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high E String too-close to the edge.

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by Z@phod, Sep 21, 2006.

  1. Z@phod

    Z@phod Strat-Talk Member

    Sep 21, 2006
    Athens, Greece
    Dear friends,
    While at New York last June, I bought a great looking Mexican Deluxe Players Strat in Crimson Red with mapple neck. I love the guitar and it plays real great. My only worry is that the High E string is too close to the edge of the neck and it becomes too easy to be pressed out of the fingerboard. Mind you, the edges of the frets are excellent to the degree that even if the string is outside the fingerboard, all notes play clean, something that is not the case on my other strat, an '91 American Standard, in which the string is at some distance from the edges. There is a picture of the same Mex. model (in transparent blue) in the fender site and it also shows the strings to be too close to the edge. Is this normal or is it a problem. Any ideas as to how this may be corrected without redrilling holes and modifying the guitar?

  2. 62stratfan

    62stratfan Strat-Talk Member

    Jul 29, 2006
    Hello Z@phod,

    I'm looking at that pic even as we speak and it appears from the photo that the nut is the main problem. It looks to be too far over to the high E side. The low E string should be straight from bridge to tuning post looking dead on, I believe. That would be a tough one for Joe Average guitar player to fix. Also, look at the high E string as it progresses up the neck to the bridge and misses the pick up pole on both the middle and the bridge pick ups. The saddles may be too wide for the neck design, as well. Maybe it's just the angle of the photo, I hope the guitars aren't leaving the factory that way. Those issues look tough (read expenisive) to fix. For comparison, go to the Fender site and check the photos of the pricey American Vintage 62 Strat or even the regular American Stratocaster.


  3. Strat-Talk

    Strat-Talk Administrator Staff Member

    Apr 20, 2006
    Hill Country, Texas, USA
    Admin Post
    Many people immediately replace the nut on any new Fender... especially MIMs, MIJs and Squiers. But really the problem can happen to anyone.

    Some techs fill in the high E string nut slot (with plastic sawdust and super glue) and then cut a new nut slot for that string. I've had this done to an acoustic that was giving me fits and it worked great.

    Music One Workshop did the work. They're Fender Gold Level techs in Kalispell, Montana ( I lived in Wyoming at the time and we were driving through Kalispell so I brought the guitar with me).

  4. 62stratfan

    62stratfan Strat-Talk Member

    Jul 29, 2006
    It's funny that the DP Blondie pic dosen't seem as exagerated as the Trans Blue. And the 60s Classic looks pretty good. Sometimes I think the camera angle makes it look worse than it is.

    I got my 52RI Telecaster from MusicOne in Kalispell and found it to be the best set-up on a new guitar I've yet to purchase. Those Miletichs know their business.


  5. Z@phod

    Z@phod Strat-Talk Member

    Sep 21, 2006
    Athens, Greece
    Dear Friends, Thank you all for the concern and responses. Some more information may be useful. First, the interesting thing is that at the nut everything is OK. The string is not badly positioned with respect to the edge. its distance from the edgr becomes less and less as it approaches the bridge and not the other way around. I also considered that this may be a bridge design problem as in other official fender photographs it seems that the High E-string is not centered over the respective magnet pole pieces. Then, I happened to see a similar guitar in cream colour in a shop over here in Athens and it was OK, it did not have the same problem. So I am inclined to conclud that 1) the routing of the bridge is off centre by just this little, which means that an easy remedy doesnot exist or 2) the neck has not been positioned dead in line. This is difficult for me to check but even if this is the issue, it seems also difficult to resolve. I am happy that at least the string does not buzz and does not seem to loose pitch if it accidentally is pressed over the edge to the rounded off frett side!! Maybe I will have to live with this as a compromise for the killer looks of the guitar. By the waym the 12" neck is really great and a revelation in playability in relation to the 9,5" of my '91 American Standard.Thanks to all.

  6. jwsamuel

    jwsamuel Strat-Talk Member

    Apr 27, 2006
    Upper Holland, PA
    It could be a simple fix if the neck is slightly out of alignment. This is easiest to do with a friend. Just slightly loosen the neck bolts, lay the guitar on its side with the high-e side touching your table (put a soft cloth between the guitar and table surface to protect the finish.) Hug the body of the guitar and push on the neck. You'll be able to see the difference in spacing between the string and the edge of the fretboard. When you get the neck positioned so that both E strings are the same distance from the edge of the fretboard, have your friend tighten the neck screws.


  7. Z@phod

    Z@phod Strat-Talk Member

    Sep 21, 2006
    Athens, Greece
    Thank you jwsamuel and all the others. I have roughly tried this on my own and it slightly improved the situation. I will try your advice with the help of a friend and let you know of the results.

  8. Z@phod

    Z@phod Strat-Talk Member

    Sep 21, 2006
    Athens, Greece
    Well the advice did it. I tried it and the guitar is now trully excellent. Maybe this happened during transport, although I had it with me. Thank you jwsamuel. Have a look at the small picture bellow my name on the left and you will get a glimpse of the strat. Soon I will post proper images as it is really a stunner and I love it. I have purchased a great black Fender case for it and it suits it well. My ten-year old daughter is already crafting plans to get it off me and I am locking it while I am away!!!

  9. jax

    jax New Member!

