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The Fabled Les Paul/Gibson tuning issues?

Nifty

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Joined
Apr 28, 2021
Messages
34
I owned one LP Standard for a number of years and never had problems with tuning. With the LP I recently purchased, I haven't had an issue with it either.
 

Revelation

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Mar 6, 2021
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7
He says it was a design flaw because the strings go to the side on the headstock too quickly on the G and D strings
 

IBurstMyBucker

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Apr 28, 2021
Messages
18
Hmm

Perhaps it might be a good idea to persuade people that Gibsons, really do have a tuning issue...

Especially 1970's Les Pauls...

Convince the masses that they are worthless and therefore they should just give them away...

And there is something specific about a 1977 les paul custom in tobacco burst, and the 1954 reissue customs that just will never be properly in tune...


yeah yeah... its will be excellent oh yes...

I might have issues, doctors have yet to comment one way or the other on that.
I believe you're mistaken. 58s and 59s are the absolute worst for staying in tune. It's high time the world know the truth and these POS guitars be sold for what I can afford!
 

Any Name You Wish

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Apr 15, 2021
Messages
169
I live in Colorado and often play in outdoor settings. Typical hot afternoon I tune up with any guitar (Fender or Gibson) and it stays put. Then the sun goes down and after a break the guitar is sharp and I have to keep an eye on the tuning as it gets colder as the night wears on. Playing inside with an air conditioner blasting or in a cool basement I've got to warm the guitar up, putting my palms all over it and hugging it, and it goes flat and I've got to keep an eye on it as it warms up. My '59 RI ES 335 seems to be more temperamental to temp changes. Humidity changes are worse. Any stringed instrument will do this. Then there are the other things mentioned several times here (fretting pressure, especially playing down near the nut, inherent tuning issues, nut slot work, etc.). My Tele is least affected by temp/humidity, and that's probably due to the maple neck vs the much softer mahogany on the Gibsons. Maple neck on a Les Paul? Back in the 70's it was a thing.

Nut slot work is super critical on any guitar. Get that right and everything else is just normal everyday stuff. Remember what it was like before electronic tuners? We all got really good at tuning by ear. I still do it a lot and recommend getting good at it.
 
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renderit

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Jan 19, 2009
Messages
10,566
I believe you're mistaken. 58s and 59s are the absolute worst for staying in tune. It's high time the world know the truth and these POS guitars be sold for what I can afford!
I believe the problem manifests itself starting in 54!

I promise to post a video PROVING that as soon as someone admits it and sends me one for say...$2000.00.

I will accept a 55 as well.

Com'on man!

Let's end this charade once and for all. We will use SCIENCE!
 

El Gringo

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Apr 8, 2015
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5,350
This is lame as everyone that has ever played a Gibson guitar knows what they are handling and everyone gets bent about the stupid G string . A good tuner on your board goes miles in making this easy . I can tell when tuning is off by a hair ,then I finish the tune I am playing and fix the tuning in a second and carry on . Keep calm and carry on .
 

Amp360

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Feb 16, 2012
Messages
462
How are the Mustaine faces different from Bloozeman faces?
 

Big Daddy Class

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Jan 11, 2020
Messages
127
Talking of tuning has anybody tried one of these? The new winder feature is handy for restringing and I find it useful for rough tuning once restrung. It's pretty accurate depending on how good your tuners are but obviosuly not so useful on stage. More of a workshop tool I think.
I have one. Ok 3. I have 3. I bought one and liked it so much I got 2 more. One stays at home, one stays in the studio, and the 3rd one is for my 18 year old to use on his mandolins (which is why I bought the original one, for the record). Makes string changes and tuning checks so easy I do not like to be without it.
 
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El Gringo

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Apr 8, 2015
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I have one. Ok 3. I have 3. I bought one and liked it so much I got 2 more. One stays at home, one stays in the studio, and the 3rd one is for my 18 year old to use on his mandolins (which is why I bought the original one for the record). Makes string changes and tuning checks so easy I do not like to be without it.
Are you talking about the clip on tuner that goes on the headstock ?
 

Big Daddy Class

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Jan 11, 2020
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127
No. The Roadie 3. They have become valuable daily tools to me! I have what must be a dozen snarks and snark style tuners. Those are great. I rarely use them anymore now that I have discovered the Roadie 3. I use all of the features. I love the winder. I love the wind/tune at the same time. I love the tuner (quite accurate even in noisy situations). I especially love it for alternate tunings quickly. I can tune my Baritone LP Buckethead to regular tuning then change it and change it to B standard or drop B and back rapidly. I can easily change the tunings on my acoustics. I used to drop down reluctantly because I was being lazy. Now I change tunings ALL the time. Song to song when I wish to do so. I love that it includes a metronome for practice. They claim it will soon have an intonation tool (no clue if I will love that but anticipate loving it). I think it is really a great idea!


