Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 26 to 32 of 32

Thread: The Loar losing tune quickly

  1. #26

    Default Re: The Loar losing tune quickly

    Just a quick note:

    If you are tuning correctly (always tuning up to pitch), a string sticking in the nut will sharpen the pitch.

    You tune up, string sticks in nut, The tension between the tuning post and nut is now higher than the tension between the nut and the bridge, string finally slips and tension balances, increasing the tension between the nut and bridge and raising the pitch.

    Tuning down is also the source of the vast majority of tuning issues with the tuners themselves.

    Two things to keep in mind here:
    All tuners have some degree of backlash.
    Unless there is something actually broken, stripped, etc.. a worm gear setup such as a tuner cannot turn backward from string tension.

    This means, even cheap, sloppy tuners cannot spin backward on their own.


    If the mandolin is going flat and you tuned "up" to pitch, it can only be a few things:

    Strings slipping at the post (strings wound/attached incorrectly)
    Strings stretching... Extremely low quality strings, or strings are new and need to stretch out. Normally the later.
    Neck bowing
    Top Sinking
    Mandolin drying out (shrinking).
    Some major issues such as tailpiece tearing off the back, neck joint giving way, etc..

    While I have occasionally seen major issues causing this, it is rare. It is almost always, the mandolin settling into a new climate, strings wound poorly, or Number one reason: wiggling the tuners around to get the mandolin in tune vs. tuning up to pitch.
    Robert Fear
    http://www.folkmusician.com
    1-800-493-4922

    "Education is when you read the fine print; experience is what you get when you don't.
    " - Pete Seeger

  2. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Folkmusician.com For This Useful Post:


  3. #27
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Manchester - Lancashire - NW England
    Posts
    13,005

    Default Re: The Loar losing tune quickly

    Thanks Robert - I think that you've explained all this before on here. I had a problem with the lower "A" string on my Weber going 'sharp',something that i couldn't understand until you explained it. 5 minutes work with a piece of coarse brown paper made into a nut slot polisher,solved it !!. We all know that strings go flat when they loose tension,but going 'sharp' ??,
    Ivan
    Weber F-5 'Fern'.
    Lebeda F-5 "Special".
    Stelling Bellflower BANJO
    Tokai - 'Tele-alike'.
    Ellis DeLuxe "A" style.

  4. #28
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    St. Paul, MN
    Posts
    297

    Default Re: The Loar losing tune quickly

    One other thing I'd suggest checking - how the strings are attached at the tailpiece. Take the cover off and see when you tune up if any of the strings are moving down there. Could be the hooks are bending or the strings are settling around the hooks (if it was strung up the old fashioned way).

    Lastly, and let's hope not - but sometimes the loops on the bottom of strings do come apart. Had it happen once this past year. The first indication I had was the string repeatedly going flat overnight.
    Californian - Pacific Music Supply oval hole (Strad-O-Lin genre)
    1929 (or 27) Gibson A Jr.
    ca. 2000 Breedlove Cascade
    http://ericplatt.weebly.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/LauluAika/

  5. #29
    Lurkist dhergert's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    IE CA USA
    Posts
    702

    Default Re: The Loar losing tune quickly

    Quote Originally Posted by Folkmusician.com View Post
    Just a quick note:
    ...
    If the mandolin is going flat and you tuned "up" to pitch, it can only be a few things:

    Strings slipping at the post (strings wound/attached incorrectly)
    ...
    Or, if strings are slipping at the tailipiece, ie: coming unwound there... (I've seen this quite often).

    Mandolins, with their typical 8 high tension strings, are very holistic. As one or two strings loosen, the mandolin top (and possibly other parts) and the rest of the strings compensate, causing the other strings to go sharp.

    For me, this holistic relationship on a mandolin almost always means critical tuning is a 2-pass process; the first pass gets the strings nearly up to pitch and the top to optimum tension, and usually the second pass nails it, or at least gets it very close.

    Of course, if a string or two are binding at the nut, or if the wood or strings are expanding or contracting due to humidity or temperature changes, that can throw everything off.

    Being primarily a banjo player, I've often been amused by the jokes about tuning a banjo. But tuning a mandolin is at least a magnitude more difficult.
    -- Don

    "It is a lot more fun to make music than it is to argue about it."

    2002
    Gibson F-9
    2016 "$199.00 solid F style" MKLFSTB
    1975 Suzuki taterbug
    (plus an assortment of banjos, dobros, guitars and other noisemakers)

  6. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to dhergert For This Useful Post:


  7. #30

    Default Re: The Loar losing tune quickly

    Yeah, those pesky tailpieces can be an issue as well. I haven't had much trouble with hooks bending and the strings going flat. The hooks do snap off though, resulting in an extremely flat string!

    The MK Tailpiece is the single worst offender I have ever seen as far as string loops unwinding. It actually prompted some changes in the way strings were wound (MK was possibly the best selling brand at the time). I suppose you can thank MK for improved string loop winding techniques.

    It does occasionally happen with standard Gibson style tailpieces as well.
    Robert Fear
    http://www.folkmusician.com
    1-800-493-4922

    "Education is when you read the fine print; experience is what you get when you don't.
    " - Pete Seeger

  8. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Folkmusician.com For This Useful Post:


  9. #31
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Manchester - Lancashire - NW England
    Posts
    13,005

    Default Re: The Loar losing tune quickly

    Robert - My very first mandolin was a Michael Kelly 'Legacy' & the tailpiece was almost lethal. It had been put on twisted to one side & the cover must have been hammered on. I had to pry it off very carefully with a screwdriver. I replaced it within 2 weeks with an Allen cast t/piece.

    Don - As a banjo player,you'll know the problems that we have with the neck joint flexing as we loosen /tighten the strings. It's terrific that we have the means to raise & lower the action as we do,but oh boy !,if you use Scruggs tuners,tune one down & the neck relaxes backwards,the rest take up the tension & go higher. At least with a mandolin we have a bit more stability i think. With a banjo,tuning seems very much a compromise,especially if you use Scruggs tuners - nevertheless,we manage,
    Ivan
    Weber F-5 'Fern'.
    Lebeda F-5 "Special".
    Stelling Bellflower BANJO
    Tokai - 'Tele-alike'.
    Ellis DeLuxe "A" style.

  10. The following members say thank you to Ivan Kelsall for this post:


  11. #32
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Rochester NY 14610
    Posts
    14,844

    Default Re: The Loar losing tune quickly

    Not clear from the OP's question whether all strings were consistently going flat over a period of time, or whether it was a subset. Makes a difference in the diagnosis. Would surprise me if all tailpiece hooks were bending, though the entire tailpiece could be deforming or coming loose.

    Also, a full half-step flattening, on a recurrent basis, of all eight strings, would be to me an indication of either new strings stretching out, or a major change in the mandolin's geometry. Most of the tight nut slots, defective tuner, bending tailpiece hook problems are limited to certain strings, not the whole set.
    Allen Hopkins
    Gibsn: '54 F5 3pt F2 A-N Custm K1 m'cello
    Natl Triolian Dobro mando
    Victoria b-back Merrill alumnm b-back
    H-O mandolinetto
    Stradolin Vega banjolin
    Sobell'dola Washburn b-back'dola
    Eastmn: 615'dola 805 m'cello
    Flatiron 3K OM

  12. The following members say thank you to allenhopkins for this post:


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •