2019 Squier Bullet ‘fine tuning’

Discussion in 'Squier Tele Forum' started by skydog6653, Feb 23, 2020.

  1. skydog6653

    skydog6653 Tele-Meister

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    I got my new Bullet on Friday. I noodled on it for a bit to get a feel for what I wanted to do to it. This isn't my main guitar, and I won't be gigging it, but if it were either, I’d probably have opted to do more. The only part I replaced was the cheap, plastic, nut with a Tusq PO-5000-00. Be careful removing it, it's glued fairly well. The first thing I did was cut off the strings (junk!) and remove the neck. I hydrated the neck for 48 hours to properly assess the fret sprout, which wasn't very bad. I first adjusted the neck to as absolutely flat as possible (don't cheat here). I then took a small, light file and knocked back the fret ends a hair. I wanted to relieve the sharp edges of the fretboard, so I took a razor blade and scraped the sharp corners down a little. I then took a sanding block with 2000 grit paper and sanded it to further soften the edges. Using a fresh piece of 2000, I then top dressed the frets to ensure they planed well with each other. I then repeated the previous sanding (fret edges, fret board edges and top) with 3000 grit. Don't overdo this sanding, you can always take more off later, but you can't put it back! All of this is made easier without the nut in place. I followed this up by steel wooling the frets with 0000. I then took the same 4 ought and scrubbed the fret board longwise. Finally, I buffed out the frets with fret polish. They were gleaming. Lastly, I applied (and then reapplied) fret board oil to the extremely dry fret board. I didn't think it would ever quit soaking it up. I then put on a coat of pure carnauba wax, and towel buffed the whole neck. Once I reattached the neck to the body, I installed the new nut. This took very little work. I only cleaned up the trough and dry fit the nut. I put on a fresh set of 10’s (they ship with 9’s), the nut planed in very close, so I began the TRAIN process.
    T tune up to pitch
    R relief adjustment
    A action set
    I intonation
    N noodle

    After tuning to pitch, I set the relief by capoing all the strings at the first fret and fretting the high e at the 21st fret. Then I tweaked the truss rod until a piece of the old B string fit under the string at the 9th fret, but a piece of G string wouldn't. Optimum action is somewhere between 3/64th” and 5/64” at the 12th fret. I set mine to 4/64th” (1/16”) measured from the top of the fret to the bottom of the string. I then proceeded to adjust the intonation. Three were spot on, three needed a tiny adjustment. The string should tune open and at the 12th fret. If it is flat at the 12th, move the saddle forward (turn screw left) if sharp, the opposite. Finally, noodle with it a bit and look for any buzzing. I had to raise my action a hair to account for a very slight buzz when unplugged. Once it settles in a bit I'll take a fret rocker and id the offending fret(s) which will allow the action to be lowered again. I didn't want to get too aggressive sanding the fret tops because that might have necessitated them being crowned and I didn't want to get that involved (plus a crowning file is ^$$!). If all stays well, I'll fine tune the nut at next string change and glue it in. Anyway, I hope this helps others get their new Bullets up and running.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2020
    Miff, capt pearl and Bluego1 like this.
  2. Bluego1

    Bluego1 Tele-Afflicted

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    Would tens fit okay in the original nut without any work? Mine comes tomorrow;).
     
  3. skydog6653

    skydog6653 Tele-Meister

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    I just checked it and it feels a bit snug. Take a piece of B string and run it through the e slot, follow suit for others.
     
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  4. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    I got a Bullet Mustang last week (used) and it needed the nut slots cut deeper to stop all the cowboy chords from going sharp.
    plus intonation.
    Plays quite well now.

    .
     
    Bluego1 likes this.
  5. longbow

    longbow Tele-Holic

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    roch ny
    On mine put a graphtec nut in place of the very securely glued plastic one. Polished the frets with a dollar bill. Adjusted the neck, put new string trees on it, took one off on the base side. Dropped in a 5 way harness, mated with Fender control plate(which isn't as good as the stock plate imho). Put in some new pups I've had on had for a few yrs and never used. Took out the bridge pup I just put in and put the stock one back in cause it is much better. Put on 10's, and while the neck was bare I took a 320 grit sanding block and hit the edges of the neck to soften it and fret ends. It plays extremely well now.
     
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  6. el cheapo

    el cheapo Tele-Afflicted

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    Tusq is plastic of course, though it may be better quality than stock nut. Another reason to replace would be to get different string spacing. I opted to make a bone one for mine, that way I can widen things out for my chubby digits.
     
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  7. skydog6653

    skydog6653 Tele-Meister

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    How is it possible to widen string spacing when limited by the width of the fret board?
     
  8. el cheapo

    el cheapo Tele-Afflicted

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    Easy. Take a nut file and put the strings wherever you want. I find that for me, a little extra space between the G and B strings really helps. My fingers are short and fat, and after I play for a while they tend to flatten out. Sort of like if I buy a pair of shoes that barely fit. They feel ok for an hour or two, but then my feet flatten out and they start to pinch my toes. I spread the strings out a little where I need it without getting too close to the edge of the fretboard.
     
  9. skydog6653

    skydog6653 Tele-Meister

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    When you rob Peter to pay Paul, only Paul is happy.
     
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  10. el cheapo

    el cheapo Tele-Afflicted

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    Works for me. Ymmv.
     
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