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JJBC

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 17, 2020
Messages
74
Location
Stockholm
Yesterday it was the first time I changed the strings of my newest Majesty. I did everything following the book: same string gauge, lubricate the nut, less than one full wrap around the tuner post, level bridge, truss rod adjustment & intonation.

With new strings I always need to tune to pitch, stretch the strings and repeat endless times until I reach tuning stability, but I never count how many times it takes, I have never really paid much attention to this until now and it keeps me thinking... Today I tuned the guitar and checked the tuning after playing for a while, some strings where tuned and others were off by a few cents.

My question is, how long does it really take to reach tuning stability after changing the strings?
 

Lucien2

Active member
Joined
Nov 13, 2021
Messages
29
Location
Baltimore, MD
In my experience, it varies by string brand and time of year. Sometimes it takes very little, other times maybe even the next day before everyone settles down. If I'm in a hurry and the guitar has a vibrato bridge, a couple of massive dive bombs expedites the process.
 

racerx

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 10, 2021
Messages
164
I'm hardly an authority on the subject but IMO tuning stability should be near instant (or at the very least within hours) of a good set-up. Stretching the strings properly after all other adjustments should really get you there (or pretty darn close after a few hours of settling).

* Same string gauge AND same tuning? If so then adjustments should be minimal/trivial
* Lubed nut is good, once the string is locked securely in the post, then anything past the post is out of the equation
* Truss rod should be the first adjustment in the order of operations, but assuming it was fine before and gauge/tuning didn't change then this probably isn't an area of concern
* Saddle adjustments wouldn't impact stability meaningfully - just pitch or playability

What is your climate like? Assuming you're going through winter, then that is most likely your culprit of the guitar stabilizing and adjusting to changes. Anecdotally my place gets very dry and drafty during the winter. If I didn't run a humidifier then it would frequently dip into the single digits of humidity in my place. Because of this I run a large humidifier during winter and keep my place at ~50% relative humidity year round (summer months tend to sit between 40-60% naturally).

Between good set-up practices and consistent climate, my guitars have rock solid tuning stability. I do experience the need to make minor tuning tweaks/adjustments after wailing on my guitars for a bit (especially with aggressive whammy), but that is to be expected - guitars are imperfect instruments.
 

jayjayjay

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 18, 2021
Messages
182
+1 to what RacerX said. Your location says Stockholm, so I'm guessing your weather this time of year is like mine - bitterly cold, and probably really dry.

I'm struggling with my collection this time of year. It drops below zero outside so it's a fight to keep indoor RH about 20%. Even with a room humidifier, I can only realistically raise it to mid-30's, and if it gets higher than that, condensation and frost starts forming at the bottom of the windows, which will decay the window frames over time. Even with RH in the 30's, my guitars start showing fret sprout and all go flat, due to contraction of the neck and fingerboard. Action also gets a lot higher. The lower the RH, the worse it gets. Case in point: My Axis was held around 30% RH for a few weeks, so I had to unlock the nut and reset the fine tuners, it had gone so flat. I finally put some in-case humidity packs in its case, which brought the internal case RH up closer to 40%, and all of a sudden my guitar is way sharp and the bridge is almost lifting. I've had to back the fine tuners waaay down, any more and I'll have to unlock the nut again and reset it.

My solution going forward is to dedicate an interior storage closet as a guitar humidor - I'll place an automatic humidifier in the closet set to around 50%. That way, it'll keep a small space around 50% that doesn't have windows or exterior walls, so no worries about condensation.

You can also get in-case humidifier packs. Boveda is a good system (I think D'Addario makes it); it uses packs that either absorb or emit moisture to hold the RH around 49%. The packs usually last for a few months at least before needing changing. If you only have a few guitars, that may be the easier way to go, especially if you don't have a space you can dedicate as a humidor.
 
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