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50's Baja Tele nut cut?

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by javierj, Sep 14, 2018.

  1. javierj

    javierj Tele-Meister


    I just had a quick question about my recently delivered Fender Baja Telecaster.

    I bought this guitar used on Reverb and it's really in excellent condition. I just have a little concern about the guitar nut. It seems to me that the high e string is a little close to the edge of the fretboard. It looks like all the strings could have been moved towards the low E string just a little bit, since it you can see that there is more space from the low E to the upper edge of the fretboard, than there is from the high e to the lower edge of the fretboard (I don't know if that is normal or okay).



    Based on this close up pictures and compared to other Fender Baja Teles that you may own or have seen, do you think this nut is cut correctly, as far as high e distance to the edge of the fretboard? I had a little bit of problems sometimes with the high e string slipping of the fretboard when I got the guitar. I noticed that the high e string was also slipping from the saddle, towards the outside of the saddle. I put in a .011 high e, to replace the stock .010 string it had, in order to get more tension there and now is not slipping from the saddle anymore. I also made sure that that neck was sitting properly in the neck pocket, by losing the 4 bolts and re sitting the neck in it's pocket to try and make the most space from the high e string to the edge of the fretboard. Now I can play with barely any problems, but you can feel that it still can slip the high e of the fretboard if you are not careful playing. This never happen to me on other guitars that I have. This is the first 1 5/8'' nut width guitar I have. All my other guitars have more space/distance from the high e to the edge of the fretboard.

    Is this normal, or should I think of maybe spending money to get a new nut made from my profesional guitar tech?

    I mean, the guitar can be played with no problem, but seems to me that mostly because I am sort of making ''an effort'' by moving the high e string on the saddle to as close as possible to the center of the bridge, without sacrificing too much the correct bridge string space. Also when I play I know I don't have much space to move the high e closer to the bottom or else it can slip. I don't have this problem at al with any other guitar that I have. Right now I can't even really afford a new nut install by a guitar tech. But if I find that this could be fix with a new nut, then I guess I will do it later on when I get the money.

    Thanks a lot
  2. kingvox

    kingvox Tele-Meister

    Mar 23, 2017
    CT, USA
    The high E string is too close to the edge of the board.

    When you can afford it, I'd recommend having a nut made professionally. The playability will improve tremendously.
  3. javierj

    javierj Tele-Meister

    Yeah that is what I thought...Kind of unfortunare since everything else on the guitar seems to be in greatest condition. But I'll give my local luthier/guitar tech a call and see about that...
  4. bender66

    bender66 Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Jan 18, 2010
    on my bike
    Have you tried shifting the neck in the pocket?
  5. javierj

    javierj Tele-Meister

    Yes I did, at couple of times, and seems like it help a little bit. What helped the most, was to move the high e string on the saddle, closer to the center of the bridge.
  6. javierj

    javierj Tele-Meister

    It plays fine, but I feel like it's kind of on the brink, like I need to make sure I don't move too much closer to the edge or else it would slip.

    But you know what, now that I think about it, I don't mind having a new nut made. I got a good price for this guitar. And I really like this guitar and want it at it's best potential. I know I would be getting a quality custom made nut that will definetely improve playability and possibly even sound. I probably may have to spend between $50 and $75, but I guess they will be well worth it, not too mention I got a decent price on the guitar.
    kingvox likes this.
  7. javierj

    javierj Tele-Meister

    I guess I can still say that it was great purchase, this Fender Baja Tele that I bought new, for $600 plus $40 shipping. Now I have to throw inn $50 to $75 more, maybe not so bad.:mad:
    kingvox likes this.
  8. kingvox

    kingvox Tele-Meister

    Mar 23, 2017
    CT, USA
    A well-cut nut is one of the best things you can get for your guitar.

    I'm a tech, and have cut countless nuts for countless guitars, and every single time the difference it made was tremendous. I'm a firm believer that the nut can make or break the playability of a guitar.

    And having the high E string slip off the edge is the problem I had on my first guitar, a 2005 Mexican Strat. I paid $60 to have the guy I eventually ended up learning from cut a bone nut for it, and the problem vanished. No more slipping, and the overall string spacing was much better.

    It also looks much better too. It will be money well spent!
  9. David Barnett

    David Barnett Doctor of Teleocity

    I see this on almost every Fender on the wall at GC.
    kingvox likes this.
  10. D_W_PGH

    D_W_PGH Friend of Leo's

    Aug 28, 2018
    You have to go pretty far up the ladder if you want a brand of guitar where they won't ship a nut or bridge that's a little out of line. Better to have the nut be the issue than the bridge.

    Cutting a nut dead on with the right relief above the first fret and without any sitaring, etc, takes time. It's understandable that they can be a little off from the factory.

    I got a hundred bucks off of an am deluxe tele because one of the string nut slots was cut just a tiny bit low. Every tech who reads this will be slobbering at the prospect of building up a single nut slot and getting $100 worth out of that.
  11. javierj

    javierj Tele-Meister

    So do you mean that many stock Fender guitars are like that?

    I read that there should be at least 1/8" distance from the nut slot of the high e and the edge of the fret. I measure mine and it's a little shy of 1/8"

    I mean I can play the guitar without the high e slipping, but I had to adjust the high e on the saddle towards the center of the bridge.

    Meanwhile I get a new nut, I guess I could live with it for a while, since I can make it work fine, so long as I don't move my finger down too much.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018
  12. javierj

    javierj Tele-Meister

    So I ended up loosing the strings a little bit and then loosen up the 4 neck pocket bolts and pulled the neck a little bit towards the low E side, to try this one more time, since the other 2 times I think I might have not done it properly. This time it worked so much better and I played the guitar for like 2 hours and have not had any more high e string slipping off the edge of the fretboard. I played comfortably and not like "making an effort" to not let the slip happen. I will take another picture and upload it later. Now it looks so much better, regarding the space from the high e to the edge of the fretboard.
    SnidelyWhiplash likes this.
  13. javierj

    javierj Tele-Meister

    Everything else about the nut, like the intonation of the first frets, before the 12th fret is great, close to perfect and the distance from the first fret is also great. That is why I think I am gonna keep like this for a while, especially if it keeps playing fine without the high e slipping.
  14. Heyitsmejoeg

    Heyitsmejoeg TDPRI Member

    Jan 3, 2015
    Never get rid of a Baja .
  15. javierj

    javierj Tele-Meister

    Ohh no definitely I would never get rid of this guitar. I was refering only about the factory nut.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2018
  16. javierj

    javierj Tele-Meister

    But so far, I still have been playing without any high e slipping of the fretboard. Maybe the nut was cut as good as it should have, in regards to that aspect, but quite honestly I am playing the guitar just fine, I mean after a little bit of small tweaking. But in the end is all about personal playing experience and so far is a good one! :)
  17. Marc Morfei

    Marc Morfei Tele-Meister

    Feb 6, 2018
    Philadelphia, PA
    Where on earth do you find a new Baja Tele for $600? The used ones on Reverb are selling for more than that. Sweetwater wants $799. I'd spring for one today at $600....
  18. javierj

    javierj Tele-Meister

    Sorry it was a typing mistake. It got it used in almost like new condition, for $600 plus $40 shipping.
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