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why can't my cheap acoustic guitar Badaxx stay in tune?

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  • why can't my cheap acoustic guitar Badaxx stay in tune?

    I bought this at Sears online. It's a cheap one so I got what I paid for. It does not stay in tune or even be in tune especially the bottom string. The upper ones took awhile to be in tune. I think I bought this for around under $50. It's full size and looks like a name brand. Maybe I'm not using my Korg Chromatic tuner (CA-30) right? The tuner is set up on default at 440 hz. I don't know what the purpose of knowing these anyway. Do I have to calibrate this tuner?
    Last edited by samal50; 05-15-2014, 12:30 AM.

  • #2
    You answered your own question in the title with the word "CHEAP"
    Last edited by GW348; 05-15-2014, 06:26 AM.
    R.I.P. TAH & Dak

    Comment


    • #3
      Samai, first, what kind of guitar is it? When I google "badaxx" I get several hits (actualy comes up 'badaax") and one at Sears shows a classical (nylon string) guitar. Is this the one?

      Nylon string guitars are notorious for not staying in tune - the strings are constantly stretching and going flat - you do need to keep tightening them, particularly when you first put new strings on. After a while they will stay better, but almost always when you first pick up a classical you will need to tune up. In addition, nylon strung guitars need to have the strings properly anchored at both ends - usually they have "tie block" bridges where the string goes thru a little hole in the bridge and then ties back on itself - that needs to be done correctly and properly or it will slip and go flat. And at the headstock end the string needs to have enough wraps on the roller and be tied back on itself or it will slip there too. Here is a very good primer on stringing both ends

      http://www.frets.com/FretsPages/Musi...assicstr1.html

      A couple of other things that can change the tuning - if there is any play in the tuning machines themselves, Snug up the little screws in the worm and cog gears - not too tight but make sure they are snug. Cheap tuners frequently are hard to get in tune - remember that it is possible to pay more for a set of tuning machines than you did for your entire guitar. Temperature and humidity swings affect nylon strings more than steel - not too much you can do for that. Different brands and types of strings make a difference too - you might try some hard tension strings. Lastly, if the nut slots are tight for the strings they may make little popping noises - you can lubricate the slots with pencil graphite or open them up slightly with some very fine (600 or so) grit sand paper.

      The Korg CA-30 is a great little tuner, use the default of A=440 and try to tune UP to the note rather than down. You don't have to calibrate your tuner, but with the Korg it is possible to do so (check against a 440 tuning fork). You also have the ability to change the frequency of A - there are esoteric reasons for doing that but at this point don't worry about it.

      Just because the guitar is inexpensive doesn't mean that it shouldn't be possible to get it in tune and have it stay in tune.

      btw - if it is some other model most of the above will still apply but may be a little different. Good luck
      Last edited by Freeman Keller; 05-15-2014, 11:03 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Probably the bridge isn't at the right distance. Hit a 12th fret harmonic on that low E string. Then fret the note. If those aren't the same frequency exactly...something is off that can't be fixed without moving the bridge.
        Originally Posted by DToad:

        Lets face it- today's GOP is all about the richest one percent exploiting the dumbest fifty percent.

        Comment


        • #5
          You must get a new guitar. Had you come here before buying that one we'd have steered you right. Sears would not have been on the list.
          __________________________________________________ _________
          Concerned about future generations? Read through these sites - Molten Salt Reactors Explained.

          http://www.the-weinberg-foundation.o...Foundation.pdf

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          Electric guitar tone is influenced by the wood species directly associated with the string-to-pick-up relationship, and particularly with the species Balderd Ash.

          Comment


          • #6
            A guitar for under $50??? From Sears??? It looks like a name brand??? And you expect it to stay in tune???

            Most strange.

            My first guitar was from Sears. It was a horrid POS. That was about fifty years ago. Looks like things haven't improved any.
            Proud reject from the HCAG Civil Posters Society, Martin snob, vitriolic sociopath, and tantrumist

            Comment


            • #7
              Actually there is no reason that it should not be possible to tune it to pitch and for it to stay in tune unless the tuners are slipping or the strings at either end. It might not play in tune up the neck (GC's comment) and it may not sound as good as other guitars, but he should be able to tune it.
              Last edited by Freeman Keller; 05-15-2014, 10:53 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Yes, that's the one. I even forgot it was a nylon and classical guitar. Great tone actually even if out of tune. LOL.

