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Keeping my Martin in tune

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Seaking 19 Mar 06 - 06:40 AM
GUEST,Commander Crabbe 19 Mar 06 - 06:51 AM
Leadfingers 19 Mar 06 - 07:04 AM
kendall 19 Mar 06 - 07:31 AM
Big Al Whittle 19 Mar 06 - 07:51 AM
John MacKenzie 19 Mar 06 - 08:06 AM
van lingle 19 Mar 06 - 08:13 AM
mandotim 19 Mar 06 - 08:44 AM
Willie-O 19 Mar 06 - 11:21 AM
Seaking 19 Mar 06 - 11:22 AM
GUEST,TomBliss 19 Mar 06 - 11:58 AM
Willie-O 19 Mar 06 - 12:09 PM
kendall 19 Mar 06 - 01:14 PM
mandotim 19 Mar 06 - 01:19 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Mar 06 - 07:02 PM
GUEST,Lanfranc the Cookieless 19 Mar 06 - 07:12 PM
number 6 19 Mar 06 - 11:11 PM
GUEST,Friendly Lurker 20 Mar 06 - 01:42 AM
Big Al Whittle 20 Mar 06 - 03:14 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 20 Mar 06 - 04:07 AM
Seaking 20 Mar 06 - 05:17 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 20 Mar 06 - 05:51 AM
Strollin' Johnny 20 Mar 06 - 06:53 AM
kendall 20 Mar 06 - 07:05 AM
Seaking 20 Mar 06 - 07:35 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 20 Mar 06 - 07:55 AM
Richard Bridge 20 Mar 06 - 08:35 AM
Maryrrf 20 Mar 06 - 08:58 AM
John MacKenzie 20 Mar 06 - 09:20 AM
Strollin' Johnny 20 Mar 06 - 11:04 AM
GUEST,Jim 20 Mar 06 - 11:14 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 20 Mar 06 - 11:51 AM
number 6 20 Mar 06 - 11:52 AM
John MacKenzie 20 Mar 06 - 12:01 PM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 20 Mar 06 - 12:17 PM
number 6 20 Mar 06 - 03:57 PM
GUEST,Codfish John 20 Mar 06 - 05:22 PM
Strollin' Johnny 21 Mar 06 - 02:49 PM
kendall 21 Mar 06 - 03:07 PM
Richard Bridge 21 Mar 06 - 06:22 PM
Once Famous 21 Mar 06 - 10:21 PM
Strollin' Johnny 22 Mar 06 - 03:50 AM
Shiplap Structure3 22 Mar 06 - 04:03 AM
GUEST,GUEST, Friendly Lurker 22 Mar 06 - 04:13 AM
Seaking 22 Mar 06 - 05:55 AM
Strollin' Johnny 22 Mar 06 - 07:57 AM
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Subject: Keeping my Martin in tune
From: Seaking
Date: 19 Mar 06 - 06:40 AM

My HD28 has a tendency to slightly sharpen the notes on the 2nd and 6th strings as I move up the fretboard. It's only those two strings, the remainder stay perfectly pitched. It also doesn't matter which strings I use (I'm currently using D'addario EXP12s), the effect is the same.   

Any ideas or advice on how to fix this ?, I use a Shubb capo and mostly non-standard tunings which means continually retuning two strings every time I capo above the third fret. More frustrating than anything, I've got used to it over the years but I'd be happier if it didn't drift as it can be a bit of a pain especially in a session when I'm using the capo between D and G in DADGAD

Does anyone else have this problem with this guitar or any other for that matter?

Chris


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Subject: RE: Keeping my Martin in tune
From: GUEST,Commander Crabbe
Date: 19 Mar 06 - 06:51 AM

Seaking

I have this problem with my Suzuki 3S which is basically a Martin copy. Have spoke to some people about it and it is likely due to the string gauge used and the placing of the capo. I have extra Elixir extra lights fitted and like you often play in an alternate tuning (DADF#AD).

