As I mentioned before, I have almost completed assembly of the white strat project for my friend, EC. I strung it up and finally did an initial set up without replacing the nut. The strings are a bit close to the frets on the first few frets, but it still plays well. But I’m still going to replace the nut to get the benefit of the TUSQ product and its because that’s what my friend wants!
I took the fully functional guitar over to him this evening to get his opinions on the initial set up. He loved it! He said he was shocked with how good it looks. He likes the action a little higher (I had set each string to 3/64ths at the 17th fret while holding the string down at the first fret). So I’ll probably go up to 5/64ths. I still have to do the intonation, but I’ll wait until after I replace the nut.
My friend kept remarking on how good it looked and how much the gold hardware brings out the aged figuring in the maple neck. After a while he handed the guitar back to me and said he was getting a little misty. This was his first guitar ever. His Dad had purchased it used and he had played it everyday for years. He had been in a small blues band and played little bars. He started explaining how the different knocks and scraps had happened. One was from getting hit with a Heineken beer bottle. Another was blocking a punch from an audience member. He kept telling stories and commenting on how the new hardware had just breathed new life into his guitar.
I must admit it was good to hear all this. I always worry that my enthusiasm for this stuff is all me. I worried that he was doing this out of a sense of obligation to our friendship and that he wished he could’ve found a way to get out of it once he’d mentioned it to me and I took off with the idea.
I still worry, but my mind is much more at ease.
He likes it, he really likes it!