Review of new Warmoth neck, for first time buyers and semi-amateur builders

ejm

Active member
Messages
25
17 September 2021
Review of Warmoth 59 Roundback neck


Received: Mid July 2021
Neck backshape: 59 Roundback
Fingerboard radius: 7.25 inch Vintage
Nut width: 1.65 inches
Fingerboard: Pau Ferro
Neck shaft: Maple
Finish ordered: None/Unfinished
Frets: 6150 (NOT 6105), spec = 0.047 x 0.104, Warmoth beveled
Tuner holes: Sperzel (staggered height tuners)
Nut: Warmoth cut and installed TUSQ XL white (note: NOT an off the shelf pre-slotted nut)
Other details:
Guitar body: Mexican Strat with tremolo
Bridge string spacing: Standard modern (approximately) 52.4 mm (2 1/16 inch) E to E. Note: this is NOT the older vintage spacing.
String gauge: 009 to 042

My review is NOT oriented towards the person with a bench full of luthier tools, nut files, above average experience, etc etc etc.

Here are my first time buyer findings.

Summary:
I guess the only two complaints are:
- You'll most likely need to install at least one string tree. Even if you're using staggered height tuners. Minor issue, but don't be surprised. I'm using a Strat, but this probably applies to Teles as well. If you don't, the strings may pop out of the nut when bending.
- The Warmoth installed TUSQ nut was the major disappointment. In short, I would not order a Warmoth installed nut again, but instead I'd do my own using a pre-slotted off the shelf Graphtech TUSQ nut.

Add it all up, and IMO this neck was NOT ready to go out of the box. The strings would pop out of the nut slots, and it would not stay in tune in spite of several things that I tried. I gave this neck a couple of months to settle in, and it was a no-go.
However, if you have an OTS TUSQ nut and string trees waiting when you receive the neck, unless I missed something, there is nothing extra or unexpected that would have been needed to be done.
Install the the tuners, string tree, bolt it on, adjust, and play.  (Yes, I know about having to drill the tuner screw/guide holes, etc. This review is not about that.)

1) If you have all of the parts waiting, and the neck arrives, and you put it together, and the high E (or some other string) pops out of the nut the first time that you bend a string, now you need a string tree. If you live in a remote area with no shops, or don't have one handy, now you need to wait some more until you can get one.
2) The Warmoth installed nut that I received was (I hate to say it) not much more than a guide for the strings. I'm convinced now, after replacing the nut, and also trying several things, that the nut was the reason that the guitar would not stay in tune and/or play in tune when using the trem or bending the strings. (Of course, if playing in tune or staying in tune is not a requirement for you, then this isn't an issue.) To fix this problem you need to either:
- Replace the nut, either yourself or by taking it to a tech/luthier, or
- Have a tech/luthier rework the nut.
Both require more time and more money spent. And once again, if you live in a remote area, you may not have access to either of these things.

So, how to fix these problems?
1) String trees: Warmoth: At the minimum, put a note on your web site that you will probably need one for the E/B strings, regardless of the tuners that you end up using.
2) The nut: I could recommend several things to Warmoth to maybe fix this problem. That would cost them time and money though, and is a whole 'nuther can of worms.
However, I'll orient this solution towards the end user instead, since it is probably easier for everybody in the long run.
- Just use a pre-slotted off the shelf Graphtech TUSQ nut. You could install (glue) it in after adjusting the height. I have replaced the nuts of a few other guitars this way. It is easy and cheap. There are more than a few videos on Youtube (Stew Mac has a couple of short ones, among others). Done.

Add it all up, and IMO this neck was NOT ready to go out of the box. The strings would pop out of the nut slots, and it would not stay in tune.
So, install the string trees and an OTS nut.
Outside of installing tuners, it would then essentially be truly playable "out of the box".
Install the the tuners, OTS nut, string tree, bolt it on, adjust, and play.
No extra time and expenses with a tech/luthier.
(Unless of course you want super low action and/or are really picky, in which case you're on your own.)