It is quite likely that it happens because the action of my guitar has not been adjusted for the open tuning but left as it was for tuning in concert. However that said I play in both and occasionally dropped D so I just put up with it and re tune the offending 2nd and 6th strings. It also seems to help if you position the capo close to the fret.

I like you would appreciate any further enlightenment!

Chris


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Subject: RE: Keeping my Martin in tune
From: Leadfingers
Date: 19 Mar 06 - 07:04 AM

The second (B) string seems to be a problem on a lot of guitars ! I used to have trouble with it on my D35 , but reduced the problem by going up a weight !


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Subject: RE: Keeping my Martin in tune
From: kendall
Date: 19 Mar 06 - 07:31 AM

I recently had a nightmare, that I had a Martin with ALL "b" strings.
Martins are famous for tuning problems. Have you tried a compensated bridge? A good luthier can do that for you.


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Subject: RE: Keeping my Martin in tune
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 19 Mar 06 - 07:51 AM

I wish I had perservered with my D35. I got rid of it for similar reasons. When a guitar makes you look a fool on an important occasion, and you've paid a lot of money for the damn thing, it really is bloody heartbreaking -brings out the Basil Fawlty in you - you want to hit it, and get your own back.

In retrospect, what I should have done is look hard and long for someone who really knew about guitar construction and Martins in particular - an be prepared to spend another couple of hundred quid. People like that don't grow on trees, and theres a lot of cowboys out there.

In a way Martin should be ashamed of themselves - doing this to their customers. When it stayed in tune though, it was the best guitar I ever had. But if you're hoping to make a regular income out of playing - just off the shop wall, they're a bit of a joke.
Get a Yamaha - one of the workshop ones for about two thirds the price of your Martin - may not sound as good, but it has more chance of staying in tune.

Where are you. I know a luthier in Nottingham I would trust to sort out a Martin as best it can be sorted.


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Subject: RE: Keeping my Martin in tune
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 19 Mar 06 - 08:06 AM

I have the same problem with my top E if it is tuned perfectly as per the electronic tuner, it is out when I play a chord. I am using Elixir Mediums for the first, AND ONLY, time. I suspect that these strings are making the problem worse, as I find them a bit 'fat' and suspect the thickest string doesn't fit the groove in the nut properly. This changes the 'break over' angle to the headstock and might also decrease the amount of string in actual contact with the nut because of its poor fit in the nut groove.
I suspect in my case it is because of the guitar needing to be set up properly.
Giok


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Subject: RE: Keeping my Martin in tune
From: van lingle
Date: 19 Mar 06 - 08:13 AM

Have you tried Newtone strings DADGAD set. I keep them on one guitar for Dsus and Open D and that Lowden always sounds right, even with a capo. You can find them at Guitar Gallery (guitargal.com).


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Subject: RE: Keeping my Martin in tune
From: mandotim
Date: 19 Mar 06 - 08:44 AM

There's a reason why lots of working musicians use a Takamine, and leave the Martin at home...
Seriously; a compensated bridge might well help (Takamines tend to have them as standard), and a check on the neck relief might be worth doing. You may be hearing the effect of the problem more on 2 and 6 because they are the strings with the heaviest solid 'core'.
Tim from Bit on the Side


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Subject: RE: Keeping my Martin in tune
From: Willie-O
Date: 19 Mar 06 - 11:21 AM

Where are you Seaking? On the west coast of Canada (we still use Sea King helicopters, is that where your handle comes from?) Rufus Stewart is the man for this kind of set-up and regulation work. My Martin O-18 always had intonation problems until he got hold of it--he actually rerouted the slot groove in the bridge (invisibly!) and shaved each portion of the saddle for perfect results.   

Rufus Island Guitar Shop is in Victoria BC. I would take my guitar several hundred miles to have him work on it (alas, several thousand is not practical). www.rufusguitars.com He even posts a detailed schedule of rates for different operations on the site. Not cheap but an excellent investment.

