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Thread: High E keeps dropping on my JP7

  1. #1

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    Question High E keeps dropping on my JP7

    Hello,

    The JP7 from my signature has a problem. I'll bring it to a tech of course, but it won't be before 4-5 days, and the meantime I'm trying to find out what the cause is. This guitar was checked by a tech three months ago, I'm playing it several hours each day and the problem started suddenly during a training session.

    As the title says, the high E keeps dropping, especially when I do full bends.

    I checked the corresponding tuner, it seems to be firmly in place and doesn't rotate under the string's tension (in other words it seems fine). After I had to re-tune the string several times, in fact the tuner is more than a quart of a turn tighter than before, since I had to compensate as the strings became more and more lax.

    On the bridge, nothing is out of the ordinary and the other strings are not affected.

    I changed all the strings (Ernie Ball cobalt), stretched them and tuned them. The new high E started having the same problem immediatly. I also checked the small "ring" that's attached to the end of the string to block it inside the bridge, both the old string and the new one looked identical, no sign of the string getting loose or the ring to come off.

    What I don't get, is that the string seems to be firmly locked at both ends, so where does the "stretch" come from? Are there other things I should check?

    Thanks for any advice.
    Guitars: EBMM JP7 (with piezo), JP6, Fender Stratocaster US
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  2. #2

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    One thing that I would check is the number of turns the string takes at the tuning head. I've noticed that for best stability of the bridge, the number of turns should be minimum, like 1 or so. If I keep the turns more, it does tend to get loose at times. I'll let the experts chime in as well.

    Hope this helps


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  3. #3

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    Thanks for your answer. It's a JP, so the string isn't wrapped at all around the tuning head (the guitar has locking tuners). Normally, the high E would be about half a turn around the head once in tune, but right now it's twice that because of the problem above.
    Guitars: EBMM JP7 (with piezo), JP6, Fender Stratocaster US
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  4. #4

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    Yeah, I have a JP too, but was just wondering. It looks like the string is slipping maybe somewhere? Try changing it once maybe? Is the locking tuner fully tightened?


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  5. #5

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    I checked whether the string is slipping as best I could, and it doesn't seem to. Before I changed the strings, I repeated the operation several times: tuning to pitch, bending, re-tuning, etc. In the end, I had turned the tuning head almost half a turn more than normal. If the string has slipped, it would have completely left the tuning head (I never leave any extra length dangling after I setup new strings).

    As for changing them, that's exactly what I did yesterday, and the problem reappeared immediatly.

    The locking tuner is fully tightened as far as I can tell. If it's damaged inside I can't see it, but then the string should slip and, as I said above, it doesn't seem to.
    Guitars: EBMM JP7 (with piezo), JP6, Fender Stratocaster US
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  6. #6

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    What helps in this cases, really make sure that as already mentioned that when restringing the hole looks from where the strings are coming from to keep the turns minimal. The second thing I would also do is loosen the strings one by one and put some gunstock oil / nut sauce or even lipbalm under the strings in the nut and also lube the friction points at the saddles. No more bending issues...
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  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by lydianb79 View Post
    What helps in this cases, really make sure that as already mentioned that when restringing the hole looks from where the strings are coming from to keep the turns minimal.
    No problem here, I made sure of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by lydianb79 View Post
    The second thing I would also do is loosen the strings one by one and put some gunstock oil / nut sauce or even lipbalm under the strings in the nut and also lube the friction points at the saddles. No more bending issues...
    I didn't think that friction at the nut could create such a problem (at this point, with the new strings, the high E has dropped almost one full step from its original pitch, and it was even more with the old strings). But I'll do what you suggest, so if you don't mind I have a couple of questions:

    - Can I use the same gunstock oil that is used for the neck? I have a bottle of the one recommanded by Music Man.
    - How do I apply it efficiently?
    - How do I lube the friction points at the saddles? Since it's metal, I guess the oil won't do the trick?
    Guitars: EBMM JP7 (with piezo), JP6, Fender Stratocaster US
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  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hiza22 View Post
    I didn't think that friction at the nut could create such a problem (at this point, with the new strings, the high E has dropped almost one full step from its original pitch, and it was even more with the old strings).
    Correct.

    Lets take a step back for a second and think this through. starting at the bridge end and working our way up...

    The string is slipping. The ball end of the string is intact (what you've called the little ring), so that's not it. I'm assuming the ball end is properly and firmly seated in the trem block (because otherwise the string would slip suddenly while tuning and stretching but be stable after that). It's not the saddles or nut, so it must be the tuner. Nothing else it could be. My guess is indeed the locking mechanism is not locking enough. The string will not necessarily leave the tuning head (I've seen it many times).

    Here's the test and possible fix...

    If you have the right sized screwdriver, try swapping the high E and B string tuners. If the B string slips, you know it's the tuner that need replacing. BUT, the extra thickness of the B string in the faulty tuner may actually solve the issue. If that the case, yeay!