It might sound like, after all of that, that I'm not happy with this neck. That is not the case at all. Other than that, I can't think of anything that I'm not pleased with.

Some other things, not criticisms, but mostly comments neither negative nor positive, that may help someone to sort things out.
- The 59 RB neck carve is not as beefy or chunky as I had hoped or thought that it would be, or at least it doesn't really feel like it. Even though it measures per the specs and might lead you to believe that it would feel chunky, it doesn't feel that way. Just guessing, but there doesn't seem to be a lot of "shoulder" (like a D shape?), and that is probably why it feels thinner. However, this is NOT any fault of Warmoth, it's merely a comment on my part. If I had it to do over, I'd probably try an SRV or a Fatback.
- Measurements all spec out fine, fits together, and seems to be of primo quality. I measured everything that I could think of with digital calipers or a 64th inch scale ruler.
- I've done no fretwork on this 7.25 radius board to date. Action is currently at 5/64 inch, all strings, at 17th fret.
- The factory fret beveling is fine. I was concerned about pulling the strings off of the fingerboard. Not an issue. However, note the bridge/string spacing noted above. If you're using a true vintage spec bridge, which is slightly wider, you'll need to check for yourself.
- Frets: Fret height, 6150 (NOT 6105): The actual frets were a little taller than the 0.047 spec from what I measured. They came in at around 0.053 on average. This is understandable and could be due to a couple of things. Not complaining, it's actually a nice surprise.
- I did a check of the fret levels and couldn't find any high spots.
- Pau Ferro: Not good or bad, just a comment on the Pau Ferro fret board.
I thought that a darker board would look better with a sunburst body.
So since I wasn't ordering a maple FB, I wanted something a little brighter sounding than the standard go to Rosewood. I went through the Warmoth tone charts for the various woods and settled on the Pau Ferro.
Even after having the strings on for over a month, and playing a lot, they still sound like new. They still have a lot of "snap". Could it be the Pau Ferro? Maybe.

I have a few other "better" guitars. But for some reason, after getting this build in line, I haven't played any of them since. After the couple of "gotchas" I mentioned, the neck and guitar really does play nice.

I would order from Warmoth again, but make a couple of changes knowing what I do now.

The end.
 

ragamuffin

Senior member
Messages
911
Interesting

My experience with four necks so far:

-Is that I've never needed string trees or had a string pop out of the slot. (using Hipshot staggered tuners) Which staggered tuners did you use?

-My Warmoth installed tusq nuts have been pretty darn good. Not perfect, and specifically the nut on my Albert Lee style build needed some work to stay in tune when using the tremolo, but the others were fine. I highly doubt that an "off the shelf" graphtec would be better; it would still need work, likely at least as much as any of my Warmoth nuts have needed.

Nowhere (that I know of) does Warmoth state that their necks will be ready to go out of the box.

I definitely don't mean to invalidate your experience, just sharing mine.

Got any pics? I'd love to see your build
 

BroccoliRob

Senior member
Messages
881
dang, dude. thats a harsh review. serving up some harsh browns

ive always been able to tweak my Big W Neck nut slots Purdy easily. never had a string pop out of em, but i just always use a tree (guitar string kind, not the kind that grows outdoors) except for on my tilt back hombre. The slots are usually a little high, but like i said, easy-peasy to tweaky-weaky. if ur competent enough to replace nuts than filing an installed 1 should be EZ, my duder

Re: the 59,sometimes one just doesnt know what they like until they try stuff. Tryin stuff is the real game of life.