                I usually tune to "center" where the light turns "green" meaning it is "in tune"? Are you saying to tune it a bit higher?

                Originally posted by Freeman Keller View Post
                Samai, first, what kind of guitar is it? When I google "badaxx" I get several hits (actualy comes up 'badaax") and one at Sears shows a classical (nylon string) guitar. Is this the one?

                Nylon string guitars are notorious for not staying in tune - the strings are constantly stretching and going flat - you do need to keep tightening them, particularly when you first put new strings on. After a while they will stay better, but almost always when you first pick up a classical you will need to tune up. In addition, nylon strung guitars need to have the strings properly anchored at both ends - usually they have "tie block" bridges where the string goes thru a little hole in the bridge and then ties back on itself - that needs to be done correctly and properly or it will slip and go flat. And at the headstock end the string needs to have enough wraps on the roller and be tied back on itself or it will slip there too. Here is a very good primer on stringing both ends

                http://www.frets.com/FretsPages/Musi...assicstr1.html

                A couple of other things that can change the tuning - if there is any play in the tuning machines themselves, Snug up the little screws in the worm and cog gears - not too tight but make sure they are snug. Cheap tuners frequently are hard to get in tune - remember that it is possible to pay more for a set of tuning machines than you did for your entire guitar. Temperature and humidity swings affect nylon strings more than steel - not too much you can do for that. Different brands and types of strings make a difference too - you might try some hard tension strings. Lastly, if the nut slots are tight for the strings they may make little popping noises - you can lubricate the slots with pencil graphite or open them up slightly with some very fine (600 or so) grit sand paper.

                The Korg CA-30 is a great little tuner, use the default of A=440 and try to tune UP to the note rather than down. You don't have to calibrate your tuner, but with the Korg it is possible to do so (check against a 440 tuning fork). You also have the ability to change the frequency of A - there are esoteric reasons for doing that but at this point don't worry about it.

                Just because the guitar is inexpensive doesn't mean that it shouldn't be possible to get it in tune and have it stay in tune.

                btw - if it is some other model most of the above will still apply but may be a little different. Good luck
                Last edited by samal50; 05-16-2014, 01:38 AM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I got the sears giftcard free. Oh well. LOL.

                  Originally posted by Idunno View Post
                  You must get a new guitar. Had you come here before buying that one we'd have steered you right. Sears would not have been on the list.

                  Comment


                  • #10

                    Originally posted by samal50 View Post
                    Yes, that's the one. I even forgot it was a nylon and classical guitar. Great tone actually even if out of tune. LOL.

                    I usually tune to "center" where the light turns "green" meaning it is "in tune"? Are you saying to tune it a bit higher?

                    No, what I am saying is to start lower that your intended pitch, slightly flat and bring the string UP until it is in tune. The left red light will be on when you start, then the green flickers and comes on as you approach being in tune. If the right red light is on (sharp) then slacken the string a bit, maybe a half turn of the tuner knob until the left one comes on, then slowly tighten the string up to pitch. The needle is a little more accurate than the lights - it should be in the center (but will jump around a little).

                    For some reason it always seems hard to get the correct pitch if you are coming down - I've always thought it was the way the string relaxed its tension but it could be slight binding at the nut or saddle.

                    Sometimes you need to go back and forth over each string a few times - as you increase the overall tension on the neck it will put previously tuned strings a bit flat - particularly with nylon strings. When you have it close by the tuner you can check doing the 5th fret thing (6th string at 5th fret should sound like the 5th string, 5th string at the 5th fret should sound like the 4th, ditto 4th at 5th fret, but its the 3rd string at the 4th fret sounds like 2nd, and finally 2nd string at 5th fret sounds like first). Lastly, I like to play a big full first position E major chord - you should hear any notes that are out of tune.

                    I'll add an anecdote - often your ears are more accurate that an electronic tuner (there are mathematical reasons). I was at a Leo Kottke concert a few months ago - Leo has always tuned by ear but he had an electronic tuner in his signal chain and was looking down at it as he fiddled with his guitar. Finally he looked at the audience and said "that's just not right, a tuner is only one opinion, you know" and proceeded to tweak a string to his satisfaction.

                    Comment



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