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 Post subject: Shrunken price means shrunken nut width?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 10:13 am 
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Aspiring Musician
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All of Fender's budget Strat lines, whether MIM or Korea (or wherever) have tiny 42mm nut widths placing the strings very close together. This is certainly unplayable for my hands/fingers and I assume many others.

Now in their wisdom, Fender makes all their relatively expensive American Strats with a comfortable and more-or-less industry standard (for better quality guitars) 43mm (1 11/16th"). I have to assume that Fender and all these other manufacturers have determined that 43mm at the nut is the correct size for the human hand.

Which leads to the question: what sub-human species is Fender making these budget Strats for?


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 11:43 am 
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You gotta be referring to the metric string spacing, unfortunately when you buy a foreign made instrument, that's what you get. I agree with you though, they should use american specs. I was able to fix this problem on my mexican strat when I got it, I cut a new nut for standard spacing and then I tilted each string saddle outwards and now the guitar has the standard string spacing.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 1:00 pm 
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I just went thru and looked at the nut width on all Fender and Squier Strats - no Custom Shop Models however. There are some suprises in here.

Nut Sizes

1.61” (41 mm)

Squier Affinity Strats

1.625” (41.275 mm)

Fender Koa Strat
Fender Lite Ash Strat
Fender Artists - Mark Knopfler

1.650” (42 mm)

Fender American vintage 57
Fender American vintage 62
Fender American 70's
Fender Artists - Buddy Guy Standard Stratocaster® with Polka Dots
Fender Artists - Buddy Guy
Fender Artists - Eric Clapton
Fender Artists - Eric Johnson
Fender Artists - John Mayer
Fender Artists - Robert Cray
Fender Artists - Stevie Ray Vaughan
Fender Artists - Yngwie Malmsteen
Fender Classic Player ‘50s
Fender Classic Player ‘60s
Fender Classic ‘50s
Fender Classic ‘60s
Fender Classic ‘70s
Fender Standard Roland Ready
Fender Standard
Fender Vintage Hot Rod '57
Fender Aerodyne™ Classic
Fender XII 12-String
Squier SE 100 Series Strats
Squier Deluxe Strats
Squier Standard Strats
Squier Obey Graphics Strats
Squier Vintage Modified Strats

1.6875” (43 mm)

Fender American
Fender American left-hand
Fender American VG
Fender American Deluxe
Fender American Deluxe HSS
Fender American Deluxe QMT HSS
Fender American Deluxe V-neck
Fender Artists - Jeff Beck
Fender Artists - Jimmie Vaughan Tex-Mex
Fender Deluxe Players
Fender Deluxe Power
Fender Deluxe Powerhouse
Fender Highway One Strats
Fender Standard HSS

Gil, who has too much free time today :lol: 8)

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Where ever you go, there you are

1998 Ovation 1861 Standard Balladeer Natural
Taka - 2005 Squier '51 Black
Yume - 2006 Squier Strat Cherryburst
Houbi - 2008 Fender VG Strat Blizzard Pearl - won here
Fender Super Champ XD; Vox DA-5


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 1:52 pm 
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Thanks for that, Gil. Posting that list makes you Joe Coolguy, even if you do name your guitars. :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 1:54 pm 
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Gravity Jim wrote:
Thanks for that, Gil. Posting that list makes you Joe Coolguy, even if you do name your guitars. :D


You're welcome. I figured some folks could use the info.

Gil 8)

_________________
Where ever you go, there you are

1998 Ovation 1861 Standard Balladeer Natural
Taka - 2005 Squier '51 Black
Yume - 2006 Squier Strat Cherryburst
Houbi - 2008 Fender VG Strat Blizzard Pearl - won here
Fender Super Champ XD; Vox DA-5


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 2:15 pm 
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Aspiring Musician
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Wow, you da man, Gil! No wonder as much as I love the '51 Affinity it feels like a little kid's toy...it IS! That is the first and best nut width (and corresponding string spacing) guide I've ever seen! It needs to be pat of Fender's product catalogs! String spacing is a very big deal, it affects playability hugely, yet gets very little shrift in specs and in forums.

Of course, string spacing is slightly independent of nut width dependent on the notch spacing, but I hate my first string getting too close to the fret edge and slipping off (I have that problem on my Variax) so you only have so much room to deal with if you want to expand the spacing on a given nut width/neck width.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 2:23 pm 
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Aspiring Musician
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It is very interesting to see on your chart how many artist series are 1.65 or smaller, and that a few MIMs like the Powerhouse are the full 1.6875!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 3:49 pm 
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Rock Star
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I was the most surprised by the width for the 12-string - only 1.650” (42 mm) and the Mark Knopfler Strat - only 1.625” (41.275 mm).

