I decided to setup my main strat yesterday. I set it up to Fender recommended specs (9.5" radius) as a starting point:
- .010" neck relief, measured between the low E string and the 8th fret with both 1st and 22nd frets pushed down
- 4/64" action, measured at the 17th fret
With this, the guitar wasn't uncomfortable to play, but felt stiff... very much like an acoustic. I lowered the action slightly at the bridge and it felt a little better, but the strings strat to fret out when bending in the upper registers (i.e high E chokes when doing 1/2 step bend at 15th fret.)
I sighted down the neck, and don't see any high frets or bumps that would cause this.
So I put the strings back to 4/64" and put a capo on the first fret. With the capo in place, the guitar plays perfect! I can do whole step bends without fretting out, the action still measures 4/64" at the 17th fret, and it is very comfortable to play over the whole neck. This makes me think that the nut slots may not be deep enough.
What is the easiest way to measure the depth of the nut slots? What would be an ideal measurement? I was thinking of measuring the gap between the strings and the first fret, while fretting the string at the 3rd fret... would that work, or is there a better way?