W-O


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Subject: RE: Keeping my Martin in tune
From: Seaking
Date: 19 Mar 06 - 11:22 AM

Interesting that this may be more common than I realised. Van Lingle, no I didn't realise DADdGAD sets were available...problem is I also occasionally play in standard and other non-standard set-ups. Thanks anyway (I might give them a try having said that).

Mandotim - I like the theory but why don't string manufacturers compemsate for this ?

JGM - you've got me seriously thinking about my set-up..

WLD - I'm in Felixstowe (Suffolk) but prepared to travel to get the job done properly, there are a couple of Martin dealers I know in this area but personal recommendation is everything here.

Still love the guitar, know the Basil Fawlty feeling though...

Chris


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Subject: RE: Keeping my Martin in tune
From: GUEST,TomBliss
Date: 19 Mar 06 - 11:58 AM

Try Newtone strings, but not the lightest. Both my Martins stay in tune and sound excellent. Yes the Tacho is quicker to capo (the Martins have to be retuned very slightly for every capo shift - but most guitars do) but up and down the neck (I play up to the top-but-one-fret) with just fingers and they're bang on, all six strings, in any tuning.

Newtones are completely different to any other string type, and a godsend to any guitarist.


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Subject: RE: Keeping my Martin in tune
From: Willie-O
Date: 19 Mar 06 - 12:09 PM

The stock answer to the "why don't manufacturers set up their instruments before shipping" is that people have different playing styles and requirements...as if you don't need a $3000 guitar in tune up the neck cause you might be just a first-position player. Correct intonation is not an add-on option IMHO! However it is legit to point out that different styles of play are accommodated by different action, so it sort of makes sense to do it all the setup at once.

I may be starting to argue with myself here, so I'll stop before it gets ugly.


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Subject: RE: Keeping my Martin in tune
From: kendall
Date: 19 Mar 06 - 01:14 PM

I've tried half a dozen brands of string on my Taylor and every one of them has been right on, so I know it's not the strings. They do, however, get difficult when they get old. (Sorta like some people I know)
My Martin gave me intonation problems no matter what I used for strings. My old Gibson, same thing. Finally had to have a luthier make a compensated bridge, no more problem.
If you ever see Dave Mallett in performance he may be playing that old Gibson.


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Subject: RE: Keeping my Martin in tune
From: mandotim
Date: 19 Mar 06 - 01:19 PM

Re: 'like the theory but why don't string manufacturers compensate for this ?' - it's the main reason for having compensated bridges! Some string manufacturers do try to minimise the effect by adjusting the core size versus the wrapping weight of the string; Malcolm Newton is one such at Newtone strings. His strings are pretty much hand made, and may well solve your problem. If not, it's probably set-up time. One recommendation here; get it done by a professional.
Tim from Bit on the Side


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Subject: RE: Keeping my Martin in tune
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Mar 06 - 07:02 PM

The thing is to have a low action, and to position the capo on the fret or as near to it as you can get.


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Subject: RE: Keeping my Martin in tune
From: GUEST,Lanfranc the Cookieless
Date: 19 Mar 06 - 07:12 PM

I've not had the same problem with my D-18 or SPD-16, but my 00016C-GTE sometimes exhibits a similar inaccuracy on the 2nd string, which goes away if I use 12-54 strings rather than 11-50 or 11-52. Newtone are good strings, and I tend to use them or Martin SPs.

If you want a good setup, I strongly recommend Trevor Durrant in Colchester (01206 576474), not a million miles from Felixstowe. Not only did he once work at Martin's factory, he knows his stuff and has a luthier working with him who has just installed a B-Band pickup and a new saddle on my Zephyr (Zemaitis copy) and done a set up on it which has transformed the guitar.

Don't talk about the war, and remember, even the worst Martin ever made was better than an Austin 1300!

Alan


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Subject: RE: Keeping my Martin in tune
From: number 6
Date: 19 Mar 06 - 11:11 PM

Those damned Martins! I'd never own one.

