String bridge alignment dilemma: Should I buy this MIM 72 Telecaster Deluxe?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by tbird_1957, Jan 10, 2015.

  1. tbird_1957

    tbird_1957 TDPRI Member

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    The bridge string alignment is holding me back from buying a nice 2007 Telecaster Deluxe locally for under $500. It is white and I think is 72 Deluxe (I don't know if there are other models of Deluxe). All of the string alignments look fine except for the small e-string. It starts off fine at the nut, but progressively gets closer to the edge of the neck (and further away from the B-string) as it goes towards the bridge. It gets to the point that the string will slide off of the frets if you finger around 19. I tried to see if I could fiddle with the e-string saddle to move it inward, but there was no room to do so. I have seen people complain about bridge-nut issues, but could never find any details on the problem or the fix. Any ideas? I don't want to spend too much time or money on this. I just want to buy and play an HH Tele. I keep thinking that I should just go and buy a Blacktop Tele, but I'm not sure that I understand the differences in quality and body between this, a SC standard, and the blacktop.
     

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    Last edited: Jan 10, 2015
  2. guitar2005

    guitar2005 Tele-Holic

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    Should be as easy as loosening the neck and re-aligning it.
     
  3. KevinB

    KevinB Doctor of Teleocity

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    A photo would help, but...

    Loosen strings and neck screws. Give neck a push. Tighten neck screws and strings. Fender necks and neck pockets typically have a little "wiggle room" in them just for this type of adjustment.

    It's not an uncommon issue and typically takes two minutes to fix.
     
  4. Sidney Vicious

    Sidney Vicious Friend of Leo's

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    ^^^^^^^

    This.
     
  5. tbird_1957

    tbird_1957 TDPRI Member

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    Wouldn't realigning the neck fix one string in exchange for throwing off the other 5 strings that were perfectly parallel?
     
  6. adjason

    adjason Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    If the low e string is perfect as is then yes it will throw it off. Usually this is not an issue as you just need a little wiggle room to make it work fine. Now if that low E string looks perfect then walk away and don't buy is my advice.
     
  7. tbird_1957

    tbird_1957 TDPRI Member

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    How could I forget the pic?

    You can see in the pic that the big E-string and the others are aligned correctly, although it might be a bit far from the edge of the neck. You can also see that the small e-string is not parallel to the other strings and veers off to the side. I guess I can see how adjusting the neck might center things better, but the small e-string still won't be parallel to the others. I haven't tried to align a micro tilt neck before. Is there anything to look out for?
     

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  8. jmclaren

    jmclaren Tele-Holic

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    Where does the high E string lay on the bridge saddle? I'd try making an adjustment there before the neck. Can you post a close up of the bridge?
     
  9. KevinB

    KevinB Doctor of Teleocity

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    From your photo I really can't see that the high E isn't parallel to the others. (And actually, the strings are never really parallel to each other as the bridge spacing is wider than the nut spacing so they should be slightly splayed.) But if the strings are truly unevenly spaced then the issue is obviously either at the nut or the bridge.

    Yes, moving the neck is a bit of a compromise but the low E typically never gets bent enough to push it off the fingerboard. It's more important that you have room at the high E side of the fretboard.

    I have seen dozens of Fender necks adjusted like this and I've done it myself on several occasions.
     
  10. xtrajerry

    xtrajerry Doctor of Teleocity

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    A pic of the nut and another of the guitar straight on would help, it's possible the nut was cut wrong but I bet a quick tug on the neck will do the trick. If not it's easy enough to push it back.

    The worse case would be that the bridge was routed incorrectly but I've never heard of that issue with this series of guitars.
     
  11. KevinB

    KevinB Doctor of Teleocity

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    And if that was true, I'd expect all the other strings to be off too.
     
  12. LeroyBlues

    LeroyBlues Tele-Holic

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    Could be perspective of the photo, but the dots are far from centered between the 4th and 3rd string. Loosen the neck and shift it, as others have said,to the tuning machine side. This will put the dots in the center of the strings, yes the big E will be closer to the edge, but the high E will be the same distance. If you are buying it from a store, have their tech do it. Two minute job. If you are buying it off the net, sight unseen, it might just be that the photos perspective just makes it look like it's off.
     
  13. tbird_1957

    tbird_1957 TDPRI Member

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    I will buy!

    I think that this and all of the other logic on the neck is consistent with what I saw in person when I met the guy. Based on this, I decided that I want to buy! Hopefully I'll get to him before somebody else does and post some pics before and after I adjust, probably mid-week. Thanks to all of you for helping!
     
  14. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Looks to me like the nut is cut wrong.

    The strings should make a shape like > relative to your picture to follow the general narrowing of the neck toward the headstock. When i measure off an enlarged image it shows the high-e, and probably the b too, has too wide of spacing putting them too near the side of the fretboard. It's probably pulling the bridge saddle sideways some too. Take a scale and measure the string spacing cuts in the nut to know for sure (and check the slots are centered across the neck, low-E looks slid a little too).

    If the nut looks good, measure the bridge string spacing. The practical fix is file a new slot where it needs to be on the barrel saddle.
     
  15. dsutton24

    dsutton24 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    How could a miscut nut change string spacing at the 21st fret? The neck is just misaligned. It's very common and easily corrected.
     
  16. StoogeSurfer

    StoogeSurfer Tele-Afflicted

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    If they are individual saddles it could be the high E is simply not snugged to the B. Whatever the issue it will be a simple fix.
     
  17. eMGee

    eMGee Friend of Leo's

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    Yup, looks like a bit more space between the high E and B than between the other strings. I'd be looking at the saddle.
     
  18. KevinB

    KevinB Doctor of Teleocity

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    Keep in mind that we've been talking about a Deluxe. String position at the bridge is pretty much fixed on them and unlike barrel saddles, their bent steel saddles typically aren't notched...

    [​IMG]
     
  19. scraf

    scraf Tele-Meister

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    "bridge too wide for neck" .... wondering if that's a thing

    Edit: wasn't quoting anyone, just a random thought
     
  20. KevinB

    KevinB Doctor of Teleocity

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    If that were true, every Deluxe would have the same issue as the measurements of the neck and bridge are pretty standard.

    I don't think they do.
     
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