Need expert help on my VM neck

Discussion in 'Squier Stratocasters' started by TimTheViking, May 22, 2019.

  1. TimTheViking

    TimTheViking Squier-Nut

    711
    Feb 13, 2019
    Chesapeake, Virginia
    I purchased a new 70s Vintage Modified from Sweetwater a few months ago. One thing I noticed and has bothered me from the beginning is that when I play an open E chord, the palm of my hand mutes the high E string. It does not happen on any other of my guitars electric or acoustic. So I modified how play that chord when playing the VM but wondered why this neck was different. Then I also noted that the high E string would also easily drop off the fret too which is frustrating. So I've done some measuring and comparing with my Affinity Strat. What I found is that they are very different and now I wonder if there is something wrong with the neck. Per my rep at Sweetwater I've tried loosening the neck and moving it in the neck pocket and it's helped maybe a little, but by comparison, there's about twice as much distance between the the string and the edge of the fretboard on my Affinity. According to spec, the VM has a 1.65" nut and the Affinity has a narrower 1.6" so theoretically, the Affinity should have less space between the string and the edge. He's some pictures and I'm hoping that one of you guys with a VM can post what your measurements are. I'm pretty close to either sending it back to Sweetwater for repair or taking it to the local Fender repair center which is Guitar Center. What do you think, does this need to go back? Is this normal? I'm not going to do any real luthier work on it yet like sanding the neck or the pocket.

    ky3dcQWiSu6lzYrkx4YbeQ.jpg X2M2470qTvSjQ4wv%A%DJA.jpg
    This is at the third fret. The left is the VM with only 2/64 to the fret bevel and the Affinity with quite a bit more with like 5/64.


    vAhy6vlZQwWfumDRrDhATQ.jpg
    You can see that there's 6/64 between the string and the edge of the fretboard.


    fullsizeoutput_1f19.jpeg fullsizeoutput_1f1b.jpeg
    These two show that the inter-string distance is identical so it does not seem to be that the nut has been filed incorrectly.

     
    mb doug and dbrian66 like this.
  2. Bassman96

    Bassman96 Squier-holic

    Age:
    41
    Nov 13, 2010
    Oak Harbor, WA
    From my eyes it looks like the VM has a bit more space from the edge to the Low E than the affinity does. So my guess would be that while the string spacing was filed correctly they started too far in on the bass side and almost ran out of room on the treble side. I think a new nut should fix that right up.
     
    Conghaille, Caddy and dbrian66 like this.
  3. Bassman96

    Bassman96 Squier-holic

    Age:
    41
    Nov 13, 2010
    Oak Harbor, WA
    When you sight down the neck do the strings run parallel to the edges or don't they angle in one direction or another? In other words... Is the edge distance consistent the full length of the neck?
     
    dbrian66 likes this.
  4. TimTheViking

    TimTheViking Squier-Nut

    711
    Feb 13, 2019
    Chesapeake, Virginia
    You are correct that there is more space on the low E side but it does not seem to be different enough to make a new nut the fix. I think the picture which was taken through a magnifying glass distorts it a bit. But you very well could be right.
     
  5. TimTheViking

    TimTheViking Squier-Nut

    711
    Feb 13, 2019
    Chesapeake, Virginia
    No it's not. As you go down the neck, the distance increases on the high E string making drop off less and less of a problem.
     
  6. Bassman96

    Bassman96 Squier-holic

    Age:
    41
    Nov 13, 2010
    Oak Harbor, WA
    Then yes your nut is crooked with the bridge and thus your issue. Edge distance should be consistant if it is in line with the bridge.
     
    stratman420 likes this.
  7. TimTheViking

    TimTheViking Squier-Nut

    711
    Feb 13, 2019
    Chesapeake, Virginia
    I'll take close ups of both nuts and post them. But it will be later on today.
     
