The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #89847   Message #1699928
Posted By: GUEST,GUEST, Friendly Lurker
22-Mar-06 - 04:13 AM
Thread Name: Keeping my Martin in tune
Subject: RE: Keeping my Martin in tune
God help me, I am guilty of contributing to thread drift, but I mean well.

Here's a link to the Sterner Capo Museum:

It shows the vast number of capo types, and there is one in particular which I have had the best luck with, the "yoke around the top" type. The Paige is one such, as is the McKinney-Elliot and the Dan Crary capo. These tighten incrementally and in my experience diminish tone the least, as well as providing the least possible modification of pitch. The three mentioned also have a stiffer rubber than, say, the Shubb, which I believe dampens the tone. Your mileage of course may vary.

By the way, weelittledrummer, I meant no harm regarding finding the "Martin-bashing" funny. Blaming one guitar company for problems endemic to all guitars is what caused my chuckle. I've been through this exact issue with my then-new and not-yet-properly set-up Martin, and wondered why my funky old Gibson could tune up better - and felt ashamed at my expenditure. I took it to a luthier who commented that the straight, plastic saddle that came stock on the Martin was my problem. He shaped me a compensated bone saddle (and a bone nut) and the instrument sounded and tuned up better. Replacing the plastic saddle and nut with bone is an extremely common modification.

Most stock guitars need tweaking. That seems to be what some of this thread is about: setting up a guitar to correct the common issues caused by parallel frets and string lengths that need to be slightly different. Richard Bridge, above, has it right.

No more drifting. Lurker out.