Though the Gibson Les Paul is up there as one of the most iconic electric guitars of all time – and though it’s the axe of choice for some of today’s biggest players – a number of guitarists seem to have persistent tuning stability problems with the design.
Naturally, there are numerous potential reasons for experiencing tuning problems, but as Darrell Braun noted back in a 2016 video (opens in new tab), one of the main culprits behind this particular Les Paul problem is concerned with the D and G strings.
Specifically, Braun pointed out the sharp angle at which the D and G strings cross the nut, and the way they are subsequently pulled at a certain angle towards the far side of the headstock’s upper area. As a result, the strings are more likely to get stuck in the nut and throw off the tuning.
Products to address the problem do exist – such as Dietrich Parts’ String Butler – but a Finnish guitar player has now emerged claiming to have solved the age-old conundrum with a simple 3D-printed skull that promises to make Les Paul tuning issues a thing of the past.
Dubbed the Tune Voodoo, the custom-made string tree has been designed in such a way as to minimize the impact of the diverging D and G string trajectories, instead keeping them straight further up the headstock to prevent any sticking or sporadic slippages.
The Tune Voodoo was created by Kimmo Pennanen, who set about crafting his gadget with the mission of keeping "the aesthetic beauty of [the] Les Paul while increasing its tuning stability".
Owing to the way it’s designed, the Tune Voodoo looks to work on any three-a-side electric guitar that sports a similar headstock and nut configuration to the original Les Paul blueprint.
Plus, not only will the 3D-printed accessory supposedly keep your single-cut in tune better, it will look pretty hardcore while doing so, arriving in the form of a Skull string tree.
Another notable bonus for the Tune Voodoo is its ease of application. Thankfully, no wince-worthy alterations have to be made to the headstock to accommodate the gizmo – instead, it uses the same upper screw hole that holds the truss rod cover in place.
Pennanen is selling his creation on Etsy, and it’s fair to say it’s been a hit among guitar fans looking to eradicate the tuning problems they’ve come across. At the time of writing, the Tune Voodoo has 87 ratings and stands at a solid five-star rating.
As a disclaimer, the Tune Voodoo only works on Les Pauls that have straight-slotted nuts, and will not be effective if used on those LPs that have angled nut slots.
Head over to the Tune Voodoo Etsy page (opens in new tab) for more info.