Like my nephew. my nephew asked me to buy him a bikini back in June but I was like "heck no, are u out of your mind? you need to grow up to be a functional member in society, not some weirdo. the beginning of summer is the worst time to buy swimwear, every savvy consumer knows the best deals are in September. no nephew of mine is gonna pay full price for a 2-piece like some chump." a lotta pools were closed due to the pandemic anyway, so we're going to Kohl's this weekend so get can get what he wants and be ready for next summer. At a good price. li'l dude will never know if he likes a 1-piece or a 2-piece until he tries em out

we have a good time, he and i. Yesterday he asked if we're going to a haunted house this year and I said "boy the past 2 years have been a haunted house" but he didn't get it cause he's a kid and that made me happy so we had a pillow fight and ate Nutella out of the tub (the kind of tub the Nutella comes in, not a tub you fill with water to bathe in)


anyway, better luck in your next neck
 

JohnnyHardtail

Senior member
Messages
319
You are right to point out that Warmoth's nut installation is not ready to play, although I never had the problem with string coming out of the slots. 
Its also common to omit the string trees when tuners with staggered heights are used.  I'm not sure if your issue may be specific to the 7.25" radius fretboard.

I still prefer to have Warmoth do the initial nut installation.  I found its less time consuming than starting with a blank.
On occasion when I replaced the nut, I found the pre-slotted nuts are not a good fit with the 1.687" width nut.  I needed to create the nut from a blank.

 

Rick

Senior member
Messages
4,316
Holy Cow!  My experiences with warmoth necks for over 25 years is totally different.  I guess that's about 10 necks.  Never had a problem with staggered tuners and no string trees.  Never had a problem with nuts.  The initial set-up is always done by highly qualified tech.  If you want a kit, get one those Carvin's or whatever they call themselves these days.  As to the rest as brob says you gotta try things to see what you like.
 

teleme01

Senior member
Messages
365
I ordered my 1st strat neck in 2020 for my pandemic build,  ebony on ebony with corian ervana nut.  I bought string trees but didnt need them.  Klusson locking tuners,  never had any tuning issues.  perhaps my good luck was the Wilkinson tremolo?

Just ordered my 2nd strat neck,  roasted maple with bucote fretboard,  this time i ordered the tusq ervana nut.  My only concern is whether or not i like the bucote tone as much as i love the look.  I will be able to swap the necks between the 2 bodies and see what i like best.  still have the string trees if i need them.  Planning on using klusson tuners again and gotoh 510 tremolo this time around.

it will be a while before i can afford to build a 3rd one.  Bet you a virtual 5 cents i mispelt ervana
 

alexreinhold

Senior member
Messages
473
I think it's a fair review. Slightly pessimistic but fair. I've had the same problems with a TUSQ nut on one guitar but after having a guitar tech fix the nut (and adjust the truss rod) for 30 bucks, the neck plays better than any neck I've played before or since.

I do believe that warmoth delivers the highest quality available in the market but it does require a certain level of knowledge and fine tuning from the customer. And that's the fun part, isn't it?
 

Wolfie351

Senior member
Messages
232
Please link us to where it says Warmoth necks are ready to go out of the box.  Nuts are cut on the high side so you can fine-tune it to your liking.  Its much easier to make the slots deeper than it is to add material.  You will also find aftermarket nuts will need work as well.  Also, check the GOM winners and count how many of them needed string trees.  You didn't even mention adjusting the truss rod, if that was good to go out of the box, you got lucky.

You are obviously new to this so I will keep the flame to a minimum.  But, to think you can just slap together parts and have a perfectly playable instrument is naive. Blaming Warmoth for not having a list of disclaimers is like telling Fender they need to put up a warning that says, "To play the guitar, you may need lessons".  I bought a fuel pump for my Honda last month, came with zero instructions or a list of needed tools or knowledge to install it.  If you buy a part, it's up to you to know how to install it.

You have two choices.  Take that guitar to a tech to have it set up.  Or, take the time to learn the skills and buy the tools to do it yourself.  Oh, and set those digital calipers down and step away.  They are a great tool but, come on...it's a guitar, not the Space Shuttle. 
 

TonyFlyingSquirrel

Senior member
Messages
4,244
I don’t think “off the rack” guitars in general are ready to play right out of the box, so with a parts manufacturer building parts with tolerances to lend themselves to a variety of interchangeable components, it would not be realistic to expect these to be completely playable objectively when you have subjective personal setup requirements.
 

