Mo’ Betta Wanking

The urge to do some serious wanking on my G&L Legacy has raised the age-old problem of keeping the guitar in tune, specifically the low-E and G-strings, without resorting to a locking nut. Here’s a list of possible modifications I’m considering, and will post about in the future:

  1. String-windings: Not what most usually comes to mind when you say “modification” but the strings are actually the most important component(s) of the guitar. Before I invest any money into the parts below, I’m going to use my cutter, string-winder and collection of old strings to see if the number of windings around the tuning post has any affect on tuning stability. It occurred to me that I’m wrapping it too many times, resulting in a sharp angle across the nut, OR perhaps I’m not wrapping it enough. To quote Vernon Reid, “Guitars are funny beasts,” so instead of following any one repair guy’s advice, I just have to see what works with my somewhat unique setup.
  2. Tremolo Springs: To improve tuning stability, I wanted to add another spring or two. However one of the unique things about G&L guitars is the tremolo claw which only has hooks for three springs. (see photo below) The spacing between the holes for the mounting screws is only about 27 millimeters which make it impossible to replace it with standard OEM strat parts without drilling new holes. F’K that…I found something called Gotoh Power Springs which are thicker and should provide more tension. They’re only about $7 so I went ahead and ordered a set of three.
  3. Teflon tape trick: According to the G&L discussion page, wrapping the bridge studs with teflon tape improves tuning stability. If you don’t know what this is (like I didn’t), it looks like plumbers probably use this to wrap metal pipe joints so the don’t leak, so I’m going to take a trip to my local hardware store. I wonder how this will affect tone and sustain, though?
  4. New nut: Replacing the stock plastic nut is something I’ve been considering since before I even bought the guitar 20 years ago, but every repair guy has talked me out of it. I’ve since had it replaced and slotted with a new plastic nut by a professional, so I don’t think this is going to make much difference in terms of tuning stability, but it might improve the tone of the upper strings. Graphtech TUSQ nuts with pre-cut slots is a cheap mod I might even be able to do myself, though it could make things worse. G&L is putting bone nuts on their guitars now, so it’s probably worth it to have it cut by a pro.
  5. Schaller Locking Tuners: These are offered as an upgrade by G&L, and will probably do more to improve stability than any of the mods above, so it should be my first mod, but a set of these is about $100, and the G&L compatible type (M6 6-inline Left Pin) is not easy to find here in Japan.Image

One Comment on “Mo’ Betta Wanking”

  1. […] ones in the guitar for a standard Fender-style claw that will let me use up to five-springs as I mentioned in my earlier post.  Ultimately though, it looks like that would still be the most comprehensive solution. If and when […]


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