Edit--when I add up all the $$ I have spent on gear, a device that makes me WANT to play more, and makes the time spent more enjoyable is easily worth the $75 I initially paid on Kickstarter for mine. Because I bought the first one pre-production, I had a coupon that made the others cost more like $85. I would gladly pay double that now knowing what I know about how I would use it. Sure someone will chime and and call me stupid and lazy (and I would agree with the lazy part) but I love my Roadies! My 18 year old does not use his nearly as often as I do. Ignorance of youth! (Again, I bought the first one for him because he was not playing his mandolins as much due to him not wanting to tune them)
 
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matt1969

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Aug 9, 2021
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12
Tom, these so called experts spew their ignorant crap all over the web and then everyone starts to believe it. Makes me crazy! :teeth
That goes for just about everything else going on in the world too!
 

wild.joz

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Mar 19, 2008
Messages
1,934
Never had a problem with any of my Gibsons, or any good quality guitar at all.
i found that most times, tuning issues come from improper string installation and stretching.
i can go through a gig, and virtually never tune the guitars during the night unless there’s extreme weather changes, and that’s with a heavy right hand and bending the crap out of the strings.
 

El Gringo

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Apr 8, 2015
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5,350
He says it was a design flaw because the strings go to the side on the headstock too quickly on the G and D strings
To me this guy in the video doesn't know how to use a Gibson . Good golly Miss Molly , my G string went out of tune . Wha Wha cry me a river . Everybody is an expert and knows better than everyone else and thus gets their 5 minutes of infamy on You Tube . Cry me a river !
 

El Gringo

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Apr 8, 2015
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plus he's a pain in the butt to listen to...
Glad I didn't waste my time watching this drivel as this is an often heard refrain that my Gibson wont stay in tune . It's one string -G , and everybody that doesn't know the joys and wonders of a Gibson point the finger with all of the usual and obvious complaints of it costs to much . If this were on Family Feud the #1 thing on the board would be it costs to much !
 

Big Daddy Class

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Jan 11, 2020
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My good friend and former neighbor is George Gruhn of Gruhn Guitars. I enjoy taking him to lunch and frequently do so on Saturdays. Commonly, I will head down there about 11 and many times he does not get free till 1pm ish. During that time when he is "busy", I get to just walk around upstairs at Gruhns and look at guitars. I love doing that. One day recently, I decided to measure D and G string angles on many different guitars. Know what I found? Gibson angles are NOT anywhere near the most extreme of string angles and no different than many other guitars. String angles of gibsons are not much different than Martins. No one says Martin goes out of tune.
 

El Gringo

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Apr 8, 2015
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My good friend and former neighbor is George Gruhn of Gruhn Guitars. I enjoy taking him to lunch and frequently do so on Saturdays. Commonly, I will head down there about 11 and many times he does not get free till 1pm ish. During that time when he is "busy", I get to just walk around upstairs at Gruhns and look at guitars. I love doing that. One day recently, I decided to measure D and G string angles on many different guitars. Know what I found? Gibson angles are NOT anywhere near the most extreme of string angles and no different than many other guitars. String angles of gibsons are not much different than Martins. No one says Martin goes out of tune.
Imagine that ? Gibson is the one that takes flak for this though which is just not fair one bit . Mr. Gruhn is the absolute best and a fine gentleman as well !!!!!!!!!!
 

Big Daddy Class

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Jan 11, 2020
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what IS different about the Gibsons, specifically the Les Paul but others too, is the combination of the headstock angle AND the angle of the strings. For guitars with poorly cut nuts, it is my opinion and hypothesis that the combo of the headstock angle and the angle of the strings coming off the tuner (2 unrelated angles) is the "cause" of the "tuning issues" for guitars that have not been properly set up. (in quotes because the real answer is to simply slot the nuts). Those specific angles seem somewhat unique to LPs and I could really find (in my amateur experiment) no other guitars (at Gruhns, the day I was checking) with those 2 unique traits at the same time.

Edit--Gruhns "always" (in quotes because they are not perfect) sets up the guitars prior to putting them out. They have had the nuts correctly slotted.
 

eggman

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May 17, 2011
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4
Howdy,

Happened to Keith Richard on the Sullivan show after his solo on "The Last Time". He had to turn down his Guitar volume for the remainder of the song. My LP Special stays in tune nicely, btw.
 

wild.joz

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Mar 19, 2008
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1,934
All I can say is that in my experience, of over 25 years of playing gibsons, owning and gigging about 20 of them, from Melody Makers to LPs, 335s and Vs, plus hundreds of the ones we build in our workshop with similar headstocks and tuners layout ; tuning issues are non existant as long as nuts are cut properly and strings mounted and STRETCHED properly. Stretching is in capitals because I believe it is the most important and oftentimes the most neglected.
Only tuning issues I had were with un-stretched strings and/or dead strings.
Applies just the same for Fender or Fender style guitars. Any guitar actually. My Rickenbaker 360 was the same.
 
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