Sadie-f

Senior member
Messages
427
That's in interesting take. I can't speak to a Warmoth neck, my Warmoth body has a neck I originally bought from Musikraft, however I'd bet the build quality is very nearly the same. My next project will almost certainly be a W-neck because Muiskraft doesn't warranty unfinished necks and now that I know how to finish up a neck exactly as I like it (single light coat of oil on a burnished neck). I'll save some $$ and still have warranty.

The comparison I'd suggest is the custom neck to what you would get from Fender. My Fender is an EOB, not a cheap guitar. The action at the nut was far too high for my taste and I did leave it there, because i was going to replace it with a custom neck anyway. The Fender nut had also not had the edge of head side broken at all. I often slide a chord down past the nut and then back up and a sharp corner there really slows that motion down.

BTW, strings 1 & 2 on the Fender also buzzed a bit and it turned out to be a poorly cut nut which I adjusted soon after receiving the guitar. This wan't a problem on the custom neck and I'm sure it won't be when I get a W-neck for that next project.

For nut-side action, I wanted to match how my Martin OM is setup - which in turn is exactly how the books say to setup. I bit the bullet on a set of nut-files and I have to say, dressing a nut in is NOT for the faint of heart, it's really easy to go too far and need to replace the nut entirely *OOPS* fortunately, I'd anticipated and had ordered a couple extras. Also, because I have super large finger tips, one of my intended to-dos is make a custom nut with spacing to suit my already wide 1 3/4" neck. I've also got a blank Martin nut to make a similar adjustment on that axe. I'd rather have to learn to be careful about not slipping 1 or 6 past the edge of the fretboard and have a little more room to avoid buzzing strings against fingertips.

My Fender also needs a string-tree and given my replacement neck has exactly the same head profile as the Fender, it wasn't a big surprise that it also needed the tree. I hadn't thought to buy one, but since I wasn't using the original neck, I just borrowed that one while I waited for a TUSQ tree to arrive. I found when I did that, that Fender had installed the tree-screw at angle not perpendicular to head, and the string tree was rotated 90 Deg from its intended angle. Still worked, but this is 3 counts on which one of the best known manufacturers  is well shy of the quality of what I consider well done. Warmoth / Musikraft have both delivered beautifully against my desire / expectations.

I think a new buyer who expects that a custom neck is going to be setup exactly as they will want it in their finished build is both setting nonsensical expectations, and showing an impressive naivete. I agree with prior comments that leaving the nut relatively high is the right call, also that a string tree is necessary unless you get an angled head and that has implications if your build has a trem bridge.

My first custom build was mostly a project in finish and color (20+ coats of Tung & polymerized Tung oil), however I also was committed to making the details exactly what I wanted -- peizo acoustic saddles and electronics installed with a few tweaks to how Graptech wires their Ghost (and my solder joints are all pretty), I was glad to get a mahogany electronics cover from Seb. Tweaking the nut to where I like it was one of the simplest parts of the build.



 

ejm

Active member
Messages
25
20 September 2021

I'm back!!!!!!! (Please hold down the applause.)
I wanted to wait a few days to get a fair number of responses before I addressed them.
This is a long one, so get your drinks and snacks now.

I will recap a few key items from my original post, and a couple of follow up sort of obvious but maybe not sooper clear items.

My review is NOT oriented towards the person with a bench full of luthier tools, nut files, above average experience, etc etc etc.

- You'll most likely need to install at least one string tree.

- The Warmoth installed TUSQ nut was the major disappointment

If you live in a remote area with no shops, or don't have one handy, now you need to wait some more until you can get another nut.

.......the guitar would not stay in tune and/or play in tune when using the trem or bending the strings.


To fix this problem you need to either:
- Replace the nut, either yourself or by taking it to a tech/luthier, or
- Have a tech/luthier rework the nut.
Both require more time and more money spent. And once again, if you live in a remote area, you may not have access to either of these things.