Gil 8)

_________________
Where ever you go, there you are

1998 Ovation 1861 Standard Balladeer Natural
Taka - 2005 Squier '51 Black
Yume - 2006 Squier Strat Cherryburst
Houbi - 2008 Fender VG Strat Blizzard Pearl - won here
Fender Super Champ XD; Vox DA-5


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 4:21 pm 
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It's also funny how the Standard HSS MIM is 43 while the standard MIM triple single is 42.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 4:40 pm 
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Aspiring Musician
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I counsel not just younger players but really anybody to be aware of how your performance gets cleaned up by having the proper nut/string spacing. When I go back to the standard 43mm after the little guys my notes and chording are noticeably less sloppy and cleaner overall.

All depends on your hand/finger size and also a little-explored aspect: The size of your "pads" or the ends of your fingers. This actually varies widely between any two individuals. In my case I have large "pads" and with anything narrower than 43mm, I cover extra strings resulting in buzz and slop that disappears in the 43mm spacing.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 10:57 am 
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Rock Star
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Updated on 9/14/2007

I just went thru and looked at the nut width on all Fender and Squier Strats and now Custom Shop Models. There are some suprises in here, especially when adding the Custom Shop.

Nut Sizes

1.600” (41 mm) (Really 40.64 mm)

Fender Custom Shop Dick Dale Signature

1.61” (41 mm) (Really 40.894 mm)

Squier Affinity Strats

1.625” (41.275 mm)

Fender Koa Strat
Fender Lite Ash Strat
Fender Artists - Mark Knopfler

1.650” (42 mm) (Really 41.91 mm)

Fender American Vintage 57
Fender American Vintage 62
Fender American 70's
Fender Artists - Buddy Guy Standard Stratocaster® with Polka Dots
Fender Artists - Buddy Guy
Fender Artists - Eric Clapton
Fender Artists - Eric Johnson
Fender Artists - John Mayer
Fender Artists - Robert Cray
Fender Artists - Stevie Ray Vaughan
Fender Artists - Yngwie Malmsteen
Fender Custom Shop Eric Clapton Signature
Fender Custom Shop Robert Cray Signature
Fender Custom Shop Robin Trower Signature
Fender Custom Shop 1956 Stratocaster® Relic® LTD (Taos Turquoise)
Fender Custom Shop 1959 Stratocaster® Relic® LTD (Builder Select - Masterbuilt by Todd Krause)
Fender Custom Shop 1960 Relic® Stratocaster® LTD (with Brazilian Rosewood Fingerboard)
Fender Custom Shop 1964 Stratocaster® Closet Classic LTD (Builder Select - Masterbuilt by Yuriy Shishkov)
Fender Custom Shop 1966 Stratocaster® Firemist Silver Metallic Closet Clasic LTD
Fender Custom Shop Master Design 1964 Stratocaster® Relic® LTD (Masterbuilt by Greg Fessler)
Fender Custom Shop Master Design 1964 Stratocaster® Relic® LTD (Teambuilt)
Fender Custom Shop Master Salute Stratocaster® LTD
Fender Custom Shop Reverse Proto Stratocaster® Closet Classic LTD
Fender Custom Shop ‘50s Stratocaster® Relic® LTD (Custom Art by Shepard Fairey-No Two will be Alike)
Fender Custom Shop ‘50s Stratocaster® Relic® LTD (Sonic Blue over 2-Color Sunburst)
Fender Custom Shop ‘60s Stratocaster® Relic® LTD (Black over 3-Color Sunburst)
Fender Custom Shop Closet Classic Tele®/Strat® Hybrid LTD (Builder Select - Masterbuilt by Chris Flemming)
Fender Custom Shop 20th Anniversary Masterbuilt 2007 Stratocaster® Closet Classic
Fender Custom Shop '57 Heavy Relic® Stratocaster®
Fender Custom Shop ‘60s Closet Classic® Stratocaster® with Competition Stripe
Fender Custom Shop ‘62 Heavy Relic® Stratocaster®
Fender Custom Shop LTD Dealer Select Rocking Dog 1959 Strat® Relic®
Fender Custom Shop LTD Dealer Select Wildwood "10s" '50s Stratocaster® Relic®
Fender Custom Shop LTD Dealer Select Wildwood "10s" '60s Stratocaster® Relic®
Fender Custom Shop LTD Dealer Select Wildwood "10s" '65 Stratocaster® Relic®
Fender Custom Shop Classic Relic® HBS-1 Stratocaster®
Fender Custom Shop Rory Gallagher Tribute Stratocaster®
Fender Custom Shop LTD ‘56 Strat® NOS (Candy Colors on White Gold Leaf)
Fender Custom Shop '56 Stratocaster® Closet Classic
Fender Custom Shop ‘56 Stratocaster® NOS
Fender Custom Shop ‘56 Stratocaster® Relic®
Fender Custom Shop ‘60 Stratocaster® Closet Classic
Fender Custom Shop ‘60 Stratocaster® NOS
Fender Custom Shop ‘60 Stratocaster® Relic®
Fender Custom Shop ‘65 Stratocaster® Closet Classic
Fender Custom Shop ‘65 Stratocaster® NOS
Fender Custom Shop ‘65 Stratocaster® Relic®
Fender Custom Shop ‘66 Stratocaster® Closet Classic
Fender Custom Shop ‘66 Stratocaster® NOS
Fender Custom Shop ‘66 Stratocaster® Relic®
Fender Custom Shop ‘69 Stratocaster® Closet Classic
Fender Custom Shop ‘69 Stratocaster® NOS
Fender Custom Shop ‘69 Stratocaster® Relic®
Fender Classic Player ‘50s
Fender Classic Player ‘60s
Fender Classic ‘50s
Fender Classic ‘60s
Fender Classic ‘70s
Fender Standard Roland Ready
Fender Standard
Fender Vintage Hot Rod '57
Fender Aerodyne™ Classic
Fender XII 12-String
Squier SE 100 Series Strats
Squier Deluxe Strats
Squier Standard Strats
Squier Obey Graphics Strats
Squier Vintage Modified Strats

