Absolutely nuts

  1. Tiburon Slim
    Tiburon Slim
    Greetings from the bottom of the Strad food chain. I have a plywood Stadium that I truly love, but the action is painfully high. Part of the problem is clearly with the nut -- fretted notes are measurably sharp in relation to open ones, from the first fret on up.

    I'm wondering if any of you folks have had similar problems with Stadiums or low-end Strads. The nut looks like a nice bit of bone, but it's bulky, boxy, with almost no rounding of the edge on the peghead side. The grooves are very shallow, and of course it's just plain high.

    Clearly, one answer would be to sand it down and regroove it. That'll take care of the low-end intonation, but just by eyeballing it, I can see that the stock saddle is too high too. That brings me to my second question(s): Could it be that the neck is just out of whack? Is that common to Stadiums? Does it make sense to get a neck reset on a $125 plywood mando?

    As I said, I love the little guy. It's got a full, throaty sounds, particularly on chords, that I wouldn't have thought a plywood body could produce. But it's hard to play it for long, and bad intonation on every fret is not something you can work around.

    Any thoughts?
  2. Bruce Clausen
    Bruce Clausen
    Welcome to our world, Slim. Yes, you could lower and regroove your nut, or get a new one made professionally. Where I live that's a $40 job, and an instant improvement to almost any instrument. The bridge is another matter. Often they won't adjust high enough, but it sounds like yours won't go low enough? Or is it adjustable? Does the neck look wonky when you sight along it? A lower adjustable or one-piece bridge might help, but it sounds like there could be another issue. You don't want to spend too much on it, fair enough, but maybe you should get a pro luthier to have a look just to get their take. Hope this helps.
  3. Tiburon Slim
    Tiburon Slim
    Thanks, Bruce. You're right, of course: I need to have it looked at by someone who knows what he's doing. The neck looks true enough, but its angle is absurdly low. If I sight straight down it, I'm almost looking between the two piece of the adjustable bridge. That can't be right.
  4. bmac
    very late comment....

    Someone most likely put a new nut on it before you purchased it and didn't know how to adjust it... It sounds like an unadjusted nut... Go to frets.com and find out how to do these adjustments yourself. Not rocket science and you really don't want to spend a whole lot of money on your Stadium.
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