Not enough tension behind the nut?
Just received my new SX fretless bass in the mail yesterday. Upon playing it I found that the A string is muted. Finally figured out that there isn't enough tension pushing the string down into the headstock behind the nut. All of the other strings are fine though. How do I fix this?:bawl:
I make sure to have a few turns of string on the peg to get the string down.
A general stringing rule is to keep the number of turns low to maintain tuning
stability. But for the A string, an extra turn will improve tension over the nut.
I've seen basses where an extra string tree has been between the A and E
to add tension, but I think it should not be necessary if the bass is strung
Make sure the string winds DOWNward on the tuner post - it should be at the bottom of the tuner, close to the headstock, before it heads for the nut. Then press down firmly on the string on both sides of the nut to get a good "witness point" at the nut.
In the picture immediately above, it's not 100% clear to me, but it appears that the E string is not wound correctly. It appears to be coming off the top of the tuner post, not the bottom.
Virtually ALL my SX basses needed a string tree mod. I've done a variety of things and they all work. Usually I make my own string tree which is just a stainless steel bar that pushes ALL the strings down between the nut and first winder pin. But sometimes you can get away with only putting a tree on the upper strings. For example my SX 6 strings were modded with two Stewmac roller trees that push down the top 4 strings. Also a great fix is the top-loading tree (hipshot style) shown by felixxx. Personally I like roller trees the best because they aren't as sticky when tuning like the sliding ones are.
Even though some SX basses do come with string trees, usually they need to be replaced because they chew up strings or stick. But once a proper tree is installed the bass works great from then on. Fix and enjoy!
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