String trees

Odysseus

Strat-O-Master
Dec 16, 2012
687
Lisbon, Portugal
I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the problem of strings jumping in the nut slots. Not coming out of the slot, as someone did say, but just vibrating in the slot and so deadening the sound. It depends on how hard you play, I imagine (or what kind of song you're actually playing), but I had the problem with non-staggered machine heads that had just one string tree, so I added a second and the problem was resolved. And I'm not a particularly heavy-handed player.
 

Fenderbaum

Senior Stratmaster
Aug 11, 2020
1,336
Bergen, Norway
I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the problem of strings jumping in the nut slots. Not coming out of the slot, as someone did say, but just vibrating in the slot and so deadening the sound. It depends on how hard you play, I imagine (or what kind of song you're actually playing), but I had the problem with non-staggered machine heads that had just one string tree, so I added a second and the problem was resolved. And I'm not a particularly heavy-handed player.
This is due to bad cut slots or wide slots..
You might get away by re-filing the slots a little.
When i cut a nut, these can happen, you just have to pass over with the files a little more and they will go away in the end.
 

Wound_Up

You can call me Duane 😁
Jan 23, 2020
4,695
NW LA
Wouldn't you actually be better off without the string trees if you do a lot of tremolo work? It would eliminate a binding point.
If your strings bind on a string tree, you, have bigger problems. Like bent up strings with kinks in them and garbage string trees. They, don't move enough to bind on anything. And there's nothing to bind on anyway. A few thousandths of an inch ain't gonna cause issues with binding on a string tree. Because that's probably all they move.


Its like the guys that build engine that, insist on using "roller-tipped rocker arms" for less friction at the lifter. The rocker "wheel" doesn't move far enough for the roller to even roll. So, they're pointless. But don't tell engine builders that. They insist it means less friction.
 
Last edited:

StratUp

Most Honored Senior Member
Sep 5, 2020
8,094
Altered States

Scott Baxendale

Most Honored Senior Member
Gold Supporting Member
May 20, 2020
5,567
Sante Fe, NM
Allow me to correct it for him: "They need lube. Well cut reduces, but does not eliminate, friction".

I take no stand on his stand but I do stand for grammar.

"Grammar police; To serve and correct".
Cool, but I disagree if the nut slot on a bone nut is cut properly it does not need any lube.
 

Scott Baxendale

Most Honored Senior Member
Gold Supporting Member
May 20, 2020
5,567
Sante Fe, NM
If the nut pings then it is pinching the string and the nut slot is improperly cut. When I make a new nut I check every string to make sure the string tunes smoothly with no binding in the nut. Putting gunk in the slot does nothing but goo up the slot, which can temporarily correct a pinging/pinching problem but isn’t a real solution where a proper nut slot is.
 

Slacker G

Senior Stratmaster
May 16, 2021
1,316
Iowa
I wind my strings all the way to the bottom of the tuner. That makes the angle to the nut steep enough to where the trees are not needed. It takes a little more time but it works. I used to do that by hand, but now that I have an electric tuner it is effortless.
 

Scott Baxendale

Most Honored Senior Member
Gold Supporting Member
May 20, 2020
5,567
Sante Fe, NM
I wind my strings all the way to the bottom of the tuner. That makes the angle to the nut steep enough to where the trees are not needed. It takes a little more time but it works. I used to do that by hand, but now that I have an electric tuner it is effortless.
As long as the string doesn’t rub against the bushing you will be ok, but as soon as the string rubs against the bushing it will cause other problems with the gear because as you tune up it uses leverage of the string against the bushing to try and force the post up which creates play in the gear or worse can actually damage the gear.
 

dbb541

Senior Stratmaster
Oct 14, 2010
1,434
Eugene
On my partscasters I only use a string tree for the B and E. I quit using them for D and G because I couldn't really tell much difference. I typically string up and tune a partscaster prior to putting the tree on, just to test things out. With out the tree for the B & E, those strings feel really loose. I can't see how having no tree would work. I know the strings would pop out if I went full throttle strumming chords and bending. But give it a shot, pretty easy experiment.
 


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