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A-String volume problem

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by bdkthunder, Aug 21, 2012.

  1. My problem might not actually be a problem but I would like some advice to know if what I've done is wrong or improper and if it was the cause of the problem.

    This situation is this: While learning to do setups myself (I have minimal experience with fixing/repairing basses), I noticed that my G-string was buzzing at the first fret so I put in a shim by just prying up the nut (nut was still glued in, did not remove the nut) and sliding in a short piece of thin cardboard. The piece is only maybe half of the length of the nut or less and is resting under the G and D strings. I put on a new set of strings and everything seemed good to go. The fret buzz I was trying to get rid of was gone. It wasn't until later that I noticed my A-string was sounding much weaker than the other strings.

    At first, it seemed like it was just the open string that sounded quieter and fretted notes were ok. Other times I felt that any notes on the A-string were quieter so I couldn't quite determine where the issue was.

    This lead me to believe that there was either something wrong with the nut shim job or the string was just a bad string. So now I've put on a new set of strings and am trying to figure out if the problem was the string or the nut. With the new strings, I think the fretted notes sound fine but now I cannot really tell if the open A is the same volume level as the other strings. I feel I can't trust my perception because in my mind, I'm looking for the volume to be quieter because I have doubt in my mind that I did an acceptable job on the nut shim. Other times I think the new string sounds fine and I am just being paranoid about it and there is no problem with the nut, it was just a bad string.

    In my mind, I am thinking that the nut underneath the A-string is not making full contact with the neck and this is somehow dampening the vibrations. But then again, it might be fine and I am just looking for a problem that isn't there anymore.

    So basically, I would like to know if you think what I did to shim the nut is wrong and was/is the cause of the problem, OR the nut shim is fine and it was just a bad string and I no longer have a problem. I can't really tell if I still have the problem or not because I feel like I am looking for the problem and it might not be there anymore.

    Also, it is not the pickups, I could notice the problem when it was not plugged in.

    Sorry if this is long and confusing. I just want to try to make some sense of the situation. Thanks for any advice!!!
  2. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY Supporting Member

    Remove the piece of trash from under your nut. Lift the strings and put a little folded piece of foil in the slot under the string. That will keep you going until you learn how to build up a slot or get a new nut cut.

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