Fender USA string trees - why do they ping and can you cure it ?

57joonya

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You’re both wrong guys.
I’ve just swapped it out for a Fender Elite string tree, and it’s now silent.

It was nothing to do with the nut.

All my Fenders with those trees have the same issue. Therefore they cannot all have dodgy B and E string slots.

It’s definitely those crappy string trees.
It’s nice when you can pin point the issue , and solve it . Good deal . I’ve had success without string trees on two fender types . With the staggered tuners . Seems to stay in tune exceptionally well
 

G.Rotten

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You’re both wrong guys.
I’ve just swapped it out for a Fender Elite string tree, and it’s now silent.

It was nothing to do with the nut.

All my Fenders with those trees have the same issue. Therefore they cannot all have dodgy B and E string slots.

It’s definitely those crappy string trees.
Now hold on a second!

First off, I'm glad you solved your problem but.....

It's not that there's a design or quality issue with those trees, you just aren't using the product as intended. The guitar was never designed to have the strings bent behind the nut. That's just something you're doing anyway.

That's like me realizing I can get a vibrato effect by bending the neck on the guitar and then complaining when something breaks.
 

That Cal Webway

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Reverend headstocks must have a deeper cut from the level of the fretboard, because that string tree is way too tall to be useful on a Fender style neck. Ask me how I know this.


I just got my Reverend string tree and you are absolutely correct on it being a little taller.
I have a friend who could grind it down even and consistently to the level of my current Fender US string trees.

I'm not disappointed at all.
it's one of those things. Reverend could easily make them at the heights of the Fender US string trees.
 

LutherBurger

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I just got my Reverend string tree and you are absolutely correct on it being a little taller.
I have a friend who could grind it down even and consistently to the level of my current Fender US string trees.

I'm not disappointed at all.
it's one of those things. Reverend could easily make them at the heights of the Fender US string trees.
I have a set of roller trees on a Strat that were too tall when I received them. I just filed down the bottom surfaces with a mill file until they were short enough to do their job. It was easy.
 

That Cal Webway

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Yeah,
if I can't make it to my friend's,
I'll use my mill file too, and I have extra files and then varying degrees of sandpaper to smooth it.
 

SPUDCASTER

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Now hold on a second!

First off, I'm glad you solved your problem but.....

It's not that there's a design or quality issue with those trees, you just aren't using the product as intended. The guitar was never designed to have the strings bent behind the nut. That's just something you're doing anyway.

That's like me realizing I can get a vibrato effect by bending the neck on the guitar and then complaining when something breaks.
Pull up some Jerry Donohue and then tell us that it was never intended to bend behind the nut.
 

G.Rotten

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Pull up some Jerry Donohue and then tell us that it was never intended to bend behind the nut.
It was never intended. It's not bad thing that it gets done. It's a cool trick discovered with use.

When they sat down and designed the Tele or any of the first electric guitar designs I highly doubt someone piped up and said "Oh, you almost forgot to factor in that thing no one is doing yet".

Just like when they designed the Strat trem I'm sure they didn't predict Jimmy Hendrix. It wasn't meant to be used like that but he did it anyway and it was cool.

I happen to have multiple Telecasters and I can tell you (now that I've tried it myself) that the original Telecaster string tree, the butterfly string tree and the modern standard string trees all make that noise. So did Jerry Donohue's I bet. It would've happened to all those players and they either learned to accept it or learned how to control it with skill and practice.
 

That Cal Webway

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It was never intended. It's not bad thing that it gets done. It's a cool trick discovered with use.

When they sat down and designed the Tele or any of the first electric guitar designs I highly doubt someone piped up and said "Oh, you almost forgot to factor in that thing no one is doing yet".

Just like when they designed the Strat trem I'm sure they didn't predict Jimmy Hendrix. It wasn't meant to be used like that but he did it anyway and it was cool.

I happen to have multiple Telecasters and I can tell you (now that I've tried it myself) that the original Telecaster string tree, the butterfly string tree and the modern standard string trees all make that noise. So did Jerry Donohue's I bet. It would've happened to all those players and they either learned to accept it or learned how to control it with skill and practice.

As we say in the Colorado Supermax,

Ya gotta push all boundaries of a windowless Telecaster room!!
.
 

SPUDCASTER

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It was never intended. It's not bad thing that it gets done. It's a cool trick discovered with use.

When they sat down and designed the Tele or any of the first electric guitar designs I highly doubt someone piped up and said "Oh, you almost forgot to factor in that thing no one is doing yet".

Just like when they designed the Strat trem I'm sure they didn't predict Jimmy Hendrix. It wasn't meant to be used like that but he did it anyway and it was cool.

I happen to have multiple Telecasters and I can tell you (now that I've tried it myself) that the original Telecaster string tree, the butterfly string tree and the modern standard string trees all make that noise. So did Jerry Donohue's I bet. It would've happened to all those players and they either learned to accept it or learned how to control it with skill and practice.
The only one that makes noise as the OP describes on any of my six Telecasters is the one on my Deluxe Nashville.