- Just use a pre-slotted off the shelf Graphtech TUSQ nut. You could install (glue) it in after adjusting the height. I have replaced the nuts of a few other guitars this way. It is easy and cheap. There are more than a few videos on Youtube (Stew Mac has a couple of short ones, among others). Done.

So, install the string trees and an OTS nut.
Outside of installing tuners, it would then essentially be truly playable "out of the box".
Install the the tuners, OTS nut, string tree, bolt it on, adjust, and play.
No extra time and expenses with a tech/luthier.
(Unless of course you want super low action and/or are really picky, in which case you're on your own.)


It might sound like, after all of that, that I'm not happy with this neck. That is not the case at all. Other than that, I can't think of anything that I'm not pleased with.

The neck carve (59 Roundback): However, this is NOT any fault of Warmoth, it's merely a comment on my part.

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
Comments to the above:
Read the title of the topic again.

Read the first one about not having a bench full of tools or more experience again.
At no point did I knock the DIY crowd. If you have the skills and talent and time and like doing it, great. Once again, read the statements again.
The way that I suggest is not the ONLY way, but for beginners/newbies/people who don't have the skills or tools to do it another way, it's a solution.
Also, something that I sort of eluded to: If you have requirements that are somewhat "outside the box", then you may need to go the custom nut and cutting slots route. That should be obvious.
Nut width, string spacing, desired nut material, etc etc etc.
Don't forget super heavy bailing wire gauge strings that would make Stevie Ray cry.
If an OTS nut doesn't work for you, then this entire topic isn't meant for you anyway.
Except for the part about the neck quality being great in every other fit and finish area.

Read the one about living in a remote area and having no shops around again.
Actually, it doesn't matter where you live. If you are all giddy over having the new neck and put the guitar together and it doesn't work, now you've got a problem.
So........
Do you live in a rural area?
Are there any shops around regardless of where you live?
If there is a shop, do they have a "tech"?
Is that person competent and have the tools required? Wrenches and straight edges and screwdrivers are easy. Nut files?
If you're lucky enough to have evaded the problem answers to all of the above, you need to forget about that new guitar for a second and buy a lottery ticket.
But if you have the two parts that I called out waiting (nut and tree), JUST IN CASE I happen to be RIGHT, then you are not stopped. Not to mention having a good chance of successfully completing the build yourself.

Read the one about staying/playing in tune again.
This is not about action set up. This is about staying/playing in tune.
And another sort of obvious thing: This is not something that you'd probably notice the moment you strung it up. You'd probably need to play it for a number of days/weeks before you started to suspect something.
By the way, I USE the trem, and by use I don't mean just for shimmers and subtle effects.
But also noted that bending strings, causing them to slide through the nut, caused the same issue.

Read the one about using an Off The Shelf (OTS) nut, and especially go and look at the Stew Mac videos.
They are short (YAY!!!!!!) and to the point.
The ones specifically are:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BgrIuHI2Xk&ab_channel=StewMac
and
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pi7LtmdOrFw&ab_channel=StewMac
Here's another one, even shorter.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FF_MxQIH6ok&ab_channel=geezerguitarsite

And don't forget to go to the Graphtech TUSQ web site for the free instructions.

Read the last HALF of the entire original post.
ESPECIALLY if you think that I'm being harsh on Warmoth.
I specifically stated all of the things that I was pleased with, and that I'd buy again, just with a couple of changes to the order.
In addition to the things that I specifically stated were COMMENTS, NOT CRITICISMS OR ANY FAULT OF WARMOTH.

Now to address questions from my beloved fans.

Ragamuffin:
I highly doubt that an "off the shelf" graphtec would be better; it would still need work, likely at least as much as any of my Warmoth nuts have needed.

That sort of tells me that you haven't done it. Since you seem to be somewhat open to the idea, the next time you need to do some Strat nut work why not give it a try? It's about $15.
The TUSQ p/n I used was PQL-5000-00, but do your research as YMMV.

