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Bar string retainer height?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by emblymouse, Dec 23, 2012.


  1. emblymouse

    emblymouse I Dig A Pony Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2006
    Location:
    W' Sconsin
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist Lakland**Bag End**Schroeder
    My question is what should the height of a retainer be in relation to the nut slot?

    I just got a Jazz style 5'er that has a single bar string retainer across all the strings. It is positioned right behind the nut (half inch-ish). The B string side was higher than the G side. I'm assuming this needed to be leveled and have screwed it down to match the other end. Right now the height of the retainer puts the strings slightly below the nut slots. The B and E seem like they really torqued with a lot of pressure from this angle this makes. Is there a rule of thumb?
     
  2. Ewo

    Ewo a/k/a Steve Cooper Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Location:
    Huntington WV
    My Lakie 5s have those. Can't say I've ever had any worry about 'em.

    Best I can figure is that you want the string retainer just low enough to keep the strings in their slots so they don't rattle on open notes. That'd mean the retainer is higher on the low string, since it's a much bigger gauge.
     
  3. emblymouse

    emblymouse I Dig A Pony Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2006
    Location:
    W' Sconsin
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist Lakland**Bag End**Schroeder
    So, does this look right?

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  4. megafiddle

    megafiddle

    Joined:
    May 25, 2011
    It might just be the photo, but it looks like it's causing the low string to take off
    from the zero fret at an upward angle compared to the other strings. Check that
    the low string isn't sitting higher than the others at the 1st fret. You may want to
    raise the bar a little.
     
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  6. testing1two

    testing1two Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Location:
    Southern California
    That bar is awfully close to the nut. My Sadowsky uses the same type of retainer but it's 3/4" past the nut. Yours is creating a very steep break angle that is largely unnecessary IMO and causing the upward bow in the b-string.
     
  7. emblymouse

    emblymouse I Dig A Pony Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2006
    Location:
    W' Sconsin
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist Lakland**Bag End**Schroeder
    Yeah, I've raised the whole thing and favored the B side a bit higher. I've never paid close attention to what these look like installed. This did seem awfully close to the nut though. Would I be better served with maybe 2-2 string retainers installed farther up and leave the B at it's own natural angle?
     
  8. testing1two

    testing1two Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Location:
    Southern California
    There's no reason you couldn't move the bar 1/2" further away from the nut if you don't mind the two visible holes that will be left behind.

    One more thing: It's hard to tell from the photos but your bar looks like it's on upside down. Mine has a slight radius that follows the radius of the fingerboard and the flat side faces up. There are countersinks in the flat side so the screws are flush with the top.
     
  9. emblymouse

    emblymouse I Dig A Pony Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2006
    Location:
    W' Sconsin
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist Lakland**Bag End**Schroeder
    You're right, upside down!
    I've got 1/2" total to the B tuner so I'd be moving 1/4" at most. Do you think that will make enough difference?
     
  10. testing1two

    testing1two Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Location:
    Southern California
    Here's what mine looks like:

    [​IMG]
     
  11. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    just like that!

    low enough to hold the strings behind the nut and keep them from rattling, but no lower.

    also, that third picture is a perfect example of why you need to "seat" strings after you put them on, by pressing down on either side of the contact points (nut and saddle) to get rid of that curve and create a defined sharp angle, so the string is dead-straight along its vibrating length.
     
  12. testing1two

    testing1two Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Location:
    Southern California
    to answer your question it looks like your retainer is about 1/2" from the nut so moving it another 1/4" should give you a better break angle. And as Walter said set it so it's just low enough to hold the strings behind the nut, but no lower.
     
  13. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    you shouldn't have to move the bar (leaving holes in the headstock); just raise it enough that it holds the strings down without severely bending them.

    you might need to scrounge some longer screws, though.
     
  14. emblymouse

    emblymouse I Dig A Pony Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2006
    Location:
    W' Sconsin
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist Lakland**Bag End**Schroeder
    Thanks guys. Sometimes this simple stuff escapes me!

    Here's the rest of the bass just 'cuz -

    [​IMG]
     

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