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How do I get my 57RI Strat to stay in tune better?
Block the trem. The only thing that will happen is that it will sound better (more sustain). You can get different kinds of lube for the nut and saddles and it's a good idea to use it. Most people that have tuning problems think it's the tuners or bad strings - 90% of the time it's the nut is not cut right or you need some kind of lube. It wouldn't hurt to lube the saddles and string trees as well.
Yup. A setup/nut filing/new nut are the place to start. Also the way you're stringing could be influencing your tuning. There are lots of websites in the link thread at the top of the forum that can show you how to string guitars properly.
If those things work, after that try blocking the trem.
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Lubricate the nut slots with graphite or a graphite mix.
Also, it is important how you have put the string onto the tuner. They must be properly anchored and have few winds. Maybe you can post a photo of your tuners and the strings are they are now?
uOpt's subtly placed trading tips: I don't buy anything without pictures.
I don't follow picture links into websites. Please inline at least the main picture into the posts with [img]. Every time I follow into photobucket or whatever I get a picture of a closed case, or a broken link, or a cat picture and even if not the resolution sucks.
Some ads make it very difficult to see the price. Not helping
On ebay, I never bid against reserves.
do strats with trems still in place just stay in tune badly?
No, not if the nut is cut properly. Tuning problems on a Strat are usually due to either a poorly-cut nut (w/ the strings binding during bends and trem use) or a trem that hasn't been set up. A standard Strat trem isn't going to match a Floyd w/ a locking nut as regards stability, but OTOH, it shouldn't be a constant tuning hassle if it's set up right.
"Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy; it's inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery."
Sometimes strats SEEM to have a tuning or intonation problem when the neck and middle pickups are too high. They're powerful magnets and can make strings wobble funny. That said, I have a tech block the trem and refine the nut whenever I get a strat... Z
"Everything I know I learned from my dad.
He learned it all from his.
And his dad just happened to be
WRONG ABOUT EVERYTHING!"
have the nut precision cut. add a drop of something like tri flow with teflon in each slot and on the bridge saddles. while add it remove any burrs on the bridge saddles to greatly reduce possible string breakage (very fine sandpaper and or 0000 steel wool is good for that). if the nut is plastic go for bone or graphtech.