With the classic look of a 3x3 or 3-strings-per-side headstock design comes the classic flaw of the middle strings having to travel at a sharp angle from the nut up to the tuning pegs. This pesky angle can lead to tuning issues, especially if your playing style includes heavy string bending.
Ever turn a vintage Les Paul around to see if someone drilled holes for replacement tuners? They more than likely blamed the stock Gibson tuners rather than the string angle. If you don’t have the time, skill or funds to pay someone else to refine or replace your guitar’s nut, there’s the String Butler.
The String Butler by Dietrich Parts is a cluster of 4 string trees that mounts onto the high and low E tuning pegs. There’s no drilling involved and the only tool required is a pair of pliers or a wrench to loosen and tighten the hex head ferrules around the tuning pegs. Once installed, your A, D, G and B strings sit in roller guides so they can freely move in a straight line through the nut.
I put a String Butler on both of my Gibson SGs. I recommend installing it when you’re ready to change strings since you’ll need to remove the high and the low E strings anyway. It took less than 5 minutes to get the String Butler on, centered and bolted down.
One size does not fit all! There are a few versions of the String Butler. Version 3 is what fit my SGs. Recently a Version 4 was released for Gretsch-style guitars with an oversized headstock.
Colors include black, chrome, gold and clear acrylic. The String Butler will also work with acoustic guitars. If your guitar's tuners have press-in ferrules, you can still use a String Butler, but you'll have to drill mounting screws into the headstock.
Clip 1: I played some open chords, followed by some exaggerated bends and finished up with same open chords to check my tuning. The first part of the clip is with the String Butler on my Gibson SG, while the second part doesn't feature the String Butler.
Notice how flat the G and B strings go without the String Butler!
The String Butler is available now for $43.95-$51.95. For more info, head on over to string-butler.com.