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Replace Wilkinson nut? Or replace entire neck on Strat Plus Deluxe?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by rsilverst, Nov 28, 2020.

  1. 1 21 gigawatts

    1 21 gigawatts Tele-Holic

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    A sanding block and a couple of minutes of work will take care of the sharp fret board edges. Fret ends will be smoothed at the same time.
     
  2. rsilverst

    rsilverst TDPRI Member

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    Good point. That's what I'm thinking as my starting point. Are there any websites you like that go into detail about pot and cap selection (including manufacturers, to the extent it matters)?
     
  3. rsilverst

    rsilverst TDPRI Member

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    This is probably a dumb question, but... if I do that, what happens with the finish on the neck? Is it left as is, or does it need to be treated?
     
  4. rsilverst

    rsilverst TDPRI Member

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    BTW, I thought I would add that I just did a little more research on my guitars and discovered that the bridge pickup on this Strat that I am complaining about is the same exact pickup (Duncan SSL-2) as the bridge pickup on my favorite "Strat" (1994 G&L Legacy). I never realized that's what G&L was using back then. So it is almost definitely the differences in the wiring harness between the two guitars that are causing differences in tone, and I think at this point I am going to embrace the sound for what it is (still going to replace the Wilkinson with an LSR so that I can use heavier strings, but otherwise calling it good).
     
  5. 1 21 gigawatts

    1 21 gigawatts Tele-Holic

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    You will be removing the finish from the very edge of the fret board. Since fret boards are generally just oiled, wiping the sanded edge with mineral oil will blend it in.
     
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  6. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    You suspect wrongly.
    ALL strats should come with a nut like that since it's the best design ever.
    The strat plus is also THE BEST strat EVER :):)

    Here's my 1991 ,I wouldn't even dream of changing anything on it . 20200730_120047.jpg
     
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  7. rsilverst

    rsilverst TDPRI Member

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    :) It does stay in tune very well. It would be nice to be able to use 0.052" Low E, and can't do that with Wilkinson. But I think my biggest beef with the guitar is the aesthetic of that nut.
     
  8. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

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    My Questions:
    1. Could the Wilkinson nut (metal) be significantly affecting the tone of the guitar? (overly bright)
    NO. I have had that guitar, I also have installed a few LSR Roller Nuts. None effected the tone that I could hear and especially it wont up the neck in non Cowboy Chord land.

    2. Would it be better to just replace the neck instead of paying $150+ for a tech to replace nut? NO. Is your Wilkenson the wide one? I see it is. He would have to glue some wood in the neck etc to do it.

    3. If I do replace neck are there any constraints? Or will any Strat neck fit? Probably. But I wonder if it's the pickup voicing you dont like? Lace pickups? OTOH, "it is what it is" ie: some guitars are just a certain way. If you dont like it you may get $1000 for it. I did for mine. But it was clean and original with hang tags. That's a nice very dark rosewood neck. You'd be lucky to get one that nice as a replacement.
     
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  9. KirbyBarba

    KirbyBarba TDPRI Member

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    I'd be wary of modifying a guitar I didn't already love for the most part, unless you enjoy tinkering. My 1989 Strat Plus sounds great (3 gold Lace pickups), the neck doesn't feel thin and has soft edges. The only thing it required is a professionally installed neck shim to get headstock a bit forward and resulted in much better playability. If I were in your shoes, I'd sell it and get something else.
     
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  10. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    0.052? :eek:

    What are you playing?Bass? :)

    I use 010-038 strings so no problems here;)
     
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  11. ahiddentableau

    ahiddentableau Tele-Meister

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    I can kind of relate to this as my first decent guitar had a floyd rose and the locking nut was a deal breaker for me. I just couldn't get used to the feel of that locking monstrosity and how it banged into my hand when I slid down the neck to 1st position. It's not a big thing tonally but it can really affect your enjoyment of the instrument. So I can relate to that.

    The problem as I see it is that those nuts (and the guitars, too) are now more sought after. If you get rid of it you are going to significantly devalue the instrument. Plus it's not going to do what you want. As others have already said, once you go past open strings the nut has no real influence on the way the instrument sounds. So you can change it but it's not going to solve your problem.