    KG7IL likes this.
  8. Bassman96

    Bassman96 Squier-holic

    Age:
    41
    Nov 13, 2010
    Oak Harbor, WA
    If it's angled to the bridge which it is from how you have described the edge distance it will need to be replaced. That angle will mess with all sorts of tuning issues up and down the neck. With the strings not at the correct angle to the frets it makes the fret spacing larger than it should be for the scale length. I would bet money your intonation runs a bit sharp all the way up since the frets will be essentially closer to the bridge with each fretting. Instead of this between the frets..
    |-|

    you have this going on..

    |/| (Essentially) making the string longer between the frets than designed meaning the note is fretted sharp. Swap the nut and your problem will be gone. Good news is a nut swap is cheap and simple.
     
  9. drewcp

    drewcp Squier-holic

    Age:
    35
    Dec 14, 2018
    Saint Paul, MN
    It could be the whole neck is still not in alignment. It would be pretty odd for just the nut to be off, but if the whole neck is a askew, the nut and everything else would be misaligned.
     
  10. Bassman96

    Bassman96 Squier-holic

    Age:
    41
    Nov 13, 2010
    Oak Harbor, WA
    As close off as the strings are at the nut end (3/64ths) there is likely not enough play in the neck pocket to correct that. This looks like a QC issue at the factory. Nut was intalled wrong is my bet.
     
  11. TimTheViking

    TimTheViking Squier-Nut

    711
    Feb 13, 2019
    Chesapeake, Virginia
    Intonation is perfect. A barred F at the 12th fret sounds as good as an open E. No issues setting it either. I don't think it's crooked or angled which would mean the nut slot is the issue not the nut itself. More like the slots have been filed with the low E starting off too far from the edge.
     
    Caddy likes this.
  12. TimTheViking

    TimTheViking Squier-Nut

    711
    Feb 13, 2019
    Chesapeake, Virginia
    Think you're right and the will need to be sent back to SW.
     
  13. TimTheViking

    TimTheViking Squier-Nut

    711
    Feb 13, 2019
    Chesapeake, Virginia
    This guitar was sold as a demo and damaged however the damage was a very small ding near the scratch plate.
    Now I wonder if they knew of this other issue...
     
  14. strat_strummer

    strat_strummer Squier-holic

    Age:
    57
    Nov 24, 2018
    Crappie fishing.
    It looks like to me just a simple task of loosening the neck mounting screws and adjusting it a bit.
     
    drewcp likes this.
  15. Bassman96

    Bassman96 Squier-holic

    Age:
    41
    Nov 13, 2010
    Oak Harbor, WA
    He mentions already doing that in the OP and that it had little effect correcting it.
     
  16. strat_strummer

    strat_strummer Squier-holic

    Age:
    57
    Nov 24, 2018
    Crappie fishing.
    Didn't see it, my apologies.
     
    TimTheViking likes this.
  17. TimTheViking

    TimTheViking Squier-Nut

    711
    Feb 13, 2019
    Chesapeake, Virginia
    I'm sending it back to SW for repair. But here's a few more pics showing both the VM and the Affinity.

    CAcqTX3QRhSLy7d+kCoQqg.jpg fullsizeoutput_1f1e.jpeg
    Vintage Modified neck

    xJ9IK+znQtipETym+tIZfQ.jpg f4eLz1WwQIatKkg6SOyIeQ.jpg
    Affinity neck
     
  18. oneLOCOman

    oneLOCOman Squier-Nut

    Age:
    64
    977
    Oct 2, 2018
    Missouri
    Here is my VM70's neck. I thought the same thing about my high E being close to the edge of the fret board but I guess I just adapted. Do not notice it now.
    VM.nut.jpg
     
    drewcp likes this.
  19. TimTheViking

    TimTheViking Squier-Nut

    711
    Feb 13, 2019
    Chesapeake, Virginia
    Thanks for posting the pic. What's weird is according to Fender, the nut of the Affinity is more narrow than the VM so that should be the one with any issues.
     
  20. Bassman96

    Bassman96 Squier-holic

    Age:
    41
    Nov 13, 2010
    Oak Harbor, WA
    It could be my eyes playing tricks but on both those VMs the spacing between the B and the E looks slightly wider than the rest of the spacing. Could just be an illusion
     
    duzie likes this.
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