High E string gets stuck off neck, on fret end

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner: Guitar & Bass Technical Discussi' started by Blingdogg, Mar 16, 2009.

  1. Blingdogg

    Blingdogg Member

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    I have a Squier Standard Tele that has a problem. When I play it, the high E string slips off the neck and gets stuck in the space between the sharp fret ends and the neck. Basically the string catches on the fret end.
    I know the fret ends are sharp and need filing down, but I don't know if that's the entire problem. Could it be just this that's the problem?

    I don't know if this explains the problem well, and I'm at work now so I can't post pictures, but I will later if that'll help. It's really a pain because I like this guitar otherwise.
     
  2. Bob V

    Bob V Member

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    The neck may be misaligned. Common situation on bolt necks. Loosen the four screws that hold the neck to the body - just a little - and shove the neck one way or the other until the strings line up well with the edge of the fretboard. Retighten and you're good.

    The sharp fret ends are a different story, that may be from the fingerboard shrinking a little bit (known as "fret sprout"). The strings shouldn't be going off the edge to begin with, so whether they catch once they're there isn't the issue.
     
  3. Blingdogg

    Blingdogg Member

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    Thanks a lot for the help Bob V! I'm going to try that and hope it works. Doesn't seem like it's a major problem.
     
  4. Bluesman 59901

    Bluesman 59901 Member

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    Hello,
    Like Bob said the neck may need to be moved right or left but I wanted to add this, sight down the neck first and look at the distance from string edge at the joint where the neck meets the body and then look at it by the nut. That will show if your neck is skewed. If it is, do as Bob suggested and loosen the screws and shift the neck but shim the space you have now created, use a business card or anything that will conduct sound.
    I take a very easy approach to the fret ends, I file them with a very fine metal file and I let it run along the fretboard and ease that very edge also. You can oil that fine line you filed on the wood or just let your hand/ oil it while you play.
    Hope it helps,
    BDR
     
  5. Voodoo Blues

    Voodoo Blues Member

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    Why is the string slipping off the neck?
     
  6. donnyjaguar

    donnyjaguar Member

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    Like Voodoo says, this sounds like a nut problem, no?
     
  7. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    Could be, but could also be neck alignment, or saddles in addition to the obvious - fret ends sticking out. I've seen Strat saddles horribly cocked to one side or the other in an attempt to "follow the radius of the fretboard."

    The string Height DOES have to follow the radius, but the angle the saddle is sitting on DOES NOT. Each saddle should sit level relative to the bridge base and have equal pressure on both adjustable 'feet' - the saddles SHOULD NOT be cocked to one side or the other.

    The saddles should resemble stair steps when properly adjusted - each individual stair step LEVEL, but some higher and some lower.

    BlingDogg - I think your guitar may need a set up, and the fret ends filed down. time to take it to the tech, or if you do 'em yourself, time to get out the files.

    Hope this helps, Dana O.
     
  8. Boris Bubbanov

    Boris Bubbanov Member

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    Getting the neck snugged down into the neck pocket (do it under string tension - there's a thread on this - I call this procedure the "Walter W Chiropractic Neck Adjustment"). What this will often do it make a neck rotate right to left just a hair and bring the spacing of the E strings on each side of the fretboard back into alignment. On your guitar, changes are easily 80 percent that this will do the job.

    That'll fix most of any issues you're having. But I will also say the stock plastic nuts on those Squiers are arguably the crummiest part on that whole guitar; a fairly cool guitar once it is hopped up a bit. Check out installing a pre-slotted 1 + 11/16ths tusq or graphtech nut in place of it. There's a tutorial, very thorough, on replacing a Squier nut from a guy we call "Spacklehoss". Google him, and pull up his great lesson.
     

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