I've heard, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Martin now installing compensated saddles (bone) on their guitars. One problem is that they were also making the nut and saddle (which wasn't compensated) of different materials.

sIx


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Subject: RE: Keeping my Martin in tune
From: GUEST,Friendly Lurker
Date: 20 Mar 06 - 01:42 AM

Sorry, can't contribute to the Martin bashing, which I find a bit funny... But is the guitar "just off the shop wall"? Has the saddle been compensated? Have you had the guitar well set-up? How's the neck relief? Are the frets worn out? These are all things that crossed my mind, and have been raised well by others.

I have found that Shubb capos both diminish tone, (not, of course the topic here, but nonetheless...) and, depending on how they are placed on the guitar, cause intonation problems. I've watched many folks slap on their Shubb quickly, and then have to tune.

Overtightening Shubbs is real easy to do; that toss-it-on and flip-it-shut thing has, I admit, a certain erotic appeal... but try this: position it, well-aligned just behind the fret, and then don't over-tighten it. Hey Presto! Improved tone and better intonation from the wham-bam method.

Like this topic? Try the Unofficial Martin Guitar Forum for hairsplitting thrills. Compensated saddles (which I suspect is your problem) are a common topic.

In any case good luck. An HD28 is a nice little box.


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Subject: RE: Keeping my Martin in tune
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 20 Mar 06 - 03:14 AM

nobody is bashing Martins. what we are saying is that being a martin owner can present a set of problems. when I owned a Martin there wasn't a mudcat to share the problems with other people.

when you don't have a lot of money and you spend your months salary cheque on a guitar that won't stay in tune, it can be a very isolating experience - up on stage, to your bewildered family(who would have preferred that you spent the money on taking them on holiday - after all you already had quite an acceptable guitar)and sundry other supercilious gits.


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Subject: RE: Keeping my Martin in tune
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 20 Mar 06 - 04:07 AM

Further to mine above - yes, you do have to finish a Martin. I've had bone nuts and saddles fitted to both my guitars (compenstated saddles should not be necessary if everything else is correct), the pegs holes drilled to set the pegs in correctly (the guitar's no good till that's done to suit the strings you use).

They are both regularly set-up and refretted by Mark Challinor in Otley, West Yorks UK - a master at the job. (He has links from both mine and Chris Newman's websites).

Also, I don't use shubbs for the above reason and would advise others to avoid them. It's just too darn easy to get them a mite to tight or a tad too loose and you don't find out till the fifth bar!


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Subject: RE: Keeping my Martin in tune
From: Seaking
Date: 20 Mar 06 - 05:17 AM

Interesting views, thanks everyone for your positive comments and ideas. I'm almost tempted to hijack my own thread to have the Shubb capo discussion (The 'don't use Shubb' comments I definitely wasn't expecting) but there's probably existing threads on that subject which I'll look for later.

Yes, this one was 'Off the wall'. Probably (o.k. definitely) naive of me at the time to have thought that having spent my small fortune the work was done, unfortunately - as someone else pointed out, Mudcat that great source of infinite wisdom and learning wasn't around then.

I've left a message with Trevor Durrant - thanks Lanfranc, so I'll see how we got on there. Would be nice to get sorted in time for Miskin...

Chris


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Subject: RE: Keeping my Martin in tune
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 20 Mar 06 - 05:51 AM

Yes it does seem ironic that you have to spend a lot of money on a guitar and then take it to be 'mended' before you can play it!

But Martin have made the descision to sell their instruments for less than they might by making some compromises in the finish. This is partly for price reasons but more for those mentioned above.

The actual construction of even low-end Martin guitars, purely in terms of technical design, woods and - crucially - glue, is superior to any other factory, hence their reputation.

If you don't finish the guitar off you're more likely to have problems, and I suspect a that some people who don't like Martins may be making their judgement on just such instruments.

(Every time I see someone snapping on a shubb with a huge 'twunk', and feel the compression in the wood, never mind the strings, my heart sinks).