1.6875” (43 mm) (Really 42.8625 mm)

Fender American
Fender American left-hand
Fender American VG
Fender American Deluxe
Fender American Deluxe HSS
Fender American Deluxe QMT HSS
Fender American Deluxe V-neck
Fender Artists - Jeff Beck
Fender Artists - Jimmie Vaughan Tex-Mex
Fender Custom Shop Jeff Beck Signature
Fender Custom Shop Custom Classic “C” Neck
Fender Custom Shop Custom Classic “V” Neck
Fender Custom Shop LTD 60th Anniversary Presidential Select
Fender Custom Shop LTD Dealer Select Russian Stratocaster® Master Built by Yuriy Shishkov
Fender Custom Shop Stratocaster® Pro
Fender Deluxe Players
Fender Deluxe Power
Fender Deluxe Powerhouse
Fender Highway One Strats
Fender Standard HSS

Gil 8)

_________________
Where ever you go, there you are

1998 Ovation 1861 Standard Balladeer Natural
Taka - 2005 Squier '51 Black
Yume - 2006 Squier Strat Cherryburst
Houbi - 2008 Fender VG Strat Blizzard Pearl - won here
Fender Super Champ XD; Vox DA-5


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 12:54 pm 
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Aspiring Musician
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Very cool. Very, very cool. :D Interesting that custom shop and vintage are not going wide. My guess is the wider width was a later innovation. Note, although the Highway One has the wide nut, same as the other made in the USA factory guitars, on the Highway One the strings are centered more to compensate for the jumbo frets. It works, and since I bend up from the bottom strings I never go off. However, because of it from my feel the strings are closer on the Highway One than on the American and Am Deluxe. So, compared to them my clumsy oaf hands would tend to bonk the g string on full step bends and get it to hummmmmmmm. Arrghhh! Gradually, I stopped doing it, adjusting, and also I raised the action a little by floating the bridge up to the full factory spec of 1/8" from the bottom of the bridge to the guitar surface. Plays like buttah. Buttah!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 2:32 pm 
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Aspiring Musician
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Excellent point, too bad the measurement standard isn't 1st-to-6th string at the nut, the true indicator of string spacing.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 3:03 pm 
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Rock Star
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It's too bad, but I compiled what was available from Fender. Unless you go to guitar store with a good steel ruler, you have to go by published specs, and then picking up a guitar and see how it plays for yourself.

The published specs are just a starting point.

Gil 8)

_________________
Where ever you go, there you are

1998 Ovation 1861 Standard Balladeer Natural
Taka - 2005 Squier '51 Black
Yume - 2006 Squier Strat Cherryburst
Houbi - 2008 Fender VG Strat Blizzard Pearl - won here
Fender Super Champ XD; Vox DA-5


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2007 11:12 am 
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Aspiring Musician
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Posts: 634
Sure, it comes down to actual measurements of the string spacing. And the relationship between that spacing and the neck width. I'd like to see a little more fret extension below the first string in general since the string can get pulled off the fret edge too easily.


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