BEAD and nuts

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by megarat, May 10, 2017.

  1. megarat

    megarat (Not My Real Name) Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2013
    Hey all.

    I've been considering giving BEAD a shot, but I have a number of questions and I would like some advice before jumping in.

    As I understand it, to properly set up a bass for BEAD, one needs to file down the nut to accommodate the larger strings. I'm reluctant to apply such a one-way modification to any of my current basses for what is essentially an experimental exercise. Is this really the only way to do it? And once a bass's nut has been modified for BEAD, how would it play if it were to be restrung for EADG? Would it need a new nut?

    I'm not averse to the idea of picking up a beater bass (or would that be a BEADer bass?) for the sake of this experiment. I even have a local lead on an affordable Peavey Grind, which seems particularly well-suited for the task (35" scale, string through body).

    Any advice on my next steps?
    DevinWard369 likes this.
  2. Mechayoshi


    Dec 7, 2015
    I hope by "file down" you actually mean widen. Anyway, yeah. It doesn't even need to be extra long scale as long as the strings are stiff enough. I don't know about string thru body helping in any way. That would change the break angle, but I've Never felt any tension differences. You could theoretically go back to standard but unless you use really large gauges, the nut slot will now be too wide.
  3. johndb

    johndb Bass is the Place! Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2014
    In order to see if you will like it, just string it up BEAD as is. You'll know in short order if you are going to miss the G string. The action will be a little high, but you will get the idea, and you can file the nut out permanently if you like it.
    megarat likes this.
  4. megarat

    megarat (Not My Real Name) Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2013
    Thanks both of you for the feedback (and yes, by "filing down", I meant "widen the slots for the strings"). johndb, I'll give your recommendation a shot.
  5. JackTheRipper

    JackTheRipper Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    I have a Fender GL Jazz that I setup as BEAD for a project I was working on. The project flopped and I restrung it EADG. No issues there for me. When you setup for BEAD you may also need to modify the bridge to accept the large B, depending on what strings you use.


  6. megarat

    megarat (Not My Real Name) Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2013
    Great, thanks for the heads up.
  7. MrPierre


    Oct 22, 2012
    All my basses are strung BEAD.

    I had to widen the string slots a little, but not that much. It could easily be restrung EADG without any noticeable difference. Depending on the scale and the position of bridge, the intonation for the B string can be a bit tricky.
  8. Replacement nuts are dirt cheap. Buy a few from eBay and keep the original someplace safe.
    Widen away to your heart's content then if BEAD is not your thing stick the original nut back on.
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