip off the end of a business card and put it under the neck heel to tip the butt of the neck up slightly.
    -Go back to the top of the list and recheck.

    Make sure no user errors:
    -are you only 'tuning up'? if you overshoot and try to hit it on the the way down then the first strum it will go out of tune.
    -did you upsize the strings? slots are binding, intonation is off.

    All setup steps can be found after watching a dozen episodes of youtube: Daves World Of Fun Stuff, Sam Deeks, and Frudua Setup. Also look up the Joe Walsh GibsonUK Setup videos #5 and #6 for pickup height setting by ear.

    .
     
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  11. omni43

    omni43 TDPRI Member

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    Send that ***** back.
     
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  12. John C

    John C Friend of Leo's

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    The vintage-style tuners used on the Vinteras don't tighten from the front; they are screwed in from the back and bushings are just push-in rings to protect the holes in the wood and don't tighten down to the tuner.
     
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  13. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    First get rid of the factory strings ... Go from there ...
     
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  14. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    First things I would check:
    -Make sure the nut slots aren't binding on the strings. Often with this you will hear a "ping" now and then when tuning.
    -If the action is too high and the bridge can't correct it, you need to shim the neck on one end of the neck pocket. All my Fenders have a shim in the headstock end of the pocket, US and MIM.

    It's almost always never the tuners.
    Realistically, you guitar needs a complete setup; nut height and slots, neck shim, bridge adjustment, relief/trussrod adjustment.
     
  15. jimash

    jimash Friend of Leo's

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    Truss rod.
    Detuning and high action are often caused by a loose truss rod. Especially if the action keeps getting worse the more you tune it.
    Loosen the strings and tighten the truss rod.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2019
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  16. jjudas

    jjudas Tele-Meister

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    Make sure the tuners are tight and change the strings. Lube the nut and set it up. That should be done first anyway.
     
  17. jimash

    jimash Friend of Leo's

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    Yes. I have only bought one guitar EVER that actually had fresh strings of a good quality, freshly installed, just for me. And I played those for two weeks.
    Take the strings off. Check the trussrod, tighten it, make sure the nutslots are clean, and bridge parts are well seated..

    Truss rod, truss rod, truss rod.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2019
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  18. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

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    With all due respect.....I have no doubt you (jimash) know what you're doing on a trussrod, but I get the impression the OP doesn't. There are several things I'll suggest a "newbie" might experiment with, but fooling with the trussrod isn't one of them. Irreparable and expensive damage can be done to a guitar by someone without knowledge "messing" with a trussrod. Just my three cents worth. ;)
     
  19. jimash

    jimash Friend of Leo's

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    The symptoms posted in the OP are that the action is high and it won't stay in tune. The truss rod has not been adjusted. It is not brain surgery. Truss Rod adjustment is supposed to be done by the user, That is why guitars come with wrenches.
     
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  20. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

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    Absolutely true....and that's also why my favorite technician says he sees guitars all the time with messed up necks and snapped trussrods.
    Yes, I performed my own appendectomy.....but I don't recommend it for everyone. ;)
     
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