Does nut need filed if going from 9s to 10s?

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by dscottyg, Apr 19, 2021.

  1. dscottyg

    dscottyg Strat-Talk Member

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    I’ve always used 9s on my Strat because that’s what it came with. I’m thinking of putting 10s on it, but I read somewhere that the nut slots need to match the string size. I don’t want to mess with the nut, and I would like the option to put 9s back on sometime. What do I do?
     
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  2. Rudedawg

    Rudedawg Senior Stratmaster

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    You may not have to do anything, I read somewhere that nuts are cut a little oversize and the difference between 9's & 10's is minimal. I'd put a little nut sauce or powdered graphite on the nut and try them first but that's just me.
     
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  3. dirocyn

    dirocyn Senior Stratmaster

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    Just try it.

    Many nut file sets have a 10 for the smallest file anyway. It's not the plain strings that are likely to have issues.

    On the low E you're probably talking about a difference of .042 vs .046. If it's binding & causing tuning problems you can probably "floss" the nut with the string itself. Doesn't take much.
     
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  4. Audiowonderland

    Audiowonderland Strat-Talker

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    Probably won't need to do anything. That's a small change. Most guitars are not done to that tight of a tolerance.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2021
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  5. Tele like it is

    Tele like it is Left is right!

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    The factory cut nut slots should be fine for 10's. They're made to be used with the common string gauges 9/10 our of the box. If there is any binding, a quick polish should fix it.
     
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  6. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Most Honored Senior Member

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    normally a "precision" cut nut is cut a few thou over the nominal size of the string.. thus a .009 slot would be about .013.. more than enough to accommodate a .010 .. If not a precision cut.. heck. you could probably string 'er up with Paracord and it would fit..

    r
     
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  7. macoshark

    macoshark Senior Stratmaster

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    I think you'll be OK but any pinching at the nut would be exposed when tuning up. If you getting a pinging sound off that string when tuning, it's pinching. At least that's what I look for or listen for as a check if it's too tight in the slot.
     
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  8. k3ith99

    k3ith99 Strat-Talk Member

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    You shouldn't have to do anything to the nut. I've gone from 9's, to 10's, to 11's, w/o doing a thing and have not noticed any problem.
     
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  9. Strums

    Strums Strat-O-Master

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    No filing...Just string em' up. I went back and forth with 9's and 10's on many different strats over the years. No problems at all.
     
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  10. rolandson

    rolandson Most Honored Senior Member

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    A properly cut nut is....a properly cut nut. That said, it costs you nothing to just try it.

    If you decide to have it cut, either learn to do it correctly, or take it to a pro.
     
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  11. Fenderbaum

    Fenderbaum Strat-Talker

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    Could be you nut is cut with 010 anyway. You just have to try and see. Just tune up and lift your string out of the slot under tension. If it comes out free without any hassle, you are good to go. The string will glide nice and free.
    If it snaps out, you have binding. Good news is that you will not need a fret file at all. Just use medium grit sand paper to widen the slots a bit and you should be good. Just dont fold the sand paper, you will make the slots deeper that way. Run sheets trough the slots to take off a little meat on the sides only.
    You are aiming for that come-off-free string.
    Usually it is only the unwound strings that needs treating. Sometimes the D-string. Just gotta see it out.
     
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  12. Colnago1

    Colnago1 Strat-O-Master

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    Prob just need a slight truss rod adjustment when going from 9’s to 10’s.
    If you notice it pinging when tuning that’ll be the indicator of pinching slots that need some attention.
     
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  13. AxemanVR

    AxemanVR I appreciate, therefore I am... Silver Member

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    `
    As long as I can remember Fender has shipped their guitars strung with .09 sets and I have always immediately restrung them in .010s without ever giving it a second thought...



    `
     
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  14. dscottyg

    dscottyg Strat-Talk Member

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    Thanks people. Looks like I’m good to go.
     
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  15. CB91710

    CB91710 No GAS shortage here Double Platinum Supporting Member

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    You *should* be OK anywhere from 8 to 10, maybe 11.
    Most nuts are cut for 10s from the factory. I've never had to make a change except when I played around with 13s in the 90s.

    You may need to give the truss rod 1/8 to 1/4 turn once the neck settles in to the increased tension.
     
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  16. LOSTVENTURE

    LOSTVENTURE Senior Stratmaster

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    I've never encountered a problem going clear up to 10.5 from 9's.
     
  17. himijendrix

    himijendrix Senior Stratmaster

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    I’ve restrung strats going from 9s to 10s, never had a problem with the nut.

    If you have a floating bridge, however, that will need a bit of attention to counteract the increased tension.
     
  18. Scott Baxendale

    Scott Baxendale Senior Stratmaster Gold Supporting Member

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    Probably not, but if the nut slot pinches the High E B or G string then it does. If you put on tens and then after a day or so when you tune the plain strings and if you get any ping then your nut needs to be adjusted. If not then no.
     
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