Nowhere (that I know of) does Warmoth state that their necks will be ready to go out of the box.
I have seen this a couple of places.
One of them may be in print on the Warmoth site.
The other one is towards the end of the YT video on the fret department.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hwuFgq64mT4&ab_channel=WarmothGuitarProducts

I ordered the nut NOT hoping that it would fail, but instead was hoping that it would work as received.
Once again, this issue was not about action adjustments. It is about staying in tune. I tried a number of things that I did not detail, both adjustment wise and playing techniques. Unfortunately, it always came back to the nut.
Once I replaced the nut the problem was GONE.

I definitely don't mean to invalidate your experience, just sharing mine.
Your civility is appreciated.

Got any pics? I'd love to see your build.
Thanks for the interest.
I'll either send you a couple of PDF/JPEG files if the forum has Private Messages, or put them in another response.

BroccoliRob
dang, dude. thats a harsh review. serving up some harsh browns

Harsh? If that's your view, fine.
But in reality, it's the truth and what my experience was.
And I should note, that instead of just complaining, I also provided what I believe is a practical and inexpensive and easy solution, for anybody having a similar problem with any guitar.

The slots are usually a little high, but like i said, easy-peasy to tweaky-weaky. if ur competent enough to replace nuts than filing an installed 1 should be EZ,
Once again, read the first section of this response.
Easy? Yeah, IF you have the nut files.
And BTW, the action as received was fine (but I'm not super picky either).
But once again, the problem was not the action.

Re: the 59,sometimes one just doesnt know what they like until they try stuff.
Believe me, I did WAY more research than 99.99% of all people do on this.
I made up a spreadsheet with measurements I personally took and from guitars that I actually played for nut width, 1st fret thickness, and 12th fret thickness, and comments where available on shape, etc for:
A real 63
A real 64
A Clapton
An old Warmoth Fatback
Also, I found a magazine called The Stratocaster Bible, where they profiled a bunch of old and new Strats, and gave some dimensions. FWIW.
I put them all on a spreadsheet, then dropped the Warmoth specs in to see how things lined up.
If someone wants a copy of the spreadsheet let me know.
As I said before, the one thing that these measurements cannot account for is the actual "shape".
I may not have gotten what I was hoping for, but I got exactly from Warmoth what they say they will provide in this regard.
And as I said, the 59 RB being different than what I expected was NOT THE FAULT OF WARMOTH, AND WAS A COMMENT ON MY PART.

JohnnyHardtail
I'm not sure if your issue may be specific to the 7.25" radius fretboard.

That popping out of the slot thing was the very first thing that I found during assembly.
Specifically around the high E 3rd to 7th fret area.
Believe me that it took me by surprise.
So the string tree was the first "addition" so to speak.
I guess I could take it out now with the new nut on as an experiment, but I have a feeling that at the end of the day you need a tree.
And if it wasn't clear, the tuners are Sperzel staggered height. (That is in the first part of the original post.)

On occasion when I replaced the nut, I found the pre-slotted nuts are not a good fit with the 1.687" width nut.
Yeah, I could see that.
But, I touched on that in one of the above comments.
If you have requirements that are sort of "outside the box" with respect to an OTS nut, then you need to pursue other solutions.

Teleme01
with corian ervana nut.  I bought string trees but didnt need them.  Klusson locking tuners,  never had any tuning issues.  perhaps my good luck was the Wilkinson tremolo?

I sort of don't think that the Wilky is the reason, but unless we sat down and experimented we won't know.
I suspect that it's the Earvana.
Why? By default the Earvana is a "custom" item that I believe Warmoth does not make, but buys and installs.
Like Graphtech, Earvana needs to get their part right if they want to sell more of them.
Besides, it's working for you now, so run with it.

Alexreinhold
I think it's a fair review. Slightly pessimistic but fair.

