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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Fret level made my Tele feel tight and it lost its ease and slinkiness to play

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by tjmicsak, May 15, 2018.

  1. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

    May 9, 2008
    You're right. That's called "compliance". Don't have this argument over at the jazz guitar forum, the math nerds will go off on you with their simplistic "tension" factoids. String tension is just one aspect of the "feel" of a string. Whether the string glides easily over the nut and bridge is a huge factor. Sharp break angles = stiff feel.
  2. tjmicsak

    tjmicsak TDPRI Member

    Jul 3, 2010
    Webster, NY
    I think its a combination of everything said to this point. I did the level and crowning, but skipped the polish since following Ron's method using a solid surface beam (marble threshold from big box) and some adhesive grit. Neck was on the guitar but made extremely level prior and checked often during process.
    The whole reason for the work was because it was needed to a minor degree overall, but also to solve a low string fret buzz I had.
    All came out perfect but at the same time I added relief that I never had before, believing that overall with that string wiggle room in the middle of the neck I could actually have a lower bridge setting as a result since I wasn't using action to reduce the buzz, I was instead using relief. I hadn't played for a while and I think my right hand was playing heavier than it used to.
    That opened the door for a need to adjust the intonation, since relief also adds some farther string movement out of plane and a little more sharpness.
    So that meant moving the saddles back for intonation adjustment and increasing break angle.
    What I ended up with is the feel and response that GHS suddenly increased string tension and the instrument was noticeably harder to play. So, since its time for string change anyway...
    Gonna give it a good fret polish, get the setup back to where I originally had it, use the Fender action baseline of about .078 to start with for the low E, and re-adjust the intonation back. That will restore the sliperyness to the frets, reduce the string break angle a bit, and with less relief I should feel some ease in my left hand. Prior to all this I had always kept the neck almost straight with very minimum relief by eye and getting it back to that from about .010 or so should help.
    It seems I have been my own worst enemy in this the whole time.
    Thanks all.
  3. The Ballzz

    The Ballzz Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 11, 2016
    Las Vegas, NV
    This is the best question of the whole thread! :D When frets get "leveled" their height is slightly reduced, thereby making the nut height "higher" in relation to the frets. The nut is one of the most important, yet most often ignored/neglected part and factor in a great setup and can seriously affect the feel in the way a guitar plays, A.K.A. stiffness vs slinkiness! A well cut nut is one of the best upgrades most guitars can ever get! Without beating the specifics to death, it's all about geometry! :eek:

    Just Sayin'
  4. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 18, 2014
    Near Detroit, MI
    A new set of strings may be more/less slinky, by brand or batch variation.

    Biggest issue is if you got used to 10s on an LP that is like 9s on a Tele due to scale. There is a difference.

    Nut could influence pressure in the cowboy chords but you'll go sharp if a problem.

    The action could be to spec where it was lower before.

    But mostly that scale issue. Old shoes for a week and now brand new boots and new blisters. Work that Tele in.
  5. robt57

    robt57 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Feb 29, 2004
    Portland, OR
    Low flat frets now?? What is the height difference VS before. Over zealous leveling may well have turned you Baja into a fret-less wonder.

    Since I got a SS 6105 neck, I have to acclimate to 'normal' worn aged non tall frets.

    Get one guitar with a scalloped neck, a few days on that will learn you to lighten up. ;)

    i suspect the lower frets has more finger pad pressure required now. That would have me get another neck or fret job. I might even do a light scallop job on it... Else time to hit up the Stratosphere on ebay for a fresh Baja neck and sell the orig off...
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