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Old November 27th, 2012, 03:15 AM   #1 (permalink)
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String Trees.......

I made 3 Teles this past year. I dig them all but , I built 2 with used necks that had string Trees already installed. the one I just finished was new and I have not installed any yet. I really do not see a difference. What are the purpose of the Trees and do you use them? Are they for tuning issues? friction slippage I don't get it. yet I think they add a finished Cue to a guitar's headstock. What do you all think?

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Old November 27th, 2012, 04:11 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't use them. I use staggered height tuners.
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Old November 27th, 2012, 04:16 AM   #3 (permalink)
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They're to give you enough of a break angle over the nut.

You don't need them if you have staggered tuners, or if you can sneak the winds down the post when installing the strings. That works on some tuner posts, and not on others.

I use them on Teles, but not on Strats. Tuning stability when using the vibrato notably improves if you equalize the break angles over the nut as much as possible.
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Old November 27th, 2012, 01:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I removed the original ones and............

replaced 'em with Graphite Trees I bought from Stewart/MacDonald's catalog. I like Jerry Donahue's work, especially his behing the nut bends so I thought I'd line up my trees side by side like he does and they work very well for that kind of stuff..........JH in Va.
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Old November 27th, 2012, 02:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
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They're to give you enough of a break angle over the nut.

You don't need them if you have staggered tuners...
what he said.
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Old November 27th, 2012, 02:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Ok then, what are the benefits of NOT having string trees.

For what it is worth I have roller string trees on some of my guitars - and on others i have normal ones. I haven't really notice any difference. . .

I also have staggered tuners on one of my guitars, but I have string trees on that too.

Probably cos I don't know any better.
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Old November 27th, 2012, 03:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I think what EsquireOK is describing works for eliminating the need for that second string tree.

As for the first tree, dealing with the B and little E, I found this placed enormous pressure on me to get the nut slots on those two smallest strings absolutely dead on perfect. I think, if they're just a little off (as they may well be any time you replace strings) you're liable to suffer a letdown. I think the insurance policy that is that first string tree (for the B and little E) turned out to be worth it. And some may remember, I gave the no string tree approach a very long try out period on a couple dozen projects before I began changing them over.
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Old November 27th, 2012, 03:11 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Old November 27th, 2012, 03:54 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I don't know. StringTree has given me hours of enjoyment on this forum.
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Old November 27th, 2012, 04:38 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Honestly, I sort of like how it looks. I put an old-skool round string tree on all my Fender-style necks; it would be easy enough to make a neck that doesn't need a tree, but it's just a part of that ol' Fender charm to me.
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Old November 27th, 2012, 05:27 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Without a string tree, and with my heavy-strumming style, even the best-setup nut cannot contain my E string. The tree is a necessity for me on the rhythm guitar.

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Old November 28th, 2012, 04:07 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boris bubbanov View Post
I think what EsquireOK is describing works for eliminating the need for that second string tree.

As for the first tree, dealing with the B and little E, I found this placed enormous pressure on me to get the nut slots on those two smallest strings absolutely dead on perfect. I think, if they're just a little off (as they may well be any time you replace strings) you're liable to suffer a letdown. I think the insurance policy that is that first string tree (for the B and little E) turned out to be worth it. And some may remember, I gave the no string tree approach a very long try out period on a couple dozen projects before I began changing them over.


So you feel its worth it? Thanks for all the input guys!
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Old November 28th, 2012, 04:24 PM   #13 (permalink)
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So you feel its worth it? Thanks for all the input guys!
Yeah. I'm pretty slavish in my preference for the matched post Gotoh splits (Allparts # TK 0880). The D and G get that "poor man's string tree" treatment so the string departs at the bottom portion of the post (right where the indented area ends) and the remaining 2 strings use a Callaham source 50s button tree, again with the string leaving the post nice and low on that post. I get a consistent result, any guage of string; the nut slots I do always pass all tests (and so generally do most of the slots on Fender stock models) and tuning stability only goes off after the string hasn't got any love left in it.

The staggered height Gotoh splits, I guess they're ok. The plains just cost less, weigh less, have an incredible record of reliability, and may be a little quieter in operation although that may be my subjective take, that one last thing.
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Old November 28th, 2012, 05:01 PM   #14 (permalink)
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To me one or two string trees mean "Fender" to me. Or "fender-like" for other non angled headstock guitars.

Even my Reverend Charger HB, which came with staggered tuners, has a string tree for the B and E.
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Old November 28th, 2012, 05:11 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Compared to a Gibson style angled 3x3 headstock they are practically geometrically mandatory on a 6 inline Fender style headstock where the plane of the headstock is parallel with the plane of the neck. IMO.

I put sperzel staggered tuners on my partscaster with a Fender American string tree for good measure.
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Old November 28th, 2012, 05:45 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Old November 28th, 2012, 09:05 PM   #17 (permalink)
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String trees are the price you pay for not having the headstock break every time you sneeze.
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Old November 28th, 2012, 09:29 PM   #18 (permalink)
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String trees are the price you pay for not having the headstock break every time you sneeze.
Gibson humor never gets old.

I use a string tree on builds for B/e. For the D and G I've gone to using a couple of extra wraps on the tuner post (courtesy of a lesson from my buddy Tony). That works great for me.
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Old November 28th, 2012, 10:32 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Deforestation is a real problem. Love the trees. Hug the trees.
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Old November 29th, 2012, 12:55 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I've always wondered if string trees are actually necessary, too. But I'm so used to seeing them on Fender headstocks now that they seem like part of the overal vibe of the guitar to me. It would look strange to me not to have them.

And on a side note despite them costing next to nothing to make, I'm sure Fender considers them necessary or they would've scrapped them years ago to save a penny or two.
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