Do I need to file my nut if intonation is OK?

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by powerex21, May 8, 2021.

  1. powerex21

    powerex21 TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    69
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2015
    Location:
    SG
    Fretting the first 5 frets seem to result in perfect intonation although the capo on second fret string height test seems to show it has a slight gap.

    Should I bother with filing the nut if it already intonates well on the lower frets?
     
  2. AAT65

    AAT65 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,213
    Joined:
    May 29, 2016
    Location:
    West Lothian, Scotland
    No, I don’t think I’d bother. What’s the intonation like the rest of the neck?
     
  3. powerex21

    powerex21 TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    69
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2015
    Location:
    SG
    Pretty decent actually!
     
  4. AAT65

    AAT65 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,213
    Joined:
    May 29, 2016
    Location:
    West Lothian, Scotland
    Then definitely leave it be! If your ears and fingers are happy with how it plays then job’s a good’un. All the feeler gauge measurements are more like guidelines really.
    Unless you want to practice setting intonation — in which case give it to a friend to mess it up and see if you can get it back the way you like it...:lol:
     
    Boreas and tintag27 like this.
  5. blue metalflake

    blue metalflake Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    67
    Posts:
    13,223
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2005
    Location:
    ireland
    Leave well alone
     
    teleplayr, teletail and Ricky D. like this.
  6. eallen

    eallen Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,248
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2013
    Location:
    Bargersville/Indianapolis, Indiana
    Nut slot height isn't an intonation issue as much as an action issue. Get the slots where you want for action, I do .010 over low e to .006 over high e. Many nuts on factory guitars are set high to help compensate for the fact that they don't level the frets except custom shop levels. Then adjust intonation after relief and action are set.
     
  7. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    70
    Posts:
    11,226
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2006
    Location:
    Marion, VA
    My guitars are at an open string first fret height of .015".

    Like Eallen said, if the intonation is OK it's just an issue of action at that end of the neck.

    If you are satisfied with the action in the the first 5 frets, there's nothing to fix.
     
  8. Steve Holt

    Steve Holt Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,491
    Joined:
    May 29, 2016
    Location:
    Kansas
    When you take that measurement are you measuring at the first fret? If so, wow that's low!! Where do you put the string height at the 12th fret if you go that low?

    I try to get to 0.020" plus or minus a few thousandths but I'll confess I'd like to go lower but I'm always scared I'll mess it up. :lol:

    Once I took the high e string to 0.007" over the first fret by cutting a lot deeper than I had intended, and it was nearly fantastic. But it had just a tiny bit of buzz so I made a new nut. Maybe I should start slowly bringing my guitars down to 0.015" and see how that goes.
     
  9. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Age:
    59
    Posts:
    16,531
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    Kimberton
    Yes...adjust nut for action.
    Put a capo on the 1st fret and play an F# barre chord on the 2nd.
    If you like the way that feels/sounds you can work your nut so the F barre chord will feel that way.
     
    eallen likes this.
  10. eallen

    eallen Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,248
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2013
    Location:
    Bargersville/Indianapolis, Indiana
    Sorry, capo between 2 & 3 feret, measure over 1st is a standard for nut slot measuring.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.