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Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by teleadrix, Sep 14, 2021.
This is a thread that has gone on way too long without the pics necessary to figure it out. Sorry, but if the OP hasn’t posted pics, I would not advise loosening the neck yet.
1. Symmetrical view of how strings align at upper frets.
2. View of low E around frets 3-5, so you can see how close to the edge they are, plus how the fret ends are filed.
2a. Same pic, but for the high e side.
3. Pics of nut (are the slots symmetrical? Was the nut pre-cut, installed off center and then sanded to fit?)
4. Centered pic of the strings over the bridge plate including how they line up over the pickup poles.
EDIT: Crap, forgot. Also a pick of the seam between the heel and pocket in the bass side, see if there is visible neck shift and how tight it looks although sometimes you really can’t tell by looking.
When I got back into electric, my first decent guitar was a new SRV Strat, the Gen 1 production model, purchased from a local store. They got several in and I had my pick of them. I chose this one because it had the best sunburst/wood grain of the lot. I didn't check it for string alignment. I didn't know that was a thing.
I didn't like the SRV guard and had it changed immediately. My dealer suggested a tortoise guard and offered to change it free if I bought the guard from him. I did it.
I started playing it at home and found my high E string flopping off the frets quite often. I should have returned it, but I let too much time go by before attending to it, thinking it was my playing technique.
Eventually, I took it to a really good luthier in the area here. He kept it for quite a long time, then called me when it was ready. The bridge had been mounted wrong by Fender and strings didn't line up correctly to the rest of the guitar. This, apparently, happened on a lot of guitars of that era. He shifted the neck in the pocket a little and shifted the bridge a little and did a few other little tricks. He also leveled and polished the neck a bit. It's a decent player now.
I changed the guard again...This time to a "loaded" vintage "green guard" from Acme, which, for me, is much nicer. I bought the guard loaded with Lindy Fralin Vintage Hot pickups, at the suggestion of my luthier. My original set of Texas Specials were put back on the original SRV guard. I store the original guard in the case. The tortoise guard is stored away with the case candy for that guitar.
Since this SRV, I've purchased many other guitars, new and used. I still pull the SRV out now and then and am surprised with how much I like it. The SRV necks were a little more beefy than standard American Strats. I like them. I'm not personally fond of gold hardware on Strats or pao ferro fretboards, but it's still a nice guitar that got me re-started. It is undeniably a good playing Strat.
Know that these sorts of things can be fixed if they're not outrageously mis-aligned...and you're not imagining that something's not right with your Strat. Fender makes mistakes. I've been to the Corona, CA factory for the $10 tour. They're pretty methodical, but I can see how something like this alignment could go wrong from time to time.
Good luck with your repair! I like the idea of returning it. The dealer will try to talk you out of it, but if you know what's wrong, you can get satisfaction.
had a similar problem with High E String on a Hot Rod Nashville Tele...and loosening the neck screws and like mentioned above, moved the neck just a small amount and got both the High and Low E Strings running parallel down the side of the neck by sight...Tightened the neck screws and No more problem!
If you think Fender necks are too narrow up near the headstock, try playing a '68 or '69 Gibson SG Standard (1 9/16" or 1.563").
I would check to see if the neck is centered in the neck poker properly. This can go out of adjustment. Also, I’d like to see how the nut is cut. They would be the two things I’d look at.