Nut width/string spacing vs bridge string spacing

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Brian Evans
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Location: Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia

Nut width/string spacing vs bridge string spacing

Post by Brian Evans »

I have an old Godin Artisan TC telecaster that I am hot-rodding for fun. It's probably going to be like Washington's axe - it's getting new pickups and a new bridge, it will probably get a new neck, and then it will probably get a new body, while the original guitar gets put back together... However, I have a question about string spacing. The Godin neck has a nut width of 1.650 and a bridge string spacing of the traditional Telecaster 2.125". I'm fairly OK with the bridge spacing, plus it matches well with all the pickups available for telecasters (I am going with the Bill Lawrence "Roy Buchanan" T series). But the narrow nut makes it hard to play fingerstyle blues in first position. I am thinking of making a new neck with a 1.75" or 1.85" nut width. Will it be considerably odd doing that while keeping the 2.125" spacing at the bridge?

Thanks, Brian

Bill Raymond
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Location: Red Bluff California

Re: Nut width/string spacing vs bridge string spacing

Post by Bill Raymond »

Only to folks used to/preferring the narrower nut width. It makes perfect sense to me, as I'm used to the wider necks and can't seem to play those skinny necks. I believe that Fender necks come in several different widths, though the skinny ones seem to be more common.

Mario Proulx
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Re: Nut width/string spacing vs bridge string spacing

Post by Mario Proulx »

As long as you taper the neck according to the two spacings, all's good.

When I built my tele-type last year, I did precisely that. Not quite 1-3/4" at the nut, but close...

Gordon Bellerose
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Re: Nut width/string spacing vs bridge string spacing

Post by Gordon Bellerose »

One measurement that you must take into consideration is the width of the neck at the neck pocket.
A lot of telecasters have a neck width of 2 3/16. If the neck has shrunk at all, it could even be more narrow than that.
If you are building an entire new neck, it would be worthwhile doing a full scale drawing. You may have to rout the neck pocket a bit wider so the strings aren't falling off the edge near the base of the neck.
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!

Robert Smallwood
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Re: Nut width/string spacing vs bridge string spacing

Post by Robert Smallwood »

what everyone said....
in this video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QA71kQ_mh0 - the guy lays out the scale bridge and nut widths giving the taper and by inference the new shape of the neck pocket - he does it on a computer, (for a bass) but you can do the same thing on butchers' paper on a table. Start at 2.50 to skip the introductory spiel & computing setup. there's more detail than you need eg he models each string ..
You could modify the neck pocket with a newly made template or even just three bits of timber/mdf with straight edges..

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Dan Smith
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Re: Nut width/string spacing vs bridge string spacing

Post by Dan Smith »

When you figure out the nut, bridge, and neck widths, check that your pickup pole pieces are under the string paths too. If the high E string is not above a pole piece, you could notice a big drop out in volume.
I have experience.

I have P90 sets from China. Suprisingly, the bridge poles are spread further than the neck pickup poles.
This made me happy. Something else to comsider.

I made an SG to the Angus Young tiny nut width spec. I can't play the dang thing.
Ever-body was kung fu fight-in,
Them kids was fast as light-nin.

Mark Wybierala
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Location: Central New Jersey

Re: Nut width/string spacing vs bridge string spacing

Post by Mark Wybierala »

I have found that pole piece position is quite forgiving and that strings do not need to be centered over the pole pieces but this probably has a lot to do with individual pickups, the material used for the slugs, and whether or not the pole piece is the actual magnet or if the magnetism is provided via a single bar magnet in the base.

As far as string spacing, there are no rules as long as the end result works. The width of the neck heel as mentioned before is going to determine how wide you can get away with at the nut along with the style of fret end dressing -- how much of the total fret width is actual usable fret and then how close to the edge of the fretboard are you comfortable putting the strings.

Alberto Garza
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Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2017 6:43 pm

Re: Nut width/string spacing vs bridge string spacing

Post by Alberto Garza »

Hey there, I have a Godin Artisan TC but want to change everything on it. It was sitting in some basement and the gold hardware turned green. Looks horrible, guitar is kinda playable but I know that with new hardware it will be an excellent guitar. My question is, what bridge can I put on there? Or at least change out the saddles on it. Thanks in advanced.

Brian Evans
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Re: Nut width/string spacing vs bridge string spacing

Post by Brian Evans »

Mine had a fairly standard string through body stop tailpiece with six saddles, and I found that the holes for the strings matched a Gotoh Telecaster bridge that I bought for it. I used the tele bridge since I wanted to mount the replacement pickup in a standard telecaster fashion, I cut out the body to make it fit. I would imagine that any replacement stop tailpiece would fit, the stew-mac page has a couple and you can find a dimensioned drawing for them if you look, and compare to what you currently have.

Alberto Garza
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Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2017 6:43 pm

Re: Nut width/string spacing vs bridge string spacing

Post by Alberto Garza »

A friend of mine just sold me a couple of saddles for 3dlls the whole set of six. Theyre chrome but I only need them to sell the guitar. I think they do fit, Im guessing they use import measurements

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