Quantcast Ryan's Guitars: Deluxe Strat Overhaul

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Deluxe Strat Overhaul

After the resounding success in cutting a new nut for the used Music Man Sub1 I recently purchased, I decided to go ahead and replace the nut on my '02 Candy Tangerine American Deluxe Stratocaster. Some years ago the original nut was replaced with bone by a local luthier soon after I bought the guitar, but I quickly realized how badly bone nuts can bind with tremolo use so I had it changed to Graph Tech by another local luthier. This nut was very poorly installed, with a large empty space underneath most on the length of the nut! This practically killed most of the open string notes on the guitar.

Cutting the new nut took me two tries to get right, mostly because of the funky nut slot in this guitar. It was not a nice, neat slot like the one on the Music Man. I finally got a good fit and I am very pleased with the result! Of course, I used my favorite nut material (Slip-Stone) since it works so well with tremolo use... plus, it is creme colored for a stock Fender look.

Next I took off the horrible Graph Tech hybrid saddles I installed some time ago and went back to the stock stainless steel bridge saddles the guitar originally came with. Not only do these sound better, but with a small application of 3 in 1 oil on each saddle at the point of string contact they also bind less than Graph Tech saddles. No kidding!

One last thing I did was to put back the original string tree that came on the guitar. My goal with the nut material color, original saddles and original string tree was to get the guitar back to its stock look. And I succeeded. ;) It plays and sounds better than ever.

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