Thanks, appreciated.
The dictionary says:
Pessimist: a person who tends to see the worst aspect of things (I gave the good AND the bad) or believe that the worst will happen.
I didn't go into this hoping that it would fail. It just happened, and that is what I found. And that is what I'm reporting.
And as I said, I think that there is a lot more to like here than not.
If I ever ordered again, I'd have a new OTS nut waiting and would run from there.
I wouldn't expect any other problems based upon this experience.
By the way, another definition for you of a pessimist: An optimist with experience.    ;>))

I do believe that warmoth delivers the highest quality available in the market but it does require a certain level of knowledge and fine tuning from the customer. And that's the fun part, isn't it?
I believe that I have that certain level from playing for over 50 years and building and setting up other guitars along the way.
Setting up is/can be the fun part.
Encountering issues along the way like the ones I had, especially if you don't have a solution readily available, may be not so much "fun".

Wolfie351
Please link us to where it says Warmoth necks are ready to go out of the box. 

See above responses.

Nuts are cut on the high side so you can fine-tune it to your liking.  Its much easier to make the slots deeper than it is to add material. 
IF you have the nut files or whatever.
Once again, the issue was not one of action or playability to begin with.
And...........
I have suspicions as to why this nut was not being cooperative.
Just hunches, but it could be one or a combination of:
- Slots cut too narrow, grabbing the strings when raising/lowering the pitch with the trem, causing them not to return to pitch.
- Nut slots being cut level, with no "fall away" angle towards the tuners.
- Something else?
Like I said, just hunches.

You will also find aftermarket nuts will need work as well. 
Nope.
I have done at least three OTS nuts on this and other guitars. Other than sanding them down for overall string height, slot width, etc (all of which are called out in the instructions and videos), nothing else.
No nut files or related.
YMMV.

Also, check the GOM winners and count how many of them needed string trees. 
Why? I'm not sure of the point.
Good for them, but I can only tell you what my experience was.
A string tree is not a major item, UNLESS you don't have one, AND need one.

You didn't even mention adjusting the truss rod, if that was good to go out of the box, you got lucky.
I didn't specifically call out the truss rod.
But like I did say, I spent a month or two letting the neck settle in.
I made adjustments over that time, one of which was the truss rod for relief, etc.
By the way, another thing for the new guys: Out of the box it was adjusted totally loose. If you get a new neck, plan on doing a few adjustments over the first couple of months as the neck adjusts to its new home. Which, by the way, is sort of implied by Warmoth in their reasons for not doing super detailed fret work at the factory.

You are obviously new to this .......
Why? Not true.
Nope.
See above responses.

You have two choices.  Take that guitar to a tech to have it set up.  Or, take the time to learn the skills and buy the tools to do it yourself.
Actually, I have 3 choices. You forgot or dismissed for some reason the one that I propose.
Read the above comments.
Read and understand who this topic was written for, and who it was not.
And by the way, I do have the tools and experience to fix the problem.
Buy an OTS nut for $15 (as opposed to a set of nut files for $100+), get the tool (some sandpaper), and do it myself.
The problem is, it's just not the way that YOU would do it.

Oh, and set those digital calipers down and step away.  They are a great tool but, come on...it's a guitar, not the Space Shuttle.
No.
I posted those measurements as an FYI for anyone, beginner or pro.
For guitar players, the people that argue and obsess over millimeters and 64th and thousandths of an inch when it comes to action height, relief, string gauge, pick thickness, etc etc etc.
It was in the "good" section of the review, to give the confidence in the product and that it meets the advertised specs.
Maybe we should tell Warmoth to delete the measurements on their web site also?

TonyFlyingSquirrel
I don’t think “off the rack” guitars in general are ready to play right out of the box, so with a parts manufacturer building parts with tolerances to lend themselves to a variety of interchangeable components, it would not be realistic to expect these to be completely playable objectively when you have subjective personal setup requirements.

I disagreed at first, but I read your comment a couple of times and thought about it.
If I bought an off the rack guitar at GC, I'd expect it to be the way that I want it before I walked it out the door. (Once again, if that happens, buy a lottery ticket.) If not, they can adjust it, or I can if it's close enough as-is.
But I do agree about a "parts" guitar.
There's a lot of little adjustments that come into play.
Nothing hard, just details.
And once again: I'm not asking for super low action or anything like that.
I'm asking for it to stay in tune reasonably well.
IMO modifying something (filing a nut slot that requires a special tool) is beyond a set up procedure. It's a modification.