    If all else fails, just pretend it's a standard tuner. The high E-string is least sensitive to small changes on tension so the tuning stability will probably be just fine.

    [edit] sorry, forgot to add - looking at your earlier posts here, you are in Europe, right? If indeed it is the tuner, get in touch with the store you bought it from and have them order a new tuner for you from the distributor. If the guitar is still in warranty (minimum of two year warranty in the EU) this should be a warranty repair and it'll cost you nothing. If not, these tuners are not expensive and you can buy single replacement tuners from Thomann.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hiza22 View Post
    But I'll do what you suggest, so if you don't mind I have a couple of questions:

    - Can I use the same gunstock oil that is used for the neck? I have a bottle of the one recommanded by Music Man.
    - How do I apply it efficiently?
    - How do I lube the friction points at the saddles? Since it's metal, I guess the oil won't do the trick?

    NO! Don't confuse gunstock oil (which is for treating wood) and gun oil which is for lubricating metal.

    I used to use good old fashioned 3-n-1 oil on the nut but liquid penetrating oils could damage the wood so I now advise against it.

    Try vaseline, or lip balm (e.g. chapstick), or lithium grease (preferably white, you can buy small tubes from bicycle repair shops). Apply with a needle/pin, toothpick, or the edge of a piece of paper or card. (Except for the pencil, use a B pencil and just rub it on the nut slots).

    I also do the top of the saddles.

    Only use the smallest amount necessary. Wipe off any excess.
    Last edited by DrKev; 12-13-2015 at 05:23 AM.
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  9. #9

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    Thanks *a lot* for this detailed answer. I'm aware that I must have missed something, but it was difficult to find out what. I will carefully follow your instructions later today, but before I jump I have a few questions, since I've never done that before.

    - The guitar is second-hand, built in 2009, but I bought it in a shop in Paris and it does have a (still active) warranty. Is there something I should especially be careful with when switching two tuning heads?
    - I'm looking at the tuning heads now, I see only one screw holding each to the head. Is there another one hidden somewhere?
    - Looking at Music Man's website, the tuning heads seem to be Schaller M6-IND. Is it this model:

    Schaller M6 Locking 4L/2R C - Thomann France (set of 6 heads), or
    Schaller M6 2000 M6CHL I Single Tuner - Thomann France (single head, left)

    For a high E I seem to be needing a "left-handed" tuning head. I didn't find any anything for 7 strings, but if all heads are identical (except for the left-right distinction), that shouldn't be a problem. In any case, I'll change only the (potentially) defective one.

    Edit: as a preliminary test, I did something I was told not to do, I tightened the tuner as hard as I could (noticeably harder than had ever been necessary before). The string seems to be staying in tune now. This may indicate that you were right, but also, if I understood correctly, that the tuning head is damaged so the problem may reappear as it gets worn out further?
    Last edited by Hiza22; 12-13-2015 at 07:01 AM.
    Guitars: EBMM JP7 (with piezo), JP6, Fender Stratocaster US
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hiza22 View Post
    Is there something I should especially be careful with when switching two tuning heads?
    No. Just don't let any pieces fall and roll between the floorboards or drop any tools on your guitar! You'll need a No. 1 cross head screwdriver for the small screw on the back and a wrench (clé a plat) to undo the nut on top. 10 mm wrench is perfect but you can use an adjustable wrench too clé a mollette).

    Quote Originally Posted by Hiza22 View Post
    For a high E I seem to be needing a "left-handed" tuning head. I didn't find any anything for 7 strings, but if all heads are identical (except for the left-right distinction), that shouldn't be a problem.
    Yes, I pretty sure.
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  11. #11

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    Hello again,

    This is a follow-up. I was able to see my luthier sooner than I expected. The tuning head is indeed worn out, but he showed me a trick to squeeze a little more life out of it (just threading the string twice through the tuner before locking it - is "thread" the proper verb?) in case simply tighening harder is no longer enough. It will give me time to buy new tuners, especially since the low B tuner is also giving signs of weakness.

    Maybe I'll replace all of them, to be on the safe side. The guitar isn't so old (made in 2009), but I have no idea how the tuners were (ab)used by its previous owner.

    Thanks for those answers. They helped my stress level down and I learned new things.
    Guitars: EBMM JP7 (with piezo), JP6, Fender Stratocaster US
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  12. #12

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    Are you sure string isn't slipping inside the bridge block?

  13. #13

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    Pretty sure, yes. If is was friction inside the bridge, the string wouldn't just drop lower and lower. But most of all, see my edit in post #9: tightening the tuning head *a lot* (too much) solved the problem. I'll have to replace the head, but in the meantime the guitar is playable.
    Guitars: EBMM JP7 (with piezo), JP6, Fender Stratocaster US
    Axe-FX II XL+
    Matrix GT1000 FX power amp and Q12 speaker

  14. #14

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    I had this issue on the high e of my Luke 2. I changed the tuner for a new one and it was fixed. The tuner must have gone bad.
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