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Subject: RE: Keeping my Martin in tune
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 20 Mar 06 - 06:53 AM

I'm with you Tom. Bad capo-technique is one of the main causes of guitars going out of tune - like others have said on here, get it VERY close up behind the fret (or even right on it), and have only the lightest tension necessary to eliminate string-buzz - gently does it! I cringe when I see guys put on their Shubb with a loud 'clunk' halfway between the frets (or even just ahead of the fret below - AAAAAGGGHHHH!) and then wiggle it around in an attempt to get things back in tune! :-)


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Subject: RE: Keeping my Martin in tune
From: kendall
Date: 20 Mar 06 - 07:05 AM

Most of the Martins I have seen came from the factory with high action. When played that way, if you clamp a capo on it, the strings get stretched just a bit, and it goes sharp.
There is nothing basically wrong with Martins, except for some made in the 70's, but they have to be "set up".
Sure, it's like buying a new Mercedes and having to get someone to tune it up before you can go anywhere in it. However, once you get it set up, it takes a damn good Taylor to keep up.


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Subject: RE: Keeping my Martin in tune
From: Seaking
Date: 20 Mar 06 - 07:35 AM

Just to clarify my own problem, as I orignally said it's only the 2nd and 6th, whether it's with or without capo so I'm confident the Shubb isn't my problem, especially as I always place it close behind the fret and have it fairly lightly tensioned anyway. However (!) I've just been looking at the G7 which is going on my shopping list tomorrow.

Been looking at the action with new interest though, some of you may have a point....


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Subject: RE: Keeping my Martin in tune
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 20 Mar 06 - 07:55 AM

At risk of being sued by G7 I've got to say again please check their website carefully before you buy. I believe the initial problem with G7s is now fixed, but I've had too many fail on me ever to trust one again - and I know a lot of others who agree.

Kyser is the only capo I know which has sufficient tension, and which also always falls flat to the strings. It's nice and narrow too so you can park it just so. I have a slightly higher action than I should because I need the volume to work against banjo (played with a plectrum) and twin-course instruments (also), so Dunlops are not reliable (their spring is a little weaker than the kyser).

Kysers require practice to get on and off (in fact they're darned awkward) but you'll find them safest for tuning.

Remember that no guitar is ever perfectly in tune - it's always a compromise, and that compromise needs to be adjusted acording to what key you're in and what you're playing, which is why we all waste so much time faffing about between numbers. The capo is an additional complication.

Tuning is most critical in duos. In a session or band you can get away with murder, and solo you can drift as long as you're in tune with yourself. But in a duo both players need to be cock on to make the instruments really sing - so this is a subject I spend more time thinking about than any other!


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Subject: RE: Keeping my Martin in tune
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 20 Mar 06 - 08:35 AM

2nd and 6th (ie B and bottom E) makes it pretty much a cert that the issue is end compensation. A vibrating string in its simplest form forms a sine wave between two fixed points. Then you add overtones, ie multiples of the same sine wave. The fixed points are called "nodes".

A real string as opposed to a theoretical one has both thickness and stiffness. So it behaves as if the nodes are a little bit in from where the fixed points are (the nut or fret at one end and the bridge at the other). The thicker and stiffer the string, the further in. So the thickest and stiffest unwound string, the B, suffers more than the top E and likewise the bottom E.

THat is why all guitars now have saddles that make the top E string a smidgeon shorter than the bottom E. Many also have the saddle shaped so that the top E contacts at the front of the saddle but the B at the back, the G at the front and the bottom E at the back with the D and A in between, proportionately. Felten nuts do something slightly similar at the nut end.

Taks seem usually to be built with a split bridge that assumes you are going to play an un-wound G, and with a HUGE additional compensation, and I find they are often a bit iffy about capoing for that reason.

The lower the tension, the more effect the pull of a capo has on pitch, so choosing a set of strings that are right for the tuning you play makes quite a difference too. I play one song with the bottom E down to A and fretting that string without pulling it sharp is challenging.