    I also find it a bit interesting that your guitar is too bright. Most of the deluxe/strat pluses I've played are on the warm rather than dark side tonally. Lace sensors catch a lot of stick but they aren't crazy bright pickups.

    I'd look into the wiring and pickups before I'd go after the nut, especially if the feel/look of it doesn't bug you. You seem to like the G&L style wiring, so I think you should follow your instincts and start there.

    Hope it works out for you. A strat plus deluxe is a terrible thing to waste!
     
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  12. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh Poster Extraordinaire

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    Replace the nut and wire the bridge pickup to the neck's tone control so you can turn it down. Most Strats leave the bridge pickup "open," connecting only to the volume control.
     
  13. rsilverst

    rsilverst TDPRI Member

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    I have already changed the pickups 20 years ago :) Currently it's Duncan SSL-2 (Vintage Flat) in Bridge, Duncan APS-1 (Staggered) in Middle, and Duncan SSL-1 (Vintage Staggered) in the Neck.

    I agree with you on the wiring. Right now, I have a very elaborate wiring scheme in the guitar that I did (20 years ago) as an experiment. It uses 2 push-pull controls on the knobs to deliver ability to do the following:
    1. Put the bridge pickup in series with either the neck or middle
    2. Put pickups "out of phase" when in positions 2 and 4
    3. Engage or disengage tone control from bridge pickup
    This mod was pulled from some website that was popular at the time, but I can't possibly recall what it was this long ago. But the wiring inside is a complete rats' nest, exacerbated by the fact that I also did the "Taming the Beast" star grounding mods at the same time! On one hand, I want to rip all that out, and put the guitar back to a very basic vintage configuration. But on the other hand, I almost think I should just let it be. If I take the sucker apart, I will post some photos of what's going on in there. It's slightly disturbing :)

    I think my bigger complaints about this guitar are regarding the feel of the neck compared to my other 3 Stratocasters.
     
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  14. ahiddentableau

    ahiddentableau Tele-Meister

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    What sort of neck does it have, and how does it bug you?

    IME there is a huge level of variability in the necks on Strat Plus and Strat Plus Deluxe guitars. Some of them have fairly chunky necks, some of them have pencil thin ones; some taper a lot, some barely taper at all, etc. It's like the only consistant factors are the frets and radius. I'm curious to know what yours is like.
     
  15. rsilverst

    rsilverst TDPRI Member

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    The neck is maple, C-shape, 9.25" radius, with medium jumbo frets. But (as I noted in earlier post) it feels flatter than 9.25" for some reason, and the edges are not as much of a "comfort-rounded feel" as any of my other Stratocasters.

    Honestly, I just need to get over the neck thing - I am predominately a rhythm player so it's not like it's slowing me down ;)
     
  16. SRHmusic

    SRHmusic Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I have a '91 or '92 Strat Plus Ultra, and had a good repair guy put in the LSR (mentioned above, too), and put in stainless frets as the originals were quite worn. The original nut, seen in a few photos above, has issues with the rollers rattling and is a bit of a hassle when changing strings. The LSR roller nut is a far better design.
    Edit: See image - The LSR is just a set of small ball bearings the strings sit on. Very easy to use/restring, and works well with no rattle at all. The neck is 9.5in. constant radius, and fairly thin. One of my favorites. As for the neck, you might consider that the edges can be easily beveled, and fret sprout is bound to happen on a lot of guitars eventually, it seems.
     

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  17. SRHmusic

    SRHmusic Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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  18. Marc Morfei

    Marc Morfei Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Indeed, I have a strat plus and the lace sensors are very warm. Not bright at all. It’s one if the reasons I like it so much.
     
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  19. rsilverst

    rsilverst TDPRI Member

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    yup - i don't have the lace sensors in it anymore. sold them 20 years ago :)
     
  20. cseb

    cseb NEW MEMBER!

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    I have an '88 and I replaced the Wilkinson with the LSR and like the LSR more. I also replaced the tuners and the overall the tuning stability is better. I play it with the tremolo bottomed out though. I had to drill new holes to mount the LSR as they do not line up with the holes for the Wilkinson. There is a plastic insert to cover the exposed fret board that looks plasticy. You'll also have to shim the LSR with provided aluminum shims. Overall an improvement in my opinion and it does allow you to use allow thicker string gauges.
     
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