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Thread: Mann EM-5 not staying in tune

  1. #1
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    Question Mann EM-5 not staying in tune

    Has anyone else experienced this issue?
    My EM-5 is different than most since it has a shorter scale (13.75"),
    which might be part of the problem. My mando, once tuned, will only stay in tune for a few minutes. The A string seems to go sharp, and the D, G, and C strings tend to go both sharp and flat. The E string seems to stay put.
    I have Thomastik flatwound guitar strings on it
    (11's) and I use a Stroboflip tuner to tune it. I should say that I am a violinist
    and need my axes to be in tune (read very picky), so this is very irritating.

    Any experience with this or hints appreciated.

    -vince

  2. #2
    Registered User mando.player's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mann EM-5 not staying in tune

    I had this problem too. It turned out to be the string gauges. Once I found strings that were the same gauge that Jon shipped it with, the problem went away. The strings were getting caught in the nut. After playing or sitting a while they would go out of tune. It was maddening, so I know your pain.

    Do you have the informational card that Jon ships with each new mando? If so it should list the gauges. I ended up ordering singles of D'Addario Chromes (stainless flatwound) to make up my own set.
    Charlie Jones

    Clark 2-point #39
    Rigel A Natural

  3. #3
    Registered User stratman62's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mann EM-5 not staying in tune

    you might try lubricating both the bridge and the nut with graphite (pencil) while changing
    strings. that should ease the strings binding up and then easing off.
    dwight in NC

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Mann EM-5 not staying in tune

    I don't remember seeing a card that came with it, but I'll check the case to see.
    My mando came with Thomastics (I asked for them) and I wonder if they may
    be the problem.

    thanks,
    -vince


    Quote Originally Posted by mando.player View Post
    I had this problem too. It turned out to be the string gauges. Once I found strings that were the same gauge that Jon shipped it with, the problem went away. The strings were getting caught in the nut. After playing or sitting a while they would go out of tune. It was maddening, so I know your pain.

    Do you have the informational card that Jon ships with each new mando? If so it should list the gauges. I ended up ordering singles of D'Addario Chromes (stainless flatwound) to make up my own set.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Mann EM-5 not staying in tune

    Thanks for the reply and the suggestion. I always lub the nut and bridge on
    all my instruments, I kinda think that it might be the strings at this point,
    or the body flexing.

    -vince



    Quote Originally Posted by stratman62 View Post
    you might try lubricating both the bridge and the nut with graphite (pencil) while changing
    strings. that should ease the strings binding up and then easing off.

  6. #6
    Registered User mando.player's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mann EM-5 not staying in tune

    If you contact Jon, he may be able to tell you the gauges he set the instrument up for.
    Charlie Jones

    Clark 2-point #39
    Rigel A Natural

  7. #7
    Ben Beran Dfyngravity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mann EM-5 not staying in tune

    Several things can cause this, but it probably it just the string gauge. If this strings are brand new, you many also experience this problem. Another issue can be the string actually slipping on the tuner post.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Mann EM-5 not staying in tune

    The string gauge issue is a red herring. You should be able to use the strings you want to on it.

    The problem is the NUT IS TOO TIGHT. What happens is, you tune to pitch, but the length of string between the nut and tuner capstan has more tension on it since the string can't slide through the slot easily. Eventually, as you play, the tension evens out, pulling the playing portion of the string SHARP.

    Get a set of nut files and open the slot widths just a touch. String are just binding. Lubrication might help, but doesn't get to the root cause.

    If you have strings pulling flat, that generally indicates the string is too tight at the bridge.

    This is nothing a competent setup won't fix. Get thee to your nearest competent tech.

  9. #9
    Handle Of Science UnityGain's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mann EM-5 not staying in tune

    also, allways tune UP to pitch. When your tuning if you go sharp of the pitch your looking for instead of just turing the tuner back a little bit, you have to go back down below the target pitch and then back up to the pitch your looking for. (I usually go up to a full tone flat and then work back up). The reason for this is because in ANY geared tuning system, there will always be gear backlash that you have to deal with that will tend to make your strings go flat as the gears are not meshing properly at first untill string tension pulls them a little bit. I find that this method really helps mandos to stay in tune. I have an accurate ear too and am really picky with tuning. This isnt an issue on violins because tuning pegs dont have backlash.

    But you ALSO have, as others have mentioned, a sticking nut which is the bigger issue.
    Gotta start sometime, might as well be now...

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