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Nut issue?

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by Firstbuild, Jan 16, 2021.

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  1. Firstbuild

    Firstbuild TDPRI Member

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    Hi all. Guitar intonation is good. Guitar tunes up and sounds right up the board. After playing bends the open string will go sharp slightly sometimes. It’s a stock plastic nut. Wasn’t sure if the tunomatic style bridge can do this or if it’s most likely the nut. A few chords and a couple bends (light touch) sends the strings out. Mainly D G and B. I carried the guitar to a tech for a setup but he ended up just changing the strings and saying the guitar didn’t need anything. I doubt that though as I’m having constant tuning issues. I don’t have the skill to mess with the nut so I’ll have to find a tech who can make me a nice one. Thank you
     
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  2. Wallaby

    Wallaby Tele-Afflicted

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    You might try a little lube in the nut slots to see if it helps.

    A TINY dot of vaseline on the tip of a toothpick will work. For the narrow slots I put it over the slot and then lower the string down to drag the lube to the bottom of the slot.

    By TINY I mean about 1/10th the size of a BB, and I don't like to get it anywhere else.

    Did you stretch the strings and make sure there is no slack tension behind the saddles and between the nut and the tuning pegs?
     
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  3. bendercaster

    bendercaster Tele-Afflicted

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    I have a guitar that used to have this problem. Two things helped--a little graphite in the nut alots--I just use a mechanical pencil and "color" each slot. I do this with the saddles too. The other issue was the nut slots needed to be wider. The slots were otherwise cut fine, but the nut was pinching the string. It stayed in tune fine until I tried a string bend then it would get bound up by the nut.
     
  4. bullfrogblues

    bullfrogblues Friend of Leo's

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    The string binding in the nut usually results in the open string going flat after bends. At least that has been my experience.
     
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  5. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Did you recently change to a heavier string gauge? If you nut was "cut" using a certain gauge and you went heavier, it will almost always cause this binding. It can also effect how low the string sits in the slot, which can slightly raise the action. Both can be fixed by a decent tech, or yourself if you have the proper tools (nut slot files). If you bend a lot or use a tremolo, you may want to replace the nut with Tusq as it is "self-lubricating. But bone typically works well if properly cut. The lubes mentioned above will usually help, but do not really address the problem if the nut needs to be adjusted.

    FIRST, decide on a string gauge, THEN get the nut replaced or cut to work with the strings you settle on. Also, not a bad idea to save the original nut in case you switch to lighter strings in the future.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2021
  6. overlook1977

    overlook1977 Tele-Meister

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    I would replace the nut. I got a Graph tech TUSQ nut on a Warmoth strat neck and that thing is awesome. I can crank on the tremolo bar all day and never have a tuning problem. They are slick like graphite and you won’t have any nut binding issues with one of those. As others said, find a string gauge and stick to it.
     
  7. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    What kind of guitar is it? We demand pix!

    Is this a new build? The strings going sharp sounds a bit odd. Could it be the other strings going flat? For instance, when you perform a healthy bend, you are bending several adjacent strings - any of which can bind and go flat. Are you checking this with a tuner, or just going by ear?
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2021
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