Setting Nut Height

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by stevel, Jul 29, 2008.

  1. stevel

    stevel Member

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    I have a strat with an LSR nut.

    It was recently refretted and I was told that some shaping of the neck had to be done.

    Now it feels like the low E at the first fret is quite high. Let's say that the force I need to press down a note at the third fret is nowhere near what I need to apply to press down the first fret. I mean, I really have to think about pressing the F note down. The Bb on the 5th string is not as bad and it seems to improve as I go up. It wasn't this way before (though I had worn the frets down so much that the rest of the fret job is a vast improvement).

    So I understand these nuts have shims. How easy or difficult is this to do?

    I can always take it up to a tech, but if it's something I can do at home with automotive feeler gauges or something, and not have to put it in the shop for a week or two, I'd like to try and tackle it.

    Advice?

    TIA,
    Steve
     
  2. GtrDr

    GtrDr Member

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    It's not difficult. Fret each string @ the 3rd fret. You should have just a small gap @ the 1st fret (about .020") Install or remove shims until you get the right height.
     
  3. DownByLaw

    DownByLaw Supporting Member

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    Not hard at all, particularly if you have the original shims, which have a tapered cut, enabling you to slip them under the nut easily if it is loosened a bit. I too had my strat refretted, and they replaced the stock metal shims with a slip of very slim cardboard. (a card?) Recently I re-shimmed using the original type metal shims, which sound better to my ear on open strings. (more zip) I recommend the original type, or metal feeler gauge method. (cut off feeler gauge)

    Patrick
     
  4. bluesjuke

    bluesjuke Disrespected Elder

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    A small gap when the string is fretted as above.
    The .020" (or to taste within reason) when the strings are open.
     
  5. stevel

    stevel Member

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    Ahh = so I can just loosen it - I don't have to take it completely off - I like the sound of that better. I'm assuming he left the original shims in there, but I guess there's only one way to find out!

    Thanks,
    Steve
     
  6. 9fingers

    9fingers Supporting Member

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    Fret toward the bridge of the 3rd fret. When you press the string to the 2nd fret there should be the barest gap you can see - just a literal hair of space. That should put you about right to fret the strings at the lower frets.
    A word of caution - the little stainless shims under the LSR are real easy to lose. I made extra shims out of aluminum pop/beer can material, which is easy to cut to size with scissors. Tone seems fine with the aluminum. If I recall, the can I used was about .003" thickness, so I had to use a few stacked up. I also think you can order the shims from Fender for the LSR, tho I don't know part #.
     

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