A string rattle

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Cosmo_Smallpiece, Jul 6, 2002.

  1. When I play open A acoustically I get a loud rattle. It's not fret rattle because if I put my finger on the string between the nut and tuning post it disappears.

    My first thought was that the break angle over the nut was too shallow, but the string is as far down on the tuning post as it will go.

    I've tried a different string but it still has the same problem.

    Could the string be too loose in the nut? I understood that the string must be free to move through the nut and that the string tension should be even from the bridge to the tuning post, with the break angle over the nut just providing the right speaking length.

    Can anyone explain this to me?
  2. If you've got the string wound down as far as it will go on the post, it might be too loose in the nut.

    If the nut groove is too wide, even by a fraction of a milimeter, it could make a buzz like you described. You don't need to run out and buy a new nut though. A tiny dab of superglue on either side of the groove should do the trick. Or you could get a small piece of paper and stick it under the string. I think it's best to use the superglue, since paper should only be used as a temp fix.

    I had this exact same problem about three months ago, and that is how I fixed it.

    It is inevitable that the nut will wear down. One of these days you may want to replace it. I wouldn't bother for awhile, and then go out and get a brass or graphite nut.
  3. bizzaro


    Aug 21, 2000
    If you go the super glue route, add a little security and use masking tape infront of and behind the nut just in case you "drip" by accident. ;)
  4. Thanks guys. I'll give it a try.

    I found this a bit baffling because it's a relatively new bass - a 2000 Precision - so I didn't think that wear could have caused it. Maybe the factory setup wasn't 100%
  5. bizzaro


    Aug 21, 2000
    Before you go sticking glue in the nut slot you should confirm that is the problem. Or you will just add another problem. If your strings are lighter gauge than came on the bass, the nut slot can be to big and rattle. Stick some paper in the slot to be sure that is the problem. Not knowing you or your experience makes it hard to recomend appropriate suggestions. Even if it is the nut slot and you get to much glue in it, you then have to file it out at the proper width which takes a special file or some creative improvising. If it is a relitively new purchase take it back and have them fix it.
  6. Hategear

    Hategear Workin' hard at hardly workin'.

    Apr 6, 2001
    Appleton, Swissconsin

    Even if it's not under warranty, your friendly Fender dealer may help you fix it for free (if it's not too far out of warranty). Talk to 'em about it.
  7. Yes, that should be your first step. Sorry for the minor :rolleyes: oversight.

    The superglue fix obviously will only work if that is the actual problem.

    The nut on my Squier was a little bit worn, but that was after 6 years of wear and tear. If you've only had it a relatively short while, take it to a dealer and have them look it over first.
  8. Unfortunately I bought it second hand so it's not covered by warranty, and friendly Fender dealers are a bit thin on the ground around here.

    I think I'll do the superglue thing. I'm sure my retarded brain can cope with the consequences if it turns out not to be the nut.

    I don't really see what else it could be. I'm not using lighter than standard strings - 45-105 - and it's not the neck or any other hardware.

    Thanks for the advice.
  9. bizzaro


    Aug 21, 2000
    Andy, Try the paper trick first. Then you will know if it is the nut. You just need to stick a small piece of "thick" paper in the nut slot that has been cut to end at the face of the nut. If that stops the buzz then go for the glue trick. You should be able to isolate the buzz by making it buzz and touching different parts of the bass.....IE push down suspect string gently behind nut to stop buzz.
  10. Yes I've just tried it and lo and behold the rattle is gone.