1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

String trees - really necessary?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by marc2211, Oct 8, 2020.

  1. marc2211

    marc2211 Tele-Holic

    Age:
    43
    Posts:
    904
    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2018
    Location:
    Switzerland/France
    A few months ago I built a new partscaster HT Strat with a body and neck from Warmoth - I have now got it into a shape where it's playing well and sounding nice.

    The only thing I've not fitted is a string tree (although I have the part/s ready to go). I have played the guitar a fair bit and have had no issues of the strings coming out of the nut slots, and tuning is pretty stable. (I play 10-42 and 10-50 strings).

    I am wondering in this case if I really need a string tree? Are there any hidden benefits I'd be missing out on if I don't fit one?

    Any insight appreciated!
     
  2. corliss1

    corliss1 Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

    Posts:
    4,538
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2008
    Location:
    Lansing, MI
    They don't all need it - if the tuning is good, the string isn't slipping, and you don't hear an annoying "ping" from behind the nut, you don't *have* to add one.
     
  3. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Age:
    59
    Posts:
    16,074
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    Kimberton
    Pretty sure Eric Johnson doesn't use them and his signature guit doesn't have them.
    If you hear noises behind the nut, you're not playing loud enough..
    I don't take them off, but I run the strings right over top.
    Enough windings on the tuner post and it's all good.
     
    brookdalebill and marc2211 like this.
  4. Goldenshellback

    Goldenshellback Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    347
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2020
    Location:
    Tennessee
    I would put one on there for the B and E string. The folks at Fender have been putting on their guitars from the get go for a reason.
     
  5. Beachbum

    Beachbum Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,743
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Location:
    Sand Land
    Think staggered tuners.
     
    AndrewG, Maguchi, rednoise and 4 others like this.
  6. lammie200

    lammie200 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,829
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2013
    Location:
    San Francisco
    I have staggered tuners on all my partscasters - no string trees. I prefer not to drill any holes in the face of a headstock if I don't have to.
     
    Maguchi and marc2211 like this.
  7. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Age:
    63
    Posts:
    89,444
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Location:
    Austin, Tx
    Indeed, and amen!
     
    marc2211 likes this.
  8. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,465
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2012
    Location:
    London, UK
    String trees are essential.

    Otherwise how would you drill holes in your headstock that you then realise are slightly off centre and have to be drilled again?

    And how would you then snap off a screw in one of those holes and have to redrill them again?

    And how would you stupidly drill all the way through the headstock?

    And how would you obsess about which string trees are best as just one more guitar thing to spend money on?



    Please tell me it's not just me . . .
     
    bby85, Torvald, Ricky D. and 19 others like this.
  9. ElJay370

    ElJay370 Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    50
    Posts:
    1,456
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    The break angle off the nut isn't quite steep enough for the E and B strings for my taste. You'll often get weird sitar-like sounds and if you're really aggressive with bending strings they can pop out. Every Fender style guitar I own has one.

    The need for one on the D and G strings is questionable, however. If you use the whammy bar at all you're probably better off without it.
     
  10. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,505
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    Location:
    Hudson Valley, NY
    String trees are a good thing. The B and E strings on a normal Fender headstock don't "break" enough behind the nut like they do on any other stringed instrument. This can result in weird tones for sure, it can also just make for a loss of volume on those strings when they are played open. The only real alternative to string trees is to have a tight nut which can give you all kinds of tuning problems. Also, string trees don't hurt anything at all (they don't cause tuning problems).

    I did some experimenting with this a long time ago, measuring the sustain of open strings with and without a string tree. Not super-scientific, but as good as I could do. Significantly more volume and sustain was recorded on the B and E WITH the string tree, not much difference on the G string. Of course your guitar might be a bit different.
     
    keng, JRapp and marc2211 like this.
  11. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    13,464
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2003
    Location:
    northwest
    If it's fine then you dont need it. On many the B or G string will ring with overtones without a tree. You dont have that? Then you dont need a tree.
     
    FrontPU and marc2211 like this.
  12. lammie200

    lammie200 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,829
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2013
    Location:
    San Francisco
    You can also put a strip of felt threaded through your strings behind the nut if you have overtone vibrations.
     
    marc2211 likes this.
  13. marc2211

    marc2211 Tele-Holic

    Age:
    43
    Posts:
    904
    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2018
    Location:
    Switzerland/France
    Many thanks everyone! I thinking I can’t hear overtones, but not 100%. As I have the tree ready to go, I’ll put one on tomorrow.
     
    gordon schumway likes this.
  14. Laren

    Laren Tele-Meister

    Age:
    64
    Posts:
    193
    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2020
    Location:
    West Somerset
    and which way around those roller ones really should go?
     
    marc2211 likes this.
  15. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,465
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2012
    Location:
    London, UK
    Actually that's the only thing I got RIGHT!!

    They were Mighty Mite necks. Nobody died.

    This time . . .
     
    marc2211 likes this.
  16. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

    Age:
    61
    Posts:
    24,516
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    Maine
    One night a really big producer will randomly be having a drink at one of your shows, unbeknownst to you, and it will just happen that you are really inspired and the band is really on as well.

    You'll rip through a jaw dropping solo on the way to a heart stopping crescendo, bend a long wailing note as the drummers eyes pop out of his head, and your B string will pop out of the nut and kill the whole performance, thus losing you the big record contract that was ripe for the picking up until your decision to leave off that string tree ruined your career.
     
  17. gkterry

    gkterry Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    949
    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2014
    Location:
    the Telecaster Forest
  18. Henley

    Henley Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    535
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2017
    Location:
    Beach Cities
    As mentioned, staggered tuners will create the break angle you need. I have a few guitars with them and no string tee's needed/removed. They are all locking btw.

    No staggered tuners? You might get away with it but telemnemonics gave you a funny scenario that will probably happen, albeit in a less critical performance.
    Would install a tee for sure,. Measure 5 times...then one more time.
    :)
     
    telemnemonics likes this.
  19. Dan_Pomykalski

    Dan_Pomykalski Tele-Meister

    Age:
    30
    Posts:
    313
    Joined:
    May 16, 2019
    Location:
    Madison, WI
    Who are you and how do you know exactly what happened to me with my first parts bass...
     
    hemingway likes this.
  20. Hey_you

    Hey_you Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    790
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2019
    Location:
    Colorado USA
    As above, it depends on the angle behind the nut. Not enough can cause unwanted sound. I replaced the tuners on my guitar with staggered tuners. B and E were lacking, and G didn't look so great. I placed another tree on the head. More winds probably would had dropped the angle greater, but I haven't tried.
    tree.jpg
     
    bigjohnbates likes this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.