Electric Guitars G&L ASAT Tribute tuning problem

Discussion in 'Gear Talk' started by CapnDenny1, Apr 2, 2019.

  1. CapnDenny1

    CapnDenny1 Student Of The Blues

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    I bought one of these on the SDOTD a while back. I actually prefer my Classic Vibe Squier Teles, but it is a quality instrument. Except for one thing. It refuses to play cowboy chords.

    I have messed with the intonation and got it right on. And if I play barre chords it's fine. But try and play something with some open strings and it just has that sound that makes it sound horrible.

    I saw somebody had the same issue with the same guitar. He said the problem was the location of the nut, or the fact that it was leaning. Someone on that forum recommending he set the intonation using the 1st and 13th frets. Then if the 1st fret is sharp or flat, the nut is just in the wrong spot.

    I have had this kind of issue with a nut that wasn't slotted properly. I haven't checked that yet.

    It had some fret creep, so I fixed that and played it for a while, and I remembered it had this issue. I can't stand a guitar that won't play chords in tune.
     
  2. paparaptor

    paparaptor Central Scrutinizer
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    I have the same problem on almost all my guitars. I have slowly come to the realization that my fingers are defective.
     
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  3. Al Holloway

    Al Holloway Bristol UK

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    Are the nut slots slightly high. Or have you gone to heavier guage strings? If either the slot is too high or the string isn't sitting fully down in the slot then they will pull sharp at the first couple of frets. I normally set my intonation correct at the 12th then try fretting the 5th and moving back up the neck all the notes should be in tune. If as you move back towards the nut the strings get slowly sharper then it is the nut.

    cheers

    Al.
     
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  4. Momantai

    Momantai Red nose, red guitar

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    I have a G&L ASAT too. I replaced the nut because the slopes of the slots were wrong. The strings rested on the tuner side, not the fretboard side. Also the slots were high which caused notes going sharp on the first frets even with very low finger pressure.
    I guess it was a “monday morning nut”....
    Anyway, the guitar is fine now.
     
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  5. Rancid Rumpboogie

    Rancid Rumpboogie Blues Mangler

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  6. Elio

    Elio Student Of The Blues

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    I haven't had that problem with my ASAT but I did with my Ibanez. The nut was a bit too high and with lighter strings anything more than light pressure would make them go sharp on chords.
     
  7. CapnDenny1

    CapnDenny1 Student Of The Blues

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    I don't think that's the problem.. I will check the nut slot depth. I think everything is flat somehow?
     
  8. Al Holloway

    Al Holloway Bristol UK

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    If the fretted note at the first is flat either the nut or the fret must be in the wrong position. I vote the nut. Maybe if the slots are cut so the back is a lot higher than the front then the scale length will be longer. That could throw out the tuning. I would tune up to the first fret note and if the open note isn't correct try a new nut.

    Good luck

    Al.
     
  9. Cowboy Bob

    Cowboy Bob Horse Player/Guitar Wrangler

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    Can’t say specifically for that model, but I have had similar issues with other guitars.

    I am a big fan of zero fret guitars. My Gretsch’s all have them, and I put one on my barn sale Strat.

    https://goldtonemusicgroup.com/zeroglide/ Really easy and solved the open string tuning and tone issue.
     
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  10. CapnDenny1

    CapnDenny1 Student Of The Blues

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    I almost bought one, but I don't know what fret wire size I need.

    I will make a stab at fixing it first. If nothing else just to learn from it.

    I do like the idea of the zero fret though. I have it on my Norma guitar. It probably makes sense to go with the steel fret, since the string will be pressing on it constantly. I've seen guitars that people left a capo on for too long. Not good.

    I bought my wife an Epi from Sweetwater. It came with grooves worn into the frets just from shipping, or storage. Normally they put a thick piece of brown paper between the frets and the strings. Sweetwater did a sweet job of leveling and polishing the frets at no charge.

    The zero fret seems like it might be a good solution to Gibson guitars that seem to stick more in the nut due to the rake angle of the headstock?
     
