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time to raise the nut?

CADdrafter

Senior Member
Messages
559
some time back i swapped my strat's stock neck for a Warmoth super fat neck with the biggest frets they have. this being said, i play blues and like to "get under" a string for the bigger bends so I prefer higher than average action.

so as the guitar is being set up, i find i must raise the saddle height of all six saddles to get the action where I like it.

i've pretty much screwed the tiny allen wrench adjustment screws on each saddle all the way out so there is very little thread holding the tiny adjustment screws steady. i went into a big bend last night on my little E string and one of the tiny adjustment screws on that saddle buckled and ended up at a 45 degree angle. i loosened the string, used my allen wrench to straighten it, retuned, and keep playing.

what's the best rememdy here? adding a shim under the nut with hopes of possibly lowering the saddles a bit to compensate or do i need longer saddle adjustment screws and leave the nut height alone?

i would HATE to have last night's buckling incident happen at a gig!!!!!!!
 

baumwolle

Member
Messages
34
Yes, you could raise the nut a bit, you could also add a shim between the neck and the body, at the joint. I don't see what you could damage with this move, as it is easily reversible in case of anything being wrong.

Also, you could consider replacing the saddles, that incident telling me they're near the end of their life.
 

Hargrett

Member
Messages
127
The nut is not really much of a factor with fretted and bent notes. I'd look mostly at the neck angle and truss rod adjustment... and as you said, longer screws for the saddle height adjustment.
 

CADdrafter

Senior Member
Messages
559
The nut is not really much of a factor with fretted and bent notes. I'd look mostly at the neck angle and truss rod adjustment. Maybe get longer screws for the saddle height adjustment, too.

do they sell longer saddle adjustment screws?
 

Hargrett

Member
Messages
127
I expect AllParts or StewMac would have longer screws. Do you know how to adjust your neck/body angle? You may have too great an angle, which effectively takes the range out of the screws you have now.
 

CADdrafter

Senior Member
Messages
559
I expect AllParts or StewMac would have longer screws. Do you know how to adjust your neck/body angle? You may have too great an angle, which effectively takes the range out of the screws you have now.
I'm unsure as adjusting the neck/body angle.

I did find some 3/8" adjustment screws on the web. Are these longer than the stock adjustment screws on my MIM Fender Classic 60s Series Strat? Will they work on this guitar?
 

Dana Olsen

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
7,908
Hey CADdrafter -

I'll try to explain, but raising the nut is not an option you can use to change the saddle height at the bridge, because if you raise the action at the nut, your intonation will be totally compromised while playing on the lower frets. The higher you raise the nut slots, the more out of tune your guitar will be while playing on the low frets, ESPECIALLY on the 3rd and 2nd strings.

If your saddles are at the end of their reach, THE ONLY OPTION that will actually leave your guitar playing like it should is to change the neck angle, unless you want to actually re-cut the neck pocket.

Re-cutting the neck pocket at the correct angle isn't all that difficult, but it IS a precision job that requires experience to get a good result.

Dude, shim your neck forward. If you don't have some hardwood veneer, use a business card - it'll take 10 minutes, and then you'll know whether it's working the way you want it to and whether things are moving in the right direction (HINT - they WILL be).

The action at the nut can be adjusted only over a very narrow range. You simply can not raise the action at the nut to compensate for an incorrect neck angle and still expect the guitar to play in tune, or anywhere close to in tune.

I think you may need to visit your local competent guitar tech to get this prob resolved once and for all (GRIN). It's an easy one to solve, but raising the nut won't do the job.

Hope this helps, Dana O.
 

stratmaniac

Member
Messages
494
I've experienced exactly the same thing (minus the buckling incident). I liked higher action than most, and found my saddle height adjustment to be maxed out. I used to try and compensate a bit with additional neck relief, but when I found some information on shimming on this forum, it resolved the issue for me.

You'll want to shim the neck forward, as Dana indicated, so that the neck angle flattens slightly, effectively raising your action so that you can adjust your saddles back down to compensate. Works like a charm.
 

Hargrett

Member
Messages
127
Depending on which Strat you have, instead of shims there may be a set screw used to adjust the neck angle, in which case you would back the screw out to flatten the neck joint. If it's a real Strat the neck pocket is probably cut correctly, so I don't think you'd have to re-cut it, or shim the neck forward to get action that you like...but I could be wrong!
 

monstermike

Member
Messages
1,382
Even if it's a "real" Strat, there's no guarantee that the neck angle is right for every player, and you find plenty of Fender guitars with factory shims. If you're having this trouble, either take out the factory shim (if it's under the back side of the pocket), add a new shim (under the front side of the pocket), or adjust the angle with whatever tilt mechanism it might have (if it has one).

It's worth it.
 

CADdrafter

Senior Member
Messages
559
just dropped off the guitar with a competent local tech.

it's a Warmoth "boat/fat" profile Strat neck fitting to a 1998 MIM Classic 60s Series Strat body. the guy said the Mexican Strat neck pocket isn't deep enough for the Warmoth neck. He's going to sand a few 16ths off the neck's connection point, adjust the truss rod, then totally set up the guitar.
 

Dana Olsen

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
7,908
Hey CAD -

I hope you get a great result from your tech. I love that big V boatneck shape.

Good Luck, Dana O.
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
38,451
you want the saddles fairly low for feel, bending ease and trem stability regardless, so +1 to changing the neck angle to put string height where you want it and keeping shorter screws in the saddles.

that said, to me the whole idea of "the biggest frets they have" is to allow for a solid grip for bending with low action. maybe you don't really need it all that high to begin with?
 




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