Strat tuning stability

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by thx712517, Nov 16, 2019.

  1. thx712517

    thx712517 Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    104
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    I've been looking at Stratocasters recently and trying them out to see what I like. I've noticed more than once they've had some trouble coming back to tune after a wiggle of the vibrato. Not Hendrix level abuse, just a wiggle to emulate a Bigsby if you're familiar with that type of vibrato.

    I'm assuming binding at the nut is a possibility, as well as old strings, and the springs in these really don't fight back much at all. But I'd heard recently that it could be the wraps of string around the post coming loose and then tightening again, and thus locking tuners would be a good idea.

    I've never heard that one before. I used to have an American Special way back when, and with that I popped all five springs on, decked the trem, and pencilled the nut slots and didn't have much of an issue. Do locking tuners really make a difference in tuning stability?
     
    rangercaster likes this.
  2. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,550
    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Location:
    portland, or
    The Nut is primarily a cause ... Then look at the bridge and trem ...
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2019
  3. beagle

    beagle Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    3,089
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2010
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    Not at all.
     
    awasson and AlbertaGriff like this.
  4. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Age:
    62
    Posts:
    69,986
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Location:
    Austin, Tx
    My EJ Strat, strung with GHS EJ 11s stays in tune remarkably well with moderate wiggle-stick use.
    It’s a very well thought-out guitar.
    I think the lack of string trees, and the moderately heavy strings are why it stay in tune so well.
     
    awasson likes this.
  5. Tommy Biggs

    Tommy Biggs Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,203
    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2010
    Location:
    Northern NJ
    Mine stays well.
    I definitely stretch strings regularly. I use a subtle trem band, and I tend to bring the trem back to pitch (an old habit).
     
    8trackmind likes this.
  6. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    56
    Posts:
    6,636
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2014
    Location:
    Sacramento, California
    I've got three of them - a US, a MIM, and a partscaster I put together. None of them have ever had tuning stability issues. I was concerned about Strat trem stability before I got my first because I used to own Floyd Rose-equipped shredders back in the day, and those could be a PITA to keep in tune. Not so with the Strat. Look to the nut if you're having issues.
     
    awasson and 8trackmind like this.
  7. 8trackmind

    8trackmind Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    730
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2018
    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    I have no tuning issues with vintage keys and a floating bridge. If they are set up and strung properly, they will stay in tune. Mine are from vastly different time periods. American CS (2007), Mexican (2016), and Japanese (1985)
     
    awasson and rolandson like this.
  8. SixStringSlinger

    SixStringSlinger Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    3,035
    Joined:
    May 21, 2006
    Location:
    Space
    Locking tuners do provide some benefit, but they're by no means necessary (or a cure-all, in most cases). My Strat with locking tuners stays in tune just fine (and not "for a Strat"), but so do my Squier Jazzmaster with vintage-style tuners and mongrel Esquire with typical wraparound tuners.

    As you suggest, the nut is a common culprit, along with other aspects of a guitar's set-up. It's honestly unfair to judge a guitar's merits by playing it in a store, because so much of how we perceive its playability is down to set-up, and guitars in (especially big-box) stores seem to very rarely get that attention before they're bought. More so Strats, whose set-up depends in large part on various aspects being in balance with each other, in a way that's appropriate for the particular player.
     
    awasson likes this.
  9. urbandefault

    urbandefault Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    401
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2016
    Location:
    Yukon OK
    A nut properly sized for the string preference, along with proper winding around the tuner string posts, will eliminate the most egregious tuning offenses.

    That said, fresh strings with a good stretching are the best way to keep in tune.
     
    Dismalhead likes this.
  10. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    8,522
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2003
    Location:
    northwest
    Mine is pretty good, but yeah if I use the trem much it goes out. Mine is decked too ...not floating and I use 4 springs lately. I have tried LSR roller nots on 3 strats, I like them but I didn't really see a big difference.
    5 springs really tight and it's better but unuseable.
    Without using the trem my strats stay tuned forever.
    I just dont see the tuners being it, unless you are really deep diving.
    I just think friction and not decking = it's gonna be what it's gonna be. But I dont dive much (for that reason!)
    I'm still waiting for a good E tremelo to be sold. You could lose a lb or 1.5 lb with that vs standard trem too.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2019
  11. Chief101

    Chief101 Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    151
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2015
    Location:
    Not far from Nashville
    2 - a Sherwood Green American Special, and a LPB partscaster that is a great guitar.
    upload_2019-11-16_17-7-42.jpeg
    upload_2019-11-16_17-8-29.jpeg
     
    Greggorios, stnmtthw and Skydog1010 like this.
  12. Skydog1010

    Skydog1010 Tele-Afflicted Platinum Supporter

    Posts:
    1,552
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2019
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Throw tremolo arm away

    Or

    Sell it

    And

    Get a Telecaster Nashville if you must, and add creative 920D electrics to draw out those Stratocasters sounds.
     
  13. eallen

    eallen Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    1,632
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2013
    Location:
    Bargersville/Indianapolis, Indiana
    If you wrap your strings on the tuner post improperly, when you use a trem it pulls the string in between the others where it stays. Some people think doing more wraps will help when in reality it will make it worse. Watch a couple vids on proper wrapping & see how it goes.

    Eric
     
    bgmacaw likes this.
  14. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,472
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Location:
    Godzone
    If the nut is correct sized to the strings and slightly lubricated it should return to pitch. Just remember vintage trems don't do divebombs.
     
    Dismalhead likes this.
  15. stnmtthw

    stnmtthw Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,300
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2012
    Location:
    New Mexico
    Like other posters have said, issues like that are generally the nut is cut incorrectly or the tremolo is set up incorrectly. The Strat tremolo is the best in the business, assuming it's set up properly (and you're not doing EVH dive bombs).
     
    Dismalhead likes this.
  16. stnmtthw

    stnmtthw Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,300
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2012
    Location:
    New Mexico
    I think you posted this in the wrong thread, but I gave it a like anyway because those guitars are beautiful. :)
     
    Greggorios likes this.
  17. rolandson

    rolandson Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    747
    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2017
    Location:
    Cascadia
    Mine is a 64. No issues at all. Same is true for two S-type partscaters. I attribute this phenom to the set-up...

    As there is nothing unstable about the design or manufacture of any of them.
     
    awasson likes this.
  18. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,164
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2006
    Location:
    Near Athens GA USA
    Asked on Reddit: "My Yamaha Strat copy won't stay in tune. Do I need new tuners or even a new guitar?"

    bad stringing.JPG
     
    awasson and eallen like this.
  19. eallen

    eallen Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    1,632
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2013
    Location:
    Bargersville/Indianapolis, Indiana
    Exactly!!! Seen it more often than not!

    Eric
     
  20. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Age:
    50
    Posts:
    700
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2019
    Location:
    Moncton, NB Canada
    LOL !!!!!
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.