Crooked Nut Channel

hose-902----

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Hi folks. I recently picked up a Squier CV Tele butterscotch blonde. It's gorgeous, and the neck plays amazing. I put on Fender locking tuners, compensated brass saddles, CTS pots with 4 way switch mod, and S-D Quarter Pound pickups. It's loud af and has awesome tone. I can play the Stones, the Boss, or heavier rock, ands still roll it off a bit and play some good twangy country.

Now I want to replace the plastic nut with a Graphtech XL Tusq one and she'll basically be a Fender clone. The problem is the channel the nut sits in is slightly crooked, in other words it's a longer distance from the treble end to the first fret than from the bass end to the fret-but just by a few degrees. I've tried googling but am only getting results aboit the string slots in the nut. My question is whether or not the nut not being parallel to the frets is that big of an issue? I guess I could pop out the nut, fill the channel, then re-file a new channel for it to sit in- but is that worth it? What problems might a crooked nut cause (tehe)?

I'm a layman for sure, I've been learning as I go from watching YouTube videos, so your expertise is much appreciated

I'm away from home so I can't post a pic of my guitar, but here's a bass with a similar looking issue for reference. Mine isn't this off, but you get the idea.
 

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mandoloony

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In theory it could affect the intonation of the open string, but the fretted notes should be OK. In practice, that's such a small angle that I doubt you'd even notice (I know that's not your guitar, but if the angle is even smaller on yours...)

Just to make sure... is it definitely the nut that's angled and not the carve of the headstock?
 

cfay

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Are you measuring from the face of the nut to the first fret (down the neck) and it’s off? Or are you seeing the headstock transition is off, ie from the from of the nut towards the tuners? If it’s the later it’s merrily cosmetic and nothing to worry about. If it’s from the fret to the nut then expect tuning and intonation issues unfortunately.
 

hose-902----

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In theory it could affect the intonation of the open string, but the fretted notes should be OK. In practice, that's such a small angle that I doubt you'd even notice (I know that's not your guitar, but if the angle is even smaller on yours...)

Just to make sure... is it definitely the nut that's angled and not the carve of the headstock?
Thank you. Yes it's definitely the nut channel.
 

hose-902----

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Are you measuring from the face of the nut to the first fret (down the neck) and it’s off? Or are you seeing the headstock transition is off, ie from the from of the nut towards the tuners? If it’s the later it’s merrily cosmetic and nothing to worry about. If it’s from the fret to the nut then expect tuning and intonation issues unfortunately.
I'm measuring from the nut face to the fret. Bummer! I live the way the CV neck plays! And I'm a lefty so finding a donor guitar is next to impossible
 

Boreas

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Welcome aboard!

To me, the nut in that picture appears to be square with the frets, but the headstock transition was poorly shaped, causing it to "look" correct as @cfay noted. With CNC sawing, the slots should all be parallel. If it intonates fine, it is just a cosmetic issue. Probably too late to return it with all of your changes. Unless you want to reshape it yourself, only a new neck will eliminate the cosmetic defect.
 
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Boreas

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I'm measuring from the nut face to the fret. Bummer! I live the way the CV neck plays! And I'm a lefty so finding a donor guitar is next to impossible
If you like the way it plays, just ignore it. Some people actually intonate the nut itself, which adjusts the distance from the frets for each string.
 
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BFcaster

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It won't be a problem. Long-time pre-cut tusq user here, there's always a little play in the width of the slots. In other words, I don't think a string will bind or anything. They make the slots with some room to allow for various string sizes, to a certain extent. All you may have to do is adjust the saddles on a few strings, but you'd want to do that anyway to intonate the guitar.
 

63telemaster

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Same problem here with my Chinese violin bass except that in my case the nut sits on the end of the fingerboard as opposed to in a channel on the fingerboard.

My lower string side is too short which means I'd have to extend the fingerboard slightly and then square it back up to do a proper job. Not an easy fix. Because I don't gig it, I live with it but it certainly affects the intonation and I have to tune and play accordingly to accomodate it.

If I were the op I'd have a luthier correct it and fit the new nut at the same time.

It's an easy thing to overlook when you're checking out a guitar but now I've experienced it, it's one of those things I always look out for....... and it's far more common than you'd imagine.
 

trapdoor2

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When you're new, everything seems larger. Play it. Don't worry. Next year when you are better at it, reassess and have somebody change it out if you still cant stand it.

If you're taking live lessons, let your teacher play it. If he squawks about it, ask him to recommend someone to fix it.

If you just can't stand the slant visually, hell, you should be looking elsewhere anyway! :D
 

Boreas

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Depending on the model, some CVs come with a bone nut. My Esquire did, but the nut was poorly formed and the slots poorly cut. I basically had to re-do it to my exacting standards!:lol:

I like the pre-cut Tusq XL nuts. Usually only require minor tweaking.
 

viking

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Its very normal that the headstock end of the slanted area behind the nut is slightly of center. The distance could be a little off , but that wont mean much.
Id say maybe have the stock nut adjusted ( string height) , but unless the stock nut is made from really crap material , you wont notice any difference , IMO
 

Resident Bum

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My question is whether or not the nut not being parallel to the frets is that big of an issue?
Dont worry about it. What is really important is that your nut is the correct height! If the strings are too high you will have more serious intonation (and playability) issues.

You can measure the height by fretting the string between the 2nd and 3rd fret, at the same time touch it up and down to the 1st fret with the other hand. There should be an extremely small amount of space between the top of the 1st fret and the string, just barely visible space.

In order to achieve this the nut must either have the correct radius to start with and be sanded from the bottom. Or you take it to a known good luthier to file the slots down for you.
 




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