1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

Do bigger strings damage the nut slot for smaller strings?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by dscottyg, Jan 18, 2021.

  1. dscottyg

    dscottyg TDPRI Member

    Age:
    54
    Posts:
    87
    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2020
    Location:
    Jacksonville
    I just got a used Vintage Hot Rod ‘52 Tele. That model originally had 10s. The guy put 11s on it. He didn’t do anything to the nut when he installed the 11s. I want to put 10s on it, but do you think the slots will be too wide now?
     
  2. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,970
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2019
    Location:
    Between the Raindrops
    Nut slots are never the same size as the strings; they're always slightly larger.

    Put some 10s on there, tune it up and double-check neck relief and intonation, and you'll be good to go.
     
    Dismalhead, DougM and Jakedog like this.
  3. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,116
    Joined:
    May 9, 2008
    Location:
    Texas
    It'll be OK.
     
  4. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,946
    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2011
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    If he didn't slot the nut for them, his 11s probably played and tuned like crud for him.

    Going back to 10s will work much better with the nut slots.

    I generally slot my nuts for D'Addario EGC25s, which are flatwound 12s: 12, 16, 24W, 32, 42, 52. That covers most gauges of strings that I might install, from 9s all the way to flatwound 12s. In some cases, I need to widen the slots a bit more, like on a guitar or two that use a 54 or 56 E, and corresponding A and D. But for the most part, if you slot for flatwound 12s, you're covered.

    Keep in mind that Fender guitars came out of the factory with flatwound 12s up till the mid '60s, and then roundwound 12s well into the '70s. That's how "vintage" Fender nuts were slotted in the factory.
     
  5. dscottyg

    dscottyg TDPRI Member

    Age:
    54
    Posts:
    87
    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2020
    Location:
    Jacksonville
    Thanks. See, thought that if you put 9s or 10s on a nut slotted for bigger gauges, The strings would move around in the slots.
     
  6. mfguitar

    mfguitar Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    1,733
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2008
    Location:
    Buffalo
    we don't know if the nut was properly slotted to begin with. The strings will not fit themselves, maybe over many years they would wear the slots some. The only way to know is to give it a go.
     
  7. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    13,941
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2003
    Location:
    northwest
    I dont think so. Think of it this way, some guitars have fret zero, there are no slots. Seems to work fine. So why would a big slot be a problem?
     
    Fretting out likes this.
  8. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

    Age:
    61
    Posts:
    25,245
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    Maine
    Sure it’s possible for a former owner to have damaged the nut slots installing heavier gauge strings.
    Hard to say if yours is fine or not.
     
  9. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,946
    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2011
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    Well…they can, a bit. But it’s not necessarily a “problem“ worth worrying about. Everyone did this in the 1960s and 1970s, if they were using slinky sets on their Fenders and Gibsons with original nuts.
     
    El Tele Lobo likes this.
  10. dscottyg

    dscottyg TDPRI Member

    Age:
    54
    Posts:
    87
    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2020
    Location:
    Jacksonville
    True, and the barrel saddles don’t even have slots, so maybe a nut has a lot more leeway than I was thinking.
     
    schmee likes this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.