stratocaster string height at first fret

Be sure to hold the strings behind the nut with your fretting hand to make sure they don’t pop out of the nut when you are stretching them. Have you ever noticed that your string doesn’t quite fit in the nut, and tends to cradle itself on top of the nut slot? Traditional Strat bridges are strung through the back body and up through the block of the tremolo. This is also the best time to check the string heights at the nut and see if the nut needs to be replaced or shimmed. If the fretted note is lower or flatter, then the saddle needs to move forward. You will have to adjust the spring tension with the screws on the spring claw, re-tune the guitar and then check the gap at the back of the bridge. I would suggest using that as a starting point and then listen to the strings as you play the guitar unplugged. Your email address will not be published. Then a fret level and crowning would need to be done to them before moving on. Whenever I change strings I clean the nut slots, bridge and tremolo slots and the pivot points on the tremolo. The most common Strat bridge has 6 steel saddles with each one holding a string. It may seem easy, and it is, but only if you take your time and allow yourself to relax and approach the project at a reasonable pace. We then will use the proper nut files for the string gauges used to cut each slot in the nut to the proper depth. Use your feeler gauges to find the fret height by laying a straightedge across two frets and combining the gauges in a stack until they barely slide under the straightedge. To check the string height first make sure your guitar is properly tuned. Just use your Big Bends Nut Sauce for that. A critical adjustment that is easily overlooked is the string height at the nut. Get a Guitar With Better Playability And Sound Today! You want to lay the ruler down the middle of the neck between the D and G strings. A correctly adjusted nut can help improve playability and intonation on the first couple of frets especially for barred or open chords. Take the .005″ feeler gauge with your left hand and slide it between the bottom of the E string and the top of the 7th fret. Adjust the height if needed by fine tuning the height on each bridge sadle. You can go to our Factory Setup Adjustments page to look at what the adjustments were from the factory on a sample American Deluxe Stratocaster. You want to check the nut slots to see if any are too low that strings might be resting or buzzing on the first fret when the neck relief was adjusted straight. This will make the bridge pivot on the two outside screws while leaving the four inner screws in place for tremolo stability. Unfortunately, most truss rod adjustments on a Stratocaster’s neck are located at the heel. We did this step already in the evaluation so most of the time the neck is already straight and ready to go, but if not, repeat the process we went through above until the neck is straight and there is a .005″ gap of relief between the bottom of the E strings and the top of the 7th fret. Then slide each gauge between the top of the 8th fret and the bottom of the sixth string. To get a good view of this you can pull back on the tremolo until the bridge is flush with the body and then look at the front edge of the bridge. That’s because your intonation is not set correctly. Remember, if you ever change string gauges you’ll have to perform this adjustment again. This includes the pots, pickups, jack, and switch to make sure everything is working properly. By adjusting the string height from the fretboard, you can get the perfect tone and improve your playing. You can use a straight edge ruler that lays across the top of most of the frets of the neck or a notched straight edge that rests against the fretboard. Even at that height, it's … From here you can lower each slot until you feel each string is low and comfortable enough for your playing style. They are threaded, with a spring inbetween to keep tension, on to screws located in the back of the bridge that can move the saddle forward or backward to adjust the length of the string in order to set the intonation. If the nut is too low, the string will bump into the first fret when it is played and it will "buzz," even if the rest of the instrument is properly set up and working well. Copyright © 2020 Guitarist Lab – Privacy Policy, 10 Steps to Making a New Replacement Nut For Your Guitar. The first step in the setup process is the initial evaluation of the instrument. The pickups are attached to the pickguard by 2 height adjustment screws on either side of each pickup. I like to adjust each string a little lower as I move from bass side to treble side so they get a little closer to the fret on each string. I like to polish up the frets and clean and oil the fretboard, if made of a hardwood other than maple, first. Don’t cut the B and high E, but just use the whole string to make sure you have the correct string break behind the nut for them since they are smaller in diameter than the wound ones. If you want the best performance out of your Stratocaster you must lubricate. Then starting at the 6th string play the open string and the play the note an octave higher at the 12th fret. Here’s the table with the Fender specifications for pickup height adjustment: Lace Sensor pickups have little to no magnetic pull on the string. If your string reaches the feeler gauge (.018 inches is the best gauge to use for optimal nut action height) you are all set. Tune to pitch and measure the height between each string and the fret (not wood) on the 17th fret. This adjustment will greatly increase the playability of your guitar. And while guitar nuts are not expensive, most don’t come filed, which means you will have to go and get your nut filed out which is quite a bit more expensive than nut action height adjustments. Then apply a nut sauce or lubricant to each slot to keep the strings moving freely and prevent any binding. You will first want to adjust the front edge of the bridge so that it is level with the top of the pick guard. If the nut slot is flat, then the string will rattle and buzz when played open. After you make this adjustment you will see that the pickup will be angled closer to the 1st string and farther away from the 6th. Be sure that you take a measurement of all settings before you adjust anything. Leave any questions or comments in the comment section below. If there are issues like this at the nut or you prefer a different material, then it will have to be taken out to be either replaced or shimmed. Then adjust the screws that secure the tremolo claw to the body tighter or looser to change the gap at the back of the tremolo. But, if you do this adjustment by measuring with a ruler it will still sound off.

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