How to install a Fender L.S.R Roller Nut on a Stratocaster
In this post, I’m going to cover how to install a Fender LSR roller nut on a strat.
Fender LSR roller nut instructions
It is a straight forward job easily attainable. Especially if you install it on a rosewood fingerboard. You only need a cutter, a file, a screwdriver and a drill with a small drill bit.
It is slightly more challenging if you want to place it on a maple neck because that type of wood is very hard. You need a Dremel to remove the extra bit of fingerboard. Using a file is going to take forever and trying to do it with a cutter isn’t going to work. You can hurt yourself, break the cutter, or both.
You can achieve this task within 20 minutes. I already installed a Fender L.S.R Roller Nut on most of my Stratocaster, and it was always an easygoing duty.
To get a perfect tuning stability on a Stratocaster sporting a tremolo you need:
And the famous Fender L.S.R Roller Nut
It is not necessary to use any devices such as a Goldo Backbox, a Hipshot Tremsetter or any tremolo stabilizer. Those systems prevent you from setting the tremolo right.
You get a stable tremolo by setting up the springs tension right. You just have to adjust the springs according to the strings. Check out the 2nd video posted at the footer of this article to see me setting up a vibrato in floating position by simply adjusting the claw.
I have tried the Goldo backbox, the Hipshot Tremsetter, and the tremol-no and I don’t like any of them.
The tremol-no is easy to install and to set up, but it is useless. It only blocks the tremolo or prevents it from going up. It is no help for floating position.
The backbox is more touchy to set up and can somehow maintain stability for the floating position, but I can get a better outcome only working on the springs.
Finally, the Hipshot Tremsetter is a nightmare to set up and like the two others; it is totally useless. I uninstalled the Hipshot Tremsetter and the Goldo backbox, and I still have a few Backbox unopened that I am going to sell on eBay.
Fender LSR roller nut instructions
You do not need to remove the strings to reduce the fingerboard. Simply lift them, you would use them later to align the LSR roller nut.
Doing it with a simple cutter is easy. I know luthiers are going to call me names, but only the result counts. It’s the fifth roller nut I installed, and my guitars are fantastic. You have to lower the fingerboard with the bottom of the slot of the original nut. The entire surface of the nut’s cut must be even.
When you have finished with the cutter job, perfect it with a file or a Dremel. The better job you do, the less adjustment you’ll have to do later.
I use the strings to align the roller nut and to maintain it at the right position. I drill only one side to hold the L.S.R roller nut in place. Once screwed, I drill the second hole to finish the job. et voila!
Depending on your guitar and the quality of your job it might be over.
If the strings are buzzing in open strings or the entire action is too low, you’d have to use the shim handed with the roller nut.
You just have to unscrew the two screws, loosen the strings and insert a shim in between the roller nut and the retainer cage. Tune the guitar again and check.
Repeat this action until you get the desired setting. If the guitar wasn’t buzzing with the original nut, and if you didn’t go deeper than the original nut’s slice, you should be able to set the roller nut without any shim or just a few.
Out of all the six guitars I installed it on, only one required shim’s insertion. I had to insert one on the treble side and two on the bass side. On this one, the guitar was perfectly set without being obliged to fine tune.
Keep in mind that the Fender L.S.R Roller Nut has a radius and can only be installed on Stratocaster type of neck.
Here is an old bearded video in wish I’m explaining how to setup a vibrato in floating position working on the spring’s tension. I was doing it on a Floyd Rose vibrato, but the technique is the same for every vibrato using springs attached on a claw.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or tips to add.
I am Hervé Senni, a pro musician and performer for quite some time.
My main musical instrument is unquestionably the electric guitar. Nevertheless, I also perform bass guitar, mandolin, Ukulele, and invented string instruments. I am also a composer as well as an arranger. Over the years, repairing and trying to further improve electric guitars that a majority of times did not have to be upgraded converted me right into a self-taught luthier.