Sadie-f
I bit the bullet on a set of nut-files and I have to say, dressing a nut in is NOT for the faint of heart, it's really easy to go too far and need to replace the nut entirely *OOPS* fortunately, I'd anticipated and had ordered a couple extras
.
You sort of validated what I said regrading having that OTS nut and trees waiting when your new neck arrives.
But, you are taking the DIY thing to the next level.
Nothing wrong with that.

I think a new buyer who expects that a custom neck is going to be setup exactly as they will want it in their finished build is both setting nonsensical expectations, and showing an impressive naivete. I agree with prior comments that leaving the nut relatively high is the right call,
Once again, this whole thing was not ever about the action.
Nor was it trying to evade any set up adjustment issues.
It's about staying in tune.
It would involve modifying the existing part (filing the nut slots with a special set of tools).
Which IMO is not or should not be a basic set up issue.

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
Whew that was a long one.
Time for a break.
Oh wait, the mailman just came with a package.
I didn't order this.
Who's it from?
I wonder if it's from someone on the forums?
Hmmm, it says "Unabomber Guitar Parts, Inc".
I wonder what's in it?
Lemme get back to ya............................
 

BroccoliRob

Senior member
Messages
881
whoa is ejm short for Ernest Hemingway? I see youre back in the saddle (the 'saddle' being figuratively where he wrote literal novels) LOL JK

but for serious u can tweak a nut with sandpaper, special files are not 100% required. Also, u keep talking about living rural but surely u have a hardware store nearby, or heck, Amazon. If the action on the nut was fine but the tuning stability was low my guess would be the slots were pinching the strings and you can open the slots with sandpaper. Start with something medium coarse and finish it off with some really fine stuff to make em buttery smooth. A file is just kinda like a metal sandpaper, when one thunks about it
 

stratamania

Senior member
Messages
9,208
rick2 said:
I feel kind of left out that I didn't get an @Rick2 ...

@Rick2 Here you go Rick  :eek:ccasion14:

I did not get one either but did not comment on the thread... :laughing7:
 

raystankewitz

Active member
Messages
73
Just an observation; how does one with 50 years of experience fix the string action at the nut without nut files if the radius of the new "OTS" nut doesn't match the radius of the fretboard? Can't fix that by sanding the bottom of the nut.

That's why I bought fret files. Can't fix a radius mismatch with sandpaper.
 

jay4321

Senior member
Messages
1,278
No point mincing words. I would suggest folks newer to DIY ignore pretty much everything in that post and seek help elsewhere. I would run out of life trying to address all the misinformation and unrealistic expectations line by line.

EJM, I’m glad you’re enthusiastic enough to watch some Dan Erlewine videos on YouTube and feel that’s enough for a dissertation but it’s not. I hope you keep up the hobby but If you do you’re going to look back and realize what a trainwreck you’ve posted.

But in the spirit of helpfulness, if you want to see how a nut is properly done by someone with considerable experience I can show you step by step. At the moment I have a new Strat on the bench that I can’t use a preshaped Tusq for as they don’t offer the needed string spacing, but have an 1 11/16 Warmoth neck next up behind it. I’ve got all the calipers and proper tools needed to demonstrate the difference between simply dropping in a  Tusq and properly finishing the job the right way.

Prefab nuts don’t care how rural you are or what tools you own or what your budget is. String slot depth is done to thousandths of an inch and needs to account for a number of factors particular to the instrument and user. I’ve used Tusq a bunch myself and while a nice time-saver, they’re not magic. Sure, you can sand one down a little, drop it in and get by, lots of people do that. But then lots of people have mysterious tuning stability and intonation problems they can’t seem to work out & own guitars that have never played as well as they could.



 
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