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  11. Cowboy Bob

    Cowboy Bob Horse Player/Guitar Wrangler

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    They come with three or four different fret wire sizes. Print the template per the instructions on their website to determine the correct string spacing and nut width.
     
  12. PapaBear

    PapaBear Guit Fiddlier

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    I have the ASAT tribute deluxe, no issues with mine
     
  13. NeilMcGann

    NeilMcGann Blues Newbie

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    It's almost certainly just the nut slots aren't deep enough so the string clearance over the first fret is too large. e.g. Fender's factory spec is 20thou, but this is a starting point and it can usually come down a little from there.

    Any decent guitar tech can sort this out in minutes using the correct nut slot files.
     
  14. paparaptor

    paparaptor Central Scrutinizer
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    I think most manufacturers cut them a little proud, knowing that the nut will wear over time. Even though the Fender factory spec is .020" I think if you took several new Fenders off the rack at a music store and measured them, they would come up somewhere north of .022. I've only bought two new MIA Fenders, . The Strat was right at .025 and the Telecaster was around .023. I have also bought several new MIM necks direct from Fender for replacement and builds. They all were high, although I don't remember how high.

    I've seen quite a few published setups by guitar techs for various rockers and they usually land somewhere near .017. If you hit anywhere between .018 and .020, I think you would be happy with them.
     
  15. NeilMcGann

    NeilMcGann Blues Newbie

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    I think that is common. There is also an unspoken assumption that the guitar will get a setup between factory and player where this kind of thing will be dealt with. That doesn't always happen.
     
  16. CapnDenny1

    CapnDenny1 Student Of The Blues

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    For the high ones yes, but some are too low.

    I ordered the zero fret thingy. I will see how it goes. It’s $30 on their site, but I found it for around $20. If it works great. There’s a chance it won’t fit. G&L seems to have a thing about being different than Fender. So I would be surprised if the nut actually fits.

    I have a set of nut slot files. I just can’t seem to find them?
     
  17. Pegasus

    Pegasus Blues Newbie

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    Hi,
    A quick check - dimension of front of nut to 12th fret = half the scale length on the first string. eg 25.5inch scale then nut to 12th fret is 12.75inch. If this is close then setup corrections re`
     
  18. Pegasus

    Pegasus Blues Newbie

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  19. GnLguy

    GnLguy Blues Newbie

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    I've used this excellent article from Frets Magazine many times to correct such issues. If the guitar is in tune, the truss rod is adjusted correctly & the intonation is correct, if it is playing sharp at the 2nd fret and above, the nut slots aren't cut deep enough. Yes, it could be that the nut was installed incorrectly but I've found that the nut slots are to blame
    This is a problem with many import guitars; G&L USA models, Gibson, Fender, Martin, etc are using the PLEK computerized set up for their domestic models so this issue is generally not a problem with guitars from these companies.

    This article gives a step by step instructions on checking the height and it takes less than a minute to determine. I bought a set of nut files from Philadelphia Luthier Tools & Supply in order to deal with issue correctly

    http://www.frets.com/FretsPages/Musician/GenSetup/NutAction/nutaction.html
     
    #19 GnLguy, Apr 13, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2019
  20. CapnDenny1

    CapnDenny1 Student Of The Blues

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    Thanks for posting that.

    That is the same test I did to determine mine was not right.

    There is another method where press between the 1st and 2nd frets, then use feeler gauges to measure the string height above the fret board right at the 1st fret. Then you add some amount to that, like a few thousandths, and put that at the nut. Then you can use te feeler gauges as a depth stop for the nut slot files.

    My problem is I can’t find my nut slot files, and some of them are too low already. Since it is a G&L nothing Fender will fit, and nobody sells nuts that are the right size. But I haven’t really checked.

    The zero nut I got is for a Fender, so it won’t work I suspect. I have some strats I can use it with. But it requires a lot of sizing as well.

    I will come up with a plan of attack.