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Old 10-21-2009, 12:35 PM
lofapco lofapco is offline
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Default String T's (Guides) why and how to install question...

I just traded into a new custom built Strat copy. It features a solid open pore mahogany body made by a Luthier in Hudson, Wisconsin, an old Maple 70's style neck with the large Fender headstock, Texas Specials pickups and gold hardware.

I noticed right away that there were no String T's installed. I have seen many Strats and all have at least one with the e and b string and some add a 2nd with the G and D strings. I have looked around online and see that for less than $5-6 bucks I can order a set of two guides with screws and spacers in gold from Stewmac.

I guess my first question is, why are string t's used and are the necessary. What sonic benifit do they provide to a Strat or Tele?

2nd question is, if I order a set of 2, should I use both or just one on the e and b strings? Also, any hints or tricks of the trade for install? Looks like they just screw into the headstock, behind the nut aways and inbetween the 2 strings they hold.

Here are some photos of my "new to me" Strat copy.... (It sounds amazing by the way! I love the deeper tones the fairly heavey Mahogany body gives.)













Thanks for any help or suggestions. If you know of a better deal than what I found at Stewmac, please let me know here or via PM.
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Last edited by lofapco; 10-22-2009 at 07:23 AM.
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  #2  
Old 10-21-2009, 08:34 PM
lofapco lofapco is offline
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Just a bump in the hopes someone knows something about the string channels on Fender headstocks....
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Old 10-22-2009, 05:32 AM
RustyAxe RustyAxe is offline
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Fender (style) necks are essentially flat, ie, the headstock is on the same plane as the fretboard, so there's not much of a break angle across the nut. This is more pronounced on the treble side, as the distance to between nut and tuning post is longer. On the bass side, if the string is properly wound on the post, there's more of an angle.

On another note ... guitars marked "Fender" that are not made by Fender make me crazy. It's a beautiful guitar for sure. But why the deception?
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Old 10-22-2009, 06:05 AM
lofapco lofapco is offline
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Originally Posted by RustyAxe View Post
On another note ... guitars marked "Fender" that are not made by Fender make me crazy. It's a beautiful guitar for sure. But why the deception?
Not sure why it was done that way... I assume to make it look like a Fender to whoever originally built it. It doesn't bother me as it was not marketed as anything but a Custom built Mahogany Strat with Custom Shop Texas Specials which is exactly what it is. It is my assumption that since the body was built by a luthier, the neck was not original Fender equipment, but I am not even sure of that. All I know is that is sounds great, whatever the neck radius is, I love it. It surprises me that a 1 5/8" neck is not too narrow for me and instead very comfortable for electric playing. I think Parts-casters can be pretty cool but have no opinion on what is put on the headstock. No deception intended by me anyway... I just wanted a nice playing "Strat like" guitar to have something tonally different than my Epiphone SG's tone.

Back to the String T's.... Is there a reason to have either one or two on the headstock? It seems like older Fenders had only one and many of the newer ones have two.
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Old 10-22-2009, 06:32 AM
guitararmy guitararmy is offline
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Default string trees

I would find a friend with a real Fender Strat and copy the location of the string trees. You might just install one for the high E and B strings, and see if you need the second tree. If you put enough winds around the tuning posts to put some downward tension on the D and G strings, you might avoid the open string buzzing that comes from some looseness at the nut...
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Old 10-22-2009, 06:49 AM
RustyAxe RustyAxe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lofapco View Post
No deception intended by me anyway...
I know ... you described it well. Just wondering why a luthier would do that ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by lofapco View Post
Back to the String T's.... Is there a reason to have either one or two on the headstock? It seems like older Fenders had only one and many of the newer ones have two.
Like someone else has said, try one for the E and B strings, and see how that works for you. His point about the windings is spot on, too. Strings should always be wound on the posts such that they go from the nut to the bottom of the post, which will give the greatest break angle. If the strings don't "flop" out of the nut slots, and have sufficient volume, a string-T isn't necessary.

A good tech can do the job for you for short money.
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Old 10-22-2009, 06:56 AM
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talkgtr talkgtr is offline
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the string trees are installed to put down-pull across the nut, mainly to keep the smaller strings from popping out of the nut slots. If that's not a problem, you could leave them off. Or just use one.

On my newest build I have no string trees but I used Gotoh staggered post 6 inline vintage tuner set (get shorter towards the high "E" string).

You may notice if you install string trees, the feel of the shortened strings will be slightly different, have a little more tension.

Fender never put then in the same place twice but by accident. I prefer the early round trees myself and on my guitars I generally use only one.





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Old 10-22-2009, 08:08 AM
Sprinter Sprinter is offline
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If you can find one, I suggest one of the old style G&L string trees. They were a hoop that kept the E, B, & G strings contained so that they can't pop out of the tree. Also, they work great for doing behind the nut string bends!




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Old 10-22-2009, 09:25 AM
lofapco lofapco is offline
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Thanks for the suggestions guys...

Since my guitar is a hardtail and I won't be using a whammy bar, I think the regular old ones will work fine and are the cheapest. They have them in gold at Stewmac so that is what I think I will do. I think it is unlikely that the strings will pop out of the nut, but the e and b strings do feel a little "loose" to my fingers and I think a string t would help that.

As far as installing it goes, looks to be eaisier than putting on a strap bolt in the neck. Nothing much to hit in the headstock. I figured I would just mark the spot with something while the strings are on so I can get a good middle of the string location, loosen the strings and screw it in.
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Old 10-22-2009, 10:35 AM
RustyAxe RustyAxe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lofapco View Post
As far as installing it goes, looks to be eaisier than putting on a strap bolt in the neck. Nothing much to hit in the headstock. I figured I would just mark the spot with something while the strings are on so I can get a good middle of the string location, loosen the strings and screw it in.
Uh ... drill a pilot hole first to prevent splitting. And watch how deep you make that pilot hole, you don't want to come out the back side! BTW - I've seen a few awful messes made by people installing their strap buttons on acoustic guitars without knowing how the neck and body are attached.
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Old 10-22-2009, 11:02 AM
lofapco lofapco is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RustyAxe View Post
Uh ... drill a pilot hole first to prevent splitting. And watch how deep you make that pilot hole, you don't want to come out the back side! BTW - I've seen a few awful messes made by people installing their strap buttons on acoustic guitars without knowing how the neck and body are attached.
Which is why I only let my favorite luthier/tech put strap buttons on my guitars. The string t looks to be something I can do. I planned on putting some tape around the drill so I don't go too deep...
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Old 10-22-2009, 12:33 PM
RustyAxe RustyAxe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lofapco View Post
Which is why I only let my favorite luthier/tech put strap buttons on my guitars. The string t looks to be something I can do. I planned on putting some tape around the drill so I don't go too deep...
OK, hope you weren't offended by my post, I just couldn't bear the thought of a split headstock. I'm sure you'll do a fine job.
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Old 10-22-2009, 01:54 PM
lofapco lofapco is offline
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OK, hope you weren't offended by my post, I just couldn't bear the thought of a split headstock. I'm sure you'll do a fine job.
Not at all Denny! I appreciate your responses in this thread. You have been very helpful. I also would cry if I somehow managed to split the headstock! I should be OK on this though as I tend to be somewhat anal about doing things right on my guitar. If there is any doubt in my mind I will be having someone who knows what they are doing work on them.
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