Another factor may be that if you palm mute, you also tend to move the saddle node up the string.


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Subject: RE: Keeping my Martin in tune
From: Maryrrf
Date: 20 Mar 06 - 08:58 AM

I want to lower the action a little bit on my Martin - just a smidgen. I've been told I can just file it down a tad, and that will do it. Is there any danger in doing this or do I need to take it to a luthier?


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Subject: RE: Keeping my Martin in tune
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 20 Mar 06 - 09:20 AM

Mary get a luthier to do it, you or I can't guarantee to get it exactly right, or even, you don't want a slanted bridge/nut do you?
I mean if you said just file it down to most craftsmen they would shiver in fear, even filing is a precise pastime.
Giok


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Subject: RE: Keeping my Martin in tune
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 20 Mar 06 - 11:04 AM

It's also worth reading Rick Fielding's stuff about tempered tuning (which is what Tom's talking about when he says that no guitar can ever be perfectly in tune in all keys and positions at the same time - absolutely correct!). Tempered tuning levels out the differences in intonation between strings in order to achieve the best compromise, and it effin' well works! :-)    Takes a little practice, but it's far more effective that slavish use of an electronic tuner (which can't adapt to these quirks of the guitar). The only drawback is that it needs a quiet room, otherwise you can't hear to tune properly, but if you can achieve that Nirvana it's an excellent way to tune.


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Subject: RE: Keeping my Martin in tune
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 20 Mar 06 - 11:14 AM

I've had a compensated bone saddle installed on my 1960 D21 and on my 1958 Goya Goliath. This improved the out of tune up the neck problem, but did not solve it completely. I've never played a guitar; Martin, Goya, Gibson, Taylor, Guild, Larivee or Yamaha, that is perfectly in tune right up the neck. A compensated saddle makes it close enough that I can live with it.

Tom Bliss, I've found that Keysers and Dunlop Triggers and any other spring loaded capo that puts the strings right to the fingerboard seems to put the guitar out of tune. I prefer something that can be adjusted so that in just stops the buzzing and no tighter. I used to prefer Shubb, but am presently using a Paige.


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Subject: RE: Keeping my Martin in tune
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 20 Mar 06 - 11:51 AM

Have you got a website for Paige?


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Subject: RE: Keeping my Martin in tune
From: number 6
Date: 20 Mar 06 - 11:52 AM

All Martins come out of the box with high action ... this is done purposely ... since each 'buyer' has their own preference to the setup ... it is easier to lower the action than vise versa.

sIx


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Subject: RE: Keeping my Martin in tune
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 20 Mar 06 - 12:01 PM

Paige Capos
G.


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Subject: RE: Keeping my Martin in tune
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 20 Mar 06 - 12:17 PM

Sorry about thread drift everyone, but this is a really important subject (to me anyway).

So with the Paige you put the capo on THEN tighten? That would avoid the chief problem with Shubbs which is having to guess, twiddle, snap, test, reject, guess, twiddle, snap, test, reject etc* - while taking coherently to the punters (having already used up far too much time tuning), and then having to tune AGAIN etc etc, yes?

*the reason being that there is insufficient leverage in the Shubb to allow you to turn the knob after snapping shut.


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Subject: RE: Keeping my Martin in tune
From: number 6
Date: 20 Mar 06 - 03:57 PM

Regarding Shubbs, I have had no problems with mine on my Taylor.

Try this thread concerning capos.

http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=85204&messages=57

sIx


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Subject: RE: Keeping my Martin in tune
From: GUEST,Codfish John
Date: 20 Mar 06 - 05:22 PM

I play my original 1971 D-28 and the sound continues to improve with age. I play mainly folk music, country and the blues and use John Pearse accoustic 650's. They are Phosphor Bronze Wound Bluegrass strings and seldom disappoint.
The only time I have a tuning problem is if we're playing an outside gig on a humid day. That's tough for most all guitars.
In the meantime, keep on pickin'......it 'll keep you young.

Best regards to all.


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Subject: RE: Keeping my Martin in tune
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 21 Mar 06 - 02:49 PM

Tom, I've just got one of the new Planet Waves capos (the one with a little knurled screw that you gently tighten when the capo's on. Works a treat, you can get EXACTLY the right pressure, doesn't noticeably bugger the tuning up, and it's slim and light so it fits snug up behind the fret and I can still get my bunch o'bananas in to play OK. For fourteen quid it's well worth a try!
Cheers,
John


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Subject: RE: Keeping my Martin in tune
From: kendall
Date: 21 Mar 06 - 03:07 PM

It's odd, but I've used every kind of capo fron a Hamilton to Schubb to whatever I use now, and I have never had a problem. I think the problem is the guitar not the capo.


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Subject: RE: Keeping my Martin in tune
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 21 Mar 06 - 06:22 PM

Give us a link to those Planet Waves, please...

And PS, consider the science of how intonation works as per my post above.


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Subject: RE: Keeping my Martin in tune
From: Once Famous
Date: 21 Mar 06 - 10:21 PM

My '71 Martin D-18 is perfect. It does have a compensated saddle that I had installed. The neck is untouched. The action, amazing. It can sit in the case for days and then come out of it ready to play with hardly a movement of a tuning gear.

A certified Martin technician is someone very good to know.

Life is good.


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Subject: RE: Keeping my Martin in tune
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 22 Mar 06 - 03:50 AM

Richar, just Google Planet Waves.


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Subject: RE: Keeping my Martin in tune
From: Shiplap Structure3
Date: 22 Mar 06 - 04:03 AM

Perhaps Martin should be more innovative


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Subject: RE: Keeping my Martin in tune
From: GUEST,GUEST, Friendly Lurker
Date: 22 Mar 06 - 04:13 AM

God help me, I am guilty of contributing to thread drift, but I mean well.

Here's a link to the Sterner Capo Museum:
http://web.telia.com/~u86505074/capomuseum/

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.


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Subject: RE: Keeping my Martin in tune
From: Seaking
Date: 22 Mar 06 - 05:55 AM

The gentleman I saw at Durrants yesterday made the same comment regarding the straight plastic saddle. He's performing surgery as we speak...


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Subject: RE: Keeping my Martin in tune
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 22 Mar 06 - 07:57 AM

Richard - re the Planet Waves capo, if you're in the UK try www.stringsdirect.co.uk
(Sorry can't do blickies)
S:0)


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Subject: RE: Keeping my Martin in tune
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 22 Mar 06 - 02:17 PM

sorry friendly lurker, just me being touchy. Unforgiveable bad manners.

you're dead right Martin - you HAVE to know someone who is clever about this subject. and the thing is, there are a lot of people out there pretending to be clever.

Its not something widely dicussed, and therefore a lot of people are getting shafted in this present situation. To the average person - one guy with a bench and and a couple of chisels looks pretty much like the next.

Martin need to take the situation in hand. set up a register of approved Martin engineers It's not going to be cheap, but people who have bought Martin guitars have taken that on board already.


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Subject: RE: Keeping my Martin in tune
From: kendall
Date: 22 Mar 06 - 03:41 PM

I couldn't remember the name of the capo I now use, it's Kyser. Works like a charm.


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Subject: RE: Keeping my Martin in tune
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 23 Mar 06 - 07:30 AM

I remember him - his name was Bill
Kyser Bill


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Subject: RE: Keeping my Martin in tune
From: GUEST,Seaking at work
Date: 24 Mar 06 - 06:17 AM

Amazing what a day with a luthier makes..! He's profiled the original saddle, adjusted the neck tension and lowered the action slightly. Sounds and plays like a dream either with the Shubb or the G7.

Back in the middle of the North Sea again so have to wait another frustrating two weeks to enjoy my new instrument !

Thanks again for all the PMs, recommendations and tips.

Chris


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