The rest of my Tele's have a vintage round style. Quiet as can be.

I must be the exception to the rule.

Several of his instructional videos show his behind the nut bends closeup. Two butterfly string trees are located somewhat directly under the A tuner. Quiet as can be. If they weren't, you'd hear it.

He's bending some strings up a full tone.
 

G.Rotten

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The only one that makes noise as the OP describes on any of my six Telecasters is the one on my Deluxe Nashville.

The rest of my Tele's have a vintage round style. Quiet as can be.

I must be the exception to the rule.

Several of his instructional videos show his behind the nut bends closeup. Two butterfly string trees are located somewhat directly under the A tuner. Quiet as can be. If they weren't, you'd hear it.

He's bending some strings up a full tone.
Like I said either the pros learned to accept it or they learned how to make it work anyway.

I haven't got a clue how to do it right and now I've done it six times more than I ever thought I would.
 

jrblue

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I lube my nuts with lip balm.
Let's think about this one for a while.

Now, I think everything mentioned is a possible cause for pinging, and even though in this case it was the tree, far more often it is the nut. And not only on Teles -- on all kinds of guitars. Lubing has become common because workmanship has declined. Bone is naturally self-lubing (it's smooth and already oily) but when slots are cut imprecisely, as is almost universal these days, then we get pinging. String trees are smooth and don't ping, period, unless they're dirty, or poorly plated or otherwise crappy, whihc is sadly common with a "cheap" part. If you want a good three-string tree, Joe Glaser's Three String Tree, sold by Music City Bridge (Nashville) is the one. It's sure as heck not going to ping. The last thing I want on my guitar or strings is lube and I never need it because I do basic maintenance to a middling standard, whihc is all that's necessary. Wow, do I wish that guitar sellers actually did proper setups and finished the nut slotting properly.
 

moonman2

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If you move the string side to side slightly while it’s under the (initially aforementioned) tree; you’ll hear it scratch and ping.
It’s the actual design of the tree itself that’s the problem.
It’s a small and uneven (not smooth) bar with a gradual groove and hard edge which the string is catching on.
The design itself makes noise inevitable during any movement of the string under it.
 

G.Rotten

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Let's think about this one for a while.

Now, I think everything mentioned is a possible cause for pinging, and even though in this case it was the tree, far more often it is the nut. And not only on Teles -- on all kinds of guitars. Lubing has become common because workmanship has declined. Bone is naturally self-lubing (it's smooth and already oily) but when slots are cut imprecisely, as is almost universal these days, then we get pinging. String trees are smooth and don't ping, period, unless they're dirty, or poorly plated or otherwise crappy, whihc is sadly common with a "cheap" part. If you want a good three-string tree, Joe Glaser's Three String Tree, sold by Music City Bridge (Nashville) is the one. It's sure as heck not going to ping. The last thing I want on my guitar or strings is lube and I never need it because I do basic maintenance to a middling standard, whihc is all that's necessary. Wow, do I wish that guitar sellers actually did proper setups and finished the nut slotting properly.
Yes to all of this.

But you have to remember what most guitars are and that is a mass produced product. The goal of mass production is to make x number of products to be sold for x amount of profit. It doesn't matter what the product is. Every mass produced product has tolerances and perfection is not the target. So I understand why most production guitars need more work or a bandaid helping hand.

What I don't understand is why this is the worst guitar I've ever owned for strings binding in the nut. On all 3 unwound strings the nut pings when bending behind the nut. But it also pings when tuning.
IMG_20211017_163747337.jpg

This is one I will actually spend the time on to properly correct the nut issues. The rest (which has actually been very few) get lip balm.
 
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charlie chitlin

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IMO, string trees are for those who have not yet learned to eyeball how much string to use so it will wind right down to the bottom of the post.
I've not yet found a Fender where I can't bypass the tree(s) if the string is at/near the bottom of the post.
 

LutherBurger

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IMO, string trees are for those who have not yet learned to eyeball how much string to use so it will wind right down to the bottom of the post.
I've not yet found a Fender where I can't bypass the tree(s) if the string is at/near the bottom of the post.
I use d'Addario EXL-110 strings. On my Tele with vintage tuners I don't cut the high E string -- I just stick it into the hole and wind the entire string onto the post to prevent slippage -- and it never gets anywhere near the bottom of the post. Is there a special technique to accomplish this, or does it require extra-long strings?
 

Dostradamas

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If you move the string side to side slightly while it’s under the (initially aforementioned) tree; you’ll hear it scratch and ping.
It’s the actual design of the tree itself that’s the problem.
It’s a small and uneven (not smooth) bar with a gradual groove and hard edge which the string is catching on.
The design itself makes noise inevitable during any movement of the string under it.

So 30 seconds on each side with a fine round needle file and smooth as silk.

Many small parts finish work during the manufacturing process can be less than perfect.

This is where my level of quality and finish is attained.

They don't smooth or chamfer the string through holes on the bridges either but it is an easy fix.
 




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