    Dec 26, 2006
    Hello . I had the same problem of the high-E string slipping off the fretboard on a Mark Knopfler strat. After looking about I found that there are at least 2 different spring spreads on strats: about 52 millimetres or about 55 millimetres between the high and low E strings at the bridge. The vintage specifications of the Mark Knopfler were around the 55 mm mark, and the screw holes for the 6 tremolo mounting screws were more widely spaced than the 6 screws on a strat with the narrower string spread, such as on a Squier strat which I also own. So I could not simply install a narrower tremolo unit to the Mark Knopfler without also changing the tremolo mounting holes. My solution was to install a Hipshot tremolo which has the narrower spring spread which I had drilled out so that the original screw holes in the Mark Knopfler could be used to mount the unit. The Hipshot has the advantage of a walls at each end which hold the string saddles in so that they do not move sideways at all, so the strings are held firmly over the fretboard. The solution means that I can restore the Mark Knopfler to it original, but I have the advantage of strings positively positioned on the fretboard. Ben.

  10. Z@phod

    Z@phod Strat-Talk Member

    Sep 21, 2006
    Athens, Greece
    Dear Jax. You have presented one of the issues that lead to strings being too close to the edge of the fingerboard. I have measured the distances between the two outer strings on my American Standard and my Mexican Deluce players Strats and I have found that they are as you write. This seems to be the difference between Vintage Bridges (wider spacing) and more recent bridges (narrower spacing). Guitars made outside the USA invariably have the narrow distances even on vintage looking bridges with six screws instead of two screws. The distancew between the posotioning screws are also different thus making replacement of bridges a rather tricky issue. I have partially resolved my problem by loosening the neck plate screws, moving the neck a little and retightening. The strings are now more or less symetrical on the outer edges of the fingerboard, although still rather close to the edges. I am teaching myself to be more careful in my playing! As a guide, if you look at photographs you will be able to judge which bridge a guitar has by looking how the high E string passes over the respectibe bridge pickup magnet pole. If it passes squarely over the dot, it has the narrow bridge. If it passes close to the outside of the magnet dot, it has the wide bridge. This way you may be able to check available stock, signature and custom shop models. Happy new year to all.

  11. MichaelZ

    MichaelZ Strat-Talk Member

    Aug 25, 2008
    I had the same problem with my 70s-style Strat, which was remedied by following jwsamuel's advice about aligning the neck.

  12. Porknblue

    Porknblue Strat-Talk Member

    Jul 22, 2008
    South Bend, IN
    Glad I dropped in here. The neck alignment trick has just solved the problem I had with my Eric Clapton.

    Why didn't I think of that????


  13. thaus

    thaus Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jul 6, 2007
    London Canada
    Yes, neck alignment is suggested by Erlewine in all his repair books and manuals.

  14. radiomatts

    radiomatts Strat-Talker

    Jul 4, 2009
    Chicago, IL
    Hi there everyone...I have this problem in reverse. I just bought an MIM Strat, and the G, B, and E strings don't align over the pickup pole pieces, but towards the inside of the guitar, meaning the pole pieces are farther out than the strings are.

    How do I align the neck in this instance?

  15. Orbit

    Orbit Senior Stratmaster

    Dec 31, 2008
    New Mexico
    Radiomatts, the poles appear wider spaced on a MIM because the string spread at the bridge is only 2 1/16th" as opposed to 2 7/32" on MIA.

    I have never liked the vintage spaced string spread, so I replace my vintage spaced trems with the newer Highway 1 bridge. It has 2 7/32" SCREW spacing but 2 1/16" STRING spacing, and it brings the strings inside the edges of the fretboard perfectly.

    It may be a Ping bridge, but it has a steel block and bent saddles, takes an American trem arm, and works well for me. I do not drop E strings off the fretboard ever. :)

    If you watch Ebay, you can find them reasonably enough. They have PW36 stamped on the bottom of the steel block

    These HWY 1 trems will NOT work on Mexican STANDARDS (but do work on Mexican Classic 50's and 60's)

  16. ToneRanger

    ToneRanger Most Honored Senior Member

    Jun 8, 2009
    Area 51
    Callaham also sells a bridge assembly that has the larger vintage screw spacing with the narrower 2 1/16th bridge saddle spacing...

  17. Bundini

    Bundini Former Member

    May 26, 2009
    Seattle USA
    OH Thank You for that info! If I can get 2 1/16" string spacing that fits my vintage screw pattern, that solves my problem. Thought I was gonna have to get a new body.

    Orbit, I have a HW1 an 06 models and it seems to be 2 1/16 screw and string spacing, it is marked PW36, let me check it again.

  18. mogoomoo

    mogoomoo Strat-Talker

    Feb 11, 2010
    under the banyan tree
    if you adjust the string height thing at the bridge so that the outer (low) one is higher than the inner one, the string will slide up a little, and no longer be as near to the edge.

  19. casino_man_dan

    casino_man_dan Strat-Talk Member

    Apr 14, 2012
    Hi folks, hashing up an old thread for an upcoming build.

    I fancy going for an ultra slim neck with rolled edges for my next strat. I'm eyeing up the Callaham trem which converts wide string spacing to narrow (as the body is drilled for vintage) in a bid to keep the high e string well within limit.

    Given my EJ strat has it's high e seriously close to the edge, I'm concerned that a much thinner neck would make it worse? Even with the narrow string spacing conversion, that would only bring it in by 2 mm each side of the fretboard.

    What should I be mindful of when ordering the neck (probably from warmoth or muzikraft)?

    There must be 100's of strat models out there both vintage & modern with thin necks that don't have a problem. Am I missing something?