Ric Nut Filing

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by NYCbassist, Dec 13, 2012.


  1. NYCbassist

    NYCbassist Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2007
    Location:
    Mount Airy, North Carolina
    Long Story Short, I would like some quick Tips. I have been setting up Basses for 30 years but I had a friend that always took care of my Nuts for me.:eek: Did I just say that?
    Seriously though! just a few Quick questions.

    Starting with an otherwise perfect setup(For My Taste of course):

    1. How far should the strings be from the 1st Fret? I usually use 2 business cards as a guide.

    2. Should I take the Nut off.

    3. How much glue is holding the nut in place?

    4. Or should I just file it while on the bass? I realise I need to put some masking tap down to keep from scratching the finish.
  2. JLS

    JLS Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2008
    Location:
    Emeryville, Ca
    Disclosures:
    I setup & repair guitars & basses

    1. How far should the strings be from the 1st Fret? I usually use 2 business cards as a guide.


    I hold the string down at F3, and eyeball/listen for the, "tink", when I tap the string.

    2. Should I take the Nut off.

    No. How would you be able to tell how much to file?

    3. How much glue is holding the nut in place?


    Don't know, on Rics.

    4. Or should I just file it while on the bass? I realise I need to put some masking tap down to keep from scratching the finish.


    Yes, that is how it's done.
  3. NYCbassist

    NYCbassist Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2007
    Location:
    Mount Airy, North Carolina
    Thanks for the reply. I was thinking that if I took the nut off an filed the "under" side, I could lower all 4 strings at once. FWIW the OEM strings require very little effort to Fret at the lower register. I honestly just want to lower the tension a bit for sake of the bridge. I don't want any lift happening. If this is a thing of the past then I won't worry about it.
  4. JLS

    JLS Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2008
    Location:
    Emeryville, Ca
    Disclosures:
    I setup & repair guitars & basses
    Lowering the strings at the nut has no bearing on the tension at the bridge whatsoever.

    This idea of pulling the nut, and sanding the bottom, rather than doing it the right way, keeps resurfacing here; not a good idea.

    When you buy a Ric, you buy all their, um, "eccentricities", too.
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  6. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Location:
    Colorado
    I find Rickenbacker nuts too high for my taste. To lower the action at the nut you have 2 choices: 1 - sand down the bottom of the nut 2 - cut the grooves deeper. The proper way to cut the grooves is a set of nut files. A dremmel tool is faster and easier.

    I believe the height of the nut should be the same height as a zero fret.
  7. JLS

    JLS Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2008
    Location:
    Emeryville, Ca
    Disclosures:
    I setup & repair guitars & basses
    And disaster-prone.
  8. Turnaround

    Turnaround

    Joined:
    May 6, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto Canada
    Disclosures:
    Bass Technician, Club Bass - Toronto
    +1 AKA how to destroy a nut in Olympic record time.
  9. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Location:
    Colorado
    I have done dozens of nuts with a dremmel tool.
  10. Turnaround

    Turnaround

    Joined:
    May 6, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto Canada
    Disclosures:
    Bass Technician, Club Bass - Toronto
    Good for you. I have had to fix many nuts where the owner thought they could use a Dremel to slot a little deeper and - oops! Yes it can be done. But